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two months matters took a brighter turn, and at this writing it looks as if in the future San Francisco might be a grander city than ever.
For some time past there had been an agitation in the press and elsewhere concerning the condition of affairs in the packing houses of Chicago, where thousands of cattle are slaughtered daily, to be sent out as food not only for this country but also to many foreign nations. At last the agitation became so great that President Roosevelt called for a strict investigation. When this was made, it was found that many of the slaughter-houses were far from clean, and that the governmental inspection of cattle was by no means what it should be.
This must stop — we must have good, clean meat for our people, and for export,” said Theodore Roosevelt, and forthwith urged Congress to act, with the result that measures were passed calling for such inspection of slaughtered animals as would assure us healthy food. The packers at first raised a great cry against the agitation, saying it would hurt their business
enormously, but in the end they found that the people would buy more meat when they knew it was properly inspected, and so the change was really to the packers’ ' profit.
On June 16, 1906, President Roosevelt signed the bill admitting Oklahoma and Indian Territory as one State, thus adding another star to our flag. What the new State was to be called was left undecided.
During the middle of July President Roosevelt issued an order ,which was of great interest to labor unions throughout the country. This was to the effect that government officials in charge of any public work were to punish any violation of the eight-hour working law. This rule applied everywhere, so that no man working on a government job or filling a government position could be called on to labor more than eight hours out of twenty-four.
The summer of 1906 was spent by the President at Oyster Bay, according to his established custom. Here, on the Fourth of July, he delivered a stirring address to his townspeople and others who had gathered to hear him, and here, later in the summer,
he witnessed a grand naval review gotten up to do him honor. The warships to take part were bedecked in their best, the guns boomed a glorious salute, and the occasion was one of pleasure and satisfaction to our Chief Executive.
And now let me record another thing which was accomplished during this summer, and which is of prime importance to every boy and girl who reads these pages. Many prominent educators came out for a reform in our spelling and issued a list of three hundred words which they thought might be spelled in a shorter and better way. While the discussion was on, President Roosevelt took up the matter, and on his own behalf directed the public printer to print all public documents from the Executive Offices with the new spelling. In giving this order he issued a statement which contained the following:
“The purpose simply is, for the government, instead of lagging behind popular sentiment, to keep abreast of it, and at the same time abreast of the views of the ablest and most practical educators of our time.”
Many of the new forms are already in
common use, as, for instance, honor and parlor, for honour and parlour ; program and coquet for programme and coquette ; check for cheque ; fiber and theater for fibre and theatre; ax and good-by for axe and good-bye ; plow for plough; jail for gaol ; wrapt for wrapped; and wagon for waggon. Others, like altho for although, carest for caressed, hiccup for hiccough, pur
puri, and wo for woe, look rather strange, but perhaps we shall all get used to them in time. Certain it is that the spelling reform will make it easier to learn how to spell, and I believe all my young readers will agree with me that that will be a grand good thing
Early in November, 1906, President Roosevelt left this country to visit Porto Rico and Panama, to see how matters were progressing in our new possession and to inspect the work being done on the great canal. He went in the battleship Louisiana, which was escorted by two other vessels of our navy. The battleship was equipped with a wireless telegraphy outfit, so that those on board might be in constant communication with those on shore. It was the first time in our
history that a President has set foot outside of the United States while holding office. But it was characteristic of President Roosevelt to wish to see with his own eyes just what was being done on the Isthmus of Panama and how matters might possibly be improved. His departure was witnessed by many friends and relatives, all of whom wished him a pleasant time and a safe return.