Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Today -100: February 2, 1916: Of appams, le suffrage des morts, trains, and busy intersections


A British steamship, the SS Appam, which was captured off the coast of Africa by a German cruiser while making a run from Dakar to Liverpool and is now under the command of a small German prize crew, arrives at Hampton Roads, Virginia, where they’ve brought it because they couldn’t take it back to Germany through the British blockade. (Ah, perhaps there were only 22 Germans because they expected to be interned for the duration of the war in the US. The Appam’s crew won’t be interned because they were not combatants. International law is weird). They’re hoping the US will recognize their claim that the Appam is now an auxiliary of the German navy, subject to internment, because if it’s ruled a prize of war it will be ordered to leave, at which point the British navy could easily recapture it. In fact, the case will wend through the courts and the Supreme Court will rule in 1917 (before the US entry into the war) that belligerents had no right to just deposit spoils of war in US ports, beyond the time necessary to make them seaworthy. The Appam’s passengers include Sir Edward Meriwether, the governor of British Sierra Leone.

Britain denies that it’s secretly negotiating a separate peace with Germany. It’s funny how often one country or another has to deny having any interest in peace.

Right-wing French journalist Maurice Barrès calls for votes for women. Actually, he calls for widows and mothers of dead soldiers to get the vote to represent them, which he calls “le suffrage des morts.”

Headline of the Day -100:


In Grinnell, Iowa, Woodrow Wilson stops his train from backing over five girls.

Supposedly, one of the Montenegrin generals who signed the surrender has been assassinated.

The Fifth Avenue Association claims that the intersection of 5th Ave and 42nd Street in NYC is the busiest highway crossing in the world, surpassing Charing Cross in London. They counted 1,149 vehicles going south in a one-hour period (in the afternoon). The Association says that 92% of 5th Ave’s vehicles are now motorized as opposed to horse-propelled.


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