Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Today -100: October 29, 1914: All enthusiasm is dead


Gavril Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, is sentenced to 20 years (lenient because of his age, which is also 20 years), while 4 of his convicted co-conspirators are sentenced to death, 1 to life, and the rest for terms ranging from 3 years to 20 years.  Several were acquitted. 

Wilson issues the annual presidential Thanksgiving proclamation, which mostly talks about the European war (one could be excused for thinking the proclamation is aimed more at next week’s election than Thanksgiving).  “It has been vouchsafed to us to remain at peace, with honor,” he says.  “Our crops will feed all those who need food; the self possession of our people amidst the serious anxieties and difficulties and the steadiness and resourcefulness of our businessmen will serve other Nations as well as our own.”  So... we’re giving thanks for the war because it’s good for business?

Kodak says it has developed a color film process easy enough for ordinary photographers to use.  But the photos can’t be printed, they can only be seen as transparencies.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Germany is explaining (in placards in Belgium) its recent retreat: Paris has cholera, so it’s just healthier for German troops to winter in Germany instead of capturing Paris.  Totally believable.

The NYT continues to reprint reports from the eminently unbiased London Standard: “An evil spirit seems to have rendered the Austrian Army impotent from the very commencement of hostilities.”  It says that the wounded are so many that every hospital, barracks and school in Vienna have been converted into wards, as well as many theaters, museums and offices.  “Convalescent soldiers wander like vagabonds through the streets, clothed in uniforms and still bandaged, begging alms.”  The public are indifferent: “All enthusiasm is dead.”

Le Petit Parisien interviews a 12-year-old soldier.

Woodrow Wilson meets Mother Jones, who asks him not to keep the federal troops in Colorado, and says if the mineowners continue to reject Wilson’s proposed settlement he should just close the mines.

Belgian troops are finally winning against Germany.  OK, it’s in a battle between the Belgian Congo and German Tanganyika, but it still counts, sort of.

Prince Maurice of Battenberg, a grandson of Queen Victoria and the brother of Queen Victoria of Spain, is killed in action in France, at 23.  Er, fighting on the British side, despite the German-sounding title.

When Greece saw Italy invading and occupying Albania’s capital, it looked like such fun that it has invaded southern Albania.  Like Italy, Greece claims not to be acquiring territory but acting purely out of humanitarian motives.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Bomb Angers the Swiss.”


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