Monday, July 03, 2017

Today -100: July 3, 1917: Timber!


Race riots continue in East Saint Louis, Illinois. Blacks are shot and lynched, and their homes burned. No accurate count has ever been made of the deaths, but roughly 150 or so. The militia tamp down the rioting, although it doesn’t sound like they were trying that hard. The police are at best useless, at worst active participants. The NYT account is surprisingly detailed.

Russian Minister of War Alexander Kerensky personally leads troops into battle against Austria in Galicia. The Kerensky Offensive is going very well, they say. Enjoy it while it lasts, Alex, enjoy it while it lasts.

A military coup in China puts boy-emperor Hsuan Tung back on the throne as figurehead.

Thing I discovered about 1917 America today: they called the stuff you make cans out of “aluminium,” like the British still do. Anyway, Sen. James Reed (D-Missouri) attacks the president of the Aluminium Company of America (which is now Alcoa) for using his seat on the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense to raise the price paid for aluminum for army canteens, of which 1 million will be ordered from his company.

Wilson finally issues rules for draft exemptions. Interestingly, while men with dependents can claim exemption, his wife or other dependents can put in a claim on their own.

The National Civil Liberties Bureau, the forerunner of the ACLU, forms to protect free speech and the rights of conscientious objectors.

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, foremost English actor of his generation, although his acting style is considered rather formal and old-fashioned now, dies at 64. He leaves a bunch of children, legitimate and otherwise. Amongst the latter is Carol Reed, director of The Third Man.


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