Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Today -100: October 9, 1918: He deems the answer to these questions vital from every point of view

Woodrow Wilson sends a reply to German Chancellor Prince Max. Oops, sorry, “It is not a reply, it is an inquiry,” says Secretary of State Robert Lansing. Specifically, Max is asked if Germany accepts the 14 Points (as opposed to negotiating over them) and whether he speaks “merely for the constituted authorities of the empire who so far have conducted the war.” As opposed to who?

The NYT doubts the sincerity of German moves towards peace and democracy, moves which the Stuttgarter Neues Tageblatt says were authorized by the Military High Command. Is the NYT (and indeed Woodrow Wilson) expecting an election in Germany before it’s allowed to ask for peace?

Kaiser Wilhelm a couple of weeks ago told German soldiers in Alsace that “we” would defend with the last drop of “our” blood Alsace-Lorraine, “which belong to us and which the Almighty has intrusted to us to administer as his stewards, and we shall keep them for the benefit of their inhabitants and the glory of God. ... Our enemies cannot and will not succeed. We are under Divine protection.”

Headline of the Day -100: 

Turkey may or may not also be asking for peace, but part of Turkey, the province of Smyrna, definitely is, sending emissaries to Athens with some sort of offer.

The NYT is disappointed that NY women aren’t registering to vote in large numbers. On the first day of registration, 31,000 men registered in Manhattan and only 10,000 women, with similar numbers in the other boroughs. The Times admits it was opposed to women’s suffrage, but now it is a duty to vote: “The women who refuse to vote should recognize that by staying at home they actually increase the vote of the unintelligent or the vicious... Every woman who has the public welfare at heart should vote, whether it is distasteful to her or not, and every man should urge this as a positive duty upon the women he can influence.” Trust the NYT to end an editorial about women voters with a call to the mighty power of mansplaining.

This is a recording made on this day and released as a gramophone record before the end of the war of the Royal Garrison Artillery firing gas shells near Lille. Not all that exciting, but it is the only known sound recording of World War I. Recording engineer Will Gaisberg dragged his equipment to the front and breathed in some of the poison gas himself, which may have contributed to his death next month from Spanish Flu.


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