Thursday, August 22, 2019

Today -100: August 22, 1919: Well, everyone needs a hobby

Headline of the Day -100: 

The US Cavalry troops in Mexico kill four bandits. The only casualty on the US side is a cactus-related injury. Carranza asks the US to remove its troops from his country, please and gracias.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Sen. Albert Fall asked whether the US could just skip the whole peace treaty thing and go straight to declaring that a state of peace exists. 

A black man is lynched in Louisburg, North Carolina.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Today -100: August 21, 1919: It ain’t over...

Japan will replace the military administration it has used to run Korea since conquering and annexing it with a civilian one and says it will treat Korea on the same footing as Japan itself... “in due course.” This is intended to shut up the independence movement but won’t. Even with the recent violent suppression of independence protesters, the rest of the world hasn’t much cared. When Korean exiles in the US, including future South Korean president Syngman Rhee, asked the State Dept for permission to travel to Paris to make their case to the Peace Conference, they were told to apply to Japan, since they were after all Japanese subjects now.

Congress overrides Wilson’s veto of the Daylight Saving repeal.

Headline of the Day -100: 

To be fair, he was a music publisher and asked her to sing (Beethoven).

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Today -100: August 20, 1919: Of incursions, battles at sea, and la la Lucilles

Troops from the 8th Cavalry cross into Mexico to look for the two captured aviators. Who were in the process of being released anyway, if I understand the timeline correctly. So now the troops are trying to find and “punish” the Villaista bandits who held them.

British Navy ships sink a Russian battle cruiser and a destroyer in the Gulf of Finland and bombard Kronstadt.

The Broadway strike continues to spread, shutting down “La La Lucille.” I’m enjoying the names of Broadway plays.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Today -100: August 19, 1919: Of non-disasters, regents, beer, and gas

Headline of the Day -100: 

The Supreme Council of the Peace Conference won’t respond to Archduke Joseph’s request that he be recognized as regent of Hungary.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Pee as much as you like, guys.

Headline of the Day -100:  

After the last item, I think you know where I’m heading here...

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Today -100: August 18, 1919: Women are determined to vote by 1920

The National Woman’s Party is putting pressure on governors and legislatures to hold special sessions to speed up ratification of the women’s suffrage Amendment. “Women are determined to vote by 1920,” says Alice Paul.

The new German constitution (aka the Weimar Constitution) is now in effect. Reichstag, popularly elected president, dialing down the dominance of the Imperial Council by Prussia, women’s suffrage, equal rights (i.e., no aristocracy), free speech, religion, etc.

Two US Army aviators went missing, but it’s okay, they’re safe in the hands of.... Mexican bandits, who would appreciate $15,000 to let them go. In gold.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Today -100: August 17, 1919: Of archdukes, foreign legions, and deliverances

Hungary: Archduke Joseph appoints a new cabinet. The Socialists refuse to join, so it’s just a bunch of “old reactionaries,” and the Entente will likely not accept it as a representative government. They also won’t accept Joseph trying to weasel his way into monarchical powers; he’s said fine he’ll just retire from public life then, he didn’t want to be king anyway, fine.

France is doing things in the occupied Rhineland that go beyond what’s allowed in the Peace Treaty, including recruiting for the French Foreign Legion and mandating that French be taught in elementary schools.

NYC’s subways, street cars and elevated trains are all going on strike. And the theatre strike is spreading.

Maybe a movie instead?

Featuring the actual Helen Keller & Annie Sullivan, playing themselves, in the latter part of the biopic. There are clips of it online.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Today -100: August 16, 1919: Of hats in hands, insurance, spheres of influence, and daylight savings

Woodrow Wilson tells senators that if they fuck up the peace treaty, the US will have to go “hat in hand” to beg Germany for bilateral terms. That’s not as stupid as it sounds, since the US would have too few soldiers left in Europe to have a strong bargaining position.

The Cleveland Railways Company takes out a $10,110,000 insurance policy against riots.

Britain and Persia come to an agreement in which Britain will loan Persia $2 million in exchange for “influence” – control of its military and finances, that sort of thing. And yes, Britain knows that Persia has oil.

Woodrow Wilson again vetoes a bill repealing Daylight Savings. He says it may be inconvenient for the farmers, but the needs of industry are more important right now.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Today -100: August 15, 1919: Don’t spend it all in one place, Henry

Henry Ford’s libel suit against the Chicago Tribune reaches its conclusion, after three long months: he is awarded damages of 6¢ (and costs). So does that mean that Ford is an anarchist or that he isn’t, or...?

The US threatens Mexico with “a radical change in its policy with regard to Mexico” if American citizens keep getting killed there. Does that mean military intervention? The US ain’t sayin’.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Today -100: August 14, 1919: Of cement trusts and Polish armies

The Justice Dept takes action against the “Cement Trust,” 19 cement companies that conspired to drive up the price of cement by 2 or 3 times.

