Thursday, March 26, 2015

Today -100: March 26, 1915: The boat is too big for them to rock

I guess someone got tired of Karl Liebknecht, the German Socialist member of Reichstag, criticizing the war and the army: they’ve drafted him, disregarding his parliamentary immunity. (Or not.)

Turkish troops invade the American Presbyterian Mission in Urumiah, Persia, where thousands of Christians are seeking refuge, and hang an Orthodox bishop and four bishops, kill 60 refugees, and seize young women.

Speaking of missionaries, President Wilson addresses the Southern Methodist Conference on that subject and on war. He says some people are trying to “rock the boat,” i.e. get the US into the war, but “The boat is too big for them to rock. They are of such light material that they cannot rock it very much, but they are going through the motions, and it is just as well for them to look around once in a while and see the great steadfast body of self-possessed Americans not to be hurried into any unconsidered line of action, sure that when you are right you can be calm, sure that when the quarrel is none of yours you can be impartial, sure that the men who spend their passion most will move the body politic the least, and that the reaction will not be upon the great body of American citizens, but upon themselves.” He says the “great moral forces of the world” act like the newly invented airplane stabilizers.

Speaking of rocking the boat, a German U-boat sinks a Dutch steamer, the Medea (!), which was sailing for London with a cargo of oranges.

Charles Mahaley, charmingly described by the LAT as a “negro quack doctor,” claims to be responsible for former president Taft’s weight loss. He is fined $100 and sent to jail, presumably for negro quackery, although the LAT fails to explain what he was convicted for.

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