Saturday, December 14, 2019

Today -100: December 14, 1919: I cannot leave Paris empty handed


Headline of the Day -100: 

Insert your own Trump joke here.

Poland invades Lithuania.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Renner says if the Peace Conference fails to provide food aid for Austria, he will resign. “I cannot leave Paris empty handed,” he says. Former emperor Charles offers his own solution to all Austria’s problems – the article says Austria-Hungary, but I wonder if Chuck used those exact words? – restoration of the monarchy. Not him, but his son. He also opposes union with Germany.

Sen. Hiram Johnson, former governor of California and Theodore Roosevelt’s running mate in 1912, announces that he will run for president.

Early into prohibition, the dead from bootleg booze are beginning to stack up.

Italy will destroy all mail addressed to Trieste, Austria or Trieste, Jugoslavia rather than Trieste, Italy.


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Friday, December 13, 2019

Today -100: December 13, 1919: Of arks, rule by public opinion, emperors, and brontosaurs


Emma Goldman withdraws her appeal against deportation so that she can join the “Soviet Ark” of hundreds of Russians being sent back in a couple of weeks. Also, it increasingly sounds like they’ll be sent to Soviet Russia rather than White Russia. Goldman has lived in the US for 34 years.

Colorado ratifies the women’s suffrage Amendment. 22 down, 14 to go, I believe.

Headline of the Day -100: 


One assumes this was written before the stroke.

The former Austrian emperor Charles, living in exile in Switzerland and suffering financially from the exchange rate, asks Czechoslovakia to allow him to live in Prague. They say no.

A Belgian big-game named Gapelle claims to have tracked a brontosaurus or something like it in the Belgian Congo. He shot at it but failed to hit it. Bad luck.


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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Today -100: December 12, 1919: Of booms and coal


Old Guard Republican leaders (assembled at a meeting of Republican state chairmen) are moving away from their previous strategy of heading off Gen. Leonard Wood’s candidacy for president by blowing air into the campaigns of a bunch of “favorite son” candidates, and now favor picking one candidate and “booming” him. And it looks like that candidate is Warren G. Harding, who is too bland to have any enemies.

Fuel Administrator Harry Garfield resigns in protest of the coal strike being settled in a way that may eventually result in higher prices for the public.


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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Today -100: December 11, 1919: Of strikes, deportations, prizes, and anti-Jews


The UMW accepts Pres. Wilson (or whoever)’s proposals and so advises coal miners to end their strike.

Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman appeal against deportation, saying sending them to White-occupied Russia would amount to a death sentence. I believe that’s a feature, not a bug.

No Nobel Peace Prizes will be awarded for the years 1918 and 1919.

The Anti-Jewish Party holds a meeting in Budapest, after which the crowd attacks two Jewish newspapers.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Today -100: December 10, 1919: Of excuses and non-communications


The NYT rejects Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s statement that social unrest derives more from economic conditions than the machinations of agitators. It’s tooootally the fault of agitators and Bolshevist propaganda, it says, and the economy is so great that the radicals are “absolutely without excuse.”

The fact checkers of the NYT telegraph Ernest Rutherford, asking whether he has in fact discovered how to transmute matter. “Have nothing to communicate,” he replies from atop a large pile of gold.


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Today -100: December 10, 1919: Of excuses and non-communications


The NYT rejects Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s statement that social unrest derives more from economic conditions than the machinations of agitators. It’s tooootally the fault of agitators and Bolshevist propaganda, it says, and the economy is so great that the radicals are “absolutely without excuse.”

The fact checkers of the NYT telegraph Ernest Rutherford, asking whether he has in fact discovered how to transmute matter. “Have nothing to communicate,” he replies from atop a large pile of gold.


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Monday, December 09, 2019

Today -100: December 9, 1919: I yearn to reach America on wings


Senate Foreign Committee Chair Henry Cabot Lodge kills the Fall Resolution calling on Wilson to cut off diplomatic relations with Mexico after he receives a letter from Wilson (or whoever) telling the Senate to butt out because this is the sole responsibility of whoever’s secretly doing the president’s job for him, that’s just the Constitution.

