Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Today -100: March 15, 1917: Of quasi-civilization, loyalty censuses, algonquins, conscienceless rascals, and boy scouts

China breaks diplomatic relations with Germany and seizes German ships.

Hubert Lyautey resigns as French minister of war after 3 months in the job. He refused to discuss the production of war planes, even in a closed session of the Chamber of Deputies, and deputies shouted at him until he resigned, or something like that. Lyautey had been the colonial governor of Morocco, where he “brought the Moroccans into a state of quasi-civilization,” which it turns out wasn’t really the best background for running a modern war.

New Yorkers are signing pledges of support for the president in the present crisis in a highly organized “loyalty census.”

A German u-boat sinks the American steamship Algonquin. It fired without warning, but all the crew escaped, no doubt while making lacerating witty comments about the experience and not spilling even a drop of their martinis.

The NYT has no news about anything that might be happening in Russia, and is reduced to quoting a Swedish engineer just returned home from Petrograd who says that reports of outbreaks are exaggerated. Phew.

Netherlands, scared of its large neighbor, sentences the editor of the Amsterdam Telegraaf for endangering the Netherlands’ neutrality by writing “In Central Europe there is a group of conscienceless rascals which caused this war.”

Germany says it is halting the deportations of Belgians to Germany.

The Boy Scouts will not take part in actual military operations in event of war, says the National Council of the Boy Scouts after, presumably, considering it.

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