Saturday, May 09, 2015

Today -100: May 9, 1915: The fortune of war


Headline of the Day -100:

The NYT reports that at least 50 New Yorkers in first class cabins on the Lusitania are dead.

Most of the first-class passengers died “due to the calmness they displayed in the face of danger.” They thought the ship wouldn’t go under so fast and didn’t rush for the lifeboats.

Capt. William Turner: “Well, it is the fortune of war.”

Woodrow Wilson has made no statement, but went golfing and driving after getting the news yesterday, in an attempt, the NYT speculates, to set an example of calm. In fact, he’s keeping his out-of-town appointments, is not calling a Cabinet meeting, and hasn’t even spoken with Secretary of State Bryan.

Bryan’s one rather unfortunate public statement is that “This is no time to rock the boat.”

German newspapers hail the sinking of the unarmed passenger vessel as a great triumph.

An article quoting various British people on the sinking sees the word “dastardly” utilized four times by my count. You don’t see the word dastardly much any more. I think cartoons ruined it for us. Also, “despicable.”

In a case of unfortunate timing, a concert to benefit the German Red Cross was held at the Met yesterday. At the Opera House’s insistence, though, German bunting was not hung from the building, the song Deutschland ├╝ber Alles was not performed, and committee chairman Theodor Sutro was forbidden from making a speech expressing sympathy for the Lusitania victims. The Vanderbilts are heavy contributors to the Met.


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