Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Today -100: March 4, 1914: Of rangers, women’s suffrage, women cops, war plans, nipped plans, and Americans abroad

Texas Gov. Oscar Branch Colquitt sends an open letter to Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, asking to be allowed to send the Texas Rangers into Mexico. Since the Mexican government has failed to rein in its marauders, it’s up to us, he says. Actually, it’s not clear to me what the T-Rangers are supposed to do when they catch up to bandits. Drag them back over the border for trial? Or just kill them on foreign soil, which seems to be suggested by his approving references to times in the past when the Rangers ranged across the Rio Grande “in pursuit of bandits, marauders, and inflicted chastisement to them on Mexican soil.”

Congress is considering a women’s suffrage amendment to the Constitution. Arguing against, Sen. Nathan Philemon Bryan (D-Fla.) makes the states’ rights argument that California has no more right to say whether negro women can vote in Florida than Florida has to say that Japanese can vote in California. Suffragist witnesses warn of dire consequences which will be inflicted on the Democratic Party by the 4 million women in suffrage states if Democrats block this. And Dr. Mary Walker insists that women already have a constitutional right to vote. Margery Dorman of the Wage-Earners’ Anti-Suffrage League of NY, which I’ve never heard of, says that women’s participation in the world of paid work is only “transitory and accidental” and they lack the experience to cope with government’s problems.

Chicago Police Chief James Gleason removes policewomen who had been sent to deal with a strike by waitresses at a downtown restaurant. He says that evidently women will resist arrest when the cop is female.

The Cologne Gazette claims that Russia is secretly planning for a war with Germany. The plans may not be complete until 1917. (This is not entirely inaccurate: Russia was working, not secretly because how could you, on extending its railroad network to the German border, facilitating troop movements in event of war, and the German military did therefore consider 1917 a sort of deadline, if they were going to have a war with Russia. Ironically, the absence of those rail lines in 1914 meant that it would take a long time to mobilize the Russian army, so they had to make the decision to start mobilizing early if they didn’t want to be over-run if a war started, and when they did so, there were threats and ultimata...)

Confusing Headline of the Day -100: “NIP PLOT TO BRING STRONG OPIUM HERE; Customs Inspectors Find Chinamen Had Arranged to Smuggle in Persian Drug.” At first I thought the NYT had gotten its racist epithets mixed up, but it’s “nip” as in put a stop to. I should have known the NYT would never gets its racist epithets mixed up.

Austria-Hungary sentences 32 Ruthenians to prison for inciting rebellion, by which is meant trying to convert Ruthenians to Russian Orthodox Christianity.

Theodore Roosevelt is not making a good impression in Brazil. Despite receiving lavish hospitality, including Brazil’s president turning over Guanabara Palace and its servants to him for a week, he sent bills for every speech he gave, including one for $3,000 for a short lecture to the Rio Historical and Geographical Society. Also, he kept talking about the Monroe Doctrine.

(Update: or possibly that was all made up??)

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