By Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent
The Oregon Statesman reported a disturbance in Boise:
Austrians RiotTwo Killed, Three Other in a HospitalTrouble Caused by Racial Differences Fanned Into Flame Through Killing of Archduke Ferdinand
Boise, Idaho, July 4 – Five members of the Austrian colony here are in the hospital, two of them not expected to live until morning, and three more are under arrest as the result of a riot today. The trouble is an outgrowth of the death of Archduke Francis Ferdinand last week, which fanned to flame the implacable hatred of the Serbian for the Austrian ad the feud between the Greek and Catholic churches.
The first fight started in an Austrian rooming house. One young man approached another with the assertion that “your king, Francis Joseph, is a ——- ——- ——-.” With that the trouble started. The first man hurt was a non-combatant. A young fellow called Nick drew a pocketknife and made a lounge at the speaker. A Friend, Girot by name, barred his exit by standing in the door after the man sought had passed through and Nick turned on him, stabbing him just above the heart.
While the police were investigating the affair, another one started, this tie on the walk just at the corner outside the vaulting. Here six of the omen came together and no one seemed to know how the fighting started. In this fight five more men were cut up; on, Martin Melich, so badly that he has practically no chance for life, and another rather badly.
The remaining members of the colony have been warned that any further trouble will be dealt with severely and a close watch is biding kept on the various Austrian rooming houses.
On this same day, the Statesman in an editorial titled “Racial Antagonisms”:
The assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne and his wife by a Bosnian fanatic was a black crime. Yet it i what might have been expected when Austria bagged Bosnia and Herzegovina and proceeded to denationalize them and extirpate their race traditions.
If you address printed matter to a resident of Bosnia, it is held up in the post office under Austrian military guard, and censored for frivolous reasons. Race questions are handled differently here. Instead of trying to stamp out the languages of alien stocks, many cities buy Polish, Swedish, Italian, and other foreign books for public libraries. The new stocks are encouraged to save their traditions.
European governments have never used common sense in dealing with these conflicts. The races that reach the top maintain their hold with blood and iron. Bosnia and Herzegovina have been the scene of a repression dogging the daily footsteps of citizens with deadly suspicion. The result is the murder of two harmless royal personages.
In this country there is plenty of race antagonism. It expresses itself rather harmlessly in scrambles for political office, newspaper and theatrical caricature, or occasional broken heads. But never has there been any attack on a public man that could be attributed to race repression.
The success of the United States in handling a composite population may well be the marvel of Europe. The new immigrant’s enthusiasm for our liberal government is almost pathetic. The United States is several centuries ahead of Europe, in the idea of fair treatment to all races, and recognition of the valuable contribution brought by every alien strain.