Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Today -100: October 14, 1914: Of bayonet battles, governments-in-exile, universities-in-exile, dead princes, bombs, and miscegenation markets


Headline of the Day -100: “SERBS WIN BAYONET BATTLE.”  Not a euphemism (probably).

The Belgian government moves to Le Havre, France.

The University of Louvain, which the Germans burned, will operate out of Cambridge for the time being.

German troops capture Ghent, Belgium.  The American vice consul lends his car to get wounded Belgian soldiers to the train station to be evacuated before the Germans arrive, something the Belgian authorities hadn’t bothered to provide for.

There’s a rebellion in South Africa, in northern Cape Province, bordering on German South-West Africa, led by Lt. Col. Salmon (or Salomon) Maritz, who was a Boer military leader in the Boer War and until this week was in the South African army.  Maritz and many of the officers and men under his command go over to the Germans (who promote him to general).  He will proclaim a provisional government for an independent South Africa and invite South Africans to take up arms.  Well, white South Africans.  The government declares martial law.

German troops are expected to capture Warsaw soon.  As was the custom.

Finally: a story of a prince dying in battle that’s actually true.  Prince Oleg, son of the Grand Duke Konstantine.  A Romanov.  21.

And another! The Vossiche Zeitung of Berlin says that both Crown Prince Alexander and Prince George of Serbia have been shot, the latter receiving a mortal wound.  I don’t think Alexander was ever shot, but George definitely was, seriously but not fatally (he died in 1972).

Bombs explode in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St Alphonsus’s Church.  Since the latter is where Frank Tannenbaum, the IWW leader, was arrested last spring, it is assumed the Wobblies are responsible.

The LA Times has an expose of the “San Pedro miscegenation market.”  White women and Japanese men have taken to being married by a ship’s captain outside the 3-mile limit to evade California’s law against inter-racial marriage, which it doesn’t because marriages performed by ship’s captains don’t count, according to the California Supreme Court.  Better would be going to Washington state or Canada, which don’t ban such marriages.  California law banned banning whites from marrying blacks or mulattos in 1850; “Mongolians” were added in 1880, and Filipinos in 1933, days after the state supreme court ruled that Filipinos were Malays rather than Mongolians.  The law was overturned by the state Supreme Court in 1948 (on a 4-3 vote).  Note that Hispanics counted as white under the law (in fact, the 1948 case was of a Latina woman married to a black man).


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