Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Today -100: November 28, 1912: Of pardons, mobilization, aerial warfare, and mince pies

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease pardons 16 convicted murderers and 17 other prisoners. One of the pardons, that of murderer William Mills, was a campaign promise. Here’s how it happened: in a stump speech, Blease promised to pardon anyone the people wanted liberated (a “welease Bwian” sort of thing); there were calls from the crowd for Mills (who had killed his wife’s lover) to be freed. Blease said fine, he’d do it if they voted out the current D.A. Which they did.

French army reservists are called up in nine towns on the German frontier in the dead of night pursuant to a general mobilization order that, it turned out, didn’t actually exist. Starting at midnight, troops took up positions protecting the post office, bridges, railway lines, etc. Church bells were rung, town criers went round town with drums (because this was evidently the 17th century). The officer who misread the order is now under arrest.

A Bulgarian aeroplane drops incendiary bombs on Adrianople.

In another sign of the ongoing non-viability of Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party, none of the Republican members of Congress changed their designation to Progressive in the new Congressional directory.

Headline of the Day -100: “Taft Awaits His Mince Pie.”

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