Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today -100: April 19, 1914: Why should I take Wilson’s orders?

Huerta sends a note to the US saying that he refuses to take orders from Pres. Wilson to fire a salute on behalf of the Mexican nation when Wilson doesn’t even recognize him as president of that nation. Wilson has set a deadline of 6 p.m. today, Mexico City time (which is 7:40 D.C. time) after which he will go to Congress to ask it to authorize military action, which will involve at the very least seizing Mexican ports and establishing a “belligerent blockade,” which is different from a “pacific blockade” in that it involves stopping ships from other countries.

It’s not quite War of Jenkins’ Ear silly, but this is a threat to go to war to force a country to fire a salute to the US flag. Mexico would be happy to do so if assured of a return salute, and the US would be happy to return the salute, but won’t agree to do so as a condition, because Mexico is totally at fault and should be offering a... wait for it... “unconditional salute,” and because signing a protocol would be a tacit recognition of the Huerta regime as a government, as opposed to some random group of Mexicans the US is demanding fire cannons.

Unconditional salute. Sheesh.

The Constitutionalists have kept pretty quiet about this whole thing until now, since on the one hand they’re happy to see Huerta humiliated but on the other would rather not see an American military intervention. Pancho Villa, for whom keeping quiet is not a natural state, now says it’s Huerta’s ox being gored. He reckons Huerta, being a coward, will give in to the US. But if there is a war between the US and the Huerta regime, Villa will keep Americans and other foreigners safe within his territory.

Graf Charles von Wedel resigns as governor of Alsace-Lorraine, as a result of the military-civilian clashes in Zabern last year.

Henry Ford orders his employees not to live in tenements or crowded rooming-houses and not to take in boarders. He wants them to buy homes. So Ford increased their pay, but is telling them how they have to spend it. “We will give every one time to correct his living conditions,” or be fired. He now has 45 investigators interviewing all his employees about their living conditions, religion (why? is there some religion Ford doesn’t approve of?), leisure pursuits, bank savings, etc.

An article in the NYT Sunday Magazine says that nation-wide prohibition is closer than people realize. Half the population of the US already live in dry territory.

Suffragettes burn the Belfast Corporation’s tea room. A tea room? Now they’ve gone TOO FAR.

Headline of the Day -100: “Roosevelt Guide Insane.” The guy who helped TR in his pell-mell race down the Adirondacks when he heard McKinley had died.

Orville Wright has been keeping some inventions under his hat while waiting for the results of his patent-infringement lawsuits. Having won those, he now brings out a new airplane stabilizer, which will help prevent all those sudden dives. So I guess he knew how to prevent all those recent plane crashes, but was waiting until he was sure he could money out of it.

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