Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today -100: March 28, 1913: It is not brute force that rules the world


Unfortunately Phrased Headline of the Day -100: “Relief Train Sent to Flood Sufferers.” Peru, Indiana survivors are experiencing outbreaks of smallpox, diphtheria, and measles. Railroad bridges are down all over Ohio and the property damage is said to exceed that of San Francisco in 1906.

The London Times reports that of 240 suffragette prisoners in 1912, 84 were released early due to hunger strikes, and 57 or so were forcibly fed.

Christabel Pankhurst responds in The Suffragette to Home Secretary McKenna’s calling suffragettes bad names: “the so-called fanatics and hysterics are the glory of the human race. It is through them that all good things come into being.” She says the ability of hunger strikers to win their release, “[t]his rending of prison walls”, “will establish for ever the truth that it is not brute force that rules the world.” Christabel will be one of the most jingoistic supporters of World War I – just saying.

Her sister Sylvia (who will be one of the most vociferous opponents of World War I), just released from prison, has an article in the same issue entitled “They Tortured Me.”

Suffragettes may or may not have burned down an empty house in Hampstead.

Although both houses of the New Jersey Legislature passed resolutions in favor of women’s suffrage, they may be void because of bad wording: giving the vote to every “male or female citizen” instead of every “male and female citizen.”

I’ve been remiss in not having mentioned the Marconi Scandal. There is a scandal. In Britain. Involving insider trading in the stock of the Marconi Company and by several members of Asquith’s cabinet, including Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George, Attorney General Rufus Isaacs, and Postmaster-General Herbert Samuel, just ahead of the announcement that it had won a large government contract. There is a parliamentary inquiry going on now. Like a lot of these political-financial scandals right up to the present (hello, John McCain), it’s basically too convoluted to really hurt anyone’s career, no matter how guilty they are. Headline of the Day -100: “Isaacs Indignant at Veiled Charges.”

Supposedly the Turks blew up Adrianople’s Grand Mosque and other religious sites before surrendering the town, “to prevent them from being profaned by impure feet.”

King Alfonso of Spain fell off his polo pony.

Mexican “President” Huerta’s brother-in-law, Enrique Zepeda, who Huerta appointed as governor of the Federal District, dragged a Maderist commander of rural guards, Gabriel Hernandez, out of prison, and had him shot dead and set on fire (Hernandez himself was known to execute prisoners), while hopped up on the marijuana (that’s what it says in the NYT). Zepeda then went to another prison, but they wouldn’t hand over anyone for him to kill, so he went out drinking, and was heard remarking that the country needed more summary executions. A bit later he was arrested in a brothel. In November he will be acquitted because of temporary insanity (i.e., the marijuana).

Obit of the Day -100: Mrs. May C. Brooke, the last surviving member of the Laura Keene Company who performed “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre when Lincoln was shot.

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