Friday, April 15, 2016

Today -100: April 15, 1916: Dresses have been the curse and burden of women

Headline of the Day -100:

That’s not his actual name – although he is French... Sgt Auguste Bernard, age 69, a veteran of the 1870 war with Prussia, re-enlisted for this war and insisted on serving in the front line.

Cardinal Mercier of Belgium responds to Governor-General Moritz von Bissing’s letter instructing him to shut up now: “Allow us, then, even smitten as we are by admiration before the war-like pomp surrounding you and the brilliant staff which, like King Saul, you have attached to your person, to retain, nevertheless, our full liberty of judgment.” There’s no sarcasm quite like Catholic sarcasm.

The Wilson administration, not interested in withdrawing its troops from Mexico, is pretending that Carranza’s message was just an invitation to begin discussions about when the US forces might leave, not an actual demand that they do so.

The Mexican sub-secretary of foreign relations, Juan Neftali Amador, says the US expedition must be limited to 1,000 cavalry, no infantry and no heavy artillery, which make no sense for a chase anyway, not go more than 40 miles into Mexico or stay longer than 5 days. He releases details of secret negotiations between the two governments on details like those, negotiations which failed to reach an agreement.

The British claim Germany has arrested the wayward Anglo-Irish former diplomat Sir Roger Casement. Not even close to true, but Casement will resurface soon.

New Jersey Republican primary voters won’t be able to vote for president because no one filed to be on the ballot.

The NY State Senate votes 40-1 to require military training for boys age 15 to 19, or at least those still in formal education. Gov. Charles Whitman told the Senate that the state needs to “provide its citizens with the advantages of physical and elementary military training and to impart to its youths the principles of discipline and the spirit which yields to the commands of duly constituted authorities.”

Headline of the Day -100: 

Not actual women soldiers, of course, but members of the American Woman’s League for Self-Defense, who have a long debate about what sort of uniform they might wear when practicing military-type drills. Anna Higgins proclaims, “This is the age of the New Woman. Get rid of your dresses. Dresses have been the curse and burden of women. ... Think no longer of husbands and sweethearts. Think about ditches and barb fences.  Think of the work you will have to do when your husbands and sweethearts go to the front. You will have to remain behind to guard your home against marauders and when they come you will have to pepper them down.” Miss Higgins said all this while wearing a riding habit, in front of God and everyone.

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