Saturday, June 22, 2013

Today -100: June 22, 1913: Of polo, the last serfs in Europe, coal strikes, ice strikes, and plots to loot New York

Kaiser Wilhelm has banned army officers (and “especially” the crown prince) from playing polo.

France’s former (and future) prime minister Georges Clemenceau calls Romanian Jews “the last serfs still existing in Europe.” Romania literally treats native-born Jews not as citizens, but as foreigners (many of their ancestors had fled Russia in the 1840s), requiring a special act of parliament to become naturalized, which needless to say rarely happens (200 in 40 years). These officially stateless Jews are refused entry into public schools and various professions.

West Virginia Gov. Hatfield, getting stroppy about the ongoing Senate investigation of his running of martial law during the coal strike, says that if trouble breaks out again, he’ll wire the US Senate to take charge of it.

Speaking of strikes, there is an ice strike in Cincinnati and elsewhere. People are selling black-market ice at inflated prices.

As a special session of the New York Legislature is gearing up to crush Gov. Sulzer’s direct primary bill (again), a petition surfaces, from four jurors in a court case in 1890 in which Sulzer, a lawyer, sued a former client for fees. The jurors accused him of having committed perjury (the petition went to the DA, Frank Plumley, who is now a Republican congresscritter from Vermont and seems to have nothing to do with this, but I do want to note that Wikipedia says his wife was named Lavinia Lucretia Smith Fletcher Plumley, which... wow). Sulzer says the petition is a forgery and that Tammany’s Boss Murphy tried to use it to blackmail him into participating in a “plot to loot the state” and that Charles Curtis (Sulzer says he’s generally known as Crazy Curtis), the son of the judge who had possession of the document, had threatened to publish it if Sulzer didn’t appoint him to the state supreme court.

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