Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today -100: July 29, 1915: Of a Haitian recall election

Haitian Pres. Vilbrun Guillaume Sam is dragged out of the French embassy and killed, his body torn apart and dragged through the streets by a presumably angry mob. US marines are landed, their mission to protect American and other foreign lives and then quickly leave the country.

In 1934.

Capt. Karl Boy-Ed, German naval attaché in Washington by day, head of espionage & sabotage operations in North America by night, says that Germany won’t change its submarine warfare policy or even “condescend to reply” to Woodrow Wilson’s note until he protests just as vehemently against British violations of neutrality. (Or not: the German ambassador will say that the Providence Journal made up the whole interview.)

Evidently when William Jennings Bryan resigned as secretary of state, he appropriated his desk as a souvenir. I say his desk, but it had actually been the desk of all the secretaries of state for the previous 50 years. The NYT has an acidly sarcastic editorial (my favorite kind of NYT editorial) on the subject.

A coroner’s jury in Chicago rules that the capsizing of the Eastland is the fault of the Eastland’s captain and engineer, the general managers of the steamship company and the company leasing it, and two federal inspectors who passed the ship for passengers early this month. It recommends they all be charged with manslaughter.

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