Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Today -100: January 12, 1916: Of train massacres, champagne massacres, conscription, and continental armies

Mexican bandits (associated with Pancho Villa, but that isn’t yet known) stop and rob a train in Chihuahua and kill 17 American employees of mining companies operating in Mexico (on properties owned by the estate of the late, alliterative Potter Palmer of Chicago). They were going to reopen mines since the Carranza regime assured the companies that everything is safe now.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Not as slapstick as it sounds.

The Progressive National Committee decides to hold the Bull Moose convention at the same time and in the same city as the Republican convention, to facilitate a possible deal on a joint candidate, even if it’s not Theodore Roosevelt.

In the British Parliament, Irish MPs drop their opposition to the conscription bill, which does not apply to Ireland but they’re still voting on it: “Send the fooking English off to die? Yes, please.” Edward Carson of the Ulster Unionist Party pleads for Ireland to be included in the bill and for the Nationalists to support that. Curiously, he doesn’t make a case for conscription in just the Ulster provinces. Funny, that. Irish Secretary Augustine Birrell says the reason the government didn’t include Ireland was the impossibility of setting up local appeals tribunals there.

One group of people you’d expect to have immunity from conscription but who won’t: members of Parliament.

Rep. James Hay (D-Virginia), chairman of the House Military Committee, says he opposes Wilson’s idea of a Continental Army.

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