Two Way Traffic


There  was quite a bit going on in 1871.

Kaiser Wilhelm proclaimed the second German Empire and, following Germany’s victory in the Franco-Prussian war, the Parisians revolted, starting another bloody chapter in French history. Marx and Engles took notes and discussed what the Parisians were doing wrong.

Henry M Stanley set off for Africa and started going over good opening lines in his mind in preparation for his meeting with David Livingston. By the time he found him, Stanley had the sound bite he wanted.

The Great Fire burned down a big chunk of Chicago and in New York, Susan B Anthony was arrested for voting in an election – Good Lord what was her husband thinking of? Get back in the kitchen, woman.

Margarine, in the US and Rugby Union, in Britain, put in an appearance and in the first Rugby International, Scotland beat England. Back in America, Brigham Young was arrested for bigamy, while Jesse James pottered from bank to bank, collecting any spare cash he could find.

Aida was performed in Cairo, so they opened the Suez canal while everyone was there. Victor Hugo hadn’t been invited so he stayed at home and wrote a poem about the revolution and wondered if  Les Misérables would have been better as a musical.

Oh, and in Britain, they recorded the first sighting of that wretched, American, pineappleweed. Who knows how it came to be here!

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