FYI September 02, 21018


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On This Day

1901 – Vice President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt utters the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the Minnesota State Fair.
Big stick ideology, big stick diplomacy, or big stick policy refers to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy: “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Roosevelt described his style of foreign policy as “the exercise of intelligent forethought and of decisive action sufficiently far in advance of any likely crisis.”[1]

The idea is negotiating peacefully but also having strength in case things go wrong. Simultaneously threatening with the “big stick”, or the military, ties in heavily with the idea of Realpolitik, which implies a pursuit of political power that resembles Machiavellian ideals.[2] It is comparable to gunboat diplomacy, as used in international politics by imperial powers.



Born On This Day

1873 – Lily Poulett-Harris, Australian cricketer and educator (d. 1897)
Lily Poulett-Harris (2 September 1873 – 15 August 1897) was an Australian sportswoman and educationalist, notable for being the founder and captain of the first Women’s cricket team in Australia.[1] Poulett-Harris continued to play until forced to retire due to ill health from the tuberculosis that was eventually to claim her life.

Early life

Born Harriet Lily Poulett-Harris (but referred to in all subsequent sources as Lily) on 2 September 1873, she was the youngest daughter of Richard Deodatus Poulett-Harris and his second wife, Elizabeth Eleanor (née Milward).[2] Her father was renowned for being the head of the Hobart Boys’ High School and a founding father of the University of Tasmania, so it is no surprise that she and several of his other children followed him into careers in education.

As a young child Lily grew up in Hobart, where her father taught. Her mother was 31 and her father was 57 when Lily and her twin Violet were born. Lily’s father was also a part-time rector at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Hobart.[3] Lily grew up in this devout, resolutely low church environment.

Life must have been difficult at times for Lily growing up. Her father, who had arrived in Tasmania in 1856, was “melancholy in outlook and prone to depression, he had much sadness in his family life. He mourned the separation from the three daughters left in England [from his first marriage] and the early death of his son Richard from severe burns. His second daughter Charlotte Maria became of unsound mind, was committed to an institution in February 1872 and died a few years later.”[4] (Note that this conflicts with the electoral roll and a Supreme Court record that establishes she did in fact die in the Lachlan Hospital at New Norfolk, in June 1941.)

Furthermore, “he was charged with assaulting boys with a cane in March 1860 and June 1868, the first case being dismissed and the second settled out of court, but he maintained the school’s pre-eminent position in the colony until 1878 when he lost his midlands boarders to Horton College and Launceston Church Grammar School. Thereafter his health declined and in 1885, suffering acute physical pain and mental depression, he surrendered to Christ College, with the shareholders’ agreement, all leasehold rights in return for an annuity of £300. The school was closed on 15 August 1885.”[4]

A “a bright, inquisitive, adventurous and active child”,[5] Lily was schooled by her father and received a Level II mark prize in December 1882.[6] Lily was allowed to sit the major exams as a “trial of strength” in 1884 even though she was not eligible for a scholarship. She came second.[7]

She also played the violin at school.[8] She would go on playing this instrument, and also the piano, all of her life, giving occasional public performances at Peppermint Bay[9] and Hobart. For instance, she gave a recital at a church choir fundraising event at her home parish of All Saints in South Hobart less than a year before she died.[10]

When her father retired in 1885, he purchased a hotel at Peppermint Bay (Woodbridge) and converted it into a house which he named “The Cliffs”. Lily was to spend her adolescence and young adulthood here.

Saving her mother from fire
However, the first indication of Lily’s strength of character comes from November 1885, when she was twelve years old. One day, “Miss May Harris, with her two little sisters, Violet and Lily, and Miss Gaynor, a guest, went down to the beach to bathe, and a little while afterwards Mrs. Harris followed them down to look after them. On her way to the beach, and when, a little way only from it, her attention was caught by some brushwood and dry grass which she thought might harbour snakes. She accordingly set fire to it with the hope of removing it, and was still engaged in the operation, when she suddenly – the fire having spread without her noticing it – found that her dress had caught ablaze, and that the sleeves were burning. This was the first intimation she had of her danger, and she at once screamed out, and rolling herself on the ground, tried to put out the fire in that way. Lily, the younger of the twins, was the only one near enough to assist her mother, and rushing up, the little child had the presence of mind to pull off her wet bathing dress and wrap it round her mother’s body, thus saving her from much worse injuries than those she received. Mrs Harris was taken home, and was found to be suffering from severe burns on the arms and back.”[11]





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