Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Today -100: March 11, 1914: You can get another picture, but you cannot get a life

In the National Gallery in London, Suffragette Mary Richardson slashes Velasquez’s Vensus at Her Mirror (aka the Rokeby Venus)

in protest at the treatment of Emmeline Pankhurst. She tells the cops who arrest her: “You can get another picture, but you cannot get a life, as they are killing Mrs. Pankhurst.” And in a statement sent to the WSPU she said, “I have tried to destroy the picture of the most beautiful woman in mythological history as a protest against the Government for destroying Mrs. Pankhurst, who is the most beautiful character in modern history.” In court, she tells the judge, “You must surely see that you cannot administer the dead letter of the law against the spirit of the new letter as manifest in the Suffragette!” Richardson claimed in her 1953 memoirs that she got permission for this action from Christabel Pankhurst. She explained, “I had to draw the parallel between the public’s indifference to Mrs. Pankhurst’s slow destruction and the destruction of some financially valuable object.” Certainly the act shocked a British grown jaded by mere arson.

The National Gallery will be closed until further notice.

(The painting, which took multiple serious-looking cuts, has been pretty much fully restored.)

Meanwhile, Mrs Pankhurst is removed from Glasgow to London, with a large number of cops necessary to thwart plans to rescue her by suffragettes in London, and suffragettes who rode to London on the same train.

The NYT says that the British government is getting what it deserves for its earlier “foolish tolerance” – arrests, imprisonments, forcible feeding, the Cat & Mouse Act, you know, tolerance – of the “harridans called militants.”

The London Times, due to the grave political situation (Ireland, not women’s suffrage), is temporarily reducing its price to 1p.

It seems that Clemente Vergara’s body was recovered from Mexico not through a sneak invasion by the Texas Rangers but through the power of bribery. Also, initial reports that Vergara’s hand was burned were wrong.

Germany demands an increase to three cardinals in the Catholic Church.

The German stock exchange drops due to rumors of a war between Russia and Germany.

The Colorado militia invades the tent city of striking miners near Ludlow. All strikers without wives or children are ordered to leave. The union says the colony is on land leased by the union.

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