Sunday, August 21, 2016

Today -100: August 21, 1916: Of angells, duffs, snubs, Persia’s fate, and self-appointed amateur censors

Germany spreads a rumor that pacifist author Norman Angell (“The Great Illusion”) has been imprisoned for refusing to be conscripted. Not true; Angell is too old to be conscripted. He is a member of the Union of Democratic Control and at a meeting next January will call conscription “the greatest form of slavery; no slave in a plantation is told to kill.”

Gen. Sir Beauchamp Duff, he of the majestically silly name, is recalled to the UK to testify about the botched Mesopotamia (Iraq) operations, and is relieved of his post as Commander-in-Chief, India. A year and a half from now the disgraced Duff will commit suicide.

Charles Evans Hughes, campaigning in Long Beach, California, is briefly in a hotel at the same time as Gov. Hiram Johnson, but the two do not meet. Hughes will later attribute his snubbing of the Progressive governor as leading to his loss of California and thus the election.

Headline of the Day -100:

The Society for the Suppression of Vice is currently attempting to suppress Theodore Dreiser’s novel The Genius (1915), because sex. The Post Office has temporarily banned it being sent through the mails. Dreiser thinks the US needs to appoint an official censor to “do away with self-appointed amateur censors” (this fuss was stirred up in Cincinnati). “If we established an official censor we would at leave have an opportunity to determine in some degree his education and qualifications.”

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