Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today -100: May 26, 1911: Of air battles and resignations

The ill-fated Paris-Madrid air race, which kicked off with a plane falling on the French prime minister and killing the war minister, sees what the NYT calls “the first recorded battle of the air”, when an eagle attacks one of the pilots, who shoots at it. It carries off his cap. At least that’s his tall tale (the pilot’s, not the eagle’s), and he’s sticking with it.

Porfirio Díaz resigns. His letter of resignation reads in part: “The Mexican people, who generously covered me with honors, who proclaimed me as their leader during the international war” and so on for a bit, “that same people, Sir, has revolted in armed military bands, stating that my presence in the exercise of the supreme executive power is the cause of this insurrection. I do not know of any fact imputable to me which could have caused this social phenomenon, but permitting, though not admitting, that I may be unwittingly culpable, such a possibility makes me the least able to reason out and decide my own culpability.”

Part of the deal ending the Mexican Revolution (well, this phase of it, but they weren’t to know that) was that Maderists would take charge of half the states. In Coahuila, this has come up against the Legislature, which refuses to vote Venustiano Carranza (the future president of Mexico) in as governor. Madero threatens a coup in the state.

Madero also plans to have his forces cooperate with federals in crushing the socialist utopia established in Baja.

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