Saturday, May 04, 2013

Today -100: May 4, 1913: No Government Ever Yielded a Right Unless Bullied Into It

Something called the National Democratic Fair Play Association of the United States is formed. What constitutes democratic fair play, you ask? Segregating the civil service and preventing the hiring of negroes in the future. At the Association’s first mass meeting, a letter is read from an anonymous Southern white woman employed by the General Land Office who was forced, forced, to take dictation from negroes. “I became so nervous it almost shattered my reason.” Almost.

There is a women’s suffrage parade on 5th Avenue, NYC. The National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage actually hired “experts” to count the marchers (experts in counting, one assumes), and claims there were only 9,613.

Signs included: “More Ballots; Less Bullets”, “Government is Housekeeping and Homekeeping,” “To Create Sex Antagonism Is an Unwise Precedent,” “Let the People Rule; Women Are People,” “Hasn’t Your Wife Brains Enough to Vote?”, “No Government Ever Yielded a Right Unless Bullied Into It.”

The NYT congratulates the marchers – “they marched well, they looked well” – and says that while it opposes women’s suffrage, it congratulates American suffragists on not being like the English militants.

Maj. John Finley, Governor of the Southern Zone of the Philippines, arrives in Constantinople to ask for Turkish help in subduing the Moros (he is supposedly acting as ambassador of the Moro people, not as a rep of the US government. Hah). He wants the Sheik-ul-Islam to tell the Moros that allegiance to US colonial rule is compatible with their religion, and that it is against the Koran to kill Christians and drink alcohol. The US is even offering to pay for Muslim missionaries to go to the Philippines.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is hauled into court by a neighbor who claims his collie, whose name I could not discover, had killed some of the neighbor’s sheep. Doyle acted as his own lawyer and neatly broke down the stories of the witnesses against the dog (the story quotes some of the cross-examination, which is very Perry Masonish).

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