Monday, October 31, 2016

Today -100: October 31, 1916: Numerical superiority and danger exist only for the weak

Erich Ludendorff, head of the German army, pooh poohs the vast Russian army: “Numerical superiority and danger exist only for the weak. Who objects against fate ought better to object against himself. A firm will commands fate. There is no blind fate.” Worst... fortune cookie fortunes... ever. Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg adds that France is “exterminating lives by their method of fighting. All their tenacity will be of no avail, for in the end there will be none of them left.”

Woodrow Wilson denies that there was ever any proposed “postscript” to his note to Germany about the Lusitania, telling them to ignore its warnings.

The British say that German flying ace Oswald Boelcke was shot down by a Brit. He wasn’t.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Today -100: October 30, 1916: Aces high, then not so high

The killingest German flying ace Oswald Boelcke dies after a collision with another German plane the day after downing his 40th Allied plane. He was 25.

Charles Evans Hughes puts out a statement of “My Conception of the Presidency.” A lot of it is about preparing for the trade war that will inevitably follow the end of the European war. He wants to wage this war with tariffs and government cooperation with business, while the Wilson administration, he says, treats “the business men of this country as though they were suspicious characters. ... In four years it has put this country further on the road to class war than has been accomplished in a generation before.”

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Today -100: October 29, 1916: Proud mothers of a nation of heroes or mothers of a race of degenerates?

Australian voters reject a referendum proposal to bring in conscription, despite the government, in a Texas-level attempt at voter suppression, authorizing polling officers to question young male voters about whether they’d registered for the possible draft like they were supposed to do. Before the vote, Prime Minister Billy Hughes says that Germany would never dare put issues like this to the vote, and notes that Australian women are voting – “Will the women of Australia be the proud mothers of a nation of heroes, or stand dishonored as the mothers of a race of degenerates?” The latter, evidently. Hughes’s Labor Party is so divided on the issue that in a couple of weeks it will expel him.

With the US presidential race well into the traditional last-minute-sliming stage, Republicans led by Henry Cabot Lodge are accusing Woodrow Wilson of appending a postscript to one of his notes to Germany about the Lusitania telling them not to take its strong anti-Lusitania-sinking language seriously. According to the story, he had to delete it because members of the Cabinet threatened to resign.

Headline That Sounds Dirty But Really Isn’t of the Day -100:

Louis Marshall Ream, heir to the Ream millions, had his marriage to a chorus girl annulled, but she gets a NY Supreme Court justice to un-annul it.

Headline That Sounds Dirty But Really Isn’t of the Day -100:

A horse, as it happens. A horse named Bondage. Bondage was ridden by Ball and beat Tragedy at the Potomac Handicap. There are probably less pleasant ways to arrange the words “bondage,” “ball,” “handicap” and “tragedy” in a sentence.

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Today -100: October 28, 1916: Who is responsible for the Armenian Genocide? The answer might surprise you.

I mentioned that Margaret Sanger opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn. Astonishingly, it took 10 full days for it to be raided. Sanger, her assistant, and her sister are all arrested. Emma Goldman is also arrested, in a separate incident, for giving out birth control information.

Ernest von Koerber is appointed the new prime minister of Austria, replacing the assassinated Count Karl von Stürgkh.

The ban on street lights in Halifax, Nova Scotia is ended, with no more explanation than was given for the ban.

Remember that thing about black voters supposedly being imported into northern states to vote Republican? The Justice Dept is now ordering US attorneys (at least the one in Louisville) to track black people moving from the South to the North and take down their names, origins and destination. I’m not sure how they’re supposed to do this.

Germany says it will start holding captains of merchant ships from Allied countries as prisoners of war, claiming that they are fair game because they’re under orders from their governments to spy.

Turkish Foreign Minister Halil Bey says the Armenians have only themselves to blame for the, you know, genocide.

In other news, Turkish Foreign Minister Halil Bey can go fuck himself.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Today -100: October 27, 1916: The business of neutrality is over

Music is broadcast over the wireless, from the laboratory of the Columbia Graphophone Company. It was heard, apart from a few interruptions by the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s storm warning broadcasts, at the Hotel Astor, which is like two whole miles away.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt responds to Charles Evans Hughes’s remark that “we must pay less attention to punctuation and more to targets” by accusing him of “casting a veiled aspersion” on the Navy. But what about the veiled aspersion he cast on punctuation, Franklin? WHAT ABOUT THE PUNCTUATION?

