Friday, December 16, 2016

History: The Year is 1917

I've uploaded year 1917 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The German Plot to Invade the USA -- Really. The public is so outraged when the plan is revealed that it pushes the US into the war.

The October Revolution Begins in February -- The great Soviet experiment begins. You know how it ends.

The East St. Louis Massacre -- This is both a race riot and a union riot. The unions look like turds in this one... big turds.

Notable Births -- John F. Kennedy, Carl Karcher, Arthur C. Clarke and Jane Wyman.

In Other News -- The 100-inch reflector telescope, Rutherford splits the atom and the Lions Club is founded.

The German Plot to Invade the USA

Seriously. Germany cannot win this war, but they have not yet lost it. Great Britain has cut off Germany's food supply, so the German U-boats need to get aggressive against British shipping, but if they do that, the USA will come into the war. The Kaiser believes that German-Americans will rise up against President Wilson, but German agents within the USA know that this is a mistaken assumption, badly mistaken. The Kaiser also believes that Mexico will fight for Germany due to the recent US acts of war against Mexico, and the threat of Japanese invasion... "The Yellow Peril" as he puts it. (He really thinks this. Honest.) A telegram is sent by German Foreign Secretary Zimmermann to their ambassador in Mexico informing him of their plans and to ask for Mexico's help. In exchange, Germany will help Mexico take back Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. (The Mexicans have their hands full with a civil war right now. They pass.) Meanwhile, the Brits are tapping the telegraph lines. They decode the Zimmermann Telegram, and through intrigue, pass it on to the USA. It is published, and the public goes wild. A lot of German pubs in the USA suddenly change their names to "The Swiss Gardens", if you know what I mean. It's war! [1] [2][3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It has been difficult not to shout vulgar words during these history segments. These guys sound insane, but we are the product of those who survived.... those who were less insane. When it became clear that the German Navy was kaput, the admirals (mostly old-time aristocrats) planned to go down in a blaze of glory. The German sailors didn't like that plan. Now you know why so many people have disdain for the aristocracy. Don't get me wrong. The aristocracy has it's place. Preferably some place cool and dry, and out of the sun. [5]

The October Revolution Begins in February

  • "Rivers of blood," they say. Let us analyse this aspect of the question as well.
--Lenin in 1917, comparing death through revolution to death in a senseless war. [6]
It is February. Over a thousand locomotives lay dormant, their boilers frozen and burst at the seams. The Russians on the home front (a new turn of phrase) have had enough. Food strikes, and work strikes have turned into riots. The people want bread, and meat and a life! Their military has been tossing young lives away like leaves in an autumn wind. Well... winter has come. Time's up. Emperor Nicolas the 2nd orders his troops to clear the streets of the rioters, so the St. Petersburg garrison is called out: 170,000 young men... farm boys, really. Their officers are unknown to them being mostly transients recovering from war wounds. The order comes to fire into the crowd. One regiment refuses. Another turns its rifles on the officer and shoots him instead. It's mutiny. By March 12th the streets of St. Petersburg are deadly quiet. 25,000 troops have joined the rebellion. By nightfall that number more than doubles. The Emperor orders the suspension of the Duma (that's the parliament) and edges out the door. The Duma judges that law and order have been suspended... therefore... the Emperor's order is invalid! Duma rules! The city is in the hands of the revolution... sort of. [7] [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
You'd think a little revolution would be enough, but the Duma attempted to maintain Russia's previous obligations... like fighting in the war. Bad move, Duma. The Russians held their ground, but refused to advance. It was chaos. By October, V.I. Lenin had returned to Russia. The Duma's hope was that Lenin could lead the people to a new republican form of government like the United States, but instead of calming the crowds, he wound them up to a fever pitch. They don't call it "Red October" for nothing. The resulting civil war left almost 3 million dead. By 1922, the Soviet Union was formed. It was the greatest experiment in government since the American Revolution. Yes. I know. Socialism doesn't work, but at the time it was untried, it looked good on paper, and they wanted something different real bad, and that is what they got... something different... and real bad. [11]

The East St. Louis Massacre

This is the year that was. World War 1 has caused a boom in manufacturing. The Europeans need everything, and they need it now. But the USA is joining the war, so most able-bodied young men are signing up for the military. The factories need workers, so they hire black laborers looking for better pay. The unions, which are mostly white, see the black labor force as driving down wages. The unions block membership of blacks, but a man's gotta eat. That means a man's gotta work. Many black men become strikebreakers. So, with this background in mind, a car rolls through the black neighborhood of East St. Louis, Illinois, and fires into a crowd of black people. It's a drive-by shooting. The occupants of the car are identified as white men. An hour later, another car drives through the neighborhood. It is filled with white men too. Shots are fired into the car killing one police officer instantly, and mortally wounding another. The white community is outraged. They march on the neighborhood, setting fire to everything and clubbing down anyone who tries to escape. In the end, 312 homes are burned. Thousands of black men, women and children are left homeless. The exact death toll cannot be determined, but most people think it was around 100 to 150 black people killed and 9 white. [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Union leader, Samuel Gompers, attempted to say that it was not unions that were to blame but the evil factory owners who were enticing black workers North. This is somewhat like blaming the victim. I say "somewhat" only because someone fired into the second car. That was not self-defense. That was murder. However, the reaction of white people thereafter was vicious. Frankly, most people across the country were outraged. After all... the United States was sending young men to Europe to save democracy and establish freedom "over there" while black people could not walk down the street in peace in America. The irony was not lost on most people... like Teddy Roosevelt, for example. He was torqued off at Gompers.

Notable Births

  • John F. Kennedy (President of the United States, and assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.) [3]
  • Carl Karcher (Founder of the Carl's Jr. Restaurant chain, he starts by hocking his car to buy a hotdog stand.) [15] [16]
  • Arthur C. Clarke (Sci-Fi author who states, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.") [17] [18]
  • Jane Wyman (Actress and 1st wife of President Reagan. Rumors that she is really Jane Wyatt are false... though I've never see them together. Hmmmm.) [19]

In Other News

  • The 100-inch reflector telescope is installed at Mount Wilson, California. Unfortunately, the light from the city of Los Angeles will become a problem later on. [3]
  • Rutherford splits the atom. It had to happen. He also discovers the proton and names it as such. [20] [21]
  • The Lions Club is founded. "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else." --Melvin Jones, founder of the Lions Club. [22]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1917, Wikipedia.

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