Friday, October 26, 2018

Today -100: October 26, 1918: This is not the president’s personal war

Woodrow Wilson asks the American public to elect a Democratic Congress, complaining that R’s have “unquestionably been pro-war, but they have been anti-administration” and have tried to take the choice of policy and conduct of the war away from him. He says that this is “no time either for divided counsel or for divided leadership.” Also, foreigners might not understand it if R’s won back either House. Republicans feel this is a betrayal of Wilson’s previous assertion that “politics is adjourned.” Congressional Republicans issue a statement: “This is not the president’s personal war” and the Republican Party “demands its rightful share.” Theodore Roosevelt says Wilson’s appeal shows “that he is a partisan leader first and President of all the people second.” William Howard Taft says “The unified leadership he asks is autocratic power”. Indeed, he, says, Wilson wants a Democratic Senate because they’ll go along with whatever he wants without asking to be consulted. Taft ain’t wrong. NJ Gov. Walter Edge tells the president “you cannot use a war for political profiteering.”

Karl Liebknecht, just out of prison, appears with a few thousand of his closest friends outside the Reichstag to demand that Kaiser Wilhelm be ousted and a republic declared. He is “applauded frantically” and “compelled to enter a carriage filled with flowers”. The time of the people has arrived, he says.

Austrian Foreign Minister Baron Burián resigns. He is replaced by Count Gyula Andrássy, a Hungarian. The Hungarian cabinet also resigns. A provisional government is set up in Prague. Ruthenians proclaim an independent Ukrainian state in the Ruthenian parts of Austria-Hungary.

In the German Reichstag, Polish deputies demand independence, an ethnic Dane deputy demands a referendum in Schleswig on whether it should be German or Danish, and a deputy from Alsace-Lorraine says autonomy for the province doesn’t cut it, it must be either independent or re-join France.

Philadelphia allows churches, synagogues and schools to reopen, over the objections of the health commissioner, but not saloons or theaters. NY Health Commissioner Royal S. Copeland asks the NY Public Library to stop circulating books. The reading rooms are still open, so I’m not quite sure what he thinks is the relationship between books and the spread of Spanish Flu. NYC Mayor John Hylan asks the street-cleaning department to send men to cemeteries to help bury the bodies.

The convention of the New York City Federation of Women’s Clubs’ focuses on the big dangers: German toys are being imported. Mary Lilly, running for the State Assembly (she will win) suggests doing the Boston Tea Party thing with them.

5 “anarchists and avowed followers of Lenine and Trotzky” are sentenced to 15 or 20 years for publishing pamphlets (one turned state’s evidence and got 3 years). They are Russian nationals, so may be deported in, you know, 15 or 20 years.

Two stories today toooootally accurately depict the position of women in Russia:

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