Saturday, April 26, 2014

Today -100: April 26, 1914: Feathers or votes

Argentina, Brazil, and Chile (the ABC countries, as it were) offer to mediate between US and the Huerta Junta. The US will insist on Huerta’s leaving power. Remember when this was all supposed to be about flag-saluting?

The US consul in Vera Cruz, who claims to be named William W. Canada – at least when he’s backpacking around Europe – says there is a “perfect reign of terror” in Mexico City. For some reason, Mexicans are not feeling particularly hospitable towards gringos at the moment. There are rumors of murdered Americans and of trainloads of refugees being refused permission to leave.

Carranza and Villa are fighting about their respective attitudes towards the American invasion. Villa prefers a neutral attitude but Carranza sent Woodrow Wilson a note open to the interpretation that if the occupation of Vera Cruz is not ended, the Constitutionalists will fight the US.

Admiral Fletcher issues an order to deal with sniping: all Mexicans caught with arms in Vera Cruz will be instantly shot. All arms are to be handed in.

Pres. Wilson signs the hastily passed Volunteer Army Bill, allowing for the organization of volunteer units during time of war. Three years from now, Theodore Roosevelt won’t shut up about wanting to do just that.

Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan denies that he will resign over the war with Mexico.

A man, evidently a well-known NY pickpocket, walks into a police station in Highland Park, Michigan, and asks for a pickpocketing license so he can pickpocket Ford employees. He is given 5 minutes to get out of town.

The British Parliament is debating the Importation of Plumage (Prohibition) Bill, to protect birds from being made into women’s hats. William Glyn-Jones (Lib-Stepney) offers an amendment that the ban should not apply to women over 21, since they do not have the vote. Government must give women either feathers or votes, he says. His amendment is adopted, effectively wrecking the bill.

Next week Parliament will turn from plumage to Home Rule. Bonar Law is already calling Prime Minister Asquith a liar (about what the NYT does not say). Asquith’s son Raymond responds that Bonar Law “combin[es] in a distressing degree the uncivilized vocabulary of a schoolboy with the unbalanced temperament of a schoolgirl.”

The NYT Sunday Magazine enumerates the acts of arson and whatnot by the British suffragettes in the last year’s “reign of terror.” That’s our second reign-of-terror sighting today.

The Fanny delivers its load (ahem) of 40,000 rifles and 500,000 rounds of ammunition to Northern Ireland, where it is put into automobiles and dispersed to various Ulster Loyalists.

Colorado Gov. Elias Ammons again asks Pres. Wilson for troops, saying the strike violence “has passed beyond the ability of the State to control.” The real problem is that he can’t recall the Legislature quickly to pay for an expansion of the state national guard. A truce is currently in effect in the Ludlow region. One of the state national guard units most heavily infiltrated by coal company employees is relieved from duty.

French parliamentary elections tomorrow. One rural deputy, a Monsieur Alasseur, is campaigning on an anti-rabbit platform.

France closes its Pacific penal colony in New Caledonia. Transportation of prisoners had ended in 1897. The remaining prisoners (those who haven’t escaped, which happened a lot in New Caledonia) will be moved to French Guiana, which the internet informs us is 9,594.65 miles.

Obit of the Day -100: A remarkably mean NYT obit of William Hamilton Codrington Nation, “who at intervals during nearly fifty years produced plays which nobody wanted to see and wrote books which failed to find readers”. He also used his wealth to found several magazines which “at one time or another had brief and disastrous careers.” One of his books is available at Amazon for print-on-demand via the British Library. There are... no reviews.

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