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Temple Of Knowledge Or A Rendezvous For Mashers And Hussies? The 1907 Ejection Of Marines From The Library Of Congress Mike Unsworth MSU Libraries [email protected]

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HST 201: The Sexual Revolution in America, 1960s-1970s

Temple Of Knowledge OrA Rendezvous For Mashers And Hussies?The 1907 Ejection Of Marines From The Library Of Congress Mike UnsworthMSU [email protected]

OUTLINETemple of KnowledgeNeed for SecurityRendezvous PointThe Marines Respect for the UniformThe Incident Investigation & ReportResearch ProblemsQuestions

Temple of Knowledge

Muse Calliope31870: Copyright Mission Triggers Deluge of Books

1897: Separate Building OpenedGrand Monument To Civilization, Culture, And American Achievement

there is almost no work, within the vast range of literature and science, which may not at some time prove useful to the legislature of a great nation in a Republic which rests upon the popular intelligencea great national collection ...ought to be utilized by a far wider circle of readers.prove to of incalculable benefit to the public intelligencewere these rich sources of information thrown freely open during evening hours for the use and reference of all.

Spofford , Ainsworth Rand, The Government Library at Washington, International. Review (1874-1883). Vol. 5 (Nov.1878): 769 .Democratization of Knowledge:Evening hours: Begun 1898Sunday hours: Begun Sep. 1904LC averaged 2,000 visitors per dayWatch Force:Protect building & grounds; act as a fire watch; on duty 24/73 shifts: Morning-5, Middle-8, Late-8 Same powers of arrest as the D.C. Police ForceHired by Superintendent of Grounds & Building Bernard Green; recommended by congressmen. Expected to return to home district and voteThe few watchmen employed are indeed well organized, competent, vigilant, and their presence is indispensable; but beyond this they rarely have to act to maintain orderly behavior and respect for the cleanliness and integrity of the building. Green (1898)

Not All Visitors Well BehavedSo avid is the sightseeing populace for souvenirs and so ruthless in its efforts to secure material tokens of its presence at distinguished places, that each spot is vigilantly guarded from vandalism Daisy Fitzhugh Ayres, At Departure, Lousiville Courier Journal (July 14, 1907Thefts Are Frequent Rare Books Taken, Washington Post (May 25, 1900)

RENDEZVOUS POINTThe library has repeatedly been made a place of meeting by individuals of the opposite sexes Army and Navy Journal (April 27, 1907): 959Regular clearing house for mashers and flirtersMany young girls come here for no other reason than to pick up a flirtation No Place for Flirts, Washington Post (April 22, 1907)Not just LC:Some of the public buildings of the city offer a particularly inviting field for them [mashers], and many complaints are heard regarding their offensive attentions to women Mashers in Public Buidlings, Washington Star (April 20, 1907)Annoyed Girls on the Mall, Washington Post (Oct. 19, 1902)

.9 mile walk10Respect for the Uniform

If they [servicemen] are not admitted to reputable places of entertainment they will go to such as are disreputable; if the social position of virtuous women is affected by being seen in their company, they will associate with vicious women, and the results of this almost enforced debauchery will be deplorable to themselves and to the service. Secretary of the Navy Charles Bonaparte, Uniform of Enlisted Men of Navy to be Respected (1906) Senate Document No. 145 (59th Congress, 1st Session) Serial 4912Evening of April 16, 1907


Investigation:Special Committee of Two

Formed April 25, 1907. Interviewed almost 30 witnessesContradictory testimony14No marines are, or ever have been, so far as the board can ascertain, refused admission to or excluded from the library on account of their uniform. On the contrary, marines in uniform almost daily visit the library. Honor Uniform at Library," Washington Post, June 16, 1907.

Issued on June 15, 1907


Research Problems

Missing records, especially LC: little material on watch force, no testimony17QUESTIONS

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