Breaking News: Chinese Rebels capture Beijing – November 6, ’11

Hong kong Nov. 6  “There was an extroardinary outburst of enthusiasm here today when a report came from Shanghai that the native city of Pekin [Beijing] had been captured by the Rebels.” The Washington Herald reports. “Rebel flags appeared everywhere.”

Rebel Flag in China
Flag of the Chinese rebel uprising

The rebels also captured Zhenjiang, apparently peacefully. “There was no disorder.” And in Shanghai, a section of Admiral’s fleet hoisted the rebel flag.

The capital of Che Kiang province “was taken last night by the rebels, and the governor of the province captured.”

All this action put the American representative in the capital on alert, he asked for military back up.  The British there have vowed to protect civilians.

Communications inside and outside of China were made more difficult by a labor strike.  Foreign marines guard “The cable huts.”

Meanwhile, in Los Angels on November 6 ’11, the headline for the same newspaper reads “Capital Vs. Labor.”  An old man is defending his right to protest.

Bombarded with questions in a trial, the 77 year old veteran stood firm. “Are you against the established form of government?” the attorney asked the eldery man. “Why should I be?” he reponded “I fought to sustain it.”

The veteran, George W. Morton, then admitted that he was a socialist.  He had fought for the Union army, in the American Civil War.

How little the world has changed in 100 years.

There were some noticable differences.  Instead of a Mexican drug war, the 1911 paper had talk of American prohibition.

Although Probition is usually associated with the 18th amendment nine years later, Maine and other states already had state-wide prohibition in 1911.

“Maine Stays Dry” was the result of a vote recount, which showed 700 more citizens were in favor of retaining prohibition in the Northern state than those who wanted to repeal it.

Previous to the recount, it seemed that those in favor of repealing prohibition in Maine had a 26 vote advantage.

Since we’ve mentioned socialists and veterans, where was “Uncle Joe” in all this?  Stalin didn’t yet have that nickname.  Instead, “Uncle Joe” Cannon, “blew into Washington yesterday with four white duck suits, a pain in the stomach, and a gloomy opinion of the outlook for the Republican party.”

Well, apparently Uncle Joe “explained the pain and the duck suits, but was rather uncommunicative on politics.”

Other than style, there are other hints that things have changed in the past 100 years.

Harry Sing, a crime victim, was accuse of trying to make a profit off of his robbers!  A few “boys” broke into Mr. Sing’s laundret and stole 309 pennies.  They also inevitably did damage (or at least soiled clothing) during the break in, but that wasn’t mentioned in the article.

Mr Sing wanted 100 dollars restitution, but he got only 2.

(He was accused of wanting to make 98 dollars profit. However, even if no damage were made to the premises or to the laundry, the theives still underpaid.)

In addition to paying two dollars, the theives spent the night in “The House of Detention.”

Nathaniel Luber and David Smith carried out the robbery while Abraham Schafer kept a look out (or qui vive, as they said back then,) for “cops”.

Before Facebook, parents were still worreid about their children being induced to run away for strangers. In “Father Believes Girl has been lured from Home” we hear the story of a girl who took her hat and coat and vanished.   Her father, Adolph  Strietz “told the police he believed a girl had induced his daughter to run away.”

While it doesn’t tell us the ethnicity of most of the people involved in these stories, the laundry owner, Mr Sing was apparently of Chinese descent.  In the article subheadline, however, they call him “a Celestial” in an apparently derisive manner.

The Chinese uprising would eventually lead to the establishment of the Republic of China, and the end of imperial rule. The Republican form of government continues to rule China to this day.

China has since seen a Japanese invasion, a civil war, the “100 flowers” and policy shifts of leaders who opened the country up to “Western Style” capitalism. After 100 years of being a republic, can we really say that China is the same place as the founders of the original republic intended? In any case, happy 100th anniversay to the Republic.

Is America still the same place it was 100 years ago?  Is it what the founders had in mind?  Same say it isn’t, but the stories in the newspapers look eerily similar.

If you’re planning on being around this time in 2111, you might want to keep a copy of today’s newspaper. You might be surprised to see history repeating itself.