Monday, March 24, 2014

Today -100: March 24, 1914: Of the cavalry, the coercion of Ulster, superdreadnoughts, scabs, and Latin

US cavalry and Mexican troops have a brief firefight at the border. The Federales were shooting at a smaller contingent of Constitutionalists who were fleeing into the US, and then at the Americans who met the rebels. When the federals hit some horses, the cavalry fired back.

Brig-Gen Sir Hubert Gough, one of the British soldiers at Curragh who said he’d resign rather than fight against Ulster, is reinstated without having to take back that position. Some of this is just different people in the government working at cross-purposes, and some of them *cough* Secretary of State for War J.E.B. Seely *cough* Irish commander-in-chief Sir Arthur Paget *cough* are just terrible at their jobs, but the Tory press is crowing because it looks very much as if the rebellious soldiers have extracted a promise from the government that the military wouldn’t be used to enforce government policy, Home Rule, in the north of Ireland against rebellious resistance. PM Asquith explains to Parliament that the whole thing was just a misunderstanding. Tory leader Bonar Law says that “the coercion of Ulster is an operation no Government has the right to ask the army to undertake, and in our view an officer who refuses is only fulfilling his duty.” Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald points out that the army hasn’t resisted past orders to shoot down strikers (and Tom Mann went to jail for asking soldiers not to do so).

The US Supreme Court upholds a Massachusetts law limiting minors and women in manufacturing jobs to 10 hours a day, 56 hours a week (since amended to 54).

The US Navy launches its largest “superdreadnought,” the Oklahoma.

Mother Jones goes to the strike zone in Colorado and is rearrested, as was the custom.

Strikers get into a heated gun battle with special deputies protecting scabs at the Gould Coupler Company in Depew, NY. The strikers attack a train bringing scabs into the plant with stones and bullets. Early in the strike, which began three months ago, the company declared the town of Depew hostile and that it would employ no locals, so special trains have been bringing in scabs from Buffalo every day.

The Japanese cabinet resigns over a scandal involving Navy contracts.

Obit of the Day -100: Harry Thurston Peck, L.H.D., PhD, LL D, former professor of Latin at Columbia and author of numerous scholarly books. Fired by Columbia after being sued by his former secretary for breach of promise (he had a pretty racy private life for a Latin prof), despite the fact that the case was dismissed, and blackballed by the magazines he’d previously written for, he sank into hack work and destitution, mental breakdown and, finally, suicide.

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