Saturday, October 21, 2017

Today -100: October 21, 1917: Of disrespect for law and order, and what 8¢ can buy you


NYC mayoral candidate John Hylan blames the student strikes and school-window-breakings on Mayor Mitchel for imposing the Gary system against the wishes of parents, although he finds the turmoil “deplorable” and “bound to develop in our children a disrespect for law and order”.

You’re In The Army Now:


And I’m sure it’s scrumptious.


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Friday, October 20, 2017

Today -100: October 20, 1917: Of untruths, moving to Moscow, and Chequers


Headline of the Day -100: 

In a lawsuit in 1908 against the Black Diamond Automobile Company of Brooklyn. Mayor Mitchel says Hylan used a dummy to sue the company while he was its lawyer.

The NYT claims that Bulgaria is trying to negotiate separately from its Teutonic allies, whom it worries will screw it at the peace conference. It’s certainly been left out of talks with Russia over prisoner exchanges.

The Russian government announces that it will move to Moscow. German troops are getting closer and closer to Petrograd, with zeppelins and everything.

Lloyd George takes possession of Chequers, the country mansion donated for the use of British prime ministers by Sir Arthur Lee. Because the idea was to give it to the office of prime minister rather than to Lloyd George personally, a law had to be enacted, which marks the first reference in British law to the office of prime minister.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Today -100: October 19, 1917: Of mutinies, loan slackers, conspiracies, and funny-looking dogs – yeah, I said it, funny-looking


Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: More alleged mutinies are reported in the German and Austrian navies.

The NYT is calling people who don’t buy enough war bonds (the Liberty Loan) “loan slackers.”

Mexican Gen. Obregon says Pancho Villa and his soldiers are completely surrounded. In other news, Mexico is still a thing, not that you’d know it from the Times (this story exists only because Obregon is in New York).

Protests against the Gary system continue in the Bronx, with parents now joining students in breaking school windows and throwing stones at cops, as was the custom.

11 socialists are acquitted in Grand Rapids for conspiracy against conscription, which amounts to just circulating literature supposedly inducing men not to register. The judge tells the jury that socialism is not on trial; the judge is full of shit.

A judge recognizes a man charged with manslaughter as one he himself prosecuted for murder 25 years before, so that was a nice reunion. This time the man, now a saloon owner, killed his bartender because “He made fun of my dog.”


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Today -100: October 18, 1917: The German agent pervades the land


A NYT editorial warns, “The German agent pervades the land.” With German-language papers now under strict censorship/ban by the Post Office, these agents’ principle weapon is spreading rumors about sunk transport ships, mutinies, etc.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Today -100: October 17, 1917: Of Gary systems, Polands, candy, and picketers


NYC Mayor Mitchel’s introduction of the “Gary system” of education – rotating students to different rooms throughout the day for efficiency, increased vocational ed., etc – is meeting a little resistance, with 1,000 kids on the Upper East Side going on strike and smashing school windows. There is concern that the Gary system (as in Gary, Indiana) is too focused on shaping working-class children for the needs of capitalism, and there’s a religious thing, and a certain amount of hysteria.

Russia now says the peace agreement must include complete independence for Poland, not just autonomy under Russia.

Meanwhile, Germany finally installs its puppet Council of Regency in Poland, appointing the archbishop of Warsaw, the mayor of Warsaw (a prince), and some rich dude.

Headline of the Day -100: 


British Prime Minister Lloyd George withdraws his libel action against several newspapers which said that he left London after an air raid warning was given, after the papers retract.

4 of the suffragists who picketed the White House are sentenced to 6 months in the workhouse.


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Today -100: October 16, 1917: What better covering could any man have?


Mata Hari is executed by the French as a spy, on little evidence. What she actually did, and who she did it for (everyone? no one?) is still a confused question. She certainly did not tell the Germans about tanks, as the story claims.

The New York World has been running stories about NYC mayoral candidate John Hylan having, a few years ago, sued a company he was involved with for payment for his legal services and then, as lawyer for that company, failing to contest himself. Or something. Anyway, incumbent Boy-Mayor John Purroy Mitchel publicly demands that Tammany Boss Murphy say whether that’s the reason he chose Hylan, a singularly unimpressive campaigner with no governmental experience – because he knew he’d have something to hang over his head. Mitchel continues to paint Hylan as un-patriotic, but says all he has to do is denounce Murphy, Hearst, and, er, everyone else who supports him – the “whole galaxy of anti-Americanisms.” Mitchel tells a group of Italians, “It is said that in this campaign of loyalty I am wrapped up in the American flag, and if I am, what better covering could any man have?”


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Today -100: October 15, 1917: Let all remember that the Fatherland will not forgive criminal levity


Following the German occupation of Osel Island in the Gulf of Riga, Russian PM Kerensky calls on the navy to keep out the Germans, complains about the “attitude” of the Kronstadt fortress weakening Russian defenses, and calls for sacrifices. “Let all remember that the Fatherland will not forgive criminal levity.”

Criminal levity is the worst kind.

The Jewish Daily Forward gives in to Post Office censorship, will no longer publish any opinions about the war.


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Today -100: October 14, 1917: Of chancellors, improper letters, and draft boards


German newspapers agree that Chancellor Georg Michaelis is toast because of his inept handling of, well not the August naval mutiny itself (which the government is now saying was just on one ship), but the political ramifications. Which I think means the right is pissed that he didn’t make a more credible case blaming it on the socialists. The left in the Reichstag would also like a new chancellor, one named by the Reichstag rather than the kaiser.

Frank Haungs is arrested for sending an “improper” letter to First Lady Edith Wilson, under the name of his foreman at work.

Local draft boards, especially in New York City and Louisiana, have been drafting men with dependents for whom they are the sole support, and the Army will now release those men.


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Friday, October 13, 2017

Today -100: October 13, 1917: Of oratorical contests with petulant young men, marine ministers, soviets, and negro-less towns


Judge John F. Hylan, the more-or-less Democratic candidate for mayor of New York, refuses to debate incumbent Mayor John Purroy Mitchel: “No mere oratorical contest with this petulant young man, who is smarting under deserved and almost universal condemnation, will meet the situation or satisfy the people.” Hylan says he is fighting for democracy, just like the Allies in France.

German Minister of Marine Eduard von Capelle is fired (is he though?), ostensibly for the August mutinies, really for the failure of submarine warfare to defeat Britain.

Trotsky is elected president of the Petrograd Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviet, which passes a resolution refusing support to Kerensky’s new coalition government.

Two white men are convicted for killing a 17-year-old black man during the East St. Louis race riots and sentenced to 14 years.

Headline of the Day -100: 

At the army training camp Camp Funston. “The telegrams declare that Junction City has no negro population.”


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