Friday, September 05, 2014

Today -100: September 5, 1914: Who wants me?

The British Home Office urges that neither work nor relief be given to young single men.

1st appearance of the iconic Kitchener  poster (the model for those Uncle Sam Wants You posters).  Notice how his mustache follows you wherever you go.

Cardinal Mercier, the archbishop of Malines (Mechelen), Belgium, can’t return home from Rome after the conclave that chose the new pope, because the Austrian ambassador to Rome refuses to grant him safe passage unless he denies reports of German atrocities in Belgium.

Switzerland is relaxing and standing down its militia.  Given how badly Germany bogged down in Belgium while violating its neutrality, the Swiss do not think it will now do the same to Switzerland’s.

A NYT editorial attributes the rise of Democratic prospects in November, when until recently a Republican landslide had been expected (in these days before polling, it’s unclear how the NYT is judging electoral prospects), entirely to the European war making petty criticisms of Wilson look petty and putting jingoistic criticisms of Wilson’s relatively cautious approach in Mexico into a new perspective.
Headline of the Day -100:  “MACHINE GUNS IN ACTION.; British Soldiers Tell of the Terrific Execution They Do.”  Terrific.

Although Venustiano Carranza has been calling himself the Provisional President of Mexico for a year, he has now stopped calling himself that, because under the constitution a provisional president can’t run for election as Fully Fledged 100% We Really Mean It President.  The NYT asks, if Carranza isn’t president, who is?  “It is not customary for Mexico to be without a President. She frequently has two at a time.”  And will again.  Soon.

Headline of the Day -100:  “American Spunk Needed.”  The NYT thinks Americans have enough of the stuff to replace various chemical products which had been imported from Germany.

On the remains of the destroyed German cruiser Magdeburg, Russians find cats-o’-nine-tails in officers’ cabins, “and all bore signs of hard usage.”

The good news for Parisians is that the government is providing free trains for them to flee the city.

Supposedly, prayers for the success of Germany and Austria have been ordered said in every mosque in Turkey, which is believed to be the first time Muslims have ever prayed for Christians, or something.

In Britain, the Union of Democratic Control issues a circular letter calling for the end of secret diplomacy, for peace negotiations after the war to reflect the views of people rather than governments (the “Democratic Control” in their name), etc.  This was intended to be low-profile; the letter even says, “When the time is ripe for it, but not before the country is secure from danger, meetings will be organised and speakers provided”.  Ironically, attacks on it by MPs and the Morning Post as a German conspiracy forced the group to go public to explain itself.

Headline of the Day -100 (L.A. Times):  “Antwerp Sees Zeppelin.”

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