Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today -100: June 20, 1918: Hungry and clamoring

Headline of the Day -100:

I can’t figure out if “Hungry Austrians” is an intentional play on Austro-Hungarians or not. Anyway, Vienna City Council protests against the bread ration being cut in half. The Austrian prime minister has been telling people that the short rationing won’t be for long because Germany will send food soon. Germany is telling everyone it has no food to send. The conquest of Ukraine has not turned out to be the opening of a cornucopia that was promised.

The price of bread in Germany is being increased to 5 pfennigs a pound (increased from what, the NYT fails to say; 1918 NYT sucks at this sort of thing).

Hungry-Austrian Emperor Charles really wants the Austrian army to get sole credit for accomplishing... something, anything... in the offensive against Italy, and is therefore holding off on asking Germany to help now that it’s gone pear-shaped.

Former Bulgarian prime minister Aleksandar Malinov is given that job again. In 1915 he opposed Bulgaria entering the war on Germany’s side, so it is (correctly) suspected that he has been appointed now in order to extricate the country from the war. The pro-German prime minister Vasil Radoslavov, who resigned last week, was widely blamed for the failure to extract more territory from Romania in the peace treaty.

The US will allow Mexicans into the country to work to deal with labor shortages, without the usual head tax and literacy test. Some of their wages will only be available to them when/if they leave the country at the end of the war, although I’m guessing, based on what I know happened with later bracero programs, that they never actually saw that money.

In response to the Supreme Court decision invalidating the Keating-Owen child labor law, Sen. William Kenyon (R-Iowa), who was one of its co-sponsors, introduces a bill to bar child-labor employers from using the US mails.

Germany has heard, whether correctly or incorrectly I do not know, that 10,000 Germans have been expelled from China and interned in Australia. It is threatening to take 10,000 French people hostage until the Germans are returned to China.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Today -100: June 19, 1918: Wherein is revealed what is in question

Just as Allied politicians have increasingly been describing their war goal as destroying the world-view “Prussianism,” Kaiser Wilhelm in a speech on the 30th anniversary of his ascending the imperial throne speaks about a conflict between the German and Anglo-Saxon weltanschauungen: “Either German principles of right, freedom, honor, and morality must be upheld, or Anglo-Saxon principles with their idolatry of mammon must be victorious. ... we shall gain victory – the victory of the German standpoint. That is what is in question.” The Anglo-Saxons intend, he says, to reduce all other races to their slaves.

(Note: the NYT has screwed up the skip on that story. The rest is on the second page here.)

Edward Cornplanter, Chief of the Senecas, dies, killed by flu (the pandemic, which by the way hasn’t been noticed by the NYT yet) along with much of his family; “although educated, [he] believed in a restoration of pagan customs.”

Kenelm Chase Winslow, in prison for strangling his girlfriend, asks for clemency so he can join the army. NY Gov. Whitman refuses, saying the army is no place for murderers. All right, he says criminals, but still.

The Soviet Central Committee ousts every non-Bolshevik party and demands a similar purge by local soviets. Evidently the Social Revolutionaries, Kadets, Mensheviks, etc are all organizing a revolt against the workers and peasants in conjunction with the counter-revolutionaries.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Today -100: June 18, 1918: Not everyone wants to shoot people, apparently

Austria is supposedly putting all its Slavic troops at the front of the front, with Tyrolese troops behind them, to prevent mass desertions.

Secretary of War Newton Baker approves sentences of up to 20 years imposed on 12 privates who refuse to fight against Germany and Austria, where they have relatives. He also wants them deported after the war.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Today -100: June 17, 1918: Of gas duels, cooties, and debseses

Headline of the Day -100: 

Is this the first US use of gas warfare?

Headline of the Day -100: 

In which the NYT’s war correspondent describes the de-lousing of American soldiers in France (conditions in the trenches during the Great War gave the English language the words “cooties” and “lousy”). Don’t know what “grough” is; possibly a typo for grouch.

