Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Today -100: October 3, 1912: Of Balkan wars, unbossed conventions, lynchings, and stamps

The four Balkan League countries allied against the Ottomans are on the verge of issuing their ultimatum, which will evidently be a demand for full autonomy for Macedonia, Albania and Old Serbia – implemented in no more than three days. Those countries all have small populations compared to the Ottoman Empire, but if they are to be believed, they have mobilized something like 1/5 of their adult male population.

Thanks to the presence of the Progressive Party on the ballot, no one got a majority in Vermont’s elections last month, which under the state constitution means that the Legislature gets to pick all the state officers from governor down. It picks all Republicans.

Tammany’s Boss Murphy graciously allows the New York Democratic Convention to dump the incumbent governor, John Alden Dix, and instead nominate William Sulzer, a member of Congress since 1895 (and Speaker of the state Assembly before that). During the roll call, Murphy failed to vote when called upon, leaving his minions in some confusion as to what they were supposed to do. Sulzer seems to have come out of nowhere (not that he needed a public campaign when the public had little to say about this decision). Just a few days ago it seemed that the anti-Dix faction had united around state Supreme Court Justice Victor Dowling.

I predict a long and successful career as governor for Mr. Sulzer.

A mob in Rawlins, Wyoming tries to lynch a black man accused of attacking an old lady, but while the mob was storming the front door of the county jail, the sheriff snuck him out the back door and brought him to the state pen. Where he is lynched by his fellow inmates.

Mark Wilks, imprisoned for not paying his suffragette wife’s income taxes in Britain, is released after 15 days, no explanation given.

Disappointing Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times): “Dies for Exposition Stamps.” Turns out to be dies, noun, the things used to print stamps.

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