Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Today -100: September 22, 1915: I always say to these idiotic Yankees that they had better hold their tongues

Anthony Comstock, crusader against smut and general all-round asshole, dies at 71. Some of the “smut” he fought against included the works of Boccaccio, Zola and George Bernard Shaw as well as medical textbooks, some of which he banned from the US mails from his position as postal inspector, and of course anything relating to birth control. Most recently he hounded Margaret Sanger out of the country and put her husband in jail.

Germany is still claiming that the Hesperian was sunk by a mine rather than a German torpedo. Britain is sending the US government what it says is a fragment of the torpedo.

More of Austrian Ambassador Dumba’s letters, seized by the British from his courier, are made public. One to the Austrian foreign minister says it is pointless to continue complaining about US munitions sales to the Allies because of the “self-willed temperament” of Pres. Wilson. Dumba talks of the slave-like conditions in the steel factories and suggests commissioning an exposé novel along the lines of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. He also has plans to send agents into the Bethlehem steel factories to “work in secret among their fellow workers,” and to hire soap-box orators and subsidize foreign-language newspapers.

Also leaked to the press: Germany military attaché Capt. Franz von Papen’s letter to his wife: “I always say to these idiotic Yankees that they had better hold their tongues.” The future chancellor of Germany, ladies and gentlemen!

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