Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Today -100: March 6, 1913: Of cabinets, cigars, and cats and mice

After months of the press bugging Woodrow Wilson to give a hint as to his cabinet nominees, today he finally made his choices public when he sent his cabinet nominations to the Senate. They were all confirmed by the end of day. BY THE END OF THE DAY. Seven have already been sworn in, and the rest will be tomorrow.

William Jennings Bryan is secretary of state. Treasury sec is William Gibbs McAdoo, who will marry Wilson’s daughter in 1914. Lindley Garrison, the vice-chancellor of New Jersey, will be secretary of war, I assume because of the aptonym (3 days ago the Times reported that it would be another Garrison, NJ Supreme Court Justice Charles Garrison. Whoops.) Wilson first offered the job to A. Mitchell Palmer, who replied, “Dude, I’m a Quaker,” or words to that effect. Four of the cabinet (out of 10) Wilson never met before inauguration day.

There is also a secretary of labor, a cabinet position created by Congress a few days ago. He is William Wilson, the son of a Scottish collier who emigrated to Pennsylvania after he was blacklisted and the family evicted from their company-owned house during a strike. Young William went down the mines himself at age 9 and was elected secretary of the local miners’ benevolent association at age, wow, 14. He was later an official of the United Mine Workers and a member of Congress. In a fine bit of irony, Congress created his job but forgot to appropriate a salary for it, so for the time being the first secretary of labor will be working for free.

Pres. Wilson revokes Taft’s ban on cigar-smoking in the executive offices.

Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times): “Women Hate Mann.” The women are the Chicago Woman’s Political Equality League and the Mann is James Robert Mann, Republican member of Congress and minority leader, the author of the Mann Act. He said of a woman in the D.C. suffrage parade hurt by one of the thugs that she should have been at home with her mother.

The British government has finally come up with a way to deal with hunger strikers that involves neither forcible feeding nor releasing hunger strikers from prison. The government will introduce a bill to release them under license, let them recover at home, then return them to prison. The recovery time would not count towards their sentences. The bill already has a nickname:

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