Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Today -100: June 2, 1920: Of expert treatment and artificial stimulation, ratifications, and daring raids


A week before the Republican national convention, Sen. Warren G. Harding’s campaign, which was considered moribund, is picking up again, the beneficiary “expert treatment and artificial stimulation” from party elders using him in order to stop Gen. Leonard Wood, and definitely not because they intend to make him president. The plan is to keep Wood from winning for several ballots, in part by depriving him of the votes of delegates from Ohio, Harding’s home state, and then choosing the candidate behind closed doors.

Even though the Ohio State Constitution says that the state can only ratify federal Amendments after a popular referendum, the US Supreme Court rules that the Legislature’s ratification of the 18th Amendment was final, despite prohibition losing in the subsequent referendum last November.

That ruling also means that Ohio’s ratification of the women’s suffrage Amendment stands.

Sinn Féiners raid a military barracks, in central Dublin no less, take 25 soldiers captive, make off with a whole bunch of weapons and ammo, and melt into a cheering crowd.


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Monday, June 01, 2020

Today -100: June 1, 1920: Of provisional presidents and quaint Memorial Day traditions


Mexican Provisional President Adolfo de la Huerta, just appointed and already suffering from appendicitis, pledges that any candidates in the upcoming elections won’t be killed, probably.

Sen. Albert Fall (R[acist dickhead]-New Mexico)’s Foreign Affairs sub-committee demands that the new Mexican government be made to sign a new treaty and rewrite its Constitution to safeguard the property and lives and property of Americans living in Mexico (i.e., oil companies). American citizens should be exempted from the rules regarding land and mineral ownership, religious activities and schools that mere Mexicans have to abide by and not be subject to summary expulsion from the country like every other non-Mexican. Failing that, the committee recommends sending troops to “open and maintain open every line of communication between the City of Mexico and every seaport and border port in Mexico.” It also expresses concern about the number of Japanese in Mexico without, near as I can tell, explaining its problem with them.

At a Memorial Day event in Liscomb, Iowa, veterans firing a salute accidentally shoot 42 members of the crowd.


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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Today -100: May 31, 1920: Of fools and socks


Ahead of its general election, Germany is rife with rumors of coups by nationalists, communists, or both. Chancellor Hermann Müller says Germany must show “that she has had enough of war for all eternity, and that no fool, crowned or uncrowned, shall drag Germany into a war of revenge.”

Coney Island bathing suit censors, out in force this Memorial Day weekend, go after women wearing socks and men wearing one-piece bathing suits, because too sexy for 1920, I guess.


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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Today -100: May 30, 1920: What the Well-Dressed Opera-Goer and Presidential Candidate Are Wearing


US Attorney Annette Adams is nominated to be assistant attorney general. She will be the first woman assistant attorney general, the highest federal office occupied by a woman so far.

The House of Representatives passes a bonus bill for veterans through an extraordinary suspension of the rules to limit debate, so much of the argument was about that. Robert Evans (R-Neb.) says “It is an outrage that 425 members are only eunuchs in the harem of the Steering and Rules Committee.” Most of the funding would come through various taxes on Wall Street and tobacco. Vets could choose one of the following: cash, or a 20-year bond, or vocational training, or farm or loan aid, or land settlement. The cash would be $1.25 per day of service overseas or $1 at home, to a max of $625. The bill is expected to die in the Senate.

Pres. Wilson commutes the sentence of Kate Richards O’Hare, who was convicted under the Espionage Act for opposing the war.

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Tomas Masaryk is chosen as president of Czechoslovakia by the country’s first elected parliament. During the proceedings, ethnic German deputies (think Sudetenland) complain that the Speaker spoke Czech rather than German. They later storm out.

The Indian National Congress has its own commission on the Amritsar Massacre, including Gandhi, which issues its own report. It suggests that the actions of Sir Michael O’Dwyer, Lt. Gov. of the Punjab, invited violence to justify a violent crackdown. It distances the actions of the Indian mob from Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement. It describes the massacre as “a calculated piece of inhumanity unparalleled in its ferocity.”

The NYT continues to push John W. Davis for the Democratic nomination for president. It thinks he’d be a really strong candidate. Ambassador Davis will have a chance to prove them woefully wrong, but not just yet. The Times also suggests that the Republicans, who “boast that they are the party of intelligence” (cough), not nominate Hiram Johnson; it does not suggest an alternative candidate.

News that Hungary will sign the peace treaty has supposedly led to many suicides being fished out of the Danube. And the army may refuse to evacuate territories as required by the treaty.


