Thursday, March 03, 2011

Today -100: March 3, 1911: Of hereditary power, Le Juif Déserteur, and racial melodrama

The House of Commons passes the bill removing the House of Lords’s veto power. Opposition leader Arthur Balfour gave a speech on the benefits of retaining hereditary power but said, “Let it be our servant; let it no longer be our master.” MPs laughed at him.

More theatrical disturbances in Paris, where a large mob fight the police while trying to storm the Théâtre-Français as Henri Bernstein’s “Après Mois” was being performed. Inside, 100 detectives (in evening dress) failed to prevent the usual disruptions, including exploding magnesium.

There’s a story about an 8-year-old white girl whose mother had left her when she was six months old with a “black mammy of the old type” and then went off to commit suicide. (A follow-up story says she was a 16-year-old chorus girl and did not actually commit suicide). Though the girl was well-cared for and happy, the authorities of course take her away. Read it if you want to be depressed for the rest of the day.

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