The state of TIAH
September 14th, 2006
in 1901, President William McKinley recovers from the minor gunshot wound he had suffered on a visit to Buffalo, when an anarchist had taken an ill-aimed shot at him. A soldier who had been posted as security had noted the anarchist's nervous attitude, and just in the nick of time, had struck away the assassin's pistol. President McKinley was grazed across the shoulder, a painful but non-fatal hit. As soon as he recovered, he returned to the public eye, holding a reception in the White House for business leaders from around the country. Although he was urged by his advisors to tighten up on his personal security after this, he refused, saying, “Should I deny the public access to me, then this little pipsqueak of a man will have accomplished his task just as surely as if I were dead; for, if I cannot be seen among men without guards dogging my every step, then I have given in to the fear he wished to generate.” McKinley, already a popular leader, grew even more so after this incident, and he used this newly-earned status to push through international agreements that he himself would have found unthinkable a few years before. His second brush with death – his first had been as a soldier in the Civil War – found him rethinking many of his old positions. He had been known as a friend of business, but now he took an interest in the nascent labor movement in the country, and started urging conciliation with strikers, rather than the violent union-busting tactics that had been standard practice at that time. When his second term was ending in 1904, he let it be known that he would support the progressive Governor Robert La Follette of Wisconsin for the Republican nomination to the presidency. With McKinley's aid, La Follette won a hard election against Democrat Alton Parker and the Socialist Eugene Debs, who captured over a million votes, surprising everyone. La Follette, with no serious opposition on his right, but plenty to his left, combined many popular moderate leftist positions in his platform, and guided America into an era where business and labor found common ground. He appointed former President McKinley to the position of Special Labor Advisor, which evolved over time into a cabinet position. La Follette proved even more popular than his predecessor, and won not just one reelection, but an unprecedented 3rd term in 1912.
in 1951, during one of his now-monthly visits to the cave in Lascaux, France, Doctor Phillipe de le Roscaux sees that he can no longer block the narrow passage into the forbidden chamber that he has protected for 11 years. Although not as thin as he was in his youth, he forces himself once more into the chamber and looks at the strange art that had frightened him for so long. The primitive images again take on a life of their own, swirling in his brain, forcing him to conclusions that cannot be escaped, and he barely managed to stifle the scream that they brought again to his throat. He scrambled out of the chamber and spent hours in the sunlight outside of the cave formulating a plan. He looked at the huge number of people visiting the cave, knowing that they were steered away from that horrible chamber by the archaeological staff running the tours, and thought that they could be used to close the cave. He would argue that the number of visitors was deteriorating the cave walls. He resolved to push this with the committee in charge of the cave and not give in until there was no longer a chance that a stray visitor could stumble into that strange and terrifying passage.
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