Monday, May 23, 2016

Today -100: May 23, 1916: Of aggressive movements for thorough-going Americanism and thorough-going preparedness

Complaints are made that Jews trying to join the National Guard – in New York, yet – are being turned away.

A committee of mainstream Republicans (those who supported Taft rather than Roosevelt in 1912) go to Oyster Bay to tell TR that this time, he’s their man. He says of their action, “I accept it absolutely in the spirit in which you have taken it. You are for me because you regard me as representing and embodying the aggressive movement for thorough-going Americanism and thorough-going preparedness.” One of the delegation is Hiram Bingham III (they just don’t make names like that anymore), who complains that when he was in Peru, “I found the claim to American citizenship won no respect.” The Peruvian government even accused him of stealing gold (as opposed to the thousands of priceless relics he actually did loot from Machu Picchu). Roosevelt says this is because foreigners think the US under Wilson is afraid to fight for its citizens’ rights.

Meanwhile, Justice Charles Evans Hughes refuses, again, to say whether he is a candidate. Although anyone-but-Roosevelters are working hard for his nomination, he doesn’t seem to have communicated with any of them. He is rumored to have said recently that he expects Roosevelt to be the nominee, but this may be a ruse by TR supporters to force him to make a declaration of candidacy or non-candidacy.  The Republican convention is just over two weeks away.

Obit of the Day -100: Artúr Görgei, commander of the Hungarian forces which attempted to win freedom from the Austrian Empire in the year of revolutions, 1848. Since he surrendered in 1849 and wasn’t, you know, executed, although he did spend 18 years in prison, his reputation among Hungarians was not especially good, and he’s kept out of the public eye for the last few decades.

Professors Frédéricq and Pirenne of the University of Ghent have been arrested by the German occupation forces in Belgium and interned in Germany for refusing to teach in Flemish (Germany is trying to widen the divide between the Flemish and the Walloons).

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