Friday, September 16, 2011

Today -100: September 16, 1911: But other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Stolypin?

Headline of the Day -100: “China Realizes Revolt is Serious.”

The guy who shot Russian PM Stolypin, Dmitry Bogrov, who was arrested on the spot, is evidently both a revolutionary and an informer for the secret police. The government is saying that he was actually assigned to the theater to act as a bodyguard for Stolypin. I’m not sure that’s correct, but in the months to come there were a lot of suspicions over his motives – was he working for the Social Revolutionaries or the Jews (Stolypin fueled the recent pogroms and deportations) or for the extreme rightists in the secret police who found Stolypin a dangerous liberal? Bogrov was hanged within a few days, and the tsar ordered a halt to the investigation into the assassination. It’s all very mysterious.

After he was shot, Stolypin “summoned his waning strength, and, rising, faced the imperial box and gazing steadily upon the Czar, lifted his wounded arm and made the sign of the cross toward his Majesty, invoking the divine protection.”

The NYT helpfully offers an editorial against assassinations.

Teddy Roosevelt attends the NYC Children’s Court in order to write an article about it. He cross-examined the prisoners and gave some of them “a severe lecture.” He told a 15-year-old, accused of spitting off the rear platform of an elevated train, “I never heard of such a beastly thing for any boy to do,” adding, “I never knew a William to be a bad boy,” and declaiming “What you need is a good spanking, and I’d like to give it to you!” Bad William got a suspended sentence. TR told a boy who threw tomatoes at a passerby that he should play ball instead.

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