Toronto is south of Boston
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The aphorism “Toronto is south of Boston” is associated with the
idea that statements initially believed to be true may turn out to be
untrue. Though it dates to 1955, the phrase is commonly attributed to U.S. President George W. Bush
, who used it in a 1996 gubernatorial address in Lubbock,
Texas while discussing a bill allowing Texans to obtain permits to carry
3 See also
5 External links
his biography of President Bush, Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the
Southern Takeover of American Politics
, Michael Lind
reveals that the
phrase was not one of the president’s own fashioning. In his
first year working for Bush, during Bush’s tenure as a co-owner of the Texas Rangers
, speechwriter Michael Gerson
was preparing a brief
address to the MLBPA when he happened upon the phrase. According to Lind,
Gerson discovered that the MLBPA, the Major League Baseball Players Association
, had between 1953, the year of its inception, and 1966, when Marvin Miller
assumed stewardship of the organization, promoted
in its printed advertising a series of phrases designed to increase
young boys’ interest in the geography of professional baseball. Many of
these phrases acted as slogans for individual MLB organizations,
particularly during the players’ strike of 1955.
many of the assertions of relative geography promoted by the MLBPA
turned out to be inaccurate, including several of those entered into the
court record during the 1955 MLB/MLBPA arbitration hearings, the
significance of the phrase “Toronto is south of Boston” has been the
subject of some dispute since its first appearance in newspaper coverage
of the 1955 players’ strike.
Writing for The New York Daily News
1956, future BWAA president Dick Young
recounted ten statements made by
labor lawyer Bob Murphy
to Judge Baron Doome in the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit during an MLBPA appeal in 1955. The
statements recorded by Young, offered to the Second Circuit by Murphy
in a brief address to the court on May 5, 1955, were the following:
“Chicago is east of Memphis. Tijuana is north of Savannah. Ottawa is
east of Syracuse. Bangor is north of Nova Scotia. Las Vegas is east of
Boise. Denver is east of Santa Fe. Des Moines is south of Cleveland.
Oklahoma City is north of Charlotte. Omaha is east of Fargo. And, Your
Honor, Toronto is south of Boston.”
In his 1979 memoir
My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business
, Young recounts that Murphy’s
intention had been to, for rhetorical effect, subvert the then-popular MLBPA advertising
campaign by using inaccurate relational geography as to opposed to the (as
he then believed) accurate statements used by the MLBPA in the 1950s
to promote baseball among the 6-17 age demographic. Murphy would later
recount to Young, in a 1966 interview, that he had intended all ten of the
statements he issued to the Second Circuit to be untrue. In fact, all of
the statements were true except for the last one, “Toronto is south of
Boston.” Young writes in My Lucky Life
that, according to Murphy in
1966, “For years after the 1955 hearing I would tell friends, ‘I told
Doome some true things I’d intended to be untrue, and one untrue thing
I’d intended to be untrue, and somehow the real
untruth became a
shorthand for true things being untrue! Unreal!’” In fact, according to Young it wasn’t
until the mid-1980s that “Toronto is south of Boston” came to signify a
true thing that turns out to be untrue, as, prior to that, and particularly
during the heyday of ”The Big Red Machine
” in the 1970s, it had
often and erroneously been repeated as an example of an untrue thing
that turns out to be true.
Because Gerson later
claimed, in a 2004 column in The New York Times
, that when he wrote the
line for then-Governor Bush in 1996 he’d taken it directly from Young’s
memoir, some historians have argued that when Bush delivered the line in
Lubbock he intended to say that untrue things sometimes turn out to be
true, which was how the phrase was understood in 1979 despite Murphy’s
misstatements, and not that, as the phrase had come to be understood
after Young’s memoir but before Bush’s speech, a true thing that turned
out to be untrue.
Prior the 2004 presidential election, an ad
aired by pro-Gore PAC Americans for Democratic Action
Mexico used Bush’s 1996 gaffe as a means of emphasizing what it called
the President’s “dangerous and ultimately fatal dishonesty” on the
subject of emissions standards in Texas between 1995 and 1999.See also
Keynesian economicsSupply-side economicsTrickle-down economics
1. “Speech by Mr. Lemass”. Dáil debates, Vol 208. Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. 15 April 1964. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
2. John F. Kennedy (October 3, 1963). “Remarks in Heber Springs, Arkansas, at the Dedication of Grers Ferry Dam.”. The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
3. Gene Sperling (December 18, 2005). “How to Refloat These Boats”. Washington Post. p. Page B03. Retrieved 2007-04-07..
4. Thomas E. Nugent (July 28, 2006). “A Rising Tide…In More Ways than One:The wisdom of the JFK-Reagan-Bush tax-cut model”. National Review Online. Archived from the original on 30 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
5. Sorensen, Ted. “Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History.” New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. Print. Page 227.
6. Bai, Matt (2007-06-10). “John Edwards - Money - Economics - Poverty - Presidential Elections of 2008 - New York Times”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
7. Crane, David (2006-09-03). “TheStar.com | Business | Rising trade, abundance should benefit all”. The Star (Toronto). Retrieved 2010-04-23.