Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Today -100: April 8, 1920: Of scintillas of legality, sneers, and certain ferments

Banned from picketing the British Embassy in Washington, the women protesting British Irish policy are now picketing the State Department, with banners containing quotes from a speech Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby made 4 years ago, such as “There is not a scintilla of legality in England’s claim to rule Ireland.” Awkwaaaard.

Police in Ireland claim to have evidence that Sinn Féin was negotiating with Germans to acquire arms.

Georgia Republicans are split, and rival delegations (for Gen. Wood & Frank Lowden) will go to the national convention. Awkwaaaard.

Headline of the Day -100: 

German newspapers are saying that France is in effect protecting Bolshevism and anarchy and red terror in the Ruhr.

They’re also shooting Rhinelanders. “Colored” (Moroccan) French soldiers fire on a threatening mob in Frankfort, killing 7, one of them a child. Gen. Jean Degoutte, commander of the French Army of the Rhine says the first day of the occupation went fine, but then “suddenly, on orders from Berlin, a certain ferment seized the population,” leading to the incident.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Today -100: April 7, 1920: Of Whites, militarism, and pickets

Anton Denikin resigns as commander of the anti-Bolshevik forces and flees on a British warship.

German Chancellor Hermann Müller, mirroring French PM Alexandre Millerand’s comments yesterday about German militarism, says the French occupation of Rhine cities is “a fresh attempt of Gallic militarism on the peace of the world.” Germany claims to have fewer troops in the Ruhr than the 17,500 they have permission for; France says there are 38,000. Millerand says Germany will have to pay for France’s occupation costs. In the five occupied cities, the French army posts notices saying that “The French troops do not appear as conquerors, but as troops of occupation.” So that’s okay then.

Police remove all the war exhibits in the Belfast Museum – machine guns, mortars, etc. Some Sinn Féin prisoners are on hunger strike.

Herbert Hoover tried to register in California as a Republican, but his form arrived too late.

Since police ban those women picketing the British Embassy in Washington over the Irish issue, they drop leaflets on it from a plane. Four picketers are arrested for insulting diplomats from foreign countries, which is evidently a felony.

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Monday, April 06, 2020

Today -100: April 6, 1920: Of racing, coercive and precautionary measures, soviet plans, and political general strikes

Headline of the Day -100: 

So, no Easter Rising II then.

French Prime Minister Alexandre Millerand issues a note explaining the French occupation of Rhineland towns. It accuses Germany of yielding to militarist pressure in sending troops into the Ruhr. France’s military actions are not of course spurred by militarists; “The sole object of these measures is to bring Germany to a due respect of the treaty; they are exclusively of a coercive and precautionary character.” (Tomorrow’s paper will translate this as “restraint” rather than “coercive,” which seems a bit different; I don’t know which French word was used).

The Republican congressman from Ohio who rejoices in the name Simeon Fess (and will head the RNC during the Hoover administration) accuses Woodrow Wilson of displaying “marked socialism” and “partiality to the Soviet plan.”

The general strike in Denmark is called off after King Christian X agrees to dismiss the cabinet he unilaterally named and give amnesty to all political prisoners.

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Sunday, April 05, 2020

Today -100: April 5, 1920: Tax records on fire is the best kind of tax records, ammiright?

Latest Sinn Féin tactic: attacking tax offices, a lot of tax offices, burning tax records.

France will occupy four cities on the west bank of the Rhine in retaliation for Germany sending troops into the Ruhr to suppress the general strike, and to secure the coal France is owed as reparations. This is a unilateral action by France, which is not going over well with Britain and the US. Germany is now moving to crush resistance in the Ruhr quickly so it can declare victory before the French arrive.

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Saturday, April 04, 2020

Today -100: April 4, 1920: Of risings, lepers, and divorces

British soldiers pour into Irish cities, expecting another Easter Rising. They’re searching hay carts.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Paris and Vienna, not for the first and not for the last time, are wrong.

Obit of the Day -100:  Mark Lee, a Chinese leper, “Passaic’s only leper for ten years,” dies in the shack in the woods to which he’s been confined/imprisoned for 10 years, with his food served through the window and the head nurse of the Isolation Hospital trying to convert him to Christianity.

Kit Dalton, last surviving member of the James Gang (you know, Jesse and Frank James), dies.

The Nevada attorney general will file suit to overturn Mary Pickford’s divorce because she took an oath that she intended to become a resident of Nevada and he thinks she didn’t mean it. If he succeeds, the divorce decree will be set aside, which would be a bit awkward. Her manager says that if her subsequent marriage to Douglas Fairbanks is declared null she would do what any decent woman would do under the circumstances, whatever that means.

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Friday, April 03, 2020

Today -100: April 3, 1920: Of sieges, reigns of terrors, lynchings, duels, princes, and jazz-age marriages

Sinn Féin has a new tactic: its recent raids on police barracks have focused on destroying the buildings.

