Sunday, June 16, 2019

Today -100: June 16, 1919: Of alcocks, knoxes, and burning cars

Alcock and Brown successfully cross the Atlantic in a non-stop flight, sometimes upside down. 1,980 miles in 16 hours, 12 minutes, Newfoundland to Ireland.

Republicans in the Senate are pushing the Knox Resolution (sponsored by Philander Knox, Taft’s secretary of state), which demands that the treaty be rewritten so that the US and other nations can join the League of Nations at some later date or, you know, not. Others point out that the League is so woven into the treaty that the treaty falls apart without it.

US troops cross into Mexico to go after Pancho Villa’s followers, whose bullets crossed the border into El Paso during a firefight with Federal forces.

The US Army has lots of cars in France, and would prefer to sell them to French people rather than ship them home. But the French government says no as part of its protectionist policy. So the Army is burning them.

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Today -100: June 15, 1919: Of long flights, deadlines, and Charlie Chaplin sunnyside up

In yet another attempt at yet another aviation milestone, Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Brown begin an attempt to make a non-stop cross-Atlantic flight in a Vickers-Vimy biplane.

The Allies complete their reply to Germany’s objections to peace treaty terms with minor modifications (for example, Germany will be admitted to the League of Nations, after it fulfills every single requirement of the treaty). Germany will now have 5 days to sign or be invaded and blockaded again. Incidentally, the Big Five haven’t bothered informing other allies of the changes they’ve made. The changes we know about include changing the occupation authority in the Rhine from a military one to a civilian commission, with one member appointed by each Big Power.

Gen. Leonard Wood, the commander of the Central Department, says if ex-soldiers don’t get jobs, they’ll go Bolshevik, and you wouldn’t like them when they’re Bolshevik. There is a federal employment agency for discharged soldiers, but industry is lobbying to shut it down, because capitalism. The Re-Employment Bureau for Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines’ NYC branch says that some returning military folks are upset at not getting their old jobs back, because those were given to pacifists and aliens, and some aren’t getting their old salaries, because the women who filled their jobs during the war did the same work just as well for less money.

Now Playing:

Not the best Chaplin, not the worst. Also opening today, and also playing at the Strand: Fatty Arbuckle’s A Desert Hero (a lost film).

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Today -100: June 14, 1919: Of ignored Turks, dissatisfied Berlin, and parlor coal diggers

Headline of the Day -100: 

The Turkish delegation to the peace conference arrived a couple of days ago, and nobody is talking to them.

Headline of the Day -100:  

By some minor changes to the peace terms.

Secretary of Labor William Wilson tells the annual convention of the American Federation of Labor that the IWW and Bolsheviks are not significant among “real” wage workers but only among “parlor coal diggers.” American workers, he says, don’t want a dictatorship of the proletariat.

The AFL convention votes to allow blacks into international unions, but if any unions continue to discriminate against negroes, the AFL will grant separate charters to negro organizations.

Race riots continue in Cardiff, Wales between locals and non-white workers (blacks, Arabs) brought in during the war.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Today -100: June 13, 1919: Of red raids, white bread, and ruined children

Just as the NY Legislature begins its investigation into Teh Reds, cops and, for some reason, private detectives raid the Russian Soviet Bureau. Papers are removed and people questioned, and the chair of the investigating committee, Sen. Clayton Lusk (it will soon become known as the Lusk Committee), has come to the conclusion that the Russian Soviet Bureau is issuing propaganda intended to justify the Russian Soviet form of government. Gasp horrors.

Speaking of soviet forms of government, one is rumored to be proclaimed in Austria this coming Sunday. So something to look forward to.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Headline of the Day -100:  

According to an unnamed Swiss schoolteacher who has recently left Russia, children are now subjected to a regime of “unlimited indulgence of idleness and pleasure,” with no school books or homework, lots of dancing, illiterate teachers, and co-education (which, since religious education is banned, will obviously lead to moral depravity in a primitive country like Russia, she says).

In New York, high school students will be asked questions about the war. They can choose 4 questions to answer from 6 about battles, people, why the US entered the war, etc. But there’s a deeply suspicious question which is the only one mandatory for everyone to answer:

Accompanying this are these instructions to teachers: “call the Principal’s attention to any papers which show an especially intimate knowledge of this subject, those particularly which indicate that the pupils have been submitted to systematic training along this line. We are desirous of finding out to what extent Bolshevist ideas have been impressed upon the students of our high schools.”  The teachers’ union will object to this test, possibly believing that the administration is trying to fire teachers who may have taught radical ideas to their classes.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Today -100: June 12, 1919: Of treaties and royal suicides

The Senate investigation of the leak of the draft peace treaty points the finger at employees of J.P. Morgan. Republicans deny Gilbert Hitchcock’s (D-Neb.) charge that senators who’d been shown copies were “receiving stolen goods.”

