Friday, November 19, 2010

Today -100: November 19, 1910: Of wild men & wild beasts in Africa, wild revolutionaries & wild troops in Mexico, and wild suffragettes & wild bobbies

Theodore Roosevelt gives a lecture to the National Geographic Society on his African safari entitled... wait for it... “Wild Men and Wild Beasts in Africa.”

In Puebla, Mexico the police try to break up an indoor anti-Díaz meeting. A woman in the building shot and killed the police chief. Other police were killed by a bomb and ultimately 100 people died in the fighting. As of the last report, federal troops were besieging a house full of rebels and shouting “Long live the Supreme Government!”, an uplifting slogan if ever I heard one. The revolution is... on.

NY governor-elect Dix spent $4,372.32 on his campaign and received contributions of $575.

A story that seems to have been cut from the paper, leaving an orphan sub-headline appended to the previous story: “Candidate for Judge Bought No Cigars -- Garretson Spent $6,503.”

AFL President Samuel Gompers says the supremacy of the Caucasian race in unions must be maintained. Negroes, he says, “cannot all be expected to understand the philosophy of human rights. They are less than two centuries away from the barbarians of their own African lands and a little less than a half century removed from chattel slavery.”

In London, suffragettes were attacked by the police and 116 arrested on what quickly became known as Black Friday. Or, as the NYT puts it, “Suffragettes Riot, Spill Real Blood” (Here’s the London Times coverage). 1,000 women led by Emmeline Pankhurst “charged” (i.e., marched on) Parliament to demand a vote on the women’s suffrage bill before the next general election, which is likely to be next month, if the House of Lords rejects a bill restricting its power of veto over bills passed by the Commons (spoiler alert: it will). Pankhurst and two other women were eventually allowed in to see Prime Minister Asquith’s secretary, who told them Asquith wouldn’t see them and there would be no vote. By chance, Asquith came into the room while this was going on, but upon seeing the women scurried quickly back into the House chamber. The Women’s Social and Political Union published depositions from women on the march who had been abused by the police – pinched, squeezed, obscenities whispered into their ears, etc etc – but the government refused to investigate.

Oh, the “real blood” mentioned in the headline belonged to a constable. His hand got cut.

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