Thursday, June 13, 2013

Today -100: June 13, 1913: Of blazing biplanes, and coal wars

Headline of the Day -100: “Dies in Blazing Biplane.” That’s 275 deaths since the beginning of heavier-than-air travel, although the NYT still considers them enough of a novelty to report on every one.

West Virginia Gov. Henry Hatfield refuses to submit the records of the courts-martial used against striking coal miners to the Senate committee. He says releasing the records would be “prejudicial to the public peace.” He does end martial law in the coal districts, after four months. Judge Advocate General George Wallace of the Military Commission tells the Senate that the Constitution was suspended by the governor and that “in a theatre of war the Commander in Chief of the forces [Gov. Hatfield] makes the law.” So the Commission could have sentenced people to death without any actual statutory law.

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