With the first edition of the daily newspaper in the summer of 1906, the Chautauqua Press announced a change in name. For the first time, the paper would bear the name readers recognize today: The Chautauquan Daily.
“The change of name is made in order to secure desirable uniformity of Chautauqua publications and the new heading adapts the familiar Chautauquan panel design which has become a kind of trademark for The Chautauquan Magazine,” the Daily reported.
Although the name would change, the editors expected to “preserve all that is best in the honorable history of the paper while striving to improve it.” In its 31-year history, the newspaper had been “necessary at Chautauqua” and “invaluable at home. Sent to friends it is more comprehensive than letter writing. It not only contains the official program day by day, but nowhere else will it be possible to keep track of what is going on in this active summer city where so many interests center.”
The 1906 season opened with two conventions during the first week, The Convention of the Superintendents of the Poor and the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of the Speech Arts. Chautauqua Institution had entertained various conferences many times, the only stipulation being they be held in June or in September and not during the central part of the Chautauqua summer.
The Institution enjoyed many physical betterments. The 1905 summer had been terrific, and “Chautauquans are looking forward to even brighter and greater things for the Institution this year,” the Daily wrote. “A fifty percent greater number of cottages have been rented for the season than at the corresponding period last year.”
The Athenaeum Hotel had received two coats of fresh paint. After careful consideration, Edward R. Green of Buffalo, New York, selected a seal-brown color. A section of the paper called “Chautauqua Ripples” observed that “You will like the new color of the Hotel Athenaeum after you have seen it for a few days.”
The new Hall of Philosophy was nearly complete and would be dedicated on Recognition Day. There was a new wrought iron fence erected along the highway, stretching south from the road gate. Along the lake there were new private rowboat docks.
“Provision is also made for the landing of launches and sail boats,” the paper wrote.
The Daily intended to support itself and “claimed peculiar value to advertisers both on account of its intelligent clientele of well-to-do Americans drawn from all parts of our own country and because it combines valuable features of newspaper and magazine as well.”
Among those advertisements was one for Mrs. Norton’s Lunch Room in the Temple Building: “Neatness, cleanliness and wholesomeness are what you find. No extra charge is made for these qualities,” the ad said.
Cogswell’s Market in the Colonnade said they sell “No Chicago Meats. We buy all our meats from the Cleveland Provision Company, and they come to us in perfect condition. Their slaughter houses, packing houses and refrigeratoring service are the most cleanly and sanitary in the country.”
On July 7, the Daily ran the first column of a series called “Chautauquagrams.” One entry said, “The decline of the muskellunge fishing is always coincident with the awakening of the songsters at the Pier House.” And another, “Supersensitive – The Southerner who objected to the Hotel this season because it is ‘colored.’ ” And one last: “It may be of interest to some to learn that those organ preludes by Mr. Vincent are really not for the purpose of stimulating conversation, but are intended for the benefit of those who enjoy good music.”
An article from July 9 was titled “Trips Afoot,” and invited people to take pedestrian excursions into the country around Chautauqua.
“Of the thousands of people who come to Chautauqua each summer, probably at least ninety-eight percent spend practically all their time inside the Assembly gates,” the Daily reported.
One suggested destination was Duquesne Heights. The writer said to walk about half a mile north from the road-gate and turn left.
“This road to Duquesne Heights should not be confused with the Panama road, which is the first one turning to the left,” the Daily said.
The road leads up a hill, “from which may be gained one of the best views of the northern end of the lake that can be had on this side of the beautiful sheet of water.”
After reaching the top of the hill, a traveler should pass the silo-house and unoccupied hotel that crowns the crest, and turn to the right. From there the view is picturesque, “with the broad sweep of the lake several hundred feet below.”
The 1906 Daily ran “News Of The World,” a series of “Telegraphic Dispatches of Current Happenings Boiled down for Busy Readers—Domestic and Foreign Events.” On July 10 the newspaper reported that “Emperor William of Germany and King Haakon of Norway met at Trondhjem yesterday, and embraced cordially, kissing each other several times.”
New Jersey passed a state law against opening saloons on Sunday. As a result, “New York city was invaded with thirsty men and women from across the Hudson River.”
The Daily reported that “the Twentieth Century of St. Petersburg, Russia … published a second poem by M. Amfiteatroff, one of Russia’s most brilliant journalist-poets.” The report said, “The paper has been confiscated and probably will be suppressed. The verses are dedicated to Maxim Gorky, and are virtually an appeal to armed revolt.”
On the Chautauqua platform, E. B. Bryan, president of Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, would give a series of lectures, one of them titled “Governing the Philippines.” He said that Americans have many misunderstandings of the Philippine people, and though there are several wild tribes such as the Igorrotes, Negritos and Moros, “About six and a half million [people] compose the Filipinos proper, and only about a million and a half, the wild tribes.”
If there was a problem as a whole regarding the Filipino people, Bryan said, they are “kind, obliging and polite,” but act a little like children: “They say in each case what they think the people would like to hear.”
Joseph C. Hartzell, the Methodist Episcopal Bishop for Africa would speak on “Africa’s Future” on July 19. After his lecture he would leave for Bay View, Michigan. And when the summer is completed, he will have visited 20 Chautauqua Assemblies. Before leaving, he noted “that the best business men are taking hold of the Chautauqua movement, especially in the western states, emphasizing the spiritual and intellectual phases of the work.”
As for Africa, it was huge, and “in Africa there are 100 blacks to one white.” The African continent “is the last one to be attacked by civilization,” Hartzell said. Why was it the last? God’s time for Africa had not come.
“As long as Christian nations had slavery, God would not open Africa. As long as the slave trade was yet alive, God would not open up that continent to the world,” Hartzell said.
On July 22, Booker T. Washington spoke in the Amphitheater on “The Education of the Negro.” Washington advocated for the work done at his Tuskegee Institute, and how from there “and a score of other institutions, we are sending doctors who are going to make the race well in body, well in mind, and well in spirit.”
And the United States had better get used to it. Washington said that some people would suggest that the Negro should return to Africa.
“But we are a very polite people,” he said. “After having put you to such expense to get us here, it would be a little unkind not to oblige you by staying right here. We have got to make up our minds that the black man has got to remain here, a part of the permanent citizenship of the country.”