Monday, February 21, 2011

Today -100: February 21, 1911: Of beggars, the vote in Mexico, plague, Mormon heretics, and pushing the button

The NYPD has been cracking down on beggars, and the NYT is pleased: “Street beggars are almost always impostors. ... Beggars should be driven from the streets and kept away from all public places. ... Street beggars are undesirable persons.” Don’t know what the Times’s deal is here; maybe the newspaper of choice for the homeless to sleep under was the New York Evening Journal.

Mexican revolutionary leader Francisco Madero is evidently considering introducing an educational qualification for the franchise.

The Chinese government is, under threat from Russia and Japan, finally taking action to combat a major outbreak of bubonic plague (which many Chinese think was deliberately introduced by Russia). Villages in the affected region have been ordered to burn their dead. Garbage is being collected.

The Mormon Church’s Board of Education summons three Brigham Young University professors (in biology, psychology and education) to answer charges of being “modernists” and heretics. Their crime: applying higher criticism to the Old Testament. They are expected to be fired.

Very high tech: President Taft will open the Elks’ carnival in Honolulu by pushing a button in the White House that will send an electrical current all the way to Hawaii, lighting up a clock.

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