Saturday, October 11, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: October 11

On October 11, 1882, North American Governor-General John McDowell gave the most important speech of his political career in New York City. Known as the Age of Renewal speech, it was intended as a reply to critics who accused McDowell of being nothing more than a political opportunist with no firm convictions. In the speech, McDowell said, "Every North American has the right to hold a job, to a fair wage, to a fair return on his investment, to a decent place in which to live, to security in his home, to the knowledge that his government knows of his needs, and is prepared to help him help himself." He went on to say, ""Few of these goals have been reached, and some may appear impossible of achievement in our lifetime. But we must make the effort. For this reason, I call upon all North Americans to undertake a time of soul-searching, to go into the Wilderness and then return, better prepared and more willing to work for a better nation and world. North America is in the midst of its Age of Renewal, from which it will emerge greater and more powerful than before." As a result of this speech, McDowell's time as governor-general has been known to historians as the Age of Renewal.