Saturday, November 28, 2015

Today -100: November 28, 1915: Of rodds, Parisian crime, armbands, and truces

Skirmishes between Pancho Villa’s forces and the US Army on the Arizona border kill 11 of the former. In a later clash with Carranzaists, which was supposedly due to a mistake, one US soldier is killed.

The Berliner Tageblatt said (in a 5-week-old article the NYT is just now reading) that Italy’s government and military are being secretly run by the British ambassador Sir Rennell Rodd (!), exercising his influence on Queen Elena through the royal children’s English nurse.

Émile Marie Laurent, prefect of the Paris police, says crime has almost entirely ceased in Paris since the war began, including murder, burglary and armed robbery. And with buses commandeered for war work, the streets of Paris are much safer. So he’s been focusing on the aspects of la vie parisienne he especially detests: gamblers, drug dealers, and restaurants that have both wine and live music (“not a decent combination”).

The British government is now issuing khaki armbands to men of military age who are doing work exempting them from military service or who have enlisted but not been called up yet. All the better to put social pressure on shirkers.

Pope Benedict plans to ask everyone for a Christmas truce.

Seriously: Sir Rennell Rodd.

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