Monday, June 26, 2017

Today -100: June 26, 1917: Of pickets and prohibition

The situation in front of the White House is escalating, with 12 suffragists arrested yesterday. Notably, only one of them is married.

Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore opposes the prohibition clause in the food bill.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Today -100: June 25, 1917: It would be better for you to face ten German bayonets than one tigree mother of Russia and the curse she lays upon you

Headline of the Day -100:

The Russian Women’s Battalions of Death issue an appeal/threat: “And you others, soldiers in name but Judases in fact, who are selling Russia to the foe, know that the time will soon be at hand when it would be better for you to face ten German bayonets than one tigree mother of Russia and the curse she lays upon you.”

Germany orders that all publications discussing questions of public interest be submitted to military censorship.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Today -100: June 24, 1917: The soviets are getting a little uppity

The Pan-Russian Congress of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Soviets votes to dissolve the Council of the Empire and asks for the Duma to be dissolved as well. Or I guess dissolve itself, since it was the czar who used to do that. The soviets don’t actually have the authority to dissolve anything, but hey.

The House passes the Food Administration Bill 365-5, with the surprise inclusion of an amendment banning the production of liquors during the war and authorizing the president to seize all existing stocks.

The Justice Dept bans pro-German newspapers printed in Mexico from entering Texas.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Today -100: June 23, 1917: Loud and boisterous talking is the worst kind

The Chicago City Council begins moves to impeach Mayor Big Bill Thompson. He is considered pro-German, won’t help raise the Liberty Loan, and wasn’t nice to Balfour when he came to town. Thompson tries to adjourn the Council, but it refuses to go.

Two of the White House women’s suffrage picketers, Lucy Burns and Katherine Morey, are arrested with a banner displaying only Woodrow Wilson’s words about democracy and people having a voice in their own government (who thought there would be ironic protest banners in 1917?). They are charged with obstructing traffic, unlawful assemblage, and “loud and boisterous talking.”

Germany officially divides Belgium into two bits, Flemish and Walloon.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Today -100: June 22, 1917: Of former kings, women’s battalions of death, pickets, and who owns the news

From exile, former Greek King Constantine I says he’s still the king.

The NYT has an AP article on the Russian Women’s Battalion of Death, a source of endless interest to the Western press, although not enough interest that they don’t mangle the name of its “girl commander,” “twice wounded girl officer” (she’s in her late 20s) Yashka Boshkareva. Boshkareva points out that the battalion still uses the disciplinary system of the tsarist army, with none of that soldier self-government stuff. And yes, they shave their heads.

The Associated Press wins a lawsuit against Hearst’s International News Service, which was stealing its news stories. It’s an interesting legal decision, by the 2nd Circuit Court, in that news is held to be property. News is evidently something distinct from facts.

Suffragist pickets outside the White House are again attacked by angry mobs.

The Maryland House of Delegates votes down women’s suffrage 56-41.

The FTC recommended that the railroads, coal mines and coke producers be run by the government. Big Business is not best pleased, nor by the administration’s attempts to keep prices on raw and manufactured goods down or the president’s new powers to embargo the export of any products he likes.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Today -100: June 21, 1917: America Is Not A Democracy

Headline of the Day -100:
As a delegation from Russia visits the White House, a suffrage banner hoisted by the National Woman’s Party’s White House picketers informs them (in English), “President Wilson and Envoy Root are deceiving Russia. They say, ‘We are a democracy. Help us win a world war, so that democracies may survive.’ We, the women of America, tell you that America is not a democracy. ... Help us make this nation really free. Tell our Government it must liberate people before it can claim free Russia as an ally.” Reporters are on hand, having been told this was coming. Crowds tear the banner apart, because freedom, to the annoyance of police who wanted it as evidence. No arrests are made, though police warn the suffragists there will be if they do it again. They will do it again. A lot of Washingtonians are quoted disapproving of the banner, none in favor. Rep. Jeanette Rankin, a former suffrage activist herself, expresses no opinion either way, which is disappointing.

Russia indicts government officials from the Czarist era, including former Prime Minister Boris Stürmer and various cabinet ministers and governors. The most interesting charge is against former Interior Minister Alexander Protopopov for stealing the original telegraph dispatches between Rasputin and the czar and czarina. 

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Today -100: June 20, 1917: Of women’s suffrage, fecking rioting, and German titles

The British House of Commons votes 214 to 17 for women’s suffrage, on an unequal basis. Even former Prime Minister Asquith votes for it. Efforts to expand the provision to women below the age of 30 are turned down.

The release of Irish political prisoners is celebrated in Dublin by rioting, as is the custom. Actually, the article calls it rioting, but it sounds much more like ordinary or garden-variety demonstrating. The Sinn Fein flag is hung on the wreckage of the Central Post Office. The police don’t intervene until 2 in the morning, which does seem to be the time to tell the marching bands to go the feck home.

Did I do that right? Feck?

King George is forcing all the princes and princesses of his large family who are English subjects to drop any Germany titles (lookin’ at you, Prince Louis of Battenberg).

The Austrian Cabinet resigns because the Polish deputies in the Reichsrath are now joining other Slavs in refusing to vote for the war budget.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Today -100: June 19, 1917: This disagreement will be resolved by a Marx Off to see who can interpret Marx faster, probably

The All-Russian Congress of all Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviets calls for a new treaty with the Allies aligning their war aims and rejecting a separate peace with Germany. Lenin is not pleased, and calls War Minister Kerensky’s call for a new offensive treason to international socialism. Kerensky accuses Lenin of misinterpreting Marx.

102 US coal corporations and 51 persons associated with them are on trial for conspiring to fix prices.

Annie Besant, the Theosophist leader who will soon be president of the Indian National Congress, is banned by British Indian authorities from lecturing, publishing, or participating in meetings. Also her letters will be censored and she’s banned from Madras City.

Irish political prisoners jailed after the Easter Rising are released. This is partly to make sure the Irish Convention goes ahead, partly to keep the US sweet. Also released are Sinn Feiners who organized a banned meeting on June 9th to protest against the imprisonments; a police inspector was killed as police broke up the meeting.

An Army training camp for negro officers opens. It’s in Iowa, because of course it is. White officers will train the negroes, who will run segregated negro regiments.

Haiti breaks relations with Germany.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Today -100: June 18, 1917: Meet Countess Sofia Panina, the woman pioneer you’ve never heard of

Headline of the Day -100:

When a Frenchman has to find something nice to say about an American, but he’s just so... American.

The Russian Duma votes for starting an immediate military offensive. Why that required a secret session is unclear.

Also, the Russian government is joined by a new Assistant Minister of Social Tutelage (aka State Welfare), Countess Sofia Vladimirovna Panina of the Kadet Party, the first woman cabinet minister in any country ever. She plans for her staff to consist mostly of women. The Bolsheviks will put her on trial, and she will spend the last decades of her life in exile.

An independence movement is growing in Catalonia.

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