Sunday, September 15, 2019

Today -100: September 15, 1919: Of lunatics betraying the cause of the fatherland, strikes deferred, and sympathetic bartenders

Italy sends troops to disarm Gabriele D’Annunzio and his merry men and get them the hell out of Fiume, but the troops refuse. Prime Minister Francesco Nitti calls supporters of the poet-aviator’s actions “lunatics, betraying the cause of the fatherland.”

Steel workers at US Steel will defer strike action until after the national labor conference, on Woodrow Wilson’s request.

Other Boston unions are backing away from the idea of a general strike in support of the striking police, although the Bartenders’ Union no. 77 votes for a sympathy strike.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Today -100: September 14, 1919: Of cops, lynchings, poet-aviators (poets-aviator?), and positions

Boston Police Commissioner Edwin Curtis (a former mayor) says all the striking cops will be fired, including those now offering to return to work. Gov. Calvin Coolidge says he will support that decision. Samuel Gompers complains of the “autocratic” attitude of Boston officials. Only a few people are shot today by trigger-happy guardsmen and volunteer cops, including one while the fake cops broke up a craps game, and why are craps games such a priority, anyway? The state guards threaten crowds with machine guns.

Two Mexicans are lynched in Pueblo, Colorado, hanged from a bridge.

Austria refuses to extradite Béla Kun to Hungary.

“Poet-aviator” Gabriele D’Annunzio and several thousand of his friends (soldiers, students, Futurists, etc) invade Fiume, which is supposed to be a neutral city under the League of Nations. The general who was supposed to block him didn’t after D’Annunzio dared him to shoot him.

Foreshadowy Headline of the Day -100:  

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Today -100: September 13, 1919: Of going and solvent national concerns, the most drastic measures, and police strikes

Giving an anti-League of Nations speech in St. Louis, Sen. Hiram Johnson (R-Cal.) says the League would make the US “subject to the will of Great Britain and Japan,” who want to use the League to protect the spoils given them by the Peace Treaty. He says the US is “the only going and solvent national concern” and joining the League would be to “enter into a partnership with four bankrupts.”

The British “suppress” the Irish Parliament and raid the Dublin Sinn Féin headquarters and many other locations. Papers and pamphlets and explosives are seized. Viscount French, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, threatens “the most drastic measures.” Detective Hoey is shot dead in Dublin. A related story is headlined “‘Dail Eireann’ Shortlived,” suggesting a belief that the Irish Parliament no longer exists because the British say it no longer exists, which is just adorable. President De Valera, in Rhode Island, says the proclamations are “a cover for military ruthlessness in Ireland.” He says law & order could be restored in 24 hours if the “alien government” withdraws its army of occupation.

Samuel Gompers of the AFL meets Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge and offers to suspend the Boston police strike if the rule against police union membership is also suspended until Pres. Wilson’s labor conference next month. Coolidge has said that the cops are not strikers but deserters, and should not be reinstated.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Today -100: September 12, 1919: Of crimes against civilizatin and coups

There may be a general strike in support of the police strike in Boston. Then again, there may not. Woodrow Wilson calls the strike “a crime against civilization,” leaving Boston “at the mercy of an army of thugs.”

The US lands troops in Honduras to do something or other during its revolution/coup. Pres. Francisco Bertrand flees the country.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Today -100: September 11, 1919: Austria cannot hate

Massachusetts State Guard troops are patrolling Boston during the police strike, shooting at mobs with rifles and machine guns. There are also cavalry charges. With sabres. Bottles and bricks are thrown back. Guardsmen break up dice games with bayonets. Gov. Calvin Coolidge sends in more troops, blaming Mayor Andrew Peters for taking two days to ask for assistance. Peters blames Police Commissioner Edwin Curtis, who is appointed by the governor.

Austria signs the peace treaty with 27 of its former enemies. Romania and Yugoslavia do not sign. China, which did not sign the treaty with Germany, signs this one because it does not give away any part of China to Japan. The Chinese and Japanese delegates are seated far away from each other. Chancellor Karl Renner, signing on behalf of Austria, says “Austria cannot hate. It always respects the man with whom it has to fight.”

A mob near Athens, Georgia lynches black man Obe Cox, shooting him and burning him at the stake.

Ex-kaiser Wilhelm is finally moving into his own place, in Doorn, Netherlands. 51 moving wagons.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Today -100: September 10, 1919: We are the predestined mediators of mankind

The Boston police, at least 3/4 of them, go on strike after 19 cops are fired for union activity (joining an AFL-affiliated union). Boston youth break some windows, loot a few stores. Harvard’s President A. Lawrence Lowell calls on students to be prepared to assist the authorities.

The NYT opposes the striking cops, condescendingly saying they are “inspired unconsciously by anti-social ideas” and that they have “no more right to belong to a union than a soldier or a sailor. He must be ready to obey orders, the orders of his superiors, not those of any outside body.” After all, they may be called on to put down strikes and so receive contradictory orders. And if they don’t like their pay and conditions (which by the way are pretty crappy), they can just quit.

Police shoot dead three striking workers of the Standard Steel Car Company in Hammond, Indiana. The article repeatedly tells us that the troublesome workers are foreign-born (mostly Poles).

Woodrow Wilson tells the Minnesota Legislature and a St. Paul public meeting that the cost of living will continue to rise and labor relations will continue to suck until the peace treaty is ratified. Also, the US is the only country the world trusts to stabilize peace: “We are the predestined mediators of mankind.”

The former aide of Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, brother of Tsar Nicholas, says Michael Alexandrovich is actually still alive, having escaped “with his secretary and a sailor” on a motor boat and is now living somewhere incognito. Yah, no, he isn’t.

“Uncle John” Schell, the oldest man in the world at, um, 131, goes on a ride in an airplane at the Kentucky State Fair. It feels a lot like being drunk, he says, “but it’s all right at that.” He’s just sorry he didn’t bring his 5-year-old son to the fair.

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Monday, September 09, 2019

Today -100: September 9, 1919: Of pro-German elements, reservations, pershings, and home runs

In Sioux Falls, Woodrow Wilson warns that “the pro-German element in the United States has again lifted its head,” in the form of attempts to keep the US out of the League of Nations, which would somehow result in better peace terms for Germany. He says the US is the only real idealist among the nations of the world.

Romania wants to sign the Austrian peace treaty with reservations (like many US Republican senators), and is being told no. The provisions it objects to would require it to treat its Jews nicely, which it says would interfere with its sovereignty in its newly acquired territories. The Yugoslavs have similar objections to being made to be nice to their minorities.

Gen. Pershing is in town for parades and shit.

Babe Ruth hits his 26th home run of the season, which is a record.

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Sunday, September 08, 2019

Today -100: September 8, 1919: Of corks, peaces founded on brute force, and lynchings

In County Cork, Sinn Féiners attack soldiers parading to church, evidently in an attempt to grab their weapons, but in the ensuing firefight they kill 1 soldier and wound 3 more and then escape scot free, despite 18 planes being deployed.

The Austrian National Assembly ratifies the Peace Treaty, 97-23, while protesting “a peace founded on brute force” and the “violation of Austria’s right of free disposal of herself,” saying Austria must join Germany.

A mob in Jacksonville, Florida breaks into the jail looking for a black man accused of assaulting a white girl/woman, but finding that he’d been removed, lynch two other black prisoners instead, shooting them and then dragging their bodies through the streets, as was the custom.

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Saturday, September 07, 2019

Today -100: September 7, 1919: Do you not know that the world is all now one single whispering gallery?

In another of his League of Nations speeches, Woodrow Wilson in Des Moines says the world is waiting for our leadership. He also blames the internet wireless and telegraph – “Do you not know that the world is all now one single whispering gallery?” – for the spread of “the poison of disorder, the poison of revolt, the poison of chaos” beyond Russia to Eastern Europe and maybe even the US, “and so long as the disorder continues, so long as the world is kept waiting for the answer to the question of the kind of peace we are going to have and what kind of guarantees there are to be behind that peace, that poison will steadily spread, more and more rapidly until it may be that even this beloved land of ours will be distracted and distorted by it.”

The actors’ strike is over. Chorus girls also get a wage increase. Stage productions that have now opened or will shortly open include “Chu Chin Chow,” “The Scandals of 1919,” “She Would and She Did,” and “Monte Cristo, Junior.”

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