Thursday, August 21, 2014

Today -100: August 21, 1914: Of triumphal entries, bayonet teeth, unimportant occupations, neutrality, and black popes

Venustiano Carranza enters Mexico City in triumph, occupies the National Palace, does the balcony thing, etc.

William Randolph Hearst is in negotiations with Tammany Hall to be the Democratic candidate for US senator from New York.

The Germans are said to be using bayonets with teeth on ‘em, the better to tear your skin.  On the other hand, Prussian bullets are extremely pointy and so are more likely to pass through bodies cleanly and not need to be extracted.

Belgian troops are retreating before the massive German influx.  The British embassy in the US claims that because the government had already left Brussels and the city was undefended, its occupation by the Germans “is not of great importance.”  The Brussel√®√®rs might disagree.

Fog(gy Demographics) of War of the Day -100: The German government is evidently circulating the claim that there are 33 million people of German descent in the US, so it will never go to war against Germany.

China, believing for some reason that if Japan gets hold of the German colony of Kiautschou, it might decide to keep it rather than handing it back to China like it says it will do – eventually – suggests that Kiautschou go instead to the United States, which would give it to China.

Germans from German East Africa (aka Tanganyika, now Tanzania) raid British Kenya and steal some cattle.

The US issues another neutrality proclamation, this one for the war between Germany and Belgium.  A reminder that this is still officially a bunch of separate wars.  Austria, for instance, hasn’t declared war on Belgium yet, but will in a day or two.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Germany supposedly shot a blind Alsatian bishop as a spy.

Unlikely Headline of the Day -100: “Death of Pope May Aid Peace.”

The Vatican is asking the warring European countries whether they will allow the cardinals to go to Rome to elect a new pope.  Presumably they will, but will be less accommodating to the guys who need to come to Rome to elect a new head of the Jesuits (who is called a Black Pope)(whoops, Wikipedia says that term is derogatory) to replace the one who died at the same time as Pope Pius.  That election may need to await the end of the war. (Spoiler Alert: it won’t.)

IWWer Becky Edelson is released from prison on a bond collected by her friends who were afraid she’ would fast to death.  Supposedly she has hunger-struck for 37 days and not been forcibly fed.

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