Poland is creating a huge army supposedly to protect itself against possible invasion from Bolshevik Russia, and certainly not to grab a chunk of the Ukraine off a weakened Bolshevik Russia.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Today -100: August 13, 1919: But I value my manhood above everything else

Headline of the Day -100: 

Even while the NYT’s usual “reliable” sources reliably predict the imminent reliable downfall of Bolshevism, the paper finally admits that Adm. Kolchak: The Night Stalker is in full retreat.

The peace deal, naturally, provided for the return of prisoners of war. But the Allies didn’t want Russian POWs being returned to Bolshevik Russia, so Germany still has ‘em. The German prison camps were taken over by the Allies, but now they’re handing them back to Germany, which really doesn’t feel like feeding 300,000 prisoners, and can’t just push them over the border into Poland.

Austria has been referring to itself as German Austria. The Peace Conference tells it to stop that and call itself the Republic of Austria.

Woodrow Wilson wants to use Secret Service detectives to track down food profiteers (but needs legislation to do so).

The theater strike reaches Chicago. George M. Cohan, vowing to fight the actors, quits the Friars Club: “The stage is my life, but I value my manhood above everything else.” The latest Broadway plays affected: “She Would and She Did,” “Too Many Husbands,” “A Bashful Hero,” “The Girl in the Limousine,” “The Great Illusion,” “Adam and Eva,” and “Nightie Night.”

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Today -100: August 12, 1919: Of carnegies, shantungs, chihuahuas, and the ancient rivalry between bears and leafs

Andrew Carnegie, steel tycoon and library nerd, once the richest man in America, dies at 83.

Woodrow Wilson rejects the Senate’s demands for data relating to his decision to acquiesce in Japan’s demand for Shantung, specifically the memo written by Gen. Tasker Bliss on behalf of himself, Secretary of State Lansing and others, objecting to that decision. Wilson rather comically denies that it was a “protest” because it was written before the decision was made by the peace conference, so how could they be protesting something that hadn’t happened? So Wilson won’t let the Senate see it, because it’s “confidential.” In fact, Bliss et al fiercely opposed implementing a treaty that China had only agreed to under strong coercion from Japan, saying it made a mockery of the 14 Points. Bliss came close to resigning.

Mexico executes 15 people accused of trying to foment a pro-Pancho Villa mutiny in Chihuahua.

Headline Which Might Be Interesting If It Weren’t About Fucking Baseball But It Is About Fucking Baseball of the Day -100: 

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Today -100: August 11, 1919: Of fair prices, murder leagues, and mad artists

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer asks war-time food administrators to form local Fair Price Committees to determine how much of the skyrocketing food price increases is excessive. He doesn’t intend to prosecute anyone, just shame them.

Sweden has arrested or detained 66 Russians believed to be part of a “political murder league” that’s been killing various Russian exiles.

Obituary of the Day -100: 

Rude. Blakelock had been in an asylum for 18 years, starting around the time he finally achieved some recognition as a painter. For years the doctors thought his belief that he was a famous artist was another sign of insanity. He also thought he was rich, which he was not, having sold most of his his paintings for negligible amounts. One of them (the top one below, I think, but I’m not sure since he painted a bunch of pictures he titled Moonlight) later set a record amount for a sale by an American artist, $20,000, 30 years after he’d sold it for $500.

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Today -100: August 10, 1919: La commedia è finita

Sen. Joseph McCormick (R-Illinois), talking about the Chicago race riots, both-sides racial violence, condemning both lynchings in the South and blacks who moved to Chicago “whose truculence in public places invited resentment.”

New York County DA Edward Swann reminds the police commissioner that hand grenades are dangerous and that people selling them as souvenirs should be arrested.

Ruggero Leoncavallo, composer of the opera Pagliacci (1892), dies at 62. He based Pagliacci on a court case in which his father was magistrate. It was the first opera to be recorded uncut (1907) and the first one filmed uncut (1931).

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Friday, August 09, 2019

Today -100: August 9, 1919: Of unconscionable profits, deserters, heroin, and Zorro

Woodrow Wilson, speaking before Congress, offers a plan to deal with the high cost of living: continuing the wartime Food Control Act, licensing all corporations engaged in interstate commerce to prevent “unconscionable profits,” penalties for profiteering, etc. He also asks unions (i.e., railway unions) to “think and act like true Americans,” by which he means not go on strike to get pay increases matching inflation. Good luck with that.

The Netherlands is kicking 7,000 German army deserters who sought asylum there during the war out of the country, since Germany has declared an amnesty.

The Association of Pharmaceutical Chemists annual meeting (in June) says doctors should stop prescribing heroin.

What To Read: “The Curse of Capistrano” by Johnston McCulley, serialized from today in All-Story Weekly. It’s the first Zorro story.

