Saturday, September 17, 2016

Today -100: September 17, 1916: Of death-dealing war autos, cracker messiahs, and easy amputations

The first reports of the British tanks, which the NYT is calling “death-dealing war autos.” Gen. Haig calls them “superdreadnoughts of the land.” The British papers use the term “tank,” but think British soldiers came up with it themselves, “mysteriously.” In fact, it had been adopted during the development phase as a nice innocuous word that wouldn’t mean anything to people who overheard it.

Woodrow Wilson’s sister Annie Howe dies. This has been keeping him off the campaign trail (although he is pretending not to be campaigning at all and says he’ll only speak to non-partisan organizations).

The new Greek prime minister (but not for long), Nikolaos Kalogeropoulos, is considered pro-Entente.

The NYT has no interest in Florida, no matter how Carl Hiaasenesque it gets, so it looks like the not hugely informative article about gubernatorial candidate Rev. Sidney Catts in today’s Sunday Magazine is the last one about him until “Governor Threatens to Shoot Editor” more than four years from now. Catts, who quit his job as a Baptist minister 10 years ago to sell insurance, narrowly won the Democratic primary in June. Party establishment types will get the courts to order a recount which will hand the nomination back to William Knott. Catts will run as a Prohibition Party candidate and win in November, making him the only Prohibition Party governor ever and also the first non-Democratic governor in the South since 1881. His anti-black, anti-Catholic and anti-German diatribes will only increase in office; he will claim that German monks were planning to arm Florida’s blacks to seize Florida for Kaiser Wilhelm and the pope. After his single term, he will be indicted for taking bribes in exchange for pardons and also for peonage, pardoning black men he then forced to work on his farm; he will be acquitted. In 1929 he’ll be charged with being part of a counterfeiting ring; that will lead to a mistrial. In 1931 he’ll be arrested for breaking into the café of a man who owed him money. There’s a 1977 biography of him called Cracker Messiah, which I haven’t read but I’m definitely considering buying.

Until now there have been no college courses open to women in the state of New Jersey but the Newark Institute of Arts and Sciences will now host courses taught by NYU faculty. (Update: Someone from the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station writes to say that there is so a college [Catholic] giving degrees to women).

Headline of the Day -100:

Easier in the sense of quicker than splinting and repairing, according to an article in American Medicine.

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