Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today -100: September 30, 1915: Of strikes, wirelesses, conductors, military training, and rainbows

A strike begins at the Pratt & Whitney factories in Hartford for an 8-hour day and overtime pay. The general manager refused to negotiate with workers’ leaders he called transient agitators and new employees unrepresentative of the employees as a whole. At some point no doubt he’ll also claim, as was the custom, that they’re being paid by the Germans, but the truth is that with all the war orders this is a great time for the workers to press demands.

A NYT account of the Battle of Loos, 4 days in, fails to mention, as they all have, the British use of chlorine gas.

A wireless phone call is successfully placed from Arlington, Virginia to Mare Island, California, 2,500 miles away. This should enable the Navy to communicate with ships at sea. (In fact, the message reached all the way to an AT&T mast at Pearl Harbor.)

Headline of the Day -100, Because Inter-Racial Marriage Is Always News:

Arturo Toscanini, the principle conductor of the Metropolitan Opera House, who left for Italy some months ago (originally booked on the Lusitania), won’t be coming back. He actually volunteered for the Italian army after Italy entered the war, despite his age (48) and terrible eyesight. He will later flirt with fascism before sharply breaking with Mussolini, but he won’t return to the US until 1939.

Massachusetts Governor David Walsh wants to introduce mandatory military training for boys at age 14 and to excuse men who serve 3 years in the state militia from paying poll taxes.

D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow is published. It will be prosecuted for obscenity and all the copies seized and burned. It won’t reappear in Britain for 11 years (except for illicit copies of the American edition, published next month).

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