Saturday, February 15, 2014

Today -100: February 15, 1914: Of quiet revolutions, coal taxes, opium, phineases, and champers

Headline of the Day -100: “Quiet Revolution Occurs in Portugal.” Which is good, because Spain was trying to sleep.

A House sub-committee investigating labor troubles in the mines hears about a tax levied by the Colorado mine owners on themselves, 1¢ per ton of coal to pay for guards and whatnot. C.L. Baum, president of the alliterative Consolidated Coal and Coke Company of Colorado, talks about the whatnot: “If any of my money was used for the purchase of machine guns and ammunition I assume the responsibility.” J.F. Welborn, president of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (in whose mines 17 miners died in 1913, 20 in 1912 and 22 in 1911) claims that his employees weren’t particularly friendly to the vice president of the United Mine Workers when he visited. The UMW lawyer questioning Welborn asks if he would go to the Ludlow tent colony (striking miners were thrown out of their company houses) and ask the men who their friends are. “Not without the militia,” he replied.

Some Chinese provinces have announced the death penalty for opium smokers.

If a man died in 1914 leaving a will which bequeathed $75,000 to his adopted son on the condition that he divorce his present wife, remarry, and become a “sober and industrious man,” is it at all surprising that his name was Phineas C. Kingsland? No it is not.

Headline of the Day -100: “W.J. Bryan Almost Drinks Champagne.”

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