Friday, July 05, 2013

Today -100: July 5, 1913: Of Fourths abroad, Balkan wars, molested kings, post offices, and eugenic marriages

The US ambassador to Mexico went to Vera Cruz to celebrate the 4th of July with expatriates there, in order to avoid the festivities in Mexico City (actually on a US warship in the harbor) because Gen. Huerta planned to attend, and it would have looked like recognition of the Huerta Junta had they been seen together.

Elsewhere, though, attempts by expatriate Americans to celebrate were met by violence and trampling of the American flag. And by elsewhere, I mean Canada. In both Winnipeg and Moosejaw. Headline: “Serious Riot in Winnipeg.”

It’s oddly comforting to see rumors of atrocities being spread in the Second Balkan War, since you don’t get the anti-Muslim overtones of the First Balkan War propaganda when, for instance, the Greeks claim that Bulgarian troops massacred every resident of Nigrita and forced women to dance naked with bells around their neck.

King Constantine of Greece says that this new war is blessed by the Almighty.

Headline of the Day -100: “Suffragist Molests King.” Mary Richardson of the WSPU (we shall see her in a later post engaging in some art criticism) threw a petition into the king’s carriage, whereupon an equerry hits her with a sword, and then the whole crowd got involved.

South African police shoot striking gold miners (white ones; black and white miners never struck at the same time in South Africa, ever). Strikers burn down a newspaper and a railway station in Johannesburg. 40 miners are killed.

The US Post Office segregates its black and white clerks. There is no mention of this in the NYT that I can find.

The Pennsylvania Legislature has joined the trend of passing “eugenic marriage” laws, requiring couples to swear (or be certified by a physician) that they do not have TB or, ahem, other communicable diseases. The sponsor of this bill plans to introduce a more stringent bill banning from marriage anyone who within five years has been in an insane asylum or a home for indigent persons unless they are cured and can support a family.

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