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Thursday, August 08, 2019

Today -100: August 8, 1919: Of strikes, regents, and things which are verboten in Lorraine

Brooklyn Rapid Transit and Broadway actors are both on strike, so I’m not expecting much else from the NYT today.

Gyula Peidl, who succeeded Béla Kun as prime minister of Hungary earlier this week, is ousted by Archduke Joseph (acting as regent rather than something more, you know, monarchical), who appoints right-winger István Friedrich as PM.

When France reacquired Lorraine, it banned the speaking of German after 10:00 pm and on trains. This has now been lifted, since it turns out many Alsace-Lorrainihoovians don’t speak French very well.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Today -100: August 7, 1919: Of hoarders, occupations, and peace terms

The Wilson administration is planning to tackle the high cost of living by pretending it’s entirely the fault of “hoarders.” So the Justice Dept will charge meat-packing companies under anti-trust laws.

Romania, ignoring Allied orders to remove its troops from Hungary now that Béla Kun has been ousted, issues demands on Hungary – reduction of its army to 15,000, giving up half its railroad supplies and 30% of its harvest animals, etc etc.

Austria responds to the Peace Conference’s terms, complaining about the loss of so much territory, especially the Tyrol district and southern Bohemia, and to being saddled with 2/3 of the debt of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Today -100: August 6, 1919: Of shantungs and detestable Prussian systems

Japan formally declares its intention not to hold Shantung, the Chinese territory it grabbed from Germany during the war. We’ll see.

The National Guard Association objects to the idea of universal military service, “that detestable Prussian system which is abhorrent to the American people.”

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Monday, August 05, 2019

Today -100: August 5, 1919: Of mediation, occupations, and conscription

The British government will stop mediating labor disputes, as it was forced to do during the war.

Despite the ouster of Béla Kun and the Entente telling them not to, Romanian troops occupy Budapest. Romania has its own agenda. The Allies also order Hungary to cease relations with Russia.

The War Dept. wants compulsory three months’ military training for 19-year-olds, who would then remain in the reserves for 2 years.

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Sunday, August 04, 2019

Today -100: August 4, 1919: Of hooliganism and prohibition

“Liverpool is in the grip of hooliganism,” the NYT says as if that were news. There’s a police strike, hence looting.

The Anti-Saloon League denies it will try to ban tobacco next. Rather, it will focus on enforcement of prohibition in the US and spreading prohibition throughout the world.

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Saturday, August 03, 2019

Today -100: August 3, 1919: I made the best fight I could

Congress is working on returning railroads to private ownership. The big four railroad unions, representing 2 million RR employees, demand that this not happen. They’re also demanding higher wages.

The Association Opposed to National Prohibitions claims that the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, having succeeded in enacting prohibition, will go after tobacco next.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Postal relations between the US and Germany having been restored, Germans in the US are sending sausages to their relatives in Germany (and lard and ham and butter). Postage is 12¢ a pound.

A Phoebe Williams of Brooklyn has been under 24-hour police guard in hospital since jumping from her 3rd-story apartment nearly 2 years ago. The charge of attempting suicide has just been dropped.

300 cars are stolen every year in New York City.

Chicago: arson destroys the houses of Stock Yards workers, evidently blacks burning white workers’ homes. So blacks will be banned from working at the Stock Yards, because nothing solves racial tensions like firing a bunch of people on the basis of race.

There’s an article in today’s NYT Sunday Magazine section that ascribes Chicago’s racial strife to the influx of blacks during the war and the consequent expansion of the Black Belt into formerly all-white neighborhoods. The blacks demanded, and got, representation on the city council, with the connivance, as the writer sees it, of Mayor Big Bill Thompson, who let gambling saloons and cabarets develop freely in the Black Belt in exchange for votes: “Jazz bands filled the air with syncopated sound, while in the cabarets whites and blacks intermingled in carousal. It was here that the ‘shimmy’ dance is said to have originated.” So I guess the theory is that black people experienced so little policing that they thought they could get away with anything. Like responding when a white man killed one of them with stones?

You will have noted the pro-segregation agenda behind the phrase “intermingled in carousal”.

Allied threats and Romanian military incursions force the resignation of Béla Kun as head of the Hungarian government. He will go into exile (and internment) in Austria. Sez Kun, “If you demand it, I must resign. I made the best fight I could.”

Last October, conscientious objector Priv. Lester Ott was sentenced to death for refusing to clean up Fort Riley. Pres. Wilson commutes that to 6 years in prison.

There are reports of pogroms in Odessa.

What to Read: Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence, reviewed today. I’ve, um, seen the movie version.

Nebraska ratifies the women’s suffrage Amendment. 14 down, 22 to go.

