Sunday, June 22, 2014

Today -100: June 22, 1914: Of inheritable blood, flaming brides, and universal peace

The Supreme Court rules on whether relatives of former slaves can inherit their property. The property of non-slaves in Tennessee who died intestate and without children would go to their siblings (rather than their spouse), but when Tenn. passed a law after the Civil War legitimizing slave marriages, it failed to extend that provision to the siblings of former slaves, so in this case the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that ex-slave siblings have no “inheritable blood”; in effect, their kinship was trumped under the law by their former legal status as slaves. The US Supreme Court upholds that ruling.

Luis Cabrera, one of Carranza’s delegates to the Niagara conference – or he would be if Carranza’s delegates were actually at the Niagara conference – says that there will be no compromise with the forces of reaction. He absolutely rejects the Huerta delegates’ insistence on a neutral person being named president: “At the stage which the Mexican revolution now has reached, the only neutral men who remain in the country are, in fact, those who, through fear, lack of patriotism, or indifference to political questions have kept aloof.” The only other prominent men who have stayed out of politics are rich people who are basically, you know, conservative, and hence unacceptable.

The US is happy to see the conference drag out with no result because if it fails the armistice with the Huerta military ends and then what? The Wilson admin has been somewhat heartened by the Carranza-Villa differences, because Villa has increased his power and they think they have more influence with him (I think they’re underestimating his ego and desire to be seen to lead his people to military victory). Carranza’s notes to the mediators earlier in the month have been leaked. They reject the right of the conference to deal with Mexico’s internal affairs.

Headline of the Day -100: “Bride Aflame at Wedding.”

Ironic Headline of the Day -100: “HAS UNIVERSAL PEACE BEEN BROUGHT NEARER?” By that “F-ray” device that can supposedly blow shit up. I’m not sure I entirely follow the argument, but sure, let’s say universal peace was probably achieved sometime around 1914.

Speaking of universal peace, the Baroness Bertha von Suttner, Austrian novelist, peace activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (she was once briefly Alfred Nobel’s secretary), dies while, um, dieting. She’s best known for her 1889 novel Die Waffen nieder! (“Lay Down Your Arms!”), which was soon (August) to be a Major Motion Picture.

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