Friday, October 31, 2014

Today -100: October 31, 1914: I am going somewhere where I think I can get more votes

The new British First Sea Lord, replacing Prince Louis of Battenberg, is Adm. Jacky Fisher, who previously held the job before retiring at age 70.  Now 73, he has been in the Navy since he was 12, which means he actually served during the Crimean War, when it was all wooden sailing ships.

Woodrow Wilson has some advice for the voters of New York: “an American citizen should never vote as a sectarian but always as an American citizen.”  In other words, he’s criticizing the anti-Catholic campaign against Gov. Glynn waged by the secretive but well-funded Guardians of Liberty.  Some of the people endorsed by the Guardians have repudiated them, but not Whitman.  (Update: Do NYT reporters ever talk to each other? Another article this issue has Whitman doing just that, although very belatedly).

Suffragists hold a meeting at Carnegie Hall.  Gov. Glynn drops by but doesn’t make a speech: “I am going somewhere where I think I can get more votes.”  Which kind of makes their point.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Russia Welcomes Turkey As An Enemy.”  The whole of the Balkans is now in play.  Neither side has declared war yet, and the Turkish ambassador to Russia claims to believe that Turkish military actions in the Crimea must be some sort of mistake, perhaps naval commanders – which means Germans on secondment – acting on their own.

A German newspaper in German-occupied Russian Poland quotes a supposed proclamation from Kaiser Wilhelm who calls a “miracle” his “decision to wage war with Russia and restore to Poland her saints and annex her most cultured land to Germany,” which he’s doing because the Virgin Mary came to him in a dream.  I don’t know if this story is real: the only Google hits for it are 3 contemporaneous news stories.

Meanwhile, Russia is allowing Poles to form legions under Polish commanders.  “Proclamations have been posted in all Polish towns and villages exhorting the people to join the legions and expel the enemy.”  I’ll bet the Russians are very careful to specify that when they say “the enemy” they mean Germans, to avoid any wacky but understandable mix-ups.

Today’s dead prince rumor: Prince Heinrich of Reuß.  You’d think that would be easy to fact-check on Wikipedia, but turns out there were two German micro-principalities named Reuß, ruled by two branches of the same family who evidently both named every one of their boys Heinrich and probably some of the girls as well and there’s also some weird numbering system, so if this article is about the one I think it is, it’s Heinrich XXXIV, son of Heinrich XXVIII (!) and he wasn’t killed but lived until 1956.  And yes, this will all be on the quiz.

Belgium is fighting the Germans with water, flooding the Yser River valley.

Rumors say the Allies have retaken Lille.

Germany warns Britain that if it doesn’t release German civilians from internment, Germany will do the same to British civilians in Germany.

Germany denies yesterday’s rumor that it made peace offers through the German Social Democratic Party.

Halloween 1914 Story: Britain claims German spies have been disguising themselves as Boy Scouts and Scout Masters.

The Lusitania is late.

It was just delayed by bad weather.

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