Friday, November 05, 2010

Today -100: November 5, 1910: Of annexations and the seltzer of doom

Today -1 I ran the first Today -100 post. Seems like only Today -0.75, doesn’t it?

The Chinese emperor decrees the establishment of an Imperial Parliament in 1913. “The police went from house to house informing the occupants of the edict.”

Rumors are going around Panama that Taft’s forthcoming visit is part of a plan to annex it to the United States. This has been denied.

The writer of a letter to the Times shares a pamphlet he received which was put out on behalf of the Prohibition Party, “Fruits of the Liquor Traffic: a Brief Record of 100 Murders Caused by Drink,” by Gomer D. Reese. One of these “murders” was one Harris Cohen, aged 70, who, the letter-writer relates, no doubt paraphrasing slightly, “feeling unwell, viciously and deliberately entered a saloon in Trenton, N.J., calling for and obtaining a ‘seltzer,’ and having publicly imbibed the same, incontinently fell dead of heart disease. Will Mr. Reese kindly explain, before this cruel campaign is over, just what he would have us learn from this horrible example? 1. Was the seltzer very bad? 2. Or, being good, was the said awful Cohen so accustomed to stronger drink that the shock of plain seltzer slew him? 3. Is it wicked to drink seltzer? 4. Had we not better drink nothing?”

All good questions.

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