Thursday, February 11, 2010

Today -100: February 11, 1910: Of duels, unknown biological laws, hung parliaments, deportations, kids in jail, Japanese exclusion, and horse thieves

A jail guard and a police superintendent fight a duel on the streets of Chattanooga. The former dies, “his body perforated with bullets.”

Dr. James Walsh, Dean of Fordham University Medical School, says that if women’s suffrage were granted, “nature would eliminate form the race all who cared about exercising it in the course of three or four generations. He quoted history in support of his argument, and showed how often women had made a sudden burst to the front in intellectual matters, to fall back again inevitably to domestic duties through the working of some unknown biological law.” And he’s the dean of Fordham University Medical School, so he should know.

In Britain, Asquith is putting together a new cabinet. Given the Liberals’ lack of a parliamentary majority, he will have to attend carefully to the demands of other parties. John Redmond, head of the Irish Nationalists, says he will subordinate every other issue to Home Rule for Ireland: the 72 Nats will vote for Asquith’s budget if they get it, and against it if they don’t. The Labour Party has met and adopted a demand for adult suffrage, which would eliminate the remaining property qualifications for men and extend the franchise to women (this will be unwelcome to most women’s suffragists, who want a stand-alone measure giving women the vote on the same terms as men. Given that relatively few women owned property, this means that what even the most radical suffragettes are calling for is an electorate that would be 90% male.) Interestingly, in 2010, with the polls predicting a similar hung parliament after the next elections, Gordon Brown has developed a sudden interest in parliamentary reform, although in its weakest form, the Alternative Vote.

Headline of the Day 1: An Italian silk finished insists on pleading guilty to assault in the first degree in a NYC court rather than a lesser charge, preferring a long prison sentence here to deportation back to Italy “where he would be under the surveillance of authorities he had found unkind.” Headline: “Prefers Jail to Italy.”

Headline of the Day 2: “10-Year-Old Jailed For Debt.” A Newark boy who failed to pay $95.35 damages awarded against him by a court after a fight with a 16-year-old. However, by evening his lawyer had put up a bond and got him out.

The House Immigration Committee votes unanimously for the Japanese Exclusion Bill.

The NYPD have arrrested the leaders of a gang of horse thieves operating in Manhattan and Long Island. In 1910, Manhattan had horse thieves. And Chattanooga had duels.

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