Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today -100: January 23, 1910: Of Alaska, bulldogs, and Liberal snobbishness

The Senate Committee on Territories decides on a plan for a Legislative Council for Alaska: a governor, attorney general, commissioner of interior and mines, and 8 judges. All appointed by the US president. If that system had still been in place under the Bush Administration, Alaska’s appointed governor would still have been Sarah Palin.

Creepy Headline of the Day -100: “Bulldog Breeders Form a New Body.”

Mrs Humphry Ward, a best-selling novelist in her time, which was the late 19th century, is the most prominent British anti-suffragist. But that doesn’t stop her writing letters to electors in Hertfordshire, where she is running her wastrel son’s campaign for Parliament. A complete non-entity, he would be known as “the member for Mrs. Humphry Ward.”

In Britain it has just become known that Lady Constance Lytton is in prison. A suffragette, Lytton had been given a prison sentence before, but it was unsatisfactory in that she was treated with favoritism (not being force-fed, that sort of thing), supposedly on account of her fragile health and certainly not at all because she was Lady Constance Lytton.

“Simply Liberal snobbishness,” she complained. So she disguised herself as a working-class woman, called herself Jane Warton,

and got arrested again, for breaking a prison window, and this time, funnily enough, prison medical authorities didn’t find evidence of a weak heart and did force feed her. (Spoiler alert: about a year later she had a massive stroke, and wrote her book on her prison experience with her left hand.)

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