Thursday, April 14, 2016

Today -100: April 14, 1916: Necessity is the only limit of Gen. Funston’s authority

A column of US soldiers enter the town of Parral, Chihuahua, 500 miles inside Mexico. They are informed that the town is heavily pro-Villa and are in the process of marching out again when townsmen attack them. The soldiers turn a machine gun on them, killing a few dozen as they retreat.

Secretary of War Newton Baker instructs Gen. Funston to take all steps to protect US troops in Mexico. “Necessity is the only limit of Gen. Funston’s authority.”

Carranza demands the US withdraw its troops from Mexico.

Woodrow Wilson speaks at the Jefferson Day banquet, and for some reason lists the conditions under which the US would enter the European war. US interests would have to be “coincident with the interests of mankind”. He keeps calling the Republicans “provincial.”

Theodore Roosevelt dictates a little impromptu speech to the press, ending “We stand for peace, but only for the peace that comes as a right to the just man armed and not for the peace which the coward purchases by abject submission to wrong. The peace of cowardice leads in the end to war after a record of shame.” He agrees with the Republican policy of a high protective tariff, which many in the party think will be the main issue this election year, but he doesn’t try to hide that the issue bores the crap out of him.

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