Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today -100: April 25, 1913: No political party can make me a political hypocrite


Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan calls in a bunch of foreign ambassadors to explain his plan for a cooling-off period and a thorough investigation of inter-nation disputes by a joint commission before the start of any war. However, he wants this done through bilateral treaties, not by creating any “peace league” of civilized nations.

President Wilson’s daughter Margaret says women’s suffrage is not necessary.

California Gov. Hiram Johnson says it is within the state’s “legal power and its moral right” to discriminate against Japanese people. He points out that the state constitution has been bigoted since 1879 when it called “the presence of foreigners, ineligible to become citizens... dangerous to the well-being of the State”. And he points out that it was the federal government that made Japanese and Chinese people ineligible to become citizens in the first place.

Carlos McClatchey of the Sacramento Bee explains in a letter to the NYT that the Japanese can never be assimilated, including through inter-marriage, that they lack morality – why, prostitution is “no bar to marriage” for them – and they are tricky and unreliable in money matters. One such trick is to buy a piece of farmland, after which the Jap can buy all the land around it “for a song, for no white people will live next to Japanese”. If not remedied, he says, in 50 years California will be Japanese.

Austria tells the other Great Powers that if they don’t get Montenegro’s troops out of Scutari, it bloody well will.

After the Mexican Chamber of Deputies refuses to set a date for new elections, citing the continued, you know, civil war, Gen. Felix Díaz withdraws as candidate for president.

The Woolworth Building opens. At 55 floors and 792 feet, it’s the tallest building in the world after the Eiffel Tower (and will be until the Empire State Building opens). The signal for the building to be lit was sent by Woodrow Wilson, pushing a button in D.C. The skyscraper was paid for entirely by F.W. Woolworth, with no mortgage.

NY Gov. Sulzer, who has been trying to get the Legislature to pass a bill for direct primaries, thus eliminating Tammany-dominated conventions, vetoes a bill to make some changes to the primary laws, saying it was “enacted in bad faith; wholly fraudulent,” a violation of the D party’s pledges, and so on. “No political party can make me a political hypocrite.” His tone is rather pissing off legislators.

The Cat and Mouse Bill passes Parliament. The Standard claims to have unearthed a suffragette plot to kidnap the son of Mr. Justice Lush, burn Harrow, and blow up the house of Reginald Blair, MP. The evidence: someone in a train overheard two women discussing the plot.

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