Thursday, April 18, 2013

Today -100: April 18, 1913: Of general strikes, law-abiding and industrious races, and popped balloons


The Belgian suffrage general strike is now up to 400,000, half the male working population. Strikers are sending their children to Germany, presumably on trains, which will stop functioning soon when the country runs out of coal. My favorite detail: “A company of strikers in Brussels is being taken by professors on educational visits to the museums.”

Sen. John Works (R-CA) proposes a bill to ban D.C. newspapers publishing the details of crimes, accidents and tragedies. Or, as they call it in D.C., Congress.

In a letter to the NYT, Cleveland G. Allen, a black journalist, complains that Woodrow Wilson got black people’s votes under false pretenses, and is now giving the few positions in the federal government formerly held by blacks to whites. The NYT responds: “The negroes of the United States are doing very well. Thanks to the leadership of men like Booker T. Washington they have become a law-abiding and industrious race and their interests are not centered in politics or office-holding. ... If President Wilson is doing precisely what Mr. Allen accuses him of doing, he will meet no protest from men like Dr. Washington, who have the interests of the race at heart.” It goes on to quote approvingly Elihu Root’s belief that granting negroes the vote was a mistake.

Sixty of the 100 imprisoned IWW members in Denver jail begin a hunger strike.

NY Gov. Sulzer is trying to get the Legislature to pass a bill for direct primaries and abolish Tammany-dominated (on the Democratic side, obviously) conventions.

A French army balloon explodes. Oh the humanité.

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