Thursday, June 04, 2015

Today -100: June 4, 1915: If we had a jingo in the White House, this country would now be at war with Germany


San Marino declares war on Austria! The Sammarinese army numbers nearly one thousand. Nearly. The NYT will print another story on the 8th saying that San Marino, “in an ardently picturesque manifesto... declares it draws the sword on the side of Italy.” And then doesn’t mention the republic’s no doubt ardently picturesque war effort at least through 1916.

Germany captures Przemysl.

Wilson’s warning to the Mexican factions to unite or face American action has the predictable (except to Wilson, I guess) effect: every side is now fighting harder than ever for dominance, hoping for American recognition.

The British Parliament meets for the first time under the new cabinet.  The NYT tells us “H.W. Foster was cheered when he answered questions about stockings” but fails to inform us as to what that was about, so I had to check Hansard:
Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD  asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether there has been any rejection of hosiery supplied to the War Office since the War on account of its containing excessive moisture; and, if so, can he state the quantities so rejected?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. H. W. Forster)  There have been a few rejections on account of excessive moisture, but the quantity rejected forms a very small percentage of the total supplied. In most cases the excessive moisture was due to the socks having been scoured after finishing and sent out before they were dry.
Why there might have been cheering remains a complete mystery.

Parliament passes a bill to end the requirement that MPs appointed to cabinet positions have to resign and fight a by-election. This was supposed to be temporary, but like so many war measures...

The Tories want all workers in munitions, mines, railroads and anything else that can be considered vaguely war-related to be put under government control, essentially conscripted, and all union regulations abrogated.

Emmeline Pankhurst goes further, holding a meeting to call for mandatory war service for everyone of both sexes. What war service is she performing, you might ask? Well, she’s campaigning for mandatory war service (with a secret subsidy from the government, although that probably starts later), and she plans to adopt some war babies and then pass them off to her subordinates when she gets bored. At another meeting announcing plans for a home for war babies, a Father Vaughan protests the idea that “because a soldier had had a bad time in the trenches he should be encouraged to have a good time here at the expense of morality.”

William Howard Taft, speaking at the Bryn Mawr commencement, says it’s good Wilson is president because “If we had a jingo in the White House, this country would now be at war with Germany.” I wonder who he might have in mind?

District Court refuses the federal government’s petition to dissolve US Steel as a monopoly. The government will appeal.

The commander of a German U-boat apologizes to the captain of a trawler he’d just sunk, saying he hadn’t realized it was Belgian. So that’s okay then.

29 French airplanes bombard the hq of the German crown prince.


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