Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Today -100: June 3, 1914: Of legal strikes, dynamite, political pacification, lepers, and mayflowers

The House of Representatives accepts an amendment to the anti-trust bill legalizing peaceful strikes, picketing, and boycotts.

Two suffragettes chain themselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace. Others try to heckle Lloyd George in his Welsh constituency; when ejected from his outdoors meeting, they smash windows, as was the custom.

A bomb scare at the Department of Agriculture turns out to be a hoax perpetrated by the watchman who raised the alarm (and planted the very real dynamite), hoping for a reward and a better job.

Gen. Huerta informs the Niagara conference that he is willing to step down – when Mexico is “politically pacified.”

The talk of Paris is that opponents of President Raymond PoincarĂ© are attempting to force him to resign by threatening to make public something about his wife’s personal life. I don’t know what Parisians knew, or thought they knew, at the time, and the NYT is being coy, but the Radicals, Caillaux’s supporters, were trying to track down rumors that she had bigamously married her second husband (PoincarĂ© is her third), and had sent agents to America to look for her first husband, who they wrongly thought was still alive. In fact, they had definitely divorced. The real scandal, if the Radicals but known it, was that while Raymond & Henriette had married in a civil ceremony in 1904, they had a secret religious ceremony in 1913, to please his parents, after her first husband died. Given PoincarĂ©’s anti-clerical politics, that wouldn’t have looked good. France, huh?

The famous leper John Early is arrested for being a leper in Washington D.C., where he has been staying under an assumed name at the same hotel where Vice President Marshall and a bunch of senators live. He says he came to lobby on behalf of a federal leprosium (first problem: I don’t think that’s an actual word). In the two weeks since he escaped from his leper colony, he’s been to Toronto, Montreal and New York, where he took in a baseball double-header. (Update, if you can have an update to a 100-year-old story: the June 5th LA Times reports that Early’s efforts have resulted in the introduction of two bills in Congress for a national leprosarium [that’s the word; for fun, you can google the connection between James Carville and lepers]).

Although the Wilson administration had successfully suppressed the story in December, it comes out that a Navy assistant paymaster was fired for partying with two... ladies... on the presidential yacht, The Mayflower.

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