Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today -100: May 24, 1912: Of battleships, ever victorious Italians, and muck

Democrats in the House refuse to include funds to build new battleships in the Navy budget.

Riots and a general strike in Budapest over the postponement of a bill for universal male suffrage end when the government reverses itself.

In Libya, the Italians have been dropping leaflets from airplanes telling the Arabs that they should surrender because Italy is totally winning the war, which “indicates that God is the protector of the Italians. As for the Turks, they have the habit of lying, and they will tell you that these things are not true. But we swear that all these things are true.” Other letters assure the Arabs that “the ever victorious Italians” consider them as their own children. Children that they will drop bombs on, “annihilating you and your domestic animals” but “take refuge with us and you will be treated with kindness.”

The US is sending 700 marines and some gunboats to Cuba because of the “negro uprising,” supposedly just to protect Americans (and American-owned property, naturally).

The NYT explains that while negro Cubans performed well in the fight to overthrow Spanish rule and were thwarted in their desire for their share of public offices and whatnot after independence, “The plain truth is that Cuba had to decide whether she would be a black or a white republic, and a black republic meant in time another Haiti.” The NYT doesn’t mention this, but the proximate cause of this rebellion is a law banning the negroes from forming a race-based political party.

Headline of the Day -100: “Urge Prussia to Keep Muck.” That’s conductor Karl Muck, who plans to move from Germany to Boston to take up the directorship of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

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