On This Day
1918 – Beginning of the Finnish Civil War.
The Finnish Civil War[a] was a civil war in Finland in 1918 fought for the leadership and control of Finland between White Finland and Finnish Socialist Workers’ Republic (Red Finland) during the country’s transition from a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire to an independent state. The clashes took place in the context of the national, political, and social turmoil caused by World War I (Eastern Front) in Europe. The war was fought between the Reds, led by a section of the Social Democratic Party, and the Whites, conducted by the conservative-based Senate and the German Imperial Army. The paramilitary Red Guards, composed of industrial and agrarian workers, controlled the cities and industrial centres of southern Finland. The paramilitary White Guards, composed of farmers, along with middle-class and upper-class social strata, controlled rural central and northern Finland led by General C. G. E. Mannerheim.
In the years before the conflict, Finnish society had experienced rapid population growth, industrialisation, pre-urbanisation and the rise of a comprehensive labour movement. The country’s political and governmental systems were in an unstable phase of democratisation and modernisation. The socio-economic condition and education of the population had gradually improved, as well as national thinking and cultural life had awakened.
World War I led to the collapse of the Russian Empire, causing a power vacuum in Finland, and a subsequent struggle for dominance led to militarisation and an escalating crisis between the left-leaning labour movement and the conservatives. The Reds carried out an unsuccessful general offensive in February 1918, supplied with weapons by Soviet Russia. A counteroffensive by the Whites began in March, reinforced by the German Empire’s military detachments in April. The decisive engagements were the Battles of Tampere and Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri; Swedish: Viborg), won by the Whites, and the Battles of Helsinki and Lahti, won by German troops, leading to overall victory for the Whites and the German forces. Political violence became a part of this warfare. Around 12,500 Red prisoners died of malnutrition and disease in camps. About 39,000 people, of whom 36,000 were Finns, perished in the conflict.
In the immediate aftermath, the Finns passed from Russian governance to the German sphere of influence with a plan to establish a German-led Finnish monarchy. The scheme ended with Germany’s defeat in World War I, and Finland instead emerged as an independent, democratic republic. The Civil War divided the nation for decades. Finnish society was reunited through social compromises based on a long-term culture of moderate politics and religion and the post-war economic recovery.
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Born On This Day
1878 – Dorothy Scarborough, American author (d. 1935)
Emily Dorothy Scarborough (January 27, 1878 – November 7, 1935) was an American writer who wrote about Texas, folk culture, cotton farming, ghost stories and women’s life in the Southwest.
Scarborough was born in Mount Carmel, Texas. At the age of four she moved to Sweetwater, Texas for her mother’s health, as her mother needed the drier climate. The family soon left Sweetwater in 1887, so that the Scarborough children could get a good education at Baylor College.
Academics and writing
Even though Scarborough’s writings are identified with Texas, she studied at University of Chicago and Oxford University and, beginning in 1916, taught literature at Columbia University.
While receiving her PhD from Columbia, she wrote a dissertation, “The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction”. Sylvia Ann Grider writes in a critical introduction that the dissertation “was so widely acclaimed by her professors and colleagues that it was published and it has become a basic reference work”.
Dorothy Scarborough came in contact with many writers in New York, including Edna Ferber and Vachel Lindsay. She taught creative writing classes at Columbia. Among her creative writing students were Eric Walrond and Carson McCullers, who took her first college writing class from Scarborough.
Her most critically acclaimed book, The Wind (first published anonymously in 1925), was later made into a film of the same name starring Lillian Gish.
Fox News, Associated Press: Auschwitz survivors mark Holocaust Remembrance Day online amid pandemic More than 1.1M people were murdered by the German Nazis and their henchmen at Auschwitz
The Passive Voice, From Crime Reads: John Le Carré Offered a Piece of Advice to a Struggling Novelist. She’ll Never Forget It.
What do you think is the major difference(s) between kind and nice?
By Meghan Moravcik Walbert, Lifehacker: Why You Should Be Kind Instead of Nice
I have long thought that the federal government is a ponderous battleship, weighted down by its own armor and slow to change course. But when it chooses to marshal its might against an individual, the government is a lean, mean, conviction machine. Meanwhile, the defendant’s lawyer is a loinclothed Roman gladiator protected by a wooden shield, leather shin guards, and prayers to the god Jupiter. The Constitution promises due process but not a fair fight.
As much as we prize our commitment to the individual and pay lip service to the presumption of innocence, it’s the government’s courthouse, the government’s prosecutor, and the government’s judge. Every time you go to trial, you are the Miami Dolphins playing an away game against the Patriots in a January blizzard.
You forgot one of Granny’s rules. ‘If you live for money, there will never be enough, and the pursuit will kill you.’”
“That it’s over so quickly. And what we leave behind is as fleeting as footprints in the sand. So, we’d better make the most of our days. We’d better be good to everyone we know, and especially good to those we love and who love us. And knowing all that, these days when I rue the fact that I didn’t meet you years ago, well, part of me knows this was the perfect time.”
At 7:55 a.m. on Monday, an old Mexican proverb popped into my head for no discernible reason: The week begins badly for the man hanged on a Monday.
Paul Levine: Cheater’s Game
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