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Friday, August 02, 2019

Today -100: August 2, 1919: Of race riots, internationalists, hammersteins, and breaches of promises

Headline of the Day -100: 

Race rioting has “practically ceased” in Chicago. Soldiers patrol the streets and “all places where men congregate for other than religious purposes” have been ordered closed. The army bought up every issue of a black newspaper, the Chicago Whip, because of incendiary material. Gov. Frank Lowden (R) plans to create a committee of 5 whites and 5 blacks who aren’t in politics to draw up a code of ethics for interracial relations, meaning an agreement on separate beaches, stores, parks, residential areas, etc. So Lowden’s solution to racial tensions, in the absence of legal segregation, is to implement it informally.

Woodrow Wilson tells Sen. James Watson (R-Indiana), in one of those one-on-sessions that seem to have convinced not a single senator to support Wilson’s position, that if the Senate insists on putting reservations on the ratification of the Peace Treaty, it will take longer to set up the League of Nations and in the meantime Europe will descend into chaos. Then he & Watson get into a fight over whether he’s an internationalist. Wilson says he is not an internationalist.

Oscar Hammerstein, who built many theaters and opera houses and was to a large extent responsible for the creation of Times Square as a theater district, dies at 73. The Metropolitan once paid him a rumored $2 million to get out of the opera business, since the competition with his Manhattan Opera House was ruining both of them, but that agreement was due to expire in 1920.

Hermann Otto Boehme, a manufacturer of electrical appliances in NYC, is arrested in a suit by Elfrieda Arntz for breach of promise of marriage. She wants $100,000 for his failure to marry her, and he was about to skedaddle for Germany. She says the non-marriage has left her in a mental condition where she can no longer continue her employment as governess. She works as governess to the children of a Dr. Edward Cowles, whose wife named his closeness with Arntz when she sued him for divorce a few years ago. Cowles, we are informed for some reason, is a cousin of Theodore Roosevelt’s brother-in-law. Anyway, I didn’t know you could actually be arrested for breach of promise.

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Thursday, August 01, 2019

Today -100: August 1, 1919: Of race riots & dusenberries

Chicago race riots, Day Five. The Black Belt on the South Side is now patrolled by soldiers, lots of soldiers, so things are a bit calmer, just the one murder & some arson. The arson now seems to be more deliberate, a concerted plan to drive blacks out. Food is finally getting to the Black Belt in trucks driven by white drivers up to the “dead line,” then taken over by black drivers. The soldiers have mounted machine guns but haven’t used them.

John Clinton of Beacon, New York, age 91, marries his housekeeper, a Miss Sadie Dusenberry, 35. I’m just saying: if a 35-year-old housekeeper was going to marry her 91-year-old employer in 1919, she would definitely have been named Sadie Dusenberry.

Gen. “Black Jack” Pershing says he’d prefer the bodies of dead American soldiers not be brought home from France.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Today -100: July 31, 1919: Of race riots, surplus food, and women’s suffrage

Chicago race riots, Day Four. At least 5 more dead, a lot of arson, mostly in the Black Belt of the South Side, which is running out of food. Gov. Frank Lowden (R) is in town and could actually observe a white mob chasing two black men in front of his hotel. Mayor Thompson finally asks the governor for troops. 15,000 rifles are removed from high schools, which are evidently really well armed (for cadet drills). US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer says the race riots in Chicago and D.C. are from local causes, not Bolshevik propaganda.

The War Department starts selling off its surplus food, through the post offices. Postmasters and mail carriers will work as salesmen.

Montana ratifies the women’s suffrage Amendment, with just one legislator dissenting. 13 down, 23 to go.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Today -100: July 30, 1919: Germany is not dead

Third day of the Chicago race riots. 28 dead so far, 500 injured. Okay, I’m gonna say what the NYT seems unwilling to say: most of the whites actively participating in this, invading the Black Belt of Chicago in groups looking for a fight, that sort of thing, are Irish (including, very probably, future mayor Richard Daley). About as many whites are getting killed as blacks, because this is not the South. The cop who at the start of all this refused to arrest the white man/youth who threw the stones at the black kids’ raft, resulting in the drowning of one of them, is suspended. For some reason we still have no name for that black kid.

The trans-Atlantic steamship Chicago leaves Bordeaux for Chicago 4 days late because the French crew was on strike for better wine (they get a quart a day).

Italian Prime Minister Franceso Nitti, noting out that France is looking for alliances with the distant United States and with England, “which has not ceased to be an island,” but not with Italy, begs for such an alliance. “Germany is not dead,” he points out.

France is still refusing to allow the US to repatriate the bodies of dead soldiers, because it might lead to an epidemic and because they’re not letting French families retrieve their war dead.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Today -100: July 29, 1919: The present race riots are no surprise to me

The race riots in Chicago continue. 14 known dead today, 9 of them white. Knives, guns, stones. State’s Attorney Maclay Hoyne says “The present race riots are no surprise to me... The police department is so demoralized by politicians, both black and white, on the South Side that the police are afraid to arrest men who are supposed to have political backing.” He says “a certain white politician” has been distributing guns to “vicious colored persons who would be likely to engage in race rioting.” Hoyne is running for mayor.

