Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Today -100: July 1, 1914: The most idealistic men get into the worst messes

Here’s a surprise: anti-Serb demonstrations in Vienna.

Franz Ferdinand was insured for $12 million, Sophie for $6 million. You don’t think of royalty as needing life insurance.

Princip and Čabrinović will be tried in civilian rather than military courts, meaning that the maximum sentence Čabrinović can receive is 5-10 years for attempted murder, and Princip could get as little as 10 because he’s under-aged (19).

The Argentine, Brazilian and Chilean mediators at the Niagara conference declare the conference ended. There might be talks between the Mexican sides, but Carranza is stalling (or quite properly consulting with all his generals, depending on how you look at it).

Rumors in Mexico today: 1) Huerta has sent his family out of the country. 2) Huerta has been assassinated.

Two Ulster Volunteers were stopped by police and their names taken down because they were walking down the street (Belfast, I think) in full uniform and carrying arms. So the Volunteers will respond by having all their members walk around with rifles.

West Virginia’s prohibition law goes into effect and the last saloon closes. A lot of liquor was consumed in the last few days. A lot. It’s an unusually tough law in that mere possession of liquor, which might have been legally purchased in the past, is now prima facie evidence of unlawful intent. The loss of revenue (a state saloon license was $1,000, a Wheeling license another $300) will damage state and local finances badly, and West VA is already facing the prospect that the Supreme Court will decide it owes a share of Virginia’s state debt at the time it seceded. There is also a lot of vacant real estate now, most of the saloons not having been able to rent or sell out to other businesses.

New York’s Boylan Act, strictly regulating prescriptions for opium, morphine, and heroin, goes into effect. It requires the prescriptions for those drugs to be written on official numbered forms. Which the Health Dept forgot to distribute. Obamacare, amiright?

Congress finally votes to give the vice president and the Speaker of the House automobiles.

Headline of the Day -100 (L.A. Times): “Wilson Dodges Suffrage.” Woodrow Wilson meets 500 women at the White House to discuss women’s suffrage. He says it has nothing to do with him and they should go bother the states. He opposes a federal constitutional amendment, and even if he didn’t, he says he couldn’t press Congress for one because it wasn’t mentioned in the last Democratic platform. Rheta Childe Dorr points out that his current position on Panama Canal tolls is the reverse of that in the platform. “This argument produced little effect upon the President.” After several sharp questions from Mrs. Dorr (who has spent a lot of time in the company of Mrs. Pankhurst and just ghost-wrote her memoirs), Wilson says it’s not “proper” for him to submit to questioning and ends the meeting rather abruptly. Anna Howard Shaw of the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association will write a letter to Wilson repudiating the delegation, which was sent by the Congressional Union: “We greatly deplore any act in the name of woman suffrage which mars the dignity, lawfulness and patriotism” of the campaign.

Theodore Roosevelt gives a speech to the Progressive Party in Pittsburgh in which he attacks Wilson relentlessly, mostly on tariffs and the anti-trust bill, but refrains from criticizing the Republican Party, keeping his options open for a reunion. He says Wilson’s New Freedom is “merely the exceedingly old freedom which permits each man to cut his neighbor’s throat.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, visiting the US, also has a few words about Wilson: “President Wilson is a fine fellow, but it seems singular, doesn’t it, that the most idealistic men get into the worst messes, like this Mexican affair.” No shit, Sherlock.

It seems radium is not the only miracle drug. A Dr. Voronoff demonstrates to the Academy of Medicine in Paris that he cured a 14-year-old “cretin” by grafting a baboon’s thyroid gland onto his neck.

From Punch (click for larger):

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1 comment:

David Chappell said...

So WW1 was really the result of an insurance scam?