Friday, January 01, 2016

Today -100: January 1, 1916: Happy 1916!

The British armored cruiser Natal blows up in harbor in Scotland (Cromarty Firth). The NYT says “The loss is generally attributed to foul play” but in fact it was just an accident with the munitions. Around 400 dead.

There’s a race war in Early County, Georgia. It’s a bit one-sided, as was the custom, with 1 dead white guy and 9 dead black people. Whites are coming in from Alabama because everyone enjoys a good race war.

Henry Ford’s peace pilgrims arrive in Denmark, only to find that any public meetings discussing the war are banned there.

Prohibition goes into effect in Iowa, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arkansas and South Carolina. There are now 19 dry states.

William Waldorf Astor, the expatriate American social-climbing hotel guy, is made a baron. He is only the second American to enter the British House of Lords, ever. The other is the 12th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, who inherited his title as opposing to buying it (as everyone snarks that Astor did). The NYT notes that Astor, despite having twice served in the New York state legislature and as US ambassador to Italy, has become more and more Anglophilic since moving to the UK, going so far as to write a sonnet on the London fog, that “enveloping goddess in opaque raiment.” His son’s wife Nancy Astor (another Yank) will become the first woman MP.

Another new peer: D.A. Thomas, the coal dude who survived the Lusitania sinking, is now Baron Rhondda. This will become more interesting when his daughter inherits his title and tries to enter the House of Lords.

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