I don't mean to be a nitpicker by any means, but in the dazzling linguistic kaleidoscope that is central Europe, "Kishinev"--now the capital of Moldova, formerly known as Moldavia--is now officially spelled in a Westernized, Romanianized (is that a word?) fashion as "Chișinău" (don't know if the diacriticals will survive, I just copied-and-pasted direct from Wikipedia).

Just thought you'd be amused.

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Many of my Jewish ancestors migrated from Ukraine, Lithuania and Bilorussia in this period, which culminated in the czar's pogrom of 1909. I wonder if the department store was aiming its ad at its newly numerous Jewish customers in the Chicago area.

The USA mediated the end of hostilities between Russia and Japan, so I guess we had some diplomatic mojo on both sides.

This was an interesting time in Russia. It was going broke, had stopped its westward expansion and right around 1903 was satisfied for Austria to take over Bosnia rather than have native (mainly Serbian) population gain independence. The power vacuum had been created by withdrawal of Turkey around 1880. Russia turned its attention to the east, where Japan was just awakening. We think of Russia as being backward then, but as a manufacturing and agricultural power it was a European leader that was just starting to be eclipsed by other continental powers that had gained wealth through colonization,

All the gay treaty-making led to World War when Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were murdered in Sarajevo.

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