Monday, December 03, 2018

Today -100: December 3, 1918: Of private thoughts or purposes, vacant offices, pogroms, cyranos, ex-kings, and kangaroos

Before setting off for Europe, Pres. Wilson goes to Congress to deliver his State of the Union Address (still not called that). Doesn’t sound like much of a speech: praises soldiers and the American people for their work in the war, wants to reduce taxes but not to pre-war levels, something should be done about railroads but he doesn’t know what, says he isn’t going to the peace talks with any “private thought or purpose” and hopes for the support of Congress and the public. Most of Congress just sits grumpily during the speech.

Sen. Lawrence Sherman (R-Illinois) threatens to introduce a resolution declaring the office of president vacant, evidently permanently, when Wilson goes to Europe. A resolution introduced in the House by William Rodenberg (R-Ill.) would do the same but only while Wilson is out of the country. Sen. Albert Cummins (R-Iowa) proposes that a bipartisan Senate committee go to Paris (uninvited) to keep the Senate informed of all the doings.

The NYT, citing a “well-informed Pole,” says Józef Pilsudski is now the dictator of Poland, arresting Bolsheviks. The NYT’s Pole is indeed well-informed, about that anyway, but less informed is his description of the recent pogroms in Galicia as “fomented by agitators of suspicious origins,” as opposed to plain old anti-Semitic mobs, cops, and soldiers.

French playwright/poet Edmond Rostand, author of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Chantecler” and “Les Romanesques,” dies at 50 of the Spanish Flu (insert runny nose joke here).

The Montenegrin parliament, which is delightfully called the Skupshtina, deposes King Nikola, preparatory to merging the country into Serbia. Nick has ruled since 1860.

Belgium decides that damage and seizures of raw materials and machinery during the German occupation amounted to $1,200,112,000. They’ll be sending an invoice.

Frank Morrison, secretary of the American Federation of Labor, proposes that the US ban all immigration for 5 years.

I’ll spare you the ad on page 6 for The Edwin Chapp Shoe store, which asks the question, “Why Kangaroo For A Gentleman’s Shoe?”

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