The Arkansas Legislature ratifies the women’s suffrage Amendment. 12 down, 24 to go.

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Today -100: July 28, 1919: Furious race riots are the worst kind

Headline of the Day -100:

The precipitating factor: some blacks on a raft drifted into the white section of the 29th Street beach (the unofficial white section; there is no legal segregation in Illinois). White beach-goers attacked them with stones, killing a black on a raft and a white swimmer. It escalated from there after a white cop refused to arrest the white man who threw the rock that killed Eugene Williams, l17, eading to street brawls, shooting, and I think arson. This is Day One. There was a good article in the Chicago Tribune earlier this month.

Washington DC’s race riots seem to be over, and the troops brought in last week have been removed. The state of Maryland is demanding the extradition of a black man accused of assaulting a white woman, but the DC police are refusing because they believe his alibi and that he’d be lynched as soon as he was handed over.

The NYT accuses “Reds” – defined as the IWW, Socialists, and Bolsheviks – of conducting a “vicious and apparently well financed propaganda” to “stir up discontent” among negroes. It quotes one of these vicious publications, shown to it by an unnamed federal official, calling viciously for “a new society – a society of equals, without class, race, caste, or religious distinctions.” Vicious.

And in an editorial, the Times darkly asserts, “It is rather hard to believe that in such widely separated cities as Washington and Chicago there could be an outbreak of violent racial animosity within a certain number of days, and all without influence or suggestion from any outside source.” It goes on to suggest that the IWW propaganda among the negroes follows the German-pacifist propaganda early in the Great War. It doesn’t explain how the IWW got a white racist to throw rocks at black kids on a raft. It warns: “the worst enemies of the negro race are those who may have incited them to stir up a dormant feeling which cannot result in anything but injury to them.”

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Today -100: July 27, 1919: Of aerial marriage, broken men, and food blackmail

At an event for the (NYC) Police Pension Fund, Army Aviation Corps Lt. Alexander Wouters is married to Emily Schaeffer while both are up in a plane. The clergyman is in another plane, conducting the service over radio telephone, broadcast through megaphones to the crowd. As you do.

Headline of the Day -100: 

The Peace Conference will offer Hungary food relief and a lifting of the blockade... if it overthrows the Béla Kun government. 

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Today -100: July 26, 1919: At such a time as this to indulge in faction for the sake of faction would, indeed, be a criminal enterprise

Pres. Wilson says US troops will remain in Siberia to keep the Siberian Railroad going and certainly not to interfere in Russian affairs, perish the thought.

The French Chamber of Deputies discusses the mistreatment of non-white French soldiers by US military police in French ports. We don’t get details because the French government really doesn’t want them discussed, but reading between the lines it sounds like the MPs were trying to keep soldiers from the French overseas territories & colonies away from white women.

Pres. Wilson tightens the restrictions on sales of guns to Mexico.

British Secretary of War Winston Churchill denies that he intends to form a Centre Party, as previously reported, he just wants to prevent British politics going back to the old party system. In these times, everything should be national national national. “What a time to play such a game in now that our country has arrived at the supreme pinnacle of splendor and of power... At such a time as this to indulge in faction for the sake of faction would, indeed, be a criminal enterprise.”

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Today -100: July 25, 1919: Doomed jazz is the best kind

Republican senators are curious about why Pres. Wilson has failed to submit (or even show them) the treaty in which the US & Britain agreed to defend France.

A black man accused of assaulting a white woman is lynched in Gilmer, Texas.

There was also a lynching two months ago in Milan, Georgia, of a 72-year-old black man who killed a white man “in defense of a negro woman.”  Milan officials succeeded in keeping the story secret until now because, they said, it would help them track down and arrest the lynchers. Which of course they have not done. In a couple of days, Gov. Hugh Dorsey will offer a $1,000 reward, to which a local doctor adds $500.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Doomed, doomed I tell you!  In other news, there’s an “Imperial Society of Dancing Teachers.”

The Georgia state legislature rejects the women’s suffrage amendment. Both houses, wasn’t even close. Some of them are upset that Woodrow Wilson dared to ask them to pass it.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Today -100: July 24, 1919: Of interpretations

Lenin has supposedly offered to cede Bessarabia to Romania if it prevents Ukrainians and Adm. Kolchak’s forces crossing through Romania.

