Friday, May 18, 2012

Today -100: May 18, 1912: Debs-Seidel 1912!

The British court of inquiry into the Titanic sinking interrogates survivors, including Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon, over whether they and other passengers had objected to the suggestion that their lifeboat row back and pick up more survivors. Which it didn’t, they say.

The Arizona Legislature is discussing a bill to segregate public schools (or possibly just remove black children altogether from any school attended by white children, the LA Times isn’t clear). During the debate, Rep. A. G. Curry calls the Speaker a “nigger lover” and is removed.

The Socialist National Convention nominates Eugene Debs for president and former Milwaukee Mayor Emil Seidel as his running mate. The party also adds to its constitution a commitment to women’s suffrage and a provision for the expulsion of any member who advocates violence or sabotage by the working class.

Philipp Scheidemann, Socialist Reichstag deputy (and future Weimar chancellor), points out that the kaiser’s threat to incorporate Alsace-Lorraine into Prussia (“smash the constitution of that province into fragments” is how he delicately put it) is “a momentous confession” that being part of the Prussian state is “the most severe punishment that can be inflicted upon a people – a punishment like imprisonment and the forfeiture of civil rights.” The Conservatives storm out of the chamber in protest.

LA Times headline: “Iron Hand Used to Stop Misconduct of Vagrants.” Or to put it another way, vigilantes are threatening (“resumed their programme of ‘friendly advice’”) anyone who posted bond for IWW members arrested for making speeches in the street, in an attempt to get their bails revoked. The vigilantes will also read all articles proposed for the two pro-IWW newspapers and decide if they get to print them.

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