Thursday, February 13, 2014

Today -100: February 13, 1914: Of suffrage splits, smashing the British Empire, and English mustaches

Christabel Pankhurst sends a letter to the press about the split with her sister Sylvia. She says that the Women’s Social and Political Union is not a propaganda organization but a fighting organization (that is, they’ve stopped caring about what the public thinks and their activities are now exclusively directed at pressuring the government), so it must have one policy, one program, and one command. “Only by fighting them [the government], not by appealing to them, can women maintain their self-respect,” she rewrites in today -100’s The Suffragette.

British suffragettes burn down a library, and Mexican rebels blow up a train.

A British Labour Party amendment to the King’s Speech asking the king to veto the South African government’s attempt to indemnify itself for having illegally deported strike leaders is rejected by Parliament. Colonial Secretary Lewis Harcourt defends the “autonomy” of British colonies; efforts like this to interfere with it would “smash the British Empire.”

The House of Lords votes for an amendment demanding a referendum on Irish Home Rule.

Blind Senator Thomas Gore (D-OK, Gore Vidal’s grandfather) is being sued for $50,000 by a Mrs. Minnie Bond, for an alleged attempted sexual assault on her when she lobbied him for a job for her husband (who was once married to her bigamously).

The commander of the Kaiser’s Guard Corps bans the toothbrush (or “English”) mustache: “the modern fashion of wearing the mustaches as a trifling tuft of hair under the nose is unsuitable for Prussian soldiers and irreconcilable with the true German character.”

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