William Howard Taft offers some “interpretations” of the League of Nations Covenant that he thinks will make it acceptable to the Senate, including no ban on war, the US being able to impose tariffs or racist immigration bans, the Monroe Doctrine, etc. Taft proposes these interpretations in a letter to Will Hays, chairman of the RNC, suggesting that the former president’s name be kept out of it, since some R. senators don’t like him. Taft thinks Wilson would accept the reservations, which is not the impression Wilson is giving to the senators he’s meeting.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Today -100: July 23, 1919: Of invasions and race riots

An army of soldiers from Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy, and the French colonies is preparing to invade Hungary.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voting on party lines, rejects Wilson’s request that they approve a provisional appointment of a US representative on the Reparations Committee.

More race rioting in DC, with a couple more dead. Soldiers are patrolling the streets (hopefully not the same soldiers who were rampaging a few days ago). Machine guns are deployed but not used.

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Today -100: July 22, 1919: Of blazing blimps, carnivals of inquisitions, race riots, and cows

Headline of the Day -100: 

Extra points for “Blazing Blimp,” NYT headline writer. It’s a Goodyear Blimp, by the way. Most of the dead (which will reach 13) are bank employees; the crew escaped the falling, blazing blimp by parachute, except for a mechanic whose parachute caught fire. $50,000 in government bonds are burned up (or so the bank says). Chicago will bring in new rules about blimps flying over the city.

(from the Chicago Tribune)

The prohibition enforcement bill (the future Volstead Act) continues to steamroller through Congress. One amendment allows people to serve liquor to “bona fide guests” in their house. An amendment that possession of alcohol should be taken as prima facie evidence of intent to distribute fails. Rep. Nicholas Longworth (R-Ohio) notes that the 18th Amendment says nothing about possession and calls proposals such as the one to make people declare how much booze they have at home “a hodge-podge of all sorts of liberty-crushing legislation... it provides regulations which it will take an army to enforce.” Sacramental wine will be permitted (there will be a lot of sacraments performed over the next 14 years). Rep. Thomas Crago (R-PA) says the American people will reject the “carnival of inquisition” the bill will bring in.

Race riots continue in DC with 4 more dead. The local blacks are now organizing retaliation attacks against cops and random white people. The white soldiers and sailors who started all this were today confined to their camps.

The presumably white colonel in command of the negro 10th Cavalry denies that his men started a riot in Bisbee, Arizona earlier this month. He says local officials deliberately provoked the soldiers with various assaults, hoping for an excuse for the cops to shoot them down. He says the IWW has something to do with the plot, which makes no sense at all.

Pres. Wilson asks the Senate to approve an interim appointment of a US rep on the Reparations Committee, so the US can have some say on the committee even before the treaty is ratified, which Wilson is totally sure it will be. Republicans naturally think he’s trying to trick them into recognizing the treaty.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Today -100: July 21, 1919: Of prohibition, treaties, independence, and dickmen

The US Senate is debating whether the prohibition enforcement law should include a ban on people keeping alcohol in their own homes (i.e., stocking up before prohibition comes in). The strict prohibitionists have been winning on every provision, including enforcing prohibition through temporary injunctions so that violators would be charged with contempt of court and imprisoned without any jury trial. It’s almost like they don’t believe prohibition will be popular.

The Peace Conference finishes the Austrian treaty. Austria will get Odenburg, which Hungary wants, and can which it could just take, since Austria’s army will be restricted to 30,000 men (without conscription). Big reparations, some of which are to be paid by countries like Hungary, Czechoslovakia etc that got Austrian territory, but those countries won’t be responsible for any of Austria’s war debt. Austria will have to give up cows (4,000 and 50 bulls to Italy, 1,000 to Serbia & Romania, etc). Also sheep and draft horses.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Filipinos were told by the Wilson Administration to expect independence soon. Congressional Republicans decide nah.

Dirty-Sounding Headline of the Day -100:  

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Today -100: July 20, 1919: Of POWs, red shit, race riots, and burning glasses

Germany still has 200-300,000 Russian prisoners of war. Poland, through which they would have to transit to reach Russia, is blocking their return.

Red Headlines of the Day -100:

Including, supposedly, a 70-year-old general (unnamed) for possessing weapons he kept as trophies.


Soldiers and sailors in Washington DC raid the negro part of town in response to rumors that some black guy attacked some white woman. There will be several days of this shit.

A Sunday Times Magazine article details the weapon that the British Royal Navy considered too fiendish to use: lasers.  Wait, what? “Burning glasses” –  giant lenses with mirrors and prisms to concentrate the rays of the sun at a distance, blowing up powder magazines and incinerating people.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Today -100: July 19, 1919: Of secret non-treaties, explanatory reservations, nons, impeachment, and lynchings

The State Dept claims that the alleged late-war German-Japanese secret treaty, published by Izvestia last November, which the Senate demanded Wilson show them, is a hoax.