Speaking of punctuation...

Headline of the Day -100:

Ack, “old-time”! They’re everywhere! 

Other lines from Roosevelt’s speech: “I am being held up to the American people as a bloodthirsty being, when, as a matter of fact, I am a peaceful literary man.” “If a person lets the idea get abroad that slapping his face is a safe and healthy amusement he is liable to have a lot of trouble.”

Woodrow Wilson says this is the last war that the US can keep out of, that wars are now fought on such a scale that “the business of neutrality is over.” In future wars. Not this one. We can totally keep out of this one.

An attempt by the pro-German “American Independence Conference” to line up German priests, Catholic and Lutheran, against Hughes in the Midwest did not go well, and now Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee Sebastian Gebhard Messmer bans priests having anything at all to do with politics.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The US War Department issues a statement that it has information that “enemies of the Administration’s policy toward Mexico” have arranged for an attack at a border point sometime before the election in order to influence voters to vote against Wilson. Some hours later they clarify that they didn’t mean Republicans, they meant Mexican politicians opposed to Carranza.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Today -100: October 26, 1916: Not too proud to get kicked

Between Norway banning German u-boats from its territorial waters and German u-boats sinking a lot of Norwegian ships recently – a lot – the two countries seem to be close to war.

I’m not sure if Roosevelt is making more speeches on Hughes’s behalf than Hughes is making, or if Hughes’s speeches are just so dull that they’re not being covered, but from the newspaper coverage you’d think Roosevelt was running for president. His speeches are certainly much more anti-Wilson than they are pro-Hughes, who he barely mentions. In a speech in Nebraska, TR says that a man who is “too proud to fight” is not too proud to get kicked, and the same is true of nations. More than two years into the Great War, with literally millions of people dead, and Americans still sound like they’re talking about a school-yard scrap. And again Roosevelt blames Wilson’s too-proud-to-fightism for the Lusitania and the deaths of Americans in the Mexican civil war.

The presidential race is neck and neck:

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Today -100: October 25, 1916: Let him not vote for me

Henry Ford will pay female employees on an equal basis, following an “inspiring” conversation with Woodrow Wilson.

Headline of the Day -100:

Or indeed, anyone “whose allegiance to our flag is not single and complete.”

On the other hand:

Not helping the “Wilson Kept Us Out of War” meme, two US officers are killed in the Dominican Republic, you know, the country Wilson invaded (one of several countries Wilson has invaded).

Hughes refuses to take any position on prohibition.

The Sun accuses Woodrow Wilson of using the word “very” too often, which it says is a sign of femininity.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Today -100: October 24, 1916: At least when he dodged the draft, he did it en pointe

The London Times says the British government is considering changing the election laws to allow proxy votes for military personnel on active service.

Charles Evans Hughes’s story is that when he met Jeremiah O’Leary and the other pro-Germans, he had never heard of O’Leary before.

Republicans counter-charge that it’s actually the D’s who are going after the hyphen vote, that they are in fact putting out campaign literature in... gasp... German.

Theodore Roosevelt says that Wilson not firing Secretary of War Newton Baker shows that Wilson “in his heart believes that Washington was no better than Villa or Carranza”.

Women voters are expected to tip the balance in the presidential election in Illinois, but neither party knows how to deal with that.

Russia demands that the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, currently touring the US, return to join the army, or be declared a deserter (actually, he was declared a deserter in 1911 for not doing 3 years of military service). In 1915 Austria interned him as an enemy alien, and he was released only after promising not to bear arms.

The mayor of Eckernförde in Schleswig-Holstein bans the peeling of potatoes. 3 months in jail or a fine. They take food shortages seriously in Eckernförde. Also potatoes.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Today -100: October 23, 1916: Of secret racial organizations, comparative rebels, and assassins

The Allies are now demanding that Greece remove all its troops from Thessaly and hand over to the Allies those troops’ military supplies.

The DNC accuses Charles Evans Hughes of making a secret deal with Irish- and German-Americans. Hughes admits having met with the American Independence Conference (which the DNC calls a “secret racial organization... a weapon of vengeance and force against Anglo-Saxon influence”), but says there was no deal.

The Daughters of the American Revolution demand the resignation of Secretary of War Newton Baker for supposedly saying that Pancho Villa’s followers are just like George Washington’s soldiers at Valley Forge, who were also big ol’ thieves (which Baker denies saying).

Friedrich Adler says he assassinated Austrian Prime Minister Count Karl von Stürgkh because he refused to recall the parliament, which hasn’t met since several months before the war began. Austrian authorities are already trying to portray him as a lunatic, because they’d really prefer to commit him rather than let him speak at a trial.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Today -100: October 22, 1916: Everyone is justified to use force when the laws are destroyed

Count Karl von Stürgkh, the authoritarian minister-president (prime minister) of Austria (but not of Hungary) since 1911, is assassinated in a Viennese restaurant by Friedrich Adler, 37, son of Victor Adler, the founder of the Austrian Social Democratic Party. Friedrich, a publisher, was upset that his anti-war writings were censored. At his trial, he will say that his act of killing was exactly the same as the war which Stürgkh waged without the permission or consent of the Austrian people; “Everyone is justified to use force when the laws are destroyed,” Adler says. After a delayed trial he will be sentenced to death but the emperor will commute his sentence and then release him altogether, which is a little odd if you consider that this whole stupid war started because of an Austrian assassination.

Adler was also a physicist and a friend of Albert Einstein. Freddy will stay active in Socialist politics, fleeing Austria in 1938. He’ll then live in exile the rest of his life, first in New York and then Switzerland, dying in 1960 at 80. His father’s political career doesn’t seem to have been affected: he became foreign minister in the last days of the war, and died of a heart attack on the last day.

Stürgkh will be replaced by a series of short-lived minister-presidents, five over the next two years.

If it’s Sunday, it must be the Sunday New York Times Magazine’s special English Authors Prettying Up the War issue. There’s H.G. Wells’s “Italy’s Picturesque Mountain War” and Rudyard Kipling writing about British destroyers in the North Sea looking for German u-boats, which is just like fox-hunting, he says. Just like it.

Congressional elections in Mexico tomorrow. Only Constitutionalists are eligible for office. And no secret ballot.

German soldiers have been given a letter they’re supposed to mail to their relatives, asking them not to send any depressing news from home because it would just be a “drag” on the army – “many a letter speaks of discouragement, a feeling to which we would remain foreign; we at the front ignore the meaning of the word discouragement.” The German Army is especially annoyed that letters from home describing the hardships of daily life have been found on POWs and published by the Allies.

The letter makes interesting reading, although the translation comes from the London Times, which has been known to be less than trustworthy in this regard – in 1917 it will accuse Germany of rendering soldiers’ corpses to produce glycerine based on a deliberate mistranslation. Anyway, the letter refers in passing to “the hypocrisy of the United States, who is merely playing the ignoble role of moneylender.”

Theodore Roosevelt gets in a debate/shouting match with hecklers in Gallup, New Mexico about the 8-hour day, Mexico, etc. And then there was this exchange, which I’m a little confused by:
“Didn’t yet let the Japs sit beside our children in the schools of California?” 
“Ha! I sent the battle fleet [the “Great White Fleet”’s round-the-world tour of 1907-9] around the world to protect just such men as you against the Japs.”

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Today -100: October 21, 1916: Of chief inspectors, u-boats, blackouts, and legions

A French officer has been appointed “chief inspector” to the Greek Interior Ministry. He will have approval over all orders to police.

Hindenburg yesterday, and Ludendorf today, ask Germans who are agitating loudly for unrestricted submarine warfare to knock it off.

The Canadian military orders a nighttime blackout for Halifax, Nova Scotia, for some mysterious reason. Fear of zeppelin raids? They’re not saying.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The Allies are claiming that the Central Powers’ Polish Legion has mutinied and most of its members imprisoned.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Today -100: October 20, 1916: Of banners, Standards, quarantines, and klucks

Members of the National Women’s Party picket a Woodrow Wilson speech in Chicago, but the crowd tears up their banners (“Wilson is against women,” “Wilson prevented the passage of suffrage amendment”, etc).

Inside, Wilson says that the function of women will be “the element of mediation, or comprehending and drawing all the elements together. It is the power of sympathy, as contrasted with the power of contests.”

In another Chicago speech (or possibly the same one? not worth going back to check), he tells immigrants not to be so... foreign. He says the US can help in the settlement of the Great War because Americans come from all stocks and can “interpret the thought of the world [and...] the needs of the future.” I’m not sure if he realizes that he’s assigning the US the same place in the world as he assigned to women in politics.

The Bayonne Standard Oil strike breaks up when American-born workers desert their immigrant (mostly Poles) compatriots.  Standard offered nothing, but will “investigate” any grievances – except those involving pay.

The Harvard football team is quarantined (well, confined to campus) after a half-back comes down with suspected polio.

German Field Marshal Alexander von Kluck retires, at 70, to the doubtless disappointment of British soldiers, who sang songs about him.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Today -100: October 19, 1916: Of inconsistent principles and polio

Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond introduces a resolution in Parliament declaring that the treatment of Ireland is “inconsistent with the principles wherefor the Allies are fighting in Europe”. He demands immediate Home Rule, the ending of martial law, and the release of prisoners from the Easter Rising (500 still held without trial).

As there were “only” two polio deaths in New York yesterday, the health commissioner has decided the epidemic is over and will stop issuing daily reports.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Today -100: October 18, 1916: A surrender can’t be repealed

A heckler asks Charles Evans Hughes if he would repeal the Adamson Act, the law which established the 8-hour day in the railroad sector. Hughes says a surrender can’t be repealed. He says if he’d been faced with a threatened rail strike as Wilson was, he’d have appointed a commission so impartial and so fair that neither side would have gone against its recommendations. Oh, Charles Evans, you’re just too pure for this wicked world.

Woodrow Wilson fails to get the belligerents to agree a plan to allow relief supplies into Poland.

The Justice Dept is investigating claims that Republicans are “colonizing” Southern negroes into Illinois and Indiana to register to vote, although Illinois law requires one year of residence to register. However, the article also notes that many of them are taking meat-packing jobs formerly held by immigrants who have returned to Europe to fight, so maybe this is just normal economic migration and racist D’s then, like racist R’s now, just automatically equate black people voting with voter fraud.

Under some sort of deal with Germany, Switzerland bans exports of munitions to the Allies if those munitions are made using German coal or steel.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Today -100: October 17, 1916: Of provisional governments, lynchings & laudings, operatic menaces, newsprint, and obedient wives

The Allies recognize Eleftherios Venizelos’s “Provisional Government,” although possibly only in Crete?

The NYT has its first picture of a tank.

Two black men are lynched in Paducah, Kentucky. One is accused of attacking a white woman, the other supposedly “lauded” the first’s attack.

Headline of the Day -100:  

There’s a newsprint shortage in the US, so the FTC asks big-city newspapers to cut down the size of their Sunday papers, so as not to put smaller newspapers out of business.

The Episcopalians refuse to remove the word “obey” from the marriage vow for women.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Today -100: October 16, 1916: Babies vs. dogs

Princeton University is under quarantine after a freshman dies of polio.

Margaret Sanger opens a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brooklyn.

Norway has banned armed submarines from its ports and Germany’s afraid other neutrals will follow suit.

The train of pro-Hughes women continues its campaign tour. In Medford, Oregon, Democratic women planned to bring stray dogs to greet them, but Republican women arranged to bring babies to the train station, because politics.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Today -100: October 15, 1916: Let the enemy crush his head against a wall of iron

Kaiser Wilhelm visits the troops on the Eastern Front. He tells them “Let the enemy crush his head against a wall of iron. God help you in this great work.” They respond, “So we’re like the wall in this scenario?”

Charles Evans Hughes insists that his “doctrine of firmness” will not lead to war, while Wilson’s policies of weakness and vacillation will.

40 opposition members of the Hungarian Diet who are in the military, including their leader Count Karolyi, are being sent to the front. This seems to be retaliation by the army for their criticism of its mishandling of the war.

Australia will hold a referendum on whether to introduce conscription.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Today -100: October 14, 1916: And we’ll keep it broken

The Allies demand control over the Greek police, the banning of Greeks carrying arms, and the export of wheat (which is currently prohibited) from Thessaly.

The Greek Navy’s sailors will be turned into an army. When the Allies seized the Navy, the king gave them the option of staying with their ships under French command, but none did.

Bayonne, NJ police break the Standard Oil strike, as was the custom. “We got this strike broken, and we’ll keep it broken,” says Commissioner of Public Safety Henry Wilson.

Greek King Constantine still opposes Greece going to war on the Allied side. He says Romania is about to fall and then, if Greece declares war, the full might of Germany would fall on it.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Today -100: October 13, 1916: Tall, with a wealth of red hair

The first mention in the NYT that a woman, Jeanette Rankin, is running for Congress. It’s an editorial but it provides rigorous political analysis:

And that’s all the coverage she’ll get in the Times until the votes are being counted.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Russia accuses Germany of dropping poisoned candy and cholera-infected garlic (can you actually infect garlic with cholera?) on Constanza, Romania.

Headline of the Day -100:

He says that when the German embassy put ads in the paper warning passengers, he would have threatened to break relations with Germany, so they wouldn’t have sunk it. Er, he knows the u-boat that sank the Lusi was already at sea, right? And before that, he says, he would have had a State Department that commanded respect around the world.

Eleftherios Venizelos’s self-styled Provisional Government will soon issue orders mobilizing the army.

Otto I, the former Mad King of Bavaria, who reigned from inside his padded throne room from 1886 until he was deposed in 1913, dies.

Woodrow Wilson’s train backed into a crowd in Indiana, but no one was hurt. One woman was saved by Secret Service agent John Q. Slye.

In other news, Woodrow Wilson had a Secret Service agent named John Q. Slye.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Today -100: October 12, 1916: We want peace that is honorable, that squares with the dignity of American manhood

France seizes the Greek Navy. And we hear again that the Entente is offering nothing to Greece to induce it to enter the war. Not sure why they’re so determined to treat Greece as a vassal rather than a potential partner.

Charles Evans Hughes says as president he would favor no nation, but uphold the rights of neutral countries. Denying that a Republican victory would mean war, he says “We want peace, but we want peace that is honorable, that squares with the dignity of American manhood. We can have that sort of peace a great deal more easily than we can have the other sort of peace, which borders on the cowardly and the loss of the self-respect of the nation.”

Woodrow Wilson seems to have decided that the U-53’s sinking of ships off the US shore doesn’t violate any of Germany’s promises.

Dr. Maxime Ménard of the Hôpital Cochin in Paris receives the Legion of Honor for his work with x-rays in locating shrapnel in soldiers. Oh, and for losing two fingers to cancer in the process. One on each hand; I have been unable to ascertain which fingers.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Today -100: October 11, 1916: It is not necessary to swing to the maudlin

Armed striking Standard Oil workers are marching around Bayonne, NJ, closing off entire districts and shooting at cops and scabs.

New York Gov. Charles Whitman, speaking to the American Prison Association’s annual congress, indirectly addresses the resignation of Sing Sing warden Thomas Mott Osborne: “In swinging away from the brutal, it is not necessary to swing to the maudlin.” Superintendent of Prisons James Carter says the practical – he emphasizes the word practical – features of Osborne’s system will be retained.

Theodore Roosevelt blames Woodrow Wilson for the German u-boat attacks off the US’s Atlantic coast, because of course he does. Wilson should have stood up to Germany and done... something... right at the start of the war when it invaded Belgium.

Sarah Bernhardt arrives in New York. She will play Cleopatra, but has promised the French prime minister not to perform in anything partisan, like Edmond Rostand’s anti-German play “Les Cathedrals.” Don’t know what that’s about.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Today -100: October 10, 1916: Of u-boats, bullfights, and retaliation and brutality

There is much talk about what the US can and should do about u-boat activity off its shores. The government thinks none of the sinkings off Nantucket constitute a violation of either international law or Germany’s pledges to limit submarine warfare.

Carranza bans bullfighting in Mexico.

As I may or may not have mentioned, Charles Evans Hughes’s campaign has a trainload of women supporters going around making speeches. The DNC has been alerting locals to expose them as wives of Wall Street and Big Business types (and William Randolph Hearst’s mother).

Thomas Mott Osborne, the reforming warden of Sing Sing, resigns, accusing NY Gov. Charles Whitman of acquiescing in the legal persecution of Osborne and breaking “every promise he ever made to me” and of preferring “the old system of retaliation and brutality.” Osborne accuses the superintendent of prisons of interfering with his reforms without giving them a chance to work (most recently banning lifers who were trusties from leaving prison walls).

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Sunday, October 09, 2016

Today -100: October 9, 1916: Of u-boats and gomperses

U-boats sink several ships off the East Coast of the US. One of those u-boats is the very same U-53 that just left port in Rhode Island. Seriously, what was the point of that? It didn’t even take on provisions, just dropped off one letter. The US Navy is busily rescuing survivors. The war has now reached the Western Hemisphere.

Britain will protest to the US for allowing the U-53 to leave dock, an act Britain considers unneutral because it allows the sub to interfere with the shipment of munitions from the US to Britain. There’s a flaw in that logic somewhere, I just can’t put my finger on it.

Samuel Gompers complains to Mexico about Carranza’s recent decree abolishing the right to strike and declaring striking treasonable and punishable by death, no less.

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Saturday, October 08, 2016

Today -100: October 8, 1916: Maybe soon, maybe never

Germany plans to court-martial two captured British pilots for using tracer bullets. Britain explains that everyone uses tracer bullets for machine guns, including zeppelins, and hey we captured the crew of a zeppelin just last week and it had tracer bullets, so....

A German u-boat docks in Newport Harbor, Rhode Island, to everyone’s surprise. Evidently it made the 17-day voyage just to deliver a letter to the German ambassador to the US, which the captain asks an AP reporter to pop in a mailbox for him. Supposedly the letter is about relief campaigns in Poland, but rumors that the kaiser is asking Wilson to mediate peace inevitably spread. Under the rules of war, the sub can stay in port one day (Britain disagrees with this, saying that submarines are different from ships). Fregattenkapitän Rose says “We expect to reach home maybe soon, maybe never.” Spoiler Alert: He will reach home. During the war, the U-53 has or will sink around 88 ships.

Woodrow Wilson says that the Republicans lack a united set of proposals. “The only distinct definitions of purpose come from the collateral branches of the family” i.e., Teddy Roosevelt, who “professes opinions and purposes at which the rest in private shiver and demur.” Fair enough.

Mihály Károlyi, leader of a Hungarian opposition party, demands the end of the war, or at least Hungary’s participation in it, and for the emperor to dismiss the government of Count István Tisza, which “obtained its majority by corruption and does not represent the nation”.

Germany denies deliberately infecting prisoners of war with tuberculosis.

The NYT says that Russian military censors have allowed all sorts of calumnies about Jews to be published (cowardice as soldiers, evading military service, responsibility by treachery for military defeats, secret agents of the Germans, Jewish doctors maiming wounded soldiers, etc), while suppressing anything that praises the bravery of Jewish soldiers or contradicts the anti-Semitic lies.

Germany is reportedly interested in re-establishing the Vatican as a temporal power (making it independent of Italy).

Headline of the Day -100:

Oh, go fuck yourself, AP reporter who wrote this.

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Friday, October 07, 2016

Today -100: October 7, 1916: Madness, ruin, and disaster

Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond says he doesn’t think the government is insane enough to try to introduce conscription in Ireland: “in that way lies madness, ruin, and disaster.” Which sounds like a typical Friday night in... nah, I won’t go there.

Orville Wright will not renew his British patent monopoly when it expires in March, as his contribution to the British war effort. In five months.

Headline of the Day -100:

You do you, Mother Jones, you do you.

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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Today -100: October 6, 1916: There is as much fight in America as in any nation in the world

The first lawsuit is filed under California’s 1913 Alien Land Law. The state’s assistant attorney general is trying to seize a house purchased by the Harada family in Riverside.

Since it was bought by the Harada parents in the name of their three American-born children, who are US citizens, the purchase will be ruled (in 1918) as legal. So that’s a nice loophole.

Headline of the Day -100:

“The war,” Wilson says, “has obscure European objects which have never been disclosed. Europe must understand that before we exert the force of this nation we want to know what we are exerting it for.” He says that after the war there needs to be a league of nations to preserve peace.

Mother Jones leads a crowd of female relatives of striking NYC carmen in destroying a street car.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Today -100: October 5, 1916: Have you tried texting them?

