Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today -100: August 24, 1911: Of lynch mobs, missing enigmatic smiles, pogroms, and bitter Bleases

The authorities in Pennsylvania have been quite serious about prosecuting not just members of the Coatesville lynch mob who burned Zack Walter alive earlier this month, but also the spectators who did nothing to stop the lynching.

Police are investigating the disappearance of the Mona Lisa. They’re searching every crevice of the Louvre (which is closed to the public for the duration) because they’re convinced the painting couldn’t have left the building, say, just to give a fer-instance, under an employee’s coat.

The anti-Jewish riots continue in south Wales. The Times correspondent helpfully explains the cause: “It is just the spirit of indiscipline run riot.” And it’s Socialism’s fault.

Headline of the Day -100: “Gov. Blease Feels Bitter.” That’s Gov. Coleman Blease of South Carolina, who recently ordered that a history book being used in SC schools be re-written. At a convention of Confederate veterans, he complains that “some of the newspapers said that I was trying to dictate to the writer. I insisted upon putting into your histories in your schools that that infamous scoundrel Sherman and his army burned Columbia.” (In fact, that was and is far from being an established historical fact.) Blease also criticized Sen. Heyburn (R-Idaho), who opposed federal funds being spent on a monument to the Confederate dead at Vicksburg. Blease said it was beyond his comprehension how a Southerner in Congress could hear the Confederacy called an “infamous cause” without rising and calling the speaker a liar.

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