Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Today -100: June 29, 1916: Of spillsburys, courts-martial, and German gold

The Carranza government orders the release of the American prisoners. That’s 23 negro soldiers and their Mormon scout Lem Spillsbury, which is more or less the name you’d expect for a Mormon scout, I guess. Although the US is also still demanding Carranza’s active consent to the US Punitive Expedition roaming the Mexican countryside, the Mexican-American War II: Electric Bugaloo (is that how you spell bugaloo? I’ll be damned if I’m gonna look it up) seems for now to have been averted. To mixed reaction in Juarez, according to the NYT’s ever-condescending correspondent:

All foreigners living in Juarez are being disarmed, in retaliation for the disarming of Mexicans in El Paso.

Karl Liebknecht is sentenced by court-martial to 30 months in prison and dismissal from the army (which, as a member of the Reichstag he shouldn’t have been drafted into anyway, but then neither should he be tried when he has parliamentary immunity, so whatevs). The charges were attempted high treason, gross insubordination and resistance to the authorities for his speech at a May Day rally. The trial was held in secret, with newspapers banned from printing any details except the verdict.

Sir Roger Casement’s lawyer faints during his closing speech at Sir Roger’s treason trial. He was able to call no witnesses, because they’re all in Germany, where the treason allegedly took place. He claimed that the Irish brigade Casement was recruiting from POWs was only intended to fight for Irish Home Rule, not to assist Germany. Casement, making a statement, denies taking any “German gold.”

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