Saturday, March 17, 2018

Today -100: March 17, 1918: Hey, Lenin: No Backsies!

The House and Senate vote for daylight saving.

Lenin hints that Russia will break the Brest-Litovsk treaty if circumstances change.

The lower house of the Austrian Parliament is adjourned after a fight between Czech and German deputies, the former complaining that Prague has been without food for days, “including potatoes,” and a German saying that Bohemia was failing to send enough food to German Austria because the Czechs are allies of the British.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Today -100: March 16, 1918: Peace-ish

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets ratifies the peace treaty 453 to 30. Germany says it will appoint commissions to oversee Russian ministries, with the power of veto, to make sure the provisions of the treaty are enacted. Pretty sure that wasn’t in the treaty.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Today -100: March 15, 1918: Who invades what now?

Woodrow Wilson appeals to high school boys to do farm work over the summer.

A meeting on January 6 in Prague attended by all the Czech deputies in the Austrian Reichsrat and the Diets of Bohemia, Silesia and Moravia, and other prominent Czechs adopt a declaration for an independent Czech state. Austria ruthlessly suppressed news of this, which is why the NYT is only hearing about it now.

Tibet invades China.

Sinister Plot of the Day -100: 

A detective asks a magistrate for arrest warrants for all the actors appearing in a play by drama critic Alan Dale, “The Madonna of the Future,” which is about a pregnant unmarried woman who does not wish to get married (“cope with the perpetual man”) (eventually she changes her mind). Chief Magistrate McAdoo will investigate. The play has been running since January and is actually about to close. Update: After reading the play, McAdoo will say that the heroine “repeatedly and tiresomely states over and over again that the doctrines advanced by her are unconventional and, in the sense usually accepted by ordinary people, immoral. She says that her highest ideal of maternity is that of the cow, which might suggest that the proper place for this play would be a stable instead of the stage, committing the dialogue to learned veterinarians.” Everyone’s a critic.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Today -100: March 14, 1918: Of rectification, brotherhoods, conscription, garfields, and naked opera

Austria wants to “rectify” its border with Romania. I’m sure that sounds scarier in the original German.

German troops rectify invade Odessa.

British Prime Minister Lloyd George on food rationing: “I tell you what rationing means. It means that a nation in the furnace of war is becoming more of a brotherhood.”

The US and Britain have negotiated an agreement on conscripting each other’s nationals. US nationals in the UK won’t be conscripted into the British military if they’re older than the US age limit of 31, while Brits in the US can be conscripted up to 40, the British limit. Informally, British subjects born in Ireland will not be conscripted in the US because there is no draft in Ireland, although the Irish already drafted won’t be released.

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, widow of the president assassinated in 1881, dies at 85.

New York Mayor John Hylan objects to nude dancing at the Met (no idea what this is about) and orders Police Commissioner Enright to ensure that “the good people who attend the Metropolitan Opera House do not have their morals corrupted.”

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Today -100: March 13, 1918: Of prohibition, POWs, and inebriates

The NY State Assembly defeats the Prohibitionists’ demand that it ratify the federal prohibition amendment without holding a referendum.

The Rhode Island State Senate defeats ratification but may also authorize a referendum.

Russia’s recently resigned foreign minister, Leon Trotsky, is named president of the Petrograd Military Revolution Committee. Which means he’ll be staying behind while the government moves to Moscow. [Actually, he’ll be People’s Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs].

Austria is reported to be isolating its prisoners of war who are coming home following the Brest-Litovsk treaty, afraid they’ve caught the Bolshevism bug and might spread it back home.

Pehr Svinhufvud, head of state of Finland, runs for his life after escaping the Red Guards, going to Berlin.

The secretary of NYC’s Board of Inebriety resigns. In other news, New York has a “Board of Inebriety.”

Speaking of inebriety, so many Irishmen are in the army that the NY St. Patrick’s Day parade has been forced to allow... women... to march. In other news, the parade this year will not feature the “Fighting 69th.”

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Today -100: March 12, 1918: As an American I had a legal right to keep my seat

Woodrow Wilson writes to the Russian people to tell them how sorry he is about the way Germany is treating them and promising that the US will “avail itself of every opportunity to secure for Russia once more complete sovereignty and independence in her own affairs and full restoration to her great role in the life of Europe and the modern world.” The timing of the message is presumed to intend to reassure Russia about the Japanese intervention in Siberia.

Rep. Henry De Flood (D-Virginia) introduces a bill to bar states from letting enemy aliens who have taken out their first naturalization papers but are not yet US citizens vote, as 10 states do.

A revival of George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession opens on Broadway. Members of the police attend but do not arrest anyone, as they did at the NY premiere in 1905, when they arrested, well, everyone, right in the middle of the performance on the opening (and also closing) night. This version, like the 1905, stars Mary Shaw (no relation).

A Chicago lawyer is arrested in a theatre for failing to rise for the Star Spangled Banner, because he was tired and “As an American I had a legal right to keep my seat.” The judge disagrees and fines him $50 and tells him he’s lucky he wasn’t beaten up. The article neglects to say what the actual legal charge was.

Oh the humanity:

D.W. Griffith’s war movie Hearts of the World, starring the Gish sisters, premieres in Los Angeles.

I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like the same melodrama plot as Birth of a Nation, with German would-be rapists instead of black ones and French troops riding to the rescue instead of Kluxers.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Today -100: March 10, 1918: Only Lenin is left

Leon Trotsky resigns as Russian foreign minister. Ensign Nikolai Krylenko is also out as military Commander in Chief. The NYT, maintaining its track record of perfect precognition regarding Russia, says “only Lenine is left, and he not for long.”

A new anti-Bolshevik White movement pops up, headed by Prince Georgi Lvov (currently in China), who was prime minister after the February Revolution, and Admiral Alexander Kolchak (“The Night Stalker”), former commander of the Black Sea Fleet. They plan to ride into power, in Siberia at least, with the backing of the Japanese.

In Newark, an Austrian is jailed for 10 days for saying “To hell with the United States.” The judge also threatens him with being hanged from a lamppost “if your kind is not careful.”

New Jersey Gov. Walter Edge orders all law officers to enforce the Anti-Loafing Act requiring all men aged 18 to 50 to have some sort of employment, even if they’re too rich to need to work.

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Friday, March 09, 2018

Today -100: March 9, 1918: Of princes and grand duchesses, spring planting, and dead soldiers

Finland’s “government” asks Kaiser Wilhelm to appoint his #5 son Prince Oskar as Finland’s king.

On the other hand, Germany keeps sending princes to occupied Luxemburg to woo Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde, but she keeps refusing to marry them.

Russia issues the demobilization order to its army required under the Brest-Litovsk agreement, but simultaneously orders the arming of the entire people. The treaty needs to be ratified by the All-Russian Assembly of Soviets next week, which isn’t a slam dunk.

Congress passes a bill allowing furloughs for soldiers still in training camps in the US for spring planting.

The US Dept of War has decided to stop releasing the addresses or any other details beyond the names of dead soldiers. The Committee on Public Information, considering it of no use to anyone to give newspapers just a list of names, declines to pass the information on. It points out that some soldiers have the same names as other soldiers, so without an address...

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