Friday, January 16, 2015

Today -100: January 16, 1915: Of oil, lynchings, not-so-white bread, hobble kilts, shattered nerves, and war as a moral institution

Carranza orders several foreign-owned oil companies shut down, jeopardizing oil production for the British Navy. They had refused to pay a special tax.

A mob in Monticello, Georgia lynches an entire black family, Dan Barber, along with his son Jesse (age 16) and his two daughters Eula and Ella, all of whom resisted the father’s arrest for selling whisky without a license. The mob only brought one rope, so they lynched each of his children in front of him one by one before murdering him.

Germany decrees that all “white” bread must henceforth be at least 30% rye, and rye bread 40% potato.

But that is nothing to the privation of Scottish soldiers, who are protesting War Office attempts to reduce the number of pleats in their khaki kilts so as to require only 5 yards of material instead of 7.

Richard Norton of the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps says there is no such thing as shell shock (“shattered nerves”).

Headline of the Day -100: In the Cologne Volkszeitung, which the NYT says is the “leading organ” of the Catholic political party: “War As a Moral Institution.” War elevates for Germans the principles of piety, love of Fatherland, unity, sacrifice, regard for intellectual values, contempt for vanities, and pristine simplicity of life. So it’s just like a monastery, but with more barbed wire, I guess. Women, the paper says, are no longer frivolous or wanton, men no longer think of evil things. Degenerate art has disappeared. The German people are thinking high and holy thoughts. Ain’t war grand?

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