Millenium Countdown: 1930
Paper: Carson City Daily Appeal – 69 days to the millennium – Wednesday, April 23, 1930
Editor and Publisher: Henry Rust Mighels Jr.
Address: 102 E. Second St.
Communications intended for publication must either be signed by the writer or the writer’s name must be filed in this office.
Published daily except Sunday at Carson City.
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Name: Key Pittman
Born: Sept. 19, 1872, Vicksburg, Miss.
Died: Nov. 10, 1940 in a Reno hospital, of coronary thrombosis.
Position: six-time U.S. Senator for Nevada
Elected: last time Nov. 5, 1940
Berkeley L. Bunker appointed by Gov. Edward P. Carville to fill the term.
Defeated Republican Samuel Platt
Defeated Republican George Malone and Independent John P. Reynolds
Defeated Republican Samuel Platt
Defeated Republican Charles S. Chandler
Defeated Republican W.A. Massey
Defeated Republican Samuel Platt and Socialist A. Grant Miller
Defeated by Republican George S. Nixon*
*In Pittman’s first bid for election it was up to the legislators to choose who would fill the states two U. S. Senate seats.
Legislative nominees, if elected, agreed to vote for the senatorial candidate who received the highest number of votes at the regular election, regardless of political affiliation; and were required to regard the vote as a recommendation.
This part of the primary law was observed until the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution came into effect May 31, 1913, permitting the election of U.S. Senators by a vote of the people. Representatives have always been elected by the people.
Pittman was key to protecting state’s silver interests
By Kelli Du Fresne
In April 1930, Key Pittman is charging a top publishing company for protecting its own interests, which is ironic because throughout his 28 years as a U.S. Senator he was criticized for staunchly protecting the interests of Nevada sometimes even above those of the United States.
In his book “Nevada’s Key Pittman,” Fred Israel said “Pittman proudly described himself as a ‘Frontier Statesman.’ And this he was. But his frontier stopped at the Nevada borders and his statesmanship was too often limited to the economic welfare of his constituents whose views he championed.”
The Appeal reprinted the following from the Reno Evening Journal adding its own opinion to the end.
THE FIGHT FOR SILVER
Senator Pittman openly charges the McGraw-Hill Publications company with acting through Engineering and Mining Journal as the mouthpiece for jewelry makers motion picture film manufacturers and other interests which are fighting the silver tariff. For a publication within is supposedly printed in the interests of mining, only, the indictment by Senator Pittman is a serious one. It is given force by the Nevada senator’s revelation that the editorial attack in the publication was distributed to members of congress not by any mining organization or body interested in the welfare of mining, but by an association of jewelers, which naturally desires silver at as low a price as possible.
As a matter of fact, the source of opposition as exposed by Senator Pittman is a strong argument for the contention that the proposed tariff would serve to increase the price of silver. Otherwise, why should the interests desiring cheap silver be opposing it?
Nevada and the other states of the west here silver is one of the natural resources, should let congress know what they thing of the propaganda against the silver tariff. Indifference at this time is inexcusable.-Journal
Considering the tariff concession made to practically every industry in the United States and a centered fight against silver, the mainstay of the western mining states, the stand taken by Senator Pittman will have to be given consideration. It is a question of life and death to may of the mining districts where the white metal predominates. This state, through its representatives ;and those who are living by the mining of the white metal are behind Senator Pittman and the other state representatives in Congress. It has been realized from the beginning that it would be an uphill battle as it was shown early that the commercial users of silver were opposed to any raise in the price of the metal. In other words they want tariff for their own products but not for the producers who make their existence possible. Nevada is already showing the effects of the depreciation of silver and unless the Pittman tariff amendments gets support further depression is bound to follow. The entire west should get behind his efforts to protect this industry.
The May 24, 1931 edition of the Carson City Daily Appeal marked a small faux pas by Pittman in Salt Lake.
Under the headline “Boosts Silver Return But Uses Paper Money” the Appeal wrote: Senator Key Pittman, Nev., one of the foremost leaders favoring an international silver conference and other steps designed to bring back the silver industry to a healthy state made a tactical error here.
Pittman handed out two tips – a dollar each. In both cases he used dollar bills.
The Nevada Senator was joked considerately about his breach of “etiquette.”
According to “Nevada History,” but Russell Elliot, in 1930, Pittman’s efforts were focused on reviving Nevada’s economy during the depression. Pittman pushed for federal support of the state’s key industry -mining – as gaming and tourism had not yet become the focal points of the state’s economy.
The 1929 stock market crash of 1929 revived interest in finding a way to bolster the silver industry.
In 1930, the Senate Foreign Relations committee was formed to study trade with China, which was the only “power country” to use silver as a standard.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Pittman to serve on the World Monetary and Economic Conference.
Pittman was successful here gaining a promise from eight nations to replace low-valued paper money with silver coins, to refrain from legislation that might depress the world price of silver and to stop melting and debasing coins.
He furthermore, secured agreements from the U.S., Mexico, Peru and Australia to purchase not less than 35 million ounces of silver a year from America. The U.S. share of this was 24.4 million ounces. This was a pledge by the federal government to purchase all but 1 percent of the silver produced in the U.S. The Silver Purchase Act of 1934 called for treasury officials buy silver until 25 percent of the American currency was backed by silver and 75 by gold.
In 1939, the government’s purchase of domestic silver was made law rather than presidential prerogative and the price for silver was set at 71.11 cents an ounce.
Though Pittman focused his efforts on silver, the health of the copper industry was more closely linked to the economic recovery of the state.