1888 One Hundred Years Ago

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The American musical scene was in a sorry state, according to the November issue of The Atlantic . An article entitled “A Warning Note” lamented that “The Wagner school of music has proved itself the arch enemy of the human voice. … The unnatural demands made upon the vocal organs through Wagner’s total ignorance of the art of singing, and the abnormal development of the orchestra through the impatient yearnings of his unquiet soul, have banished for the time all chance of melody in music.”

With almost one hundred thousand more votes than his opponent, incumbent President Grover Cleveland nevertheless lost to Benjamin Harrison in the November 6 election. Despite his slim majority, the distribution by state of Cleveland’s votes gave him only 168 electoral votes to the challenger Harrison’s 233.