Pres. Wilson holds more one-on-ones with Republican senators, as well as Dem. Gilbert Hitchcock. He evidently tells the latter that giving Shantung, the German concession in China, to Japan is not “so iniquitous as it has been painted.” I have no idea why the R’s are making such a big deal of that particular detail. Wilson’s chats with senators today seem to have focused on whether reservations the Senate might attach to ratification are interpretative or explanatory, which I’m sure is a very important distinction indeed.

The French Senate’s Electoral Committee rejects the women’s suffrage bill passed by the Chamber of Deputies.

Justice Dept investigators are trying to find out who had petitions printed calling for Pres. Wilson’s impeachment. They claim they just want to find out if it’s part of enemy propaganda. Sure they do.

Members of an Alabama lynch mob are convicted for the first time in the state’s history.

Yes, the victim was white. However did you guess?

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Today -100: July 18, 1919: Of kuns, fucking Alabama, and corsets

Béla Kun is ousted in Hungary, the NYT reports prematurely, citing “reliable sources.”

The other allies are putting the peace treaty arrangements into effect in Germany, hampered by the failure of the US to do its share while the Senate decides whether to ratify the treaty. There are 23 commissions called for in the treaty to administer it, and the US can’t name delegates to them. The US peace commissioners are no longer voting on policy matters.

Woodrow Wilson holds his first three conferences with senators, all of whom (without disclosing what was said in the meetings) say they have not changed their minds about the peace treaty.

The Alabama State Senate rejects the women’s suffrage amendment to the US Constitution, 19-13.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Today -100: July 17, 1919: Of saws, concentrated growls, vons, centres, and carrier pigeons

Headline of the Day -100: 

Former House speaker Champ Clark calls the policy of Senate Republicans “one concentrated growl.”

Pres. Wilson will invite 15 key Republican senators to the White House to try to persuade them to support the League of Nations. He will talk to them individually, not in a group.

Birkenfeld, pop. 45,000, declares itself a republic, independent of (Allied-occupied) Oldenburg.

The German National Assembly rejects a Socialist proposal to do away with ranks of nobility. However, there will be no special privileges associated with the “von.”

British Secretary of War Winston Churchill, who in his political career has already switched parties once (from Tory to Liberal), suggests that a Centre Party be formed from the moderates of all parties, a sort of continuance of the wartime Coalition, but to fight Bolshevism and keep Lloyd George in power.

The carrier pigeon that escaped from the R34 dirigible shows up on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic. He’s kind of tired.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Today -100: July 16, 1919: Of murderers, ultimata, secret treaties, and mail

Headline of the Day -100: 

From the never-ending libel case by Ford against the Chicago Tribune.

There’s a rumor that French Gen. Franchet d’Esperey gave an ultimatum to Béla Kun, leftie leader of Hungary, demanding he and his government resign in favor of a freely elected one, or face invasion and occupation. Kun probably realizes that d’Eesperey simply does not have nearly enough troops at his disposal for that.

The US Senate asks Pres. Wilson for a copy of a treaty allegedly signed between Germany and Japan last October for a separate peace.

Mail service between the US and Germany is ordered resumed.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Today -100: July 15, 1919: Of booze, dirigibles, and java

The attempts to repeal wartime prohibition or loosen the definition of intoxicating beverages are defeated in Congress.

Britain is sending forth another dirigible, the R33, which will visit India by way of France, Switzerland, Rome, and Cairo.

The latest suggested location for former kaiser Wilhelm’s exile: Java (Indonesia).

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Today -100: July 14, 1919: We want breakfast

Headline of the Day -100: 

“Wets” think they can repeal wartime prohibition, which is still in effect until demobilization is complete. Or if that fails, remove the definition of “intoxicating,” leaving it to the courts.

Sen. Elihu Root thinks the Senate can ratify the peace treaty after unilaterally adding reservations, without the Peace Conference  having to act on them. Really?

The British dirigible R34 ends its round-trip trans-Atlantic crossing, arriving at Pulham, England after a 75-hour trip from Long Island, a day of which was spent lost in the fog. “We want breakfast,” Major Scott says. He predicts there will soon be regular airship service between Europe and America. During the trip, one of the carrier pigeons escaped.

The Allies are considering headquartering the League of Nations in an internationalized part of Belgium in a new city, Geopolis, which would be built on some part of the Front. Which I guess would have the advantage of having literal buried unexploded mines alongside the metaphorical ones.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Dr. H.A. Zettel, a St Paul, Minnesota electropath, challenges Dr. H.W. Hill of the Minnesota Public Health Association to a duel... with germs. They will each expose themselves to typhoid, smallpox, bubonic plague, etc. Zettel, who does not believe in the germ theory, will protect himself from these diseases using only sanitation, pure air, and clean food and drink, while Hill will use vaccines. Whichever one survives will be a pallbearer at the other’s funeral. Sadly, they will not go through with it.

