Sunday, April 2, 2017

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge strikes constituent Alexander Bannwart

 Lodge in 1909

In a rather unusual event, 67 year old Senator Henry Cabot Lodge struck his constituent, Alexander Bannwart, on this day. The event took place in Lodge's office.

What exactly occurred is disputed.  What is not is that Bannwart, a former minor league baseball player and present manager, and two companions stopped in the office of their Senator, Lodge. Bannwart had his fellows were pacifist and they came to complain about the impending American entry into World War One.  Heated words were exchanged, and then shoving, and Bannwart was struck by Lodge.  Police soon arrested Bannwart.  Reports indicated that Lodge determined not to press charges against Bannwart, but then with what little detail we have, it would have perhaps made more sense if Bannwart had pressed charges against Lodge.  Perhaps the shoving by the 36 year old Bannwart was of a more serious nature than the existing reports indicate, particularly given their respective ages, and perhaps Lodge was simply defending himself.

Bannwart is often reported in these matters as being simply a minor league baseball player, but in fact he'd been a successful manager in the Colonial League.  He was a 1906 Princeton graduate, having come to the United States as a boy. 

Lodge voted for U.S. entry into the war. An event not surprising, given that Lodge was a Republican and a close associate of Theodore Roosevelt.

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