Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Today -100: May 11, 1911: Of trousers & aviators, Juarez, modest women, and big mirrors

Headline of the Day -100: “Woman in Trousers Daring Aviator.” A... wait for it... girl is taking flying lessons. A Miss Harriet Quimby (who will be the first American woman with a pilot’s license but not the first aviatrix). The Times seems almost as shocked by her wearing trousers – “For more than a week it was not even suspected that she was not a man”. (Spoiler alert: Quimby died in a plane crash in 1912).

Lt. George Kelly, one of the Navy’s new pilots, dies in a crash.

Nicaragua’s President/coup leader Estrada resigns and flees the country.

Mexican insurrectos capture Juarez. Gen. Navarro surrenders (interestingly, to Col. Giuseppe Garibaldi, Jr., grandson of the liberator of Italy) and Madero invites him and his officers to dinner, then puts them on their word not to leave the city.

For what seems like the thousandth time, women’s suffrage fails in the New York Legislature (90-38). One assemblyman argued, “For every woman who wants the ballot there are ten modest women who don’t.” A legislator from the Independence League said he was not surprised to find the machine politicians opposing women’s suffrage. Harry Heyman of Queens harrumphed, “I would like to know what Mr. O’Connor means by machine politicians.” Replied O’Connor, “If you can find a mirror large enough, take a good look in it; there it is.” Burn, 1911 style!

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