Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today -100: May 14, 1914: On to Mexico City!


Headline of the Day -100: “‘On To Mexico City!’ Now the Rebel Cry.” The Constitutionalists capture Tampico, giving them 1) a port, which means they can import supplies (including arms) and collect customs duties, 2) nearly complete control over the north. It’s just a matter of time now.

Headline of the Day -100, runner-up: “ADVANCE OF REBELS A TRAIL OF ROBBERY; Villa's Army Held Together by License to Loot, Says American from Mexico.” And your point is?

Huerta divides Chihuahua State in 3, with two of the sections to be run directly from Mexico City. Not that any of this matters since Huerta has no power in Chihuahua.

There are rumors that France and Germany plan a joint military operation to take over Haiti’s custom houses (as the US did in Vera Cruz) and divert Haiti’s customs income to paying off bonds held by France and Germany (they invited the US to participate, but offered to let it appoint only 5% of the officials in the new regime, proportionate to the amount of bonds held by the US; the US declined). Evidently I missed something a few months ago, when France simply hijacked two Haitian gunboats, forcing their crews to jump into the water, and towed them away until they got payment of interest on French-held bonds. Since then Germany and Britain have each gotten money by threats to take similar action.

Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to confine itself to appropriations bills and an anti-trust law. Congresscritters who wanted a rural credits bill are pissed off.

A recent California law forcing men to support their illegitimate children has its first application: a salesman, traveling I’d like to think, is ruled to be the father of twins.

The Sorbonne grants its first PhD in literature to a woman, Jeanne Duportal. The first woman PhD in France in any subject was of course Marie Curie in 1903.

Parisians are debating a point of dueling etiquette. American sculptor Edgar Macadams slugged Waldemar Georges, the art critic for the Paris Journal. Georges wants to respond to this with a duel, but his seconds seem to think that Macadams hit him too hard. If he’d just slapped him – you know the way – it would constitute an insult that could be erased through a duel, but if it’s more like a punch, a “coup d’apache” (yes, like the Indians), then the police need to be called in.

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