Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today -100: November 13, 1912: This wretch has killed me

Spanish Prime Minister José Canalejas is assassinated by an anarchist, as was the custom. Last words: “This wretch has killed me.”


George Lansbury, Labour MP (and grandfather of Angela Lansbury), resigns from Parliament in order to stand again in the resulting by-election on the sole issue of women’s suffrage. Since the NYT won’t be following this at all as it develops, I’ll do the whole story in one go. The Labour Party had decided to continue backing the Asquith government, even if the women’s suffrage amendment to the Manhood Suffrage Bill failed (as Asquith intends). Lansbury thought his re-election would leave him free to follow his conscience. But his timing was bad, he didn’t prepare his electorate (the working-class Bow & Bromley section of London) so his resignation just looked mercurial, the Labour Party disowned him, and his sole opponent, Reginald Blair (Tory), didn’t cooperate in making it the straight fight on the suffrage issue Lansbury wanted. Though Blair did use the slogan “No Petticoat Government!”, he mostly fought on other issues. Still, when Lansbury lost, the London Times claimed that on the one occasion the suffrage issue was actually squarely before the (male) voters, it lost. Lansbury continued to fight for women’s suffrage, spending some time in prison in 1913, where he hunger struck and was forcibly fed, and didn’t get back into Parliament until 1922. In 1931 he became leader of a rump Labour Party (the members who didn’t join Ramsay MacDonald (boo hiss)’s coalition National Government).

A large strike in St Petersburg to protest the death sentences imposed on 17 sailors of the Black Fleet for mutiny.

To celebrate the recovery of Tsarevitch Alexei, the Tsar pardons an army private who was sentenced to life imprisonment for stepping out of line to hand the tsar a petition (about what, we do not know).

Austria and Italy are mobilizing their navies and armies, to prevent Serbian troops entering Albania.

Headline of the Day -100: “‘Magic Flute’ to Be Revived.” Sounds like the subject line of a spam email.

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