Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Today -100: December 1, 1915: Worst Christmas tree decorations ever

A gunpowder explosion at a DuPont plant near Wilmington, Delaware kills 31. For some reason the workers in the packing plant were all aged 16 to 21. The Western Newspaper Union News Service reports: “From every tree left standing in the neighborhood there was hanging either pieces of flesh or parts of clothing worn by the unfortunate men.” The remaining workers had to pick up all those bits and bobs.

Does this explosion have anything to do with a poster campaign to get German & Austrian workers at the plant to quit? It would be irresponsible not to speculate. DuPont says the cause may never be known, since everyone in the packing plant was, you know, blown to tiny pieces. In fact, DuPont’s powder plants have explosions of a pretty regular basis.

Kaiser Wilhelm is visiting Vienna and it would be irresponsible not to speculate that he’s there to persuade the ancient Austrian emperor not to make a separate peace with Italy.

IWW organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is acquitted on a charge of inciting violence during the Paterson silk strike of 1913. The jury disbelieved police witnesses about Flynn’s language (the cops all remembered the same words about forcing scabs out of the factories by force but somehow failed to remember anything else at all from her speech) and believed her witnesses.

British newspapers are now refusing Ford automobile ads because of Henry F’s anti-war activism.

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