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Today -100: July 13, 1919: Of innocent policemen, daylight saving, the Three Pashas, horses, and prohibitionists

Irish Unionist leader Edward Carson tells Americans to butt out of Northern Irish affairs (totally missing the irony of a Unionist complaining about outside interference in Ireland). He blames them for stirring up Sinn Féin and thereby encouraging “the campaign of assassination of innocent policemen”. He also complains that nationalist Count Plunkett is allowed into the Carlton Club.

Pres. Wilson vetoes the Agriculture Bill because it repeals daylight saving. He also vetoes the Sundry Civil Bill because it only appropriates $6 million to rehabilitate disabled military men and he wants $8 million.

A Turkish court martial condemns Enver Pasha, Talaat Pasha, and Djemal Pasha (no relation), the leaders of the previous government that messed up the war so badly and killed so many Armenians, to death. In absentia – they all fled into exile at the end of the war. Some lesser officials are given lesser sentences. Over the next couple of years Armenians will assassinate Talaat and Djemal in retaliation for the genocide.

John “Chick” Owens, a black vaudeville actor, is stabbed to death by a man who tried to bum a cigarette and was offered only the makings.

Édouard de Billy, France’s deputy high commissioner to the United States, slated to be the next ambassador to the US, falls off his horse in the Bois de Boulogne and breaks his neck. Silly de Billy.

Hashtag of the Day -100:

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Today -100: July 12, 1919: Of corn

Sen. George Moses (R-New Hampshire) will offer a resolution inviting Pres. Wilson to come to the Senate every day at 10 am to discuss the treaty. He admits this is intended to prevent Wilson stumping the country on behalf of the League of Nations.

The Allies will end the blockade of Germany today.

The Corn Products Refining Company of Argo, Illinois will, as a result of its recent bloody strike, fire all its foreign-language-speaking workers.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Today -100: July 11, 1919: Of new roles and new responsibilities, amendments, and herring

Woodrow Wilson goes to the Senate to deliver the peace treaty. When he finishes speaking, explaining that the US now has “a new role and a new responsibility” in the world because God or destiny or something, the Republicans mostly fail to applaud. It’s almost like they don’t want a new role and a new responsibility.

They may try to amend the treaty. Wilson says that would take a 2/3 vote of the Senate, but Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge says a majority can amend it, the 2/3 is only for final ratification.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Today -100: July 10, 1919: Of travel bans, treaties, deportations, and elks

Rep. Philip Campbell (R-Kansas) introduces a bill preventing the president from leaving the country or indeed performing duties (such as signing bills) anywhere other than in D.C.

The German National Assembly votes 208-115, with 99 abstentions, to ratify the peace treaty.

The NYT thinks Woodrow Wilson is going to invade Mexico or something. To protect foreigners and restore law and order. Or, to put that another way, the Carranza government is trying to tax the US oil companies operating in Mexico.

64 Bisbee, Arizona men are charged with kidnapping and assault for the Bisbee Deporation almost exactly two years ago, in which 1,100 alleged IWW members and strikers were rounded up, put on a train, and dumped in the desert. The men named include the president of the Bank of Bisbee, a couple of city councilmen, the sheriff at the time, various mining company officials, a butcher, etc. I don’t think anything will come of this.

Headline of the Day -100: 

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, not the large mammal of the deer family.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Today -100: July 9, 1919: Of reservations, irritated Germans, and woodies

A majority of senators are now pledged to vote for the peace treaty & League of Nations covenant only with reservations.

Headline of the Day -100:

Some are more than irritated: German officers are committing suicide at a 38% higher rate than before the trial was announced.

Hindenburg is the latest to offer himself as substitute for Wilhelm at the trial. The NYT sees echoes of The Mikado.

Chief Secretary for Ireland Ian Macpherson outlaws Sínn Féin in County Tipperary, meaning membership is now a criminal offense. The government cites an alleged SF proclamation a few months ago declaring all cops in the South Riding of Tipperary to have forfeited their lives, ditto magistrates and anyone else upholding British rule. Also, snitches will totally get stitches. Éamon de Valera says the document is probably a fake. He does admit that the Republican Government has issued a call to ostracize the armed constabulary, you know, socially.

R. C. “Woody” Faulkner of California, a man who looks like Woodrow Wilson, decides on a visit to New York to dress like him, then gets upset when a crowd follows him down 42nd Street. He now vows never to impersonate the president again and says he wouldn’t want to be president “if that is the way you are treated.”

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Monday, July 08, 2019

Today -100: July 8, 1919: Of plots, Mars, and garbage trucks

An alleged anarchist plot to blow up Rome is thwarted. Phew.

Astronomy Professor David Peck Todd of Amherst will join a balloon attempt to reach a record altitude, from which point he plans to communicate with Mars. This is by no means his first attempt to, um, get high and talk to Mars. He once hiked up the Andes, but found that even that wasn’t high enough for his instruments. There is no follow-up story, