Saturday, January 20, 2018

Today -100: January 20, 1918: Of constituent assemblies, idle Mondays, and peace talks

The Russian Constituent Assembly meets and elects Viktor Chernov of the Social Revolutionary (SR) Party chair rather than the Bolshevik candidate. Chernov tells a reporter he doesn’t think the Bolsheviks will dissolve the Assembly. The Bolsheviks and Left SRs pull out after the Assembly refuses to give the Lenin government veto power. Armed sailors posted by the Bolsheviks loom threateningly and occasionally tell the delegates to go home.

Fuel Administrator Garfield agrees to allow theatres, cinemas, pool halls, bowling alleys and other places of amusement where booze is not sold to remain open on Idle Mondays – but they have to close on Tuesdays.

The Best-Litovsk peace talks are suspended, again. Germany is willing to commit to referenda in Poland, Lithuania and Courland about whether they want to be absorbed into Germany, within a year after the end of the war, but won’t commit to not occupying those areas militarily while the referenda are conducted.

Would you like to read an article in the Sunday NYT Magazine section entitled “Vivisection’s Many War Achievements”? Yeah, me neither.

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