Eugene Debs, in a speech in Canton, Ohio which will get him imprisoned, says
the war is a cover for Junkerism in the US and for plunder in Europe.

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Today -100: June 16, 1918: Hammer, meet child factory worker

The Supreme Court rules 5-4 in Hammer v. Dagenhart that the Keating-Owen Act of 1916 banning products from interstate commerce if they are produced by child labor (13 years and under, or by 14-16 year olds if they worked more than 8 hours a day) is unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment. There’s some bad legal logic at play here, since the Court does allow the banning of interstate commerce in booze or gambling or prostitution but says that these products are inherently immoral whereas cotton, the product at issue in this case, is not, even if produced by children. The Court will reverse this decision in 1941.

Headline of the Day -100: 

As opposed to the generals of every other army?

The Senate votes to ban D.C. schools teaching German.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Today -100: June 15, 1918: Of nickel-plated cars, meatless Bavarians, and ambassadors

Former Michigan Governor Chase Osborn (R) says Henry Ford’s candidacy for the US Senate might be illegal, although he’s not clear on what grounds – something to do with his Peace Ship in 1915? Osborn says Ford is dangerous because of his wealth and former pacifism, doesn’t pay his workers enough, took out “hysterical advertising” in support of Wilson’s re-election, and when Osborn was governor Ford offered him a free nickel-plated car. “His offer was in bad taste, and I was disgusted with him and have had no use for him since that episode.” In other words, Osborn will also be running for the Senate seat.

Bavaria will implement meatless weeks.

The US Justice Department arrests Cornelius Lehane, the “ambassador” of the self-proclaimed Irish Republic for circulating treasonable literature. Treasonable to whom is not immediately clear.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Today -100: June 14, 1918: Better at gas!

Carl Alsberg, head of the Bureau of Chemistry, tells the Senate Agriculture Committee that the Allies are now better at gas warfare than the Germans. The US will start making mustard gas soon.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Today -100: June 13, 1918: Of secret treaties, lynchings, and Fords

Despite Wilson’s 14 Points’ call for “open covenants of peace, openly arrived at”, the Senate, at Wilson’s urging, defeats Borah’s amendment for treaties to be negotiated in public, 50-23.

Speaking of secret treaties, another one surfaces, in which Austria and Ukraine divided up Galicia, which violates promises Austria & Germany made to the Poles.

Germany formally protests the lynching of Robert Prager in Illinois in April. In the Reichstag, Privy Councilor Simons says the lynching is the fault of the US government, which “permitted hatred of Germans to be fanned among the American people.” They’re not impressed by the US federal government claim that it can’t intervene in Illinois’ affairs. (Actually, the US claims this protest hasn’t reached it.)

The Michigan Democratic Party endorses Henry Ford, a Republican, for US Senate. Evidently Woodrow Wilson asked them to, and asked Ford to run.

Woodrow Wilson is said to still oppose military intervention in Russia. He thinks the Russian people wouldn’t like it.

A long-time reader has pointed out the Tumblr page “This Day in WW I” (also available as a Twitter feed) Pictures! Lots of pictures!

And I can’t remember if I’ve recommended “My Year In 1918” or only chatted with her in our respective comments sections.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Today -100: June 12, 1918: This is a time when kings must stick together

US troops capture Belleau Wood, and very proud of themselves they are too.

Headline of the Day -100: 

How many people in 1918 read “negroes with tanks” over breakfast and shit themselves?

Headline of the Day -100:  

Evidently, “The German mother thinks only of her own son. To the American mother every son is her son in a patriotic sense.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

Pitiless suppression is the worst kind. The Austro-Hungarian Empire has gone past the point where it can pretend that the centrifugal forces of nationalism are not gaining strength, thus the impotent threats.

A letter from February from Emperor Charles of Austria to Romania’s King Ferdinand, before the latter signed a peace deal, leaks out. “This is a time when kings must stick together,” Chuck wrote.

France bans the mailing outside of the country of newspapers with classified ads, because they might contain secret codes.

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