Saturday, May 13, 2017

Today -100: May 13, 1917: This is no war for mere spontaneous impulse


The House is delaying the conscription bill, in part to try to force Theodore Roosevelt’s volunteer divisions into it. That amendment is sponsored in the Senate by Warren G. Harding, by the way. Says former Speaker of the House Uncle Joe Cannon, “I want Theodore Roosevelt to carry the heart of America to the trenches of France”. Walter Chandler (R-NY) says “Roosevelt will fight, and everybody knows it. He is the fighter of the age”.

At a Red Cross event, Woodrow Wilson says, “This is no war for amateurs.” I wonder who he could mean? “This is no war for mere spontaneous impulse. It means grim business on every side of it.” But he finds a bright side too: it will heal the last division between North and South, “and when effort and suffering and sacrifice have completed the union, men will no longer speak of any lines either of race or association cutting athwart the great body of the nation.”

Rep. J. Thomas Heflin (D-Land of Cotton) suggests that ships could survive a u-boat torpedo if bales of cotton were placed along the sides so if the ship is holed it will still float. And when the submarine surfaces to check out the damage, you could just shoot it.

It is quite possible that Rep. Heflin is 6 years old.

The Virgin Mary appears to 10-year-old Lúcia Santos and her younger cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto in Fátima, Portugal, tells them secrets and promises to appear again. A Felliniesque carnival will grow up around the subsequent appearances. There will be an official cult and everything. And today, Pope Francis is going to canonize the girls, unjustly spurning the girls in Cottingley who just about the same time took pictures of fairies that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle thought were real.


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