Women picket the British embassy in Washington with signs reading, “England, American women condemn your reign of terror in the Irish Republic,” “America cannot continue relations with an England ruled by assassins,” “England has perpetrated eighty military murders in Ireland,” etc.

A black man, George Robertson, is lynched in Laurens, Georgia, after allegedly cutting 3 white boys. He’s hanged from a bridge and used for target practice.

Former president of Uruguay José Batlle y Ordóñez kills Washington Beltrán Barbat, a newspaper editor and deputy, in a duel after an editorial about the last elections called Batlle the “champion of fraud.” This is not the first time Batlle has fought a duel with an editor of El País, but it is the first he has won (the last was with swords, this one with pistols).

Warren G. Harding withdraws his name from the New Jersey ballot, saying he doesn’t have enough money, so he’s only running in the Ohio and Indiana primaries (note that only 21 states have primaries).

Prince Joachim Albrecht, who started that fight in the Hotel Adlon which served as a pretext for the Kapp Putsch, is released from prison and banned from living in Berlin.

F. Scott Fitzgerald marries Zelda Sayre.

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Thursday, April 02, 2020

Today -100: April 2, 1920: Delaware was like the battle of the Marne

The Delaware Legislature’s lower house rejects the federal women’s suffrage Amendment 26-6. Mary Kilbreth, president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage says “Delaware was like the battle of the Marne. The suffragists, like the Germans, waged a campaign of frightfulness and threatened members of Legislatures with political reprisals. It needed only a few courageous men to block them, and those were found in Delaware.”

The NY State Assembly (again) votes to expel the 5 elected Socialist members and declares their seats vacant. Two of the not-assemblymen issue a statement: “A bi-partisan combination has overthrown representative government. ... The Constitution has been lynched... If the people are to be driven from the ballot box, where shall they go?” Where indeed. The NYT calls the decision “an American vote altogether, a patriotic and conservative vote.” The Judiciary Committee recommends that the Socialist Party be banned from the ballot until it stops being naughty; legislation is being drawn up to that effect, directing against any party that includes aliens on its governing committees (or even as members); is a member of the Third Internationale; requires pledges of members elected to office, such as not to vote for military spending; or has a policy of using general strikes & sabotage for political ends.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee votes 12 to 6 for the resolution declaring the war with Germany over, with no Democratic support.

Woodrow Wilson fails to respond to Georgia Democrats asking if he’s running again, so some of them remove their names from the petition to put his name on the ballot, and it will not appear.

Herbert Hoover’s name, on the other hand, will appear on both the R and D ballots in Michigan, the D’s having put him on it before he announced that he’s an R. The D’s worry that he’s so popular that many D’s will vote for him anyway.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Today -100: April 1, 1920: Of not-war, women’s suffrage, and Danish kinks

Republican in Congress think they can get around Wilson by voting that the state of war with Germany is at an end. Which is not the same as saying that there is a state of peace, which only the president has the legal authority to negotiate. If the move succeeds, it will automatically end all the wartime laws and presidential proclamations that were supposed to end when the war ended.

So much for Mississippi being the state to put the Anthony Amendment over the top. The Legislature’s lower house rejects ratification 94-23.

A general strike is called in Denmark protesting King (or, in a particularly enjoyable typo, “the Kink”) Christian X’s firing the government and replacing it with a temporary “business cabinet” (insert lego joke here).

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Today -100: March 31, 1920: I cannot refuse service

Herbert Hoover says “While I do not and will not myself seek the nomination, if it is felt that the issues necessitate it, and it is demanded of me, I cannot refuse service.” The issue he considers most important is the need to enter the League of Nations, with reservations. He is positioning himself against fellow Californian Hiram Johnson, who is very anti-League. Republican pooh-bahs grimly remember that when Hoover was Food Czar in 1918, he endorsed Wilson’s call for the election of a Democratic Congress.

Sen. Warren G. Harding gives some of his ideas, although he says the Republican platform should “represent the convictions, conscience and aspirations of the thinking Republicans of America,” which obviously leaves him out. He wants an “ample army” and air force, military training for young men paid for by the government but not compulsory, and to “get away from abnormal conditions of war”.

France, not able to get Britain and Italy to be as tough on Germany as it would like, is going to enforce the Versailles Treaty, as it interprets it, all by itself, and plans to occupy Frankfort and Darmstadt to ensure that German troops leave the Ruhr after putting down the armed strikers.

The Mississippi State Senate ratifies the federal women’s suffrage Amendment, reversing last month’s vote. Will the House follow suit?

Oxford University abolishes the compulsory study of ancient Greek for some students (math, science, law). Obviously this is the beginning of the end of the British Empire.

Bad-Ass of the Day -100:

Mary Pickford marries Douglas Fairbanks. Pickford got divorced just 3 weeks ago, Fairbanks last year. Both “are said to be wealthy.”

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