Why You Should Care About 1903

Why You Should Care About 1903

  • 1903 was a good year to be an American. Theodore Roosevelt was a popular and capable president. Unemployment stood at just 3.9 percent, and a first-class stamp cost two cents.


    It was a good year to be a kid, with Morris and Rose Michtom introducing the first teddy bear in the United States, while the first box of Crayola crayons was made and sold for five cents.


    It was a good year to be a baseball fan, with the American League’s Boston Americans defeating the National League’s Pittsburgh Pirates in the first modern World Series.


    It was a good year for national security, with Cuba leasing Guantánamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity” in accordance with the Cuban-American Treaty.


    It was a good year for soft drinks, with the formation of the Pepsi Cola Company. Perhaps this is why Coca-Cola decided to remove cocaine as a key ingredient from their formula that year, although we can’t confirm this. At the time, approximately nine milligrams of cocaine was included in every glass of Coca-Cola.


    It was a good year to get high in the world of aviation, with Wilbur and Orville Wright completing the first flight of a powered aircraft in Kitty Hawk, NC.


    It was a good year for racing, with the first stock car event held at the Milwaukee Mile. William Jones won with an average speed of 50 miles per hour. Also, 60 cyclists competing in the first Tour de France, a race won by some French guy.


    It was a good year for traveling across the country, with George Wyman riding his 1902 California Motorcycle Company motor bicycle – with a 1.5 horsepower engine – from San Francisco to New York City in 51 days.


    20 days later, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker became the first people to drive a car – a 1903 Winton touring car – across the United States, from San Francisco to New York. Although the car blew a tire just 15 miles into the journey, they eventually completed the trip in 63 days, using more than 800 gallons of gas.


    Harley Davidson 110th Website


    It was a historic year for motorcycles in general, with William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson selling the first production Harley Davidson motorcycle to Henry Meyer, a childhood buddy of Harley and Davidson, in Milwaukee.


    The motorcycle, built to be a racer with a 3 1/8-inch bore and 3 1/2-inch stroke, was built in a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed that had the words “Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company” scribbled on the door.


    In honor of this milestone, Harley Davidson is recognizing 110 years of freedom at the Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration. Headlined by Toby Keith, Aerosmith and Kid Rock, this event will feature four days of bikes, music and parties from August 29-September 1.


    2013 is already a ridiculously good year for riders, with ROT Rally and Sturgis already in the books, and this event promising to be a history-maker. We’ll be there with Biker Bar demonstrations so you can see the simplest, fastest and most secure way to trailer your Harley without the straps.


    110 years really does fly by when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?