Greek King Constantine will form a government of national unity including the Venizelos crowd. The Cabinet resigns to allow this to happen, although their official statement also cites as a reason that they haven’t been able to get in contact with the Entente powers’ representatives.

Corporal Adolf Hitler is seriously wounded by a shell on the Somme. He will be a couple of months recovering, during which he will return to Germany (Berlin and Munich) for the first time in years and will be appalled by the low home-front morale, which he will blame on the, oh you know who.

Tsar Nicholas issues a decree dissolving the marriage of his sister the Grand Duchess Olga to the homosexual Duke Peter of Oldenburg. They were married 15 years, since she was 19. This form of divorce allows her to remarry, which she will do almost immediately to someone who actually was willing to fuck her, which Duke P never did. She’ll be one of the Romanovs to survive the Revolution, emigrating with her husband to Denmark, then Canada, where she died in 1960. Peter will also remarry, another Olga.

A black woman is lynched in Leary, Georgia. She was part of a quarrel during which her son shot and killed a white farmer. He’s still in jail.

An idea is spreading in Britain that after Germany’s inevitable defeat it should be punished in the peace treaty for sinking all those ships by having its own ships seized as compensation on a ton-by-ton basis.

Headline of the Day -100:

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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Today -100: October 4, 1916: Of hatred, polio, and hand-shaking

Headline of the Day -100:

Sensible sentiments – revenge would sow the seeds of future wars, consult reason and passion, you can’t ban a whole people for all time to come, etc – but a bit laughable coming from Bryce, the man who wrote the propaganda report accusing Germany of fictional war atrocities to gin up anti-German passion and revenge.

Russia gets its fifth Interior Minister in a 10-month period. Outsiders aren’t sure what’s going on.

The feds think the polio epidemic is over and are ending inspection of interstate travel originating in New York City.

Taft and Roosevelt shake hands. After all reporters had been removed from the room. They did not speak, beyond “How d’you do?” or somesuch. Definitely worth a front-page article.

Japanese Prime Minister Okuma resigns, supposedly because of his age.

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Monday, October 03, 2016

Today -100: October 3, 1916: Of ellises, POWs, and golf

Edith Ellis, the novelist, feminist activist, and lesbian wife of sexologist Havelock Ellis dies, having caught a cold watching a zeppelin raid (that’s not quite right, but never mind).

Jamaica doesn’t go ahead with a conscription bill after all, because the governor decided it would be too expensive. The House of Assembly votes to ban enemy aliens from having any business in Jamaica for 20 years after the end of the war.

Germany sent 10,000 French POWs to Russia in retaliation for France sending its POWs to North Africa. Now both sides are backing down.

William Howard Taft is down to a fighting weight of 266 pounds, 100 pounds less than when he was president. He says it’s all due to golf. I presume he’s on an all-golf-ball diet now. Very high in fiber.

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Sunday, October 02, 2016

Today -100: October 2, 1916: Of zeppelins and palaces

Britain shoots down a zeppelin north of London, the fourth in the last month. Searchlights, better guns, and experience are making the air raids unproductive for Germany.

The Vatican complains to Italy after it seizes the palace in Rome used by the Austrian ambassador to the Vatican.

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Saturday, October 01, 2016

Today -100: October 1, 1916: There is only one choice as against peace and that is war

Woodrow Wilson gives a speech accusing the Republicans of wanting war in both Europe and Mexico. After all, they’re saying that his foreign policy is all wrong, and “There is only one choice as against peace and that is war.” The logic is impeccable.

Theodore Roosevelt says of Wilson’s May 1915 “There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight” speech that “In all our history there has never been any other American president who has used a phrase that has done such widespread damage to the good name of America.”

German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg’s speech a couple of days ago in the Reichstag declaring that any German politician failing to support the use of all means to shorten the war deserves to be hanged is being taken as signaling the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare.

Emperor Iyasu V of Ethiopia (age 21) is deposed amid rumors that he had converted to Islam (he’s also excommunicated), and replaced by his aunt Zewditu Menelik. Iyasu will make trouble for a few years before being captured. He will die in 1935 during the Italian invasion, possibly killed on the orders of Haile Selassi to prevent him being used as a puppet by the Italians.

Thanks to the polio epidemic, there aren’t enough children to pick cranberries in New Jersey.

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