Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today -100: July 16, 1914: I hate the man, but he is no coward

Huerta resigns. Francisco Carbajal, foreign minister for five days, succeeds him as provisional president, basically acting as caretaker until the rebels show up.

resignation (which I think was read to the Mexican Congress only after he’d already skipped town) blames the success of the rebellion on US interference, in particular that of “the Puritan,” as he calls Woodrow Wilson. Congress votes 121 to 17 to accept the resignation.

The NYT is also eager to claim credit for Wilson: “the Mexican revolution has been won – not in the riven republic, but at Niagara Falls, at Washington. Woodrow Wilson is the restorer of peace in Mexico, not by invoking the horrors of war, but by virtue of reason among nations.” They actually think the Niagara conference accomplished something.

Pancho Villa, who really does not understand Huerta at all, believes the resignation can only mean that Huerta intends to lead his military forces in person. “I hate the man, but he is no coward”. You know, Villa has definitely called Huerta a coward more than once in the past.

Headline of the Day -100: “Cruisers Ready for Huerta.” Evidently he’s moving to San Francisco to explore his sexuality. No, wait, the cruisers in question are the German ship Dresden and the British ship Bristol, both heading for Puerto Mexico to compete for the dubious honor of taking the dictator into a booze-soaked exile. Also going into exile are Gen. Blanquet, some other former officials, and Gen. Joaquin Maas, who says that Huerta was so displeased that Maas was sending his wife and mother out of the country that he ordered him to leave too.

The Mississippi Pearl Button Company is suing the river steamboats to prevent them playing calliope tango music during working hours, because the “girls” employed in their button factory always stop and dance.

Germany’s Crown Prince Wilhelm writes to Frobenius, a former colonel, praising his pamphlet “The German Empire’s Fateful Hour,” which predicts that France and Russia will attack Germany in 1915. A minor scandal ensues.

The French Socialist Congress meets. Leaders of the center and right wing of the party, including Guesde and Herve, believe that the plan of stopping a European war (a purely hypothetical war, no one actually sees World War I coming) through a general strike is impracticable. It would be better to work to improve Franco-German relations, they say, especially by Germany easing tensions by granting autonomy to Alsace-Lorraine.

The House of Lords defeats the Plural Voting Bill, which would end people owning property in multiple parliamentary constituencies being able to vote in each of them.

Two suffragettes horsewhip Thomas McKinnon Wood, Secretary of State for Scotland, until his “stalwart butler” saves him. Then he went to luncheon at the Drones Club, I’m assuming.

Another World War I day on TCM this Friday, an entire 24 hours. Includes Abel Gance’s J’Accuse, evidently the silent version; Myrna Loy as a German spy in what sounds like a terrible movie (Stamboul Quest); Lawrence of Arabia; Gallipoli, which I remember as good but which the presence of Mel Gibson may now taint irredeemably; and the big kahuna of WW1 films, Grand Illusion.

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