Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Today -100: March 5, 1919: His gluttony for the limelight is well known. Delicious, delicious limelight.

Giving a pro-League of Nations speech at the Met, Woodrow Wilson says criticism means nothing to him, because “there is no medium that will transmit them,” whatever that means. Demonstrating that spirit of flexibility and compromise for which he is known, Wilson wonders how the critics of the League “can live, and not live in the atmosphere of the world... and I cannot particularly imagine how they can be Americans and set up a doctrine of careful selfishness thought out in the last detail.” After being played onto the stage with “Over There,” he promises not to come back from France until the peace talks are over, over there.

The 65th Congress comes to an end, not having finished much of its business thanks to a filibuster by Senators Lawrence Sherman (R-Ill.), Joseph France (R-Maryland), and Robert La Follette (R-Wisc.). Lost bills include the General Deficiency Bill to pay old bills and fund the government’s control of the railroads; army and navy appropriations; repeal of daylight savings; a 4-year ban on immigration; prohibition enforcement; and a revised women’s suffrage constitutional amendment. Pres. Wilson says he won’t call a special session, because he’ll be back in France until June and “it is not in the interest of the right conduct of public affairs” for Congress to work while he’s not around to (cough) cooperate with them. Or, as Sen. George Moses (R-New Hampshire) puts it, “His gluttony for the limelight is well known” and his “dogged refusal to summon Congress, save when and as he pleases, is... due to his desire to monopolize the center of the international stage, and to close the only national forum available here for the voicing of opposition to the proposed constitution of the League of Nations.” It’s funny because it’s true.

Spartacists seize the police hq in Berlin. The general strike’s demands include recognition of workers’ and soldiers’ councils (or soviets, if you will), reversal of the re-establishment of the military hierarchy, disbandment of the Freikorps, the creation of a Red Guard under the soviets, the release of all political prisoners, and trial by revolutionary tribunal of various Hohenzollerns and generals and whatnot.

Headline of the Day -100:

A Jewish delegation meets Polish President Józef Piłsudski and Prime Minister Paderewski to ask them to stop the pogroms. They both decline to do anything. Piłsudski says the Jews are hostile to Poland. Asked for proof of this, he says there is none but that’s the general feeling.

Headline of the Day -100:

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