Friday, December 20, 2013

Today -100: December 20, 1913: By fire and sword


Lt. Gunther Freiherr von Forstner is convicted by a court-martial for assaulting that lame cobbler in Zabern, Alsace with his sabre. Forstner said the lame cobbler looked like he might hit him, and a Prussian officer who allows himself to be struck is irretrievably dishonored.

Mexican Federal troops nearly capture Emiliano Zapata (or so they say). They moved in on his temporary hq and surprised the rebels, the last few of whom “cut their way out” with machetes (the NYT doesn’t quite say that they cut their way through troops rather than through bushes or something, but that’s the gist).

Zapata sends a circular to random addresses in Mexico City warning that he will soon take the capital “by fire and sword.” All members of the Federal Army will be executed without trial, he says, and Huerta will be hanged from the balconies of the National Palace “as a warning” and the other members of the Cabinet shot. After a short trial, of course, because justice.

AT&T is forced by the Department of Justice to reorganize and drop its control over Western Union to avoid anti-trust prosecution.


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