Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Today -100: April 12, 1916: Of kiongas, dead villas, driver’s licenses, and primaries

Portugal, which supposedly entered the war a month ago, finally does something warlike, occupying Kionga, a long-disputed area between Portugese East Africa (Mozambique) and German East Africa (Tanzania). And they’ll keep it, until Mozambique becomes independent anyway, so it’s not like Portugal didn’t get something out of World War I.

Rumors have Pancho Villa dying of blood poisoning. Nope.

Rumors have Kaiser Wilhelm’s car blown up by a shell at Verdun while he was visiting the front, but he’s okay. Probably not true.

Automobile manufacturers are protesting NY Police Commissioner Arthur Woods’s proposal that drivers be required to have licenses. Education, not legislation is what will make streets safe, they say.

Another Chinese province, Zhejiang, declares independence.

The Illinois presidential primaries are won by Woodrow Wilson and Sen. Lawrence Yates Sherman of that state. One point of confusion: women in Illinois can vote for most offices but not for delegates to the national conventions. It’s somewhat unclear whether they can vote for their presidential preference, so some do and some don’t.

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