Thursday, October 16, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: October 16

In the predawn hours of October 16, 1901, forty-nine members of the Kramer Guard infiltrated the Imperial Palace in Mexico City, overpowered the police stationed there, and opened the gates, allowing some two thousand others to enter, before finally cutting communications with the outside. When Mexican Emperor Benito Hermión woke after dawn, the head of the Kramer Guard, Martin Cole, shouted that the compound was in his hands. Cole said, "We will harm no one who is innocent. All we want is El Jefe. Servants and others may leave in peace, and must do so within the next fifteen minutes." Hermión quickly shaved his beard and mustache and put on a butler's uniform, then left the palace with the servants. While some members of the Kramer Guard tailed Hermión as he fled through the city, Cole entered the palace with the rest and announced the formation of a provisional government that would rule Mexico until elections were held. A group of onlookers who assumed that Cole meant to make himself dictator in Hermión's place raised their fists and shouted "Viva Cole!