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer says a special division of the Bureau of Investigation was created on August 1 to deal with “radicalism.” I guess the public didn’t know about this before now? Palmer doesn’t say who the special division’s head is, but it’s J. Edgar Hoover. Palmer admits that unrest and radicalism “arise from social and economic conditions that are of greater consequence than the individual agitators,” not that that’ll stop the mass arrests and deportations.

Poet-Aviator Gabriele D’Annunzio hopes, once Fiume is annexed by Italy, to fly to the US via the Pacific Ocean. “I yearn to reach America on wings,” he poet-aviates.

According to a Le Matin, physicist Ernest Rutherford has cracked the alchemical goal of the transmutation of matter. Good for him.

Although the coal strike seems near settlement, the government orders rationing, more extreme than during the war, limiting factory hours, closing dance halls, pool halls and bowling alleys after 11 pm, no lights on Broadway, etc. Maybe they could get Prof. Rutherford to transmute coal into diamonds. Or am I thinking Superman? Actually, has anyone ever seen Rutherford and Superman together?


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Sunday, December 08, 2019

Today -100: December 8, 1919: All the confidence I ever had in the pledges of the Allies has gone forever


Germany’s Minister of Defense Gustav Noske says Germany should continue to refuse to sign the peace protocol. “The time has come for Germany to resist to the uttermost. ... The peace now presented to us is not peace, but a prolongation of the war. ... Great Britain and France are deliberately planning the destruction of Germany. All the confidence I ever had in the pledges of the Allies has gone forever.” He’s not sure if the rest of the government will agree with him.

Another Sunday, another mass defiance of Baltimore’s Blue Laws. Except for the Auto Club, which closes all public garages, just to make the law obnoxious.

The UMW and the federal government are close to a deal to end the coal strike. Meanwhile, Butte, Montana is tearing down and burning all its old buildings for heat. In the Oklahoma coal fields, which are under martial law, the military arrests organizers and bans meetings.

In Kiel, Germany, a German escapes from a British steamer, the Helena. The British chase him through the streets, shooting at him. Investigating, the Kiel police find c.700 German prisoners of war who the British had dragooned into the Polish Legion to fight against Soviet Russia. Since the Helena was now in German waters, the men were no longer technically prisoners, so the cops ask if any of them would rather not continue their journey. 600 of them choose to leave the ship.


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Saturday, December 07, 2019

Today -100: December 7, 1919: Of premature insurrections and liberal educations


Lenin congratulates the Italian Socialists on their recent election victories but warns against premature insurrection. Wait for the right time, he advises.

A Sunday NYT Magazine article on how the Indians are becoming less “barbaric” quotes Commissioner of Indian Affairs Cato Sells’s contention that participation in the Great War was “in many ways a liberal education to the Indian, and he is coming out of it with greater individuality and a diminished tribal propensity.” He goes on and condescendingly on about the advances he wants for the Indians: better treatment of women, laughing babies, the wearing of pajamas, etc.


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Friday, December 06, 2019

Today -100: December 6, 1919: Of sickroom visits, coal, and lynchings


Senators Fall and Hitchcock, sent to the White House by the Foreign Relations Committee, see Pres. Wilson. They both declare themselves satisfied about his abilities to exercise his duties. Even Fall, not exactly a friend of the president, says he seems in pretty good shape – for someone who’s been in bed for ten weeks. Though he also says that he did most of the talking and didn’t ask any questions – in other words, he doesn’t really know how informed Wilson is about Mexico or anything else. The meeting (during which Wilson is carefully staged, propped up in his bed with his paralyzed arm hidden under a blanket) is interrupted by Wilson’s doctor, bringing the news that William Jenkins has been released.

There are reports that Jenkins tried to go back in, because someone paid his bail for him and he wants unconditional freedom because he’s an American, dammit.

Wilson also tells the senators that the responsibility for the peace treaty has shifted to others and he doesn’t plan on doing anything about it for a while. He evidently expects a groundswell of public demand for ratification.

Volunteer coal miners/scabs in Oklahoma include bank clerks, newspaper men, druggists, and Gov. James Robertson (a lawyer).  The article does not say how long he actually worked at the coal face or how much coal he dug. To save coal, drug store soda fountains are ordered closed, for some reason.

In a letter to Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, the NAACP points out that if the US is going to demand protection for American citizens in Mexico, it might also demand protection from lynching for American citizens in America.


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