Crown Prince Carol of Romania, 25, attempts suicide by, um, shooting himself in the leg, in reaction to his parents forcing him to divorce the commoner he married against their wishes last year.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Today -100: June 11, 1919: Of unions, women’s suffrage, undying fires, and jazz credit

The Negro Workers’ Advisory Committee, which represents black labor, welfare, religious etc groups in the Chicago area (?), asks the AFL to get international unions to stop banning black members. And 2,000 members of the Richmond branch of the Virginia Federation of Labor withdraw (unclear if that means they quit as individuals or seceded as a body) in protest at a black man being seated as a member of the Executive Committee. 

Illinois ratifies the women’s suffrage Amendment, the first state to do so, followed later in the day by Michigan. Gov. Al Smith has called the NY Legislature into a special session. Assembly Speaker Thaddeus Sweet complains that it’s an unnecessary expense, which is exactly the sort of thing you’d expect someone named Thaddeus Sweet to say.

The US tells Costa Rica not to invade Nicaragua.

An ad for H.G. Wells’s new novel The Undying Fire quotes a New York Sun review, “It may stand out as a landmark of our time a century from today.” Nope.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Literal cats. One senses that Le Matin does not appreciate jazz music.

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Today -100: June 10, 1919: Of treaties, suffrage, and pickle deluges

Woodrow Wilson refused to provide the Senate a copy of the draft treaty, so Sen. William Borah (R-Idaho) starts to read out the leaked version, which he was given by the Chicago Tribune. Dems object (Marcus Smith of Arizona calls the illicit acquisition of the treaty a “crime against humanity”). Several hours of debate ensue, but finally the document is put into the Senate record.

Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge passes the federal women’s suffrage Amendment to the General Court, with his personal recommendation that they ratify it.

The hopes for an independent Rhineland are fading (and French support falling away).

Liechtenstein threatens to cut communications with the peace conference (which would also cut Paris-Vienna communications) if it doesn’t get a response to its request to join the League of Nations.

Headline of the Day -100:

A low-flying airplane panics horses pulling a pickle wagon...

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Sunday, June 09, 2019

Today -100: June 9, 1919: Of treaties, shimmies, and cranky conductors

The NYT prints excerpts from the leaked draft peace treaty across pages 1 to 6 of today’s paper. That’s the treaty the Wilson Administration is stubbornly refusing to provide to the Senate.

Costa Rica, having crushed a revolt, is threatening to invade Nicaragua, which it says aided that revolt. Nicaragua asks the US to land Marines to protect it from Costa Rica.

Police in Coney Island ban “modern” dances and are now patrolling dance halls, expelling anyone dancing the “shimmy.” You can find examples of that dance on YouTube, but be sure you have a fainting couch handy.

In other cultural news, Arturo Toscanini beats up his second violinist during a concert in Turin, hitting him with his baton and then with his fist. The performance was a Beethoven symphony. Which symphony is not stated; No. 6, the Pastoral, would be funniest.

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Saturday, June 08, 2019

Today -100: June 8, 1919: Of pogroms, princely canines, driver’s licenses, and monkey speech

The US’s acting ambassador to Poland Hugh Gibson says the stories of pogroms against Jews have been exaggerated, and anyway the feeling against certain classes of Jews is more economic than religious. So that’s okay then.

Headline of the Day -100:

Yeah, some random German lieutenant totally sold Major Thatcher “the crown prince’s dog.”

When the NY Legislature decided to add a test for driver’s licenses (in New York City only), I kind of assumed it’d be about traffic laws and suchlike. Instead, the 24 questions will include: “Are you crippled in any manner?” “Have you ever been confined in an asylum or institution for the insane or for other mental affections?” Also, drug & alcohol use, vision or hearing impairment, epilepsy, fainting spells...

Prof. Charles  Aschemeier, Smithsonian-funded African explorer, denies Prof. Richard Lynch Garner’s claim to have captured the Missing Link, saying he himself did that. He also denies that Garner, author of The Speech of Monkeys, can in fact speak with monkeys. Aschemeier says even African jungle natives, themselves barely more intelligent than apes, can’t speak with monkeys.

He said that, not me.

Ecuador abolishes debt peonage.

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