Monday, December 02, 2013

Today -100: December 2, 1913: Of Mexican thrills, exiles, smothered bandits, and flying churchills

Lead sentence of the Day -100: “President Huerta gave the people of the capital a thrill to-day by another of his periodical disappearances.” As always happens, rumors quickly spread that he had fled. Unfortunately, he came back.

The US, Nicaragua and deposed president José Zelaya come to an agreement: he will go back into exile in Barcelona. In other words, the US & Nicaragua leveraged the latter’s request for his extradition to force him back into exile across the Atlantic.

It is just coming out now that the United States almost invaded Mexico back in June. Rebels were being unpleasant to American citizens in Piedras Negras and were threatening to attack the consulate. Secretary of State Bryan wrote to Secretary of War Garrison asking that a force be held ready to cross the border if the consul asked for it. Someone talked to rebel leader Carranza, who settled the situation down. So why the leak now, six months later? Possibly the Wilson Admin needs to demonstrate that he is capable of being tough and getting results, now that Huerta has ignored Wilson’s demands with impunity.

Headline of the Day -100: “SEAL UP UTAH MINE TO SMOTHER BANDIT; Tons of Dynamite in Shaft Where Lopez Is Trapped Amid Deadly Gases. 200 ARMED MEN ON GUARD. Deputies at Every Entrance with Orders to Shoot Down the Desperado on Sight.” Ralph Lopez, Mexican bandit, killed a miner, a chief of police and no fewer than four deputies. The deadly gases, by the way, are actually being pumped into the mine by the authorities (wet gunpowder, sulphur, coal tar, formaldehyde, black oil, etc).

The Paterson strike fails to get going.

The NYT chides William Jennings Bryan for the fact that his old paper The Commoner, now run by his brother, accepts ads for quack medicines.

Winston Churchill becomes the first cabinet minister of any country to fly an airplane. Not fly in an airplane as a passenger, but actually steer it. Take-off and landing were handled by the commander of the British Naval Flying Corps, Capt. Gilbert V. Wildman-Lushington, possessor of the most English name in all Christendom, although not for long. Three days later Wildman-Lushington died in a plane crash.

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