Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Today -100: November 4, 1914: The Suez Canal is threatened by camels?

Election results:

Women’s suffrage was on the ballot in 7 states yesterday, passing only in Nevada and Montana, bringing the number of suffrage states to 12 (plus Alaska), but losing by a 56% no vote in South Dakota (that initiative included a provision allowing foreigners who intended to become citizens to vote), 55% in North Dakota, 64% in Missouri, I dunno in Nebraska, and 60% in Ohio, whose constitution defined voters as white male until 1923.  Jane Addams thinks the bad suffrage showing is the result of the European war causing men to lapse into primeval instincts.  “Persuasion has no place in the psychology of men who are contemplating resort to force.” Ain’t it the truth.

The 8-hour day and/or the 48-hour week fails everywhere they’re on the ballot (California, Oregon, Washington).  Prohibition wins in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, but loses in California and Ohio.  There are now 14 dry states.  Arizona narrowly fails to abolish the death penalty (putting 15 prisoners who had been reprieved pending the vote back on death row), votes to require that 80% of employees at companies employing more than five workers be U.S. citizens, and limits railroad fares to 3¢ per mile.  California bans poll taxes and prize fighting but rejects a proposition allowing only property-owners to vote on bond measures.  Oregon will require voters to be American citizens and abolishes the death penalty by a narrow vote (which will be overturned in 1920).  Washington state votes 79% against foreigners being allowed to own land.

These were the first US Senate elections under the 17th Amendment.  Democrats picked up 3 seats, giving them 56 of the 96 seats.  New senators include Warren G. Harding for Ohio and Charles Curtis (Hoover’s vice president) for Kansas.

The House of Representatives: Democrats also continue to hold a majority in the House, with 230 seats, down from 290.  The R’s have 196.  Former Speaker of the House Joseph “Uncle Joe” Cannon (R), who lost his Illinois seat in 1912, returns, as does Nicholas Longworth (aka Mr. Alice Roosevelt).  Charles Randall, a Prohibition Party member (and formerly a Republican, a Democrat, and a Progressive, not necessarily in that order), wins a congressional seat from California’s 9th district (Los Angeles County) in a tight three-way race, defeating an incumbent Republican 30.9% to 30.3%.  He will serve three terms, the only Prohibition Party congresscritter ever.  Meyer London, a labor attorney, is elected for New York’s 12th district (Manhattan) as a Socialist.  London is a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, and that’s his real name.  He will serve two terms before being defeated by Henry Goldfogle, the Democrat he defeated this time.  He admits he can’t pass any legislation, but he hopes to call Congress’s attention to the study of social problems and labor legislation.  Good luck with that.  “The business of socialism,” he will say at a celebration held in Madison Square Garden, “is to give intelligence to discontent.”  He says he will show Congress “what the east side of New York is and what the east side Jew is.”  Both Randall & London will vote against entry into World War I.  Victor Berger, the former one-term Socialist congresscritter from Milwaukee, loses a bid to return in the district he lost last election.

Charles Whitman is elected governor of New York in a Republican landslide that gives the party both houses of the legislature and all the statewide offices.  Voters were presumably turned off by the intra-Democratic fighting that culminated in last year’s impeachment of Gov. Sulzer and the victory of Tammany corruption.  Sulzer ran this time under the American Party and the Prohibition Party banners, coming a distant third but he calls himself “vindicated” by Glynn’s defeat).  Even New York City didn’t give many votes to Democratic Gov. Glynn.  The anti-Catholic campaign against him didn’t help, but neither did a series of corruption scandals and Tammany appointments.

California re-elects Hiram Johnson as governor.  In 1910 he was elected as a Republican, this time he ran as a Progressive, winning just shy of 50%, with Republican John Fredericks getting 29% and Democrat J.B. Curtin 12.5%.

Supposedly Austria is sounding out Russia about making a peace separate from Germany.

Japanese sailors have requested permission to make a raid on Kaio-Chau to capture the German governor, but they’ve been turned down.  The request was written in the sailors’ own blood; no word on what bodily fluid the rejection was written in.

French newspapers are speculating that Germany, which unlike France is fighting on two fronts, must be running out of munitions.

The Turkish ambassador, about to leave Russia as the two countries start their war, refuses to pay the embassy’s Russian employees the back wages he owes them and makes a smart-ass jibe about paying them in Odessa when Turkey captures it. A clerk clobbers him, as is only fitting and proper.

Headline of the Day -100:  “SUEZ CANAL IS THREATENED.; German Officers with a Camel Corps ;- Agitators Sent to Egypt.”  The canal is threatened by camels, because of course it is.

Woodrow Wilson sends federal troops to Arkansas to see that a federal judge’s orders are enforced – something about bankrupt mines, mines being blown up, and miners rescuing other miners from the cops.  Yes, the troops will have machine guns, as was the custom.

Carranza rejects the convention’s attempt to replace him, claiming that the resignation he sent them was a “telegraphic error.”  Fuckin’ autocorrect, amiright?  So Mexico now has two rival presidents, as was the custom.

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