Saturday, November 22, 2014

Today -100: November 22, 1914: Of unfriendly unhostile acts, free countries, swapped giants, and little lord fauntleroys

Turkey explains why it fired on a US launch in Smyrna.  See, they were just friendly warning shots, warning the launch that the harbor was mined and they shouldn’t enter it.  The Wilson administration is pretending to believe this, although we’re not quite sure what the captain of the Tennessee believes, since he reported the shots as “unfriendly” but also as “not intended as a hostile act,” whatever all that means.  It also seems that US embassy was informed that the port of Smyrna had been closed but didn’t have the means of communicating that information to US Navy ships.

The NYT Magazine asks “Did You Ever Hear of a Free Country Called Moresnet?”  Moresnet was a tiny sort-of-nation between Belgium and Germany, sort of jointly but very loosely administered by both, without a real government or courts.  And (Spoiler Alert) it won’t last long.

Evidently not just Carranza fled Mexico City, but also the entire police force.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Swap Giant for Dwarfs.”  William Hempstead, an eight-foot-tall Englishman stuck in Germany at the start of the war, is exchanged for two Germans who are under two feet tall, and are you fucking kidding me?

Headline of the Day -100:  “LORD FAUNTLEROY,' ORIGINAL, MARRIES.”  That’s Vivian Burnett, the son of novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett, is forever stuck with being called Little Lord Fauntleroy, the effeminate character his mother modeled on him.  Indeed, in 1937 the NYT reported his death at 61 under the headline “Original Fauntleroy Dies in Boat After Helping Rescue 4 in Sound.”

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