August 1909 Editorial Cartoon

This editorial cartoon from the August 20, 1909, Indianapolis News has little to do with auto racing, but it was published with the tragic first auto racing event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a kind of backdrop to events of the world, at least in the minds of the local readers. In 1909 a big question across the developed world was the level investment countries should make in the construction of "dreadnoughts," big-gun which were originally produced and named by Great Britain. The image here shows a giant ship sporting a Japanese flag doubling as a race car at the Speedway. Apparently, the artist is representing that the United States, in the form of Uncle Sam looking on enviously, was falling behind not just the Royal Navy - still known for its prowess on the open seas - but also other nations such as Japan. The art appeared on the newspaper's front page, above the fold.

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