Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Today -100: March 18, 1914: The world is arming as it never armed before


I see Britain is issuing a stamp to commemorate their depraved indifference for the safety and well-being of a minor, leading to his premature death. Also, if Dickens had written the story of a 15-year-old allowed to enlist in the army and killed two years later at the Somme, he’d definitely have named him William Tickle.

Also, I kind of want one of those stamps.

In Paris, royalists riot over Henriette Caillaux’s killing of Le Figaro editor Gaston Calmette. In the National Assembly, Deputy Amédée Thalamas (who is also a Sorbonne professor who had run-ins with the far-right when they rioted over his views on Joan of Arc, no, really they did) circulates a letter he wrote to Mme. Caillaux congratulating her on her shooting. “Brava!”, his letter concludes.

Her husband Joseph Caillaux resigns as finance minister.

Sen. William Borah (R-Idaho) says a women’s suffrage amendment to the US Constitution (currently under consideration in the Senate) will never pass unless the 15th Amendment is repealed first. Do the advocates of women’s suffrage really suppose, he asks, that the Southern states will add 2 million more people to the list of those whom they must disfranchise? The 15th Amendment is a dead letter anyway, he says, and “It is demoralizing to the negro race to place in the Constitution the form of rights that we do not mean to see they shall enjoy.” Why, he continues, the 15th Amendment might furnish a precedent for an amendment giving negroes the right to hold real estate or, god forbid, attend public school.

Winston Churchill presents Parliament with a projected budget for the navy for 1914-5, with a 5% increase, though he says that 1915-6’s budget should be lower, barring any, ahem, developments. The increase is caused by the costs of the switch from coal to oil and the creation of a flying corps. And new battleships, of course, always new battleships. The British navy, he says, “is the one great balancing force we can contribute to our own safety and the peace of the world. ... The causes which might lead to a general war have not been removed. The world is arming as it never armed before. All attempts at arresting it have been ineffectual.”

The British king and queen attend a vaudeville show at the Palladium. Suffragettes get tickets for the box above theirs and rain down pamphlets against forcible feeding (“the medical profession has now become a police force whose task it is to break the spirit of the suffragist women by injuring their bodies”). According to the London Times, no one picks up any of the circulars.

Headline of the Day -100: “Summons Bomb-Hurling Aviator.” Isn’t it nice how new technologies always create new professions, like “bomb-hurling aviator?” Pancho Villa wants Capt. Alberto Salinas to assist in the attack on Torreón, presumably by hurling bombs from his plane.

Horrifying But Misleading Headline of the Day -100: “Bare Hobo Plan to Revolt.” That is, a California National Guard general lays bare an alleged plot by the unemployed marchers to seize a federal arsenal for a revolution, not, repeat NOT a plan by bare hoboes to revolt people with their naked hobo bits.

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1 comment:

David Chappell said...

Oh wow! Since I'm a qualified visual bomb aimer, does that mean I can now call myself a bomb hurling aviator? Such excitement...