Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today -100: March 25, 1914: Of volcanos, planning meals in Torreón, cheers against kings, and the double standard

In Naples, panic ensues after some guy says he saw the giant statue of St. Januarius, patron saint of the city, change position and turn its back on Mount Vesuvius. An eruption is therefore imminent, according to idiots.

The Constitutionalists are besieging Torreón and have captured parts of it. Pancho Villa sends a message to the Federal general, asking him to breakfast tomorrow in the town, presumably left-overs from the dinner he boasted he’d be eating in Torreón three days ago. Villa is departing from his usual practice of killing wounded enemy soldiers.

At Henriette Caillaux’s preliminary hearing, she says that she shot Calmette because she was afraid her husband, who is a good shot, would kill him and go to jail. She bought a gun for the first time that morning (and practiced in the gunseller’s basement shooting range) and shot low, she says, just to scare Calmette, somehow hitting him four times. She talks about her “anguish” and “delirium” a lot, which is setting the stage for a crime-of-passion defense, which usually works, at least in Paris and for female murderers.

Other prisoners at Saint Lazare women’s penitentiary (staffed entirely by nuns, I believe) are complaining about the privileges Madame Caillaux’s getting (wearing her own clothes, catered food, a second cell for use as a reception room, etc), and got put in solitary in retaliation.

Gen. Sir Hubert Gough returns to Northern Ireland in triumph, telling the officers of the Third Cavalry Brigade that he has a guarantee – a written guarantee yet – that they will not be used to enforce Home Rule in NI.

Headline of the Day -100 (Daily Telegraph): “Cheers Against the King.” During the House of Commons discussion of the Curragh Mutiny, John Ward (Lib) says that Parliament must decide whether it will make the laws without interference from the king or the army. He paused after “king,” and there was a loud cheering from Irish Nationalist, Labour, and some Liberal MPs, indicating their displeasure with what they (correctly) believe was behind-the-scenes royal interference in the Home Rule Bill, which forced Asquith to allow Ulster that six-year opt-out. The NYT says of the cheering, “Parliament had not witnessed such an obviously hostile criticism of the Throne in the memory of the oldest member”.

Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond says “The Ulster Orange plot has been revealed.” The volunteer army of Loyalists never intended to fight, he says: “The plan was to put up the appearance of a fight, and then, by society influence, seduce the officers of the British army. By this means they intended to intimidate the government and to defeat the will of the British people.”

The London Times editorializes that it is a great mistake to pass laws which people will not obey; it brings all law into contempt. Votes for Women will point out that this is a “frank defence of law-breaking,” which applies as much to militant suffragist methods as to those of Ulster men. Similarly, Lloyd George asks in Parliament what moral right Bonar Law would have, if the Tories took power, to punish suffragettes. And The Suffragette says that if the army is allowed to decide not to move against Unionists, then police, wardresses, and prison doctors can refuse to coerce suffragettes.

A National Organization of Women Suffrage Societies of Canada is formed, bringing together the various provincial groups.

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