Sunday, March 02, 2014

Today -100: March 2, 1914: Of bentons, hatpins, clippers, and burning nuts

Gen. Carranza, who has been very quiet up til now about the murder/execution of British rancher William Benton, decides to scuttle Pancho Villa’s agreement for a US-UK commission to examine the body. It certainly looks like Carranza and Villa are conspiring in a cover-up here, but relations between the two have recently deteriorated sharply after Carranza finally realized that no one really thinks of him as the leader of the Constitutionalist movement any more, or thinks about him much at all, given Villa’s constant self-promotion and military successes. Carranza says he won’t report to the US on the death of Benton, but only to Britain. The problem here, and he knows it, is that the UK recognized the Huerta Junta. The British ambassador to Mexico rather haughtily asks why he should be asking the rebels and not the government about the killing. Oo, oo, I know, I know, call on me: because the rebels did it and because they did it in Juarez, where the Federals have no authority whatsoever. Do try to keep up, Sir Lionel.

In a letter to the NYT, suffragist Harriot Stanton Blatch gives another great reason why women’s suffrage is necessary: hat pins. The Paris police have been trying to stop the proliferation of stabby hat pins with no success. Blatch says this is “another painful illustration of the fact that men cannot discipline women.” Men also haven’t been able to get women to stop wearing slit skirts or feathers in their hats. Women will only be civilized (her word) if they are ruled by “the wise and good of their own sex.”

The US will recognize the coup government in Haiti.

Travel in 1914 wasn’t all state-of-the-art zeppelins and monoplanes and jalopies: a clipper ship gets caught in storms and takes 162 days to make the voyage from San Francisco to New York. It had a cargo of barley, so totally worth it.

Headline of the Day -100: “Firemen Sickened by Burning Nuts.”

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