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Friday, May 29, 2020

Today -100: May 29, 1920: Of sentimental idealism, women’s suffrage, and Willy’s new suit


The House fails to override Pres. Wilson’s veto of the Knox Resolution to end the war. Stephen Porter (R-Penn.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, accuses Wilson of attempting , in his veto message, to lead the American people “into the underbrush of sentimental idealism, which is beautiful and attractive in theory, but is extremely dangerous in these days.” D’s point out that if the R’s were really so concerned with repealing wartime regulations, they could just do that.

Women’s suffrage Amendment ratification dies in the Delaware Legislature.

Former czar Wilhelm II has taken up tailoring as a hobby, because why not.


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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Today -100: May 28, 1920: Of ineffacable stains


Pres. Wilson vetoes the Knox resolution to end the war. He says it would ignore the moral obligations which the US assumed when it went to war and would “place ineffacable stains on the gallantry and honor of the United States.” He says “The resolution seeks to establish peace with the German Empire without exacting from the German Government any action by way of setting right the infinite wrongs which it did to the peoples whom it attacked,” nor would it reduce armaments or establish freedom of the seas. The US would be announcing its unwillingness to assume “responsibilities with regard to the freedom of nations or the sacredness of international obligation or the safety of independent peoples.” “Have we sacrificed the lives of more than 100,000 Americans and ruined the lives of thousands of others and brought upon thousands of American families an unhappiness that can never end for purposes which we do not now care to sate or take further steps to attain?” I think that’s a trick question.

Rep. Nicholas Longworth (R-Ohio) points out an interview during the war in which Wilson was unconcerned with the freedom of the seas. Longworth asks “did the same man who gave the interview write the message?”, which I take to be suggesting not so subtly that someone else wrote the veto message. And while someone else (Mrs Wilson comes to mind) might easily have done so, it sounds very much like Wilson’s sentiments.

Canada puts in a rather belated claim for reparations from Germany of $1,871,000,000. Evidently it expects Germany to pay the whole cost of the war against it as well as $30 million for the explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax harbor in 1917 after it bumped another ship, which Canada is still pretending was a German plot of some kind.

Republican party leaders intend to keep the issue of prohibition out of the national convention.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Today -100: May 27, 1920: Of generals and minimum wages


Rodolfo Herrera, the Mexican general in charge of the siege of Carranza’s camp, is arrested for questioning about the latter’s death. Herrera insists Carranza committed suicide.

The Senate kills a bill for a $3 a day minimum wage for government employees.


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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Today -100: May 26, 1920: Of Jim Crow conventions, massacres, 2.75% beer, married teachers, and general soreness


300 black delegates to the Texas Republican Convention quit it and hold their own convention after some are refused credentials by, you know, racists. So yet another state will send two competing delegations to the national convention in Chicago, although both will evidently support Gen. Wood. Oh, and the black delegates are led by a banker from Fort Worth known as “Gooseneck” Bill McDonald, the first black millionaire in Texas.

The commission led by Lord Hunter into “unrest” in India, including last year’s Amritsar Massacre, issues two reports, one from the 5 British members, one from the 3 Indian members. The two reports disagree on whether the anti-European attitude of the natives developed before or after the massacre, but agree that the soldiers needed to shoot into the crowd, though maybe not for quite that long. They also differ over whether the protests constituted “open rebellion” and whether martial law was necessary. Even the British members think Dyer’s order for Indians to crawl if they wanted to cross a particular street where a British woman had been assaulted was a bad move.

The feds say they will ignore the NY law authorizing 2.75% beer and prosecute those who sell it.

The New York Board of Education rescinds the 1903 rule barring married women teachers being hired or promoted.

French President Paul Deschanel is recovering from falling out of his train. According to his doctors, “There is general soreness, but no nervousness.”

Same.


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Monday, May 25, 2020

Today -100: May 25, 1920: It may surprise you, but I am Deschanel, president of the Republic


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To be fair to that railroad trackwalker, Paul Deschanel may well have been crazy. So the president of France falls out of the window of the moving presidential train. He walks, in his pj’s, to the nearest town, coming across that sceptical trackwalker along the way. He claims to have fallen out of the window of his carriage when trying to open it, but there are... questions. PM Millerand tells the NYT correspondent that Deschanel is “sound physically and mentally.” That he felt impelled to add that “and mentally” is not a good sign.

Pres. Wilson asks Congress to give him the power to accept the mandate over Armenia. He doesn’t actually think this might happen, does he?

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The New York Legislature passes a bill for 2.75% beer, which it defines as non-intoxicating, and Gov. Al Smith signs it. The beer can be drunk in restaurants but only with meals.

A Swiss newspaper reports that various Russian nobles and officers say the Czar and his family escaped and are living quietly in Japan.


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