Thursday, March 22, 2018

Today -100: March 22, 1918: Give me some blow and Cracker Jacks

The German offensive begins. This is the Last Big Push for Victory.

Headline of the Day -100: 

That is, the failure of a bill in the NY Legislature to legalize Sunday baseball games, NOT the introduction of Cocaine Day to make Sunday baseball games more bearable.

During a debate in the Senate on a bill to empower the government to take over timber operations, senators from the north-west demand the suppression of the IWW, which Sen. William King (D-Utah) says is being “coddled” by the federal government. 

A Pentecostal preacher, Rev. Clarence Waldron of Windsor, Vermont, is convicted for disloyal speech and advising draft resistance, and is sentenced to 15 years. In fact, the accusation may have been false, part of an attempt by parishioners to force him out of his Baptist church after his conversion to Pentecostalism. His sentence will be commuted in 1919.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Today -100: March 21, 1918: Of seized ships and Fake News

Woodrow Wilson orders the seizure of all Dutch ships in US territorial waters, after failed negotiations in which neutral Netherlands tried to prevent its ships being used to carry troops and munitions, which its neighbor Germany would not be pleased about. Germany has threatened to retaliate by sinking ships bringing food to the Netherlands, but evidently Wilson considers a few starving Dutch people to be a price worth paying.

The editors of the German-language Philadelphia Tageblatt are on trial for presenting news in such a way as to favor Germany. The DA seems to be mostly quoting headlines. (The judge will direct a not guilty verdict because there was no “overt act.”)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Today -100: March 20, 1918: Great moments in prognostication

The NY Legislature decides to neither ratify the prohibition amendment nor hold a referendum.

South Dakota ratifies.

The NYT says American “observers” are convinced there will be no German offensive. So that’s okay then.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Today -100: March 19, 1918: Of prohibition and dangerous bluffs

New York Gov. Charles Whitman, a prohibitionist, calls the proposed state referendum on the federal prohibition amendment an “evasion and a deception,” saying the Legislature is trying to evade its duty to vote for the amendment, just as Boss Tweed engineered a referendum on the 15th Amendment in 1869 in an attempt to defeat negro suffrage.

Delaware ratifies the amendment, the 9th state to ratify.

NYC public school teachers are being required to sit through at least 5 patriotic lectures.

John Dillon, the new leader of the Irish Nationalist Party, says the Sinn Fein call for an independent republic, as opposed to Home Rule, is a “dangerous bluff,” but notes that it is supported largely by young people and encouraged by, well, he doesn’t say English perfidy, but that’s what he means. He warns republicans against another rising, which would just give the military an excuse to shoot them down (again).

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Today -100: March 18, 1918: Of questionable councils, gallantry, and dull and unsociable Czars

The hilariously unrepresentative puppet “Courland National Council” (Courland is the part of Latvia forcibly extracted from Russia by Germany, which is pretending Courland’s an independent duchy now) asks Kaiser Wilhelm if he’d like to be Duke of Courland. He doesn’t say yes, possibly because he’s planning absorb more of the Baltics and structure their governance along different lines, but he does effuse “My heart is deeply moved and is filled with thanks to god that it has been granted to me to save German blood and German kultur from perishing. God bless your land, upon which German fidelity, German courage, and German perseverance have made their impress.” Sure uses the word “German” a lot, almost like he didn’t recognize “Latvian” as a thing.

The deputies and senators of Belgium send a protest to German Chancellor Georg von Hertling against Germany basing its plans to split Flanders from Belgium on a mysterious self-proclaimed Council of Flanders which “has come into being no one knows how or by whose will” (although the Council has recently gotten itself re-elected in a public meeting called with one day’s notice to which anyone could come. You know, democracy).

Headline of the Day -100: 

But mostly with machine guns. Gallant machine guns.

Ex-Czar Nicholas is becoming dull and unsociable. He wants to return to Crimea (where he has a palace) and practice horticulture.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Today -100: March 17, 1918: Hey, Lenin: No Backsies!

The House and Senate vote for daylight saving.

Lenin hints that Russia will break the Brest-Litovsk treaty if circumstances change.

The lower house of the Austrian Parliament is adjourned after a fight between Czech and German deputies, the former complaining that Prague has been without food for days, “including potatoes,” and a German saying that Bohemia was failing to send enough food to German Austria because the Czechs are allies of the British.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Today -100: March 16, 1918: Peace-ish

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets ratifies the peace treaty 453 to 30. Germany says it will appoint commissions to oversee Russian ministries, with the power of veto, to make sure the provisions of the treaty are enacted. Pretty sure that wasn’t in the treaty.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Today -100: March 15, 1918: Who invades what now?

Woodrow Wilson appeals to high school boys to do farm work over the summer.

A meeting on January 6 in Prague attended by all the Czech deputies in the Austrian Reichsrat and the Diets of Bohemia, Silesia and Moravia, and other prominent Czechs adopt a declaration for an independent Czech state. Austria ruthlessly suppressed news of this, which is why the NYT is only hearing about it now.

Tibet invades China.

Sinister Plot of the Day -100: 

A detective asks a magistrate for arrest warrants for all the actors appearing in a play by drama critic Alan Dale, “The Madonna of the Future,” which is about a pregnant unmarried woman who does not wish to get married (“cope with the perpetual man”) (eventually she changes her mind). Chief Magistrate McAdoo will investigate. The play has been running since January and is actually about to close. Update: After reading the play, McAdoo will say that the heroine “repeatedly and tiresomely states over and over again that the doctrines advanced by her are unconventional and, in the sense usually accepted by ordinary people, immoral. She says that her highest ideal of maternity is that of the cow, which might suggest that the proper place for this play would be a stable instead of the stage, committing the dialogue to learned veterinarians.” Everyone’s a critic.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Today -100: March 14, 1918: Of rectification, brotherhoods, conscription, garfields, and naked opera

Austria wants to “rectify” its border with Romania. I’m sure that sounds scarier in the original German.

German troops rectify invade Odessa.

British Prime Minister Lloyd George on food rationing: “I tell you what rationing means. It means that a nation in the furnace of war is becoming more of a brotherhood.”

The US and Britain have negotiated an agreement on conscripting each other’s nationals. US nationals in the UK won’t be conscripted into the British military if they’re older than the US age limit of 31, while Brits in the US can be conscripted up to 40, the British limit. Informally, British subjects born in Ireland will not be conscripted in the US because there is no draft in Ireland, although the Irish already drafted won’t be released.

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, widow of the president assassinated in 1881, dies at 85.

New York Mayor John Hylan objects to nude dancing at the Met (no idea what this is about) and orders Police Commissioner Enright to ensure that “the good people who attend the Metropolitan Opera House do not have their morals corrupted.”

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