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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Dancing in the Streets



GRAND OPENING OF GATES' AUTO STORE
    C. E. Gates, "the Overland man," announces a grand opening of his new sales and showroom in the Sparta Building Thursday evening. An orchestra will play during the evening, and the public is cordially invited to inspect the finest auto headquarters in Oregon, outside of Portland.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 10, 1913, page 2

Gates 1913-9-11MMT
Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1913

RECORD CROWD AT GATES' OPENING
    The new quarters of the Overland automobile in the Sparta Building, Manager C. E. Gates acting as host to the public. The Hazelrigg orchestra furnished music and dancing was followed until eleven o'clock. [omission] largest crowd that ever attended a business house opening in this city filled the store from 7:30 till 1 o'clock. The room was tastefully decorated.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 12, 1913, page 2


STREET RAGGING AROUSES IRE OF CITY MINISTERS
Preachers of Medford File Formal Protest with Council Against Turkey Trot
and Grizzly Bear As Immodest and Indecent.
Not the Feet, but the Body Action that Is Pronounced Vulgar--
Want Dances Prohibited.
    The Ministers' Association has submitted the following protest against street dancing to the city council:
"To the City Council:
    "We, the members of the Ministerial Association of Medford, do hereby protest to you, the city council, and to the public against the immoral dances held on the public streets and in the Sparta Building last week. This is a city of 10,000 people, and the demands of the people are for morality and decency. The public officials are the servants of the people to promote the moral welfare as well as the financial welfare of our city.
    "The dances were pronounced by those who witnessed them as the extreme of vulgarity, and the influence of them demoralizing. The International Association of Masters of Dancing, which met at Bridgeport, Conn., on September 4, had this to say: 'The Turkey Trot, the Horse Trot, the Grizzly Bear and ragging are vulgar. It is not so much what the turkey trotters do with their feet. That does not count. It is the position which leads to vulgarity.' They said further: 'The Tango, the Hesitation Waltz, the Hitchy-Koo and the Peacock Glide are right only when danced with decorum.'
    "Jane Addams says: 'The dance hall is the procurer's harvest field. In the dance proprieties are always easily transgressed, and in many public dances improprieties are deliberately fostered. The couples leaning heavily on each other, or in each other's embrace, the efforts to obtain pleasure or feed the imagination are thus converged upon the senses, which it is already difficult for the young people to understand and to control.'
    "We find these indecent and vulgar dances barred in the great cities of our land. In many places not only is the dancer liable to arrest, but the proprietor of the hall on whose floor the ragging takes place is also subject to punishment. In some cities the juvenile court has ruled that no girl or boy under 18 can frequent a dance hall. The demand is that the dance be moral, or it must be prohibited. The physical and moral welfare of our young people far outweigh dollars and cents by far. All our amusements should be clean and moral. Because the dancing in our city in the past week under the sanction of the city authorities was vulgar and indecent, we believe that it is our duty to God and to the people to speak in no uncompromising way our united condemnation of it.
D. D. BOYLE, Pres.
WESTON F. SHIELDS, Sec.
J. K. BAILLIE.
J. F. VERNON.
J. E. BRADLEY.
LOUIS M. ANDERSON.
H. M. BRANHAM.
CONRAD WALKER.
E. O. ELDRIDGE.
R. W. MacCULLOUGH."
Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1913, page 1


NO ACTION ON STREET DANCING
    "It's all right for us old stags to act that way," said Councilman Mitchell at the council meeting Tuesday night anent the ministers' protest against the street rag dancers, "but it isn't just the thing for the young folks. The other fellows' girl can get out and 'rag' and be talked about, as I heard them talked about last Friday night, but it would be different if it was our own girl. We ought to do something to stop any future rag outbreaks."
    In these opinions councilmen Porter and Campbell assented. Then the protest was placed on file.
    No one assumed the responsibility for the jamboree. Summerville said W. H. Gore and J. T. Sullivan of the fair association asked permission for the use of the street and invited him to help manage the details. No one presumed the festivities would raise a teapot tempest. Millar objected to the pastors' charge the city sanctioned the dance.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, September 17, 1913, page 2




Last revised August 17, 2010