Friday, August 05, 2016

Today -100: August 5, 1916: Of fines, scythes, polio, and guardsmen

Brussels refuses to pay the 5 million mark fine imposed by the occupation authority after Brusselites celebrated the Belgian national holiday. The acting burgomaster says that patriotic sentiment is not illegal.

Kaiser Wilhelm does a photo op (I’m not going to bother looking for the photos) of himself helping reap the harvest, “wielding a scythe in the rye fields with the muscular expertness of a peasant.” Willy had only one working arm, so I call bullshit. The food dictator, Adolf Tortilowitz von Batocki-Friebe, says the crisis is over and cities are actually complaining that they’re receiving way more potatoes than they can actually eat. Again I call bullshit: Germans can eat a lot of potatoes. I mean A LOT of potatoes. I mean ALL the potatoes.

The New York City polio death toll breaks 1,000.

Alexander Emerson of Boston, a member of the Massachusetts militia, refused to take the oath of the National Guard when the state militias were federalized for the Mexican emergency, and was jailed. A judge says he was within his rights and orders him released.

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