Monday, November 28, 2011

Today -100: November 28, 1911: Of burning halibut capitals, un-Roman behavior, sedatives for political alcoholism, and radioactive love letters

Canadian Headline of the Day -100: “A Canadian Capitol in Ruins.” All the government buildings in Prince Rupert burned down. Wikipedia says Prince Rupert was the Halibut Capital of the World until the early 1980s, so this is a pretty big deal.

A Brooklyn judge offers one Antonio Scarrello a suspended sentence on a knife charge if he’ll return to Italy, join the army and go to Libya to fight the dreaded Turk. Scarrello thinks not. The judge sentences him to one year, commenting, “Evidently your blood is not the same as that of the old Romans.”

Rep. Victor Berger (Socialist-Wisc.) says he will introduce a bill for women’s suffrage, although women “probably will make a frightful botch of the ballot at first”.

Germany removes its gunboats from Morocco, officially ending the crisis.

British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey gives a statement to Parliament relating the history of negotiations with Germany about Morocco. He hopes, he says, that the speech will be “a sedative to a world which has been indulging in a fit of political alcoholism”. He claims, as does PM Asquith later, that British has no secret treaties. They are lying. He says “I do not believe that Germany has aggressive designs”. Er, okay then.

In the debate that followed, Irish Nationalist John Dillon points out that in Grey’s hour and a half speech, there was no word of sympathy for the people of Morocco.

Riots in Lisbon, with exchanges of gunfire between troops and rioters, leading to at least two deaths. Is this a royalist counter-revolution or, as the NYT claims, were the riots caused by the expulsion of two Chinese women for selling phony blindness cures?

The NYT reprints Marie Curie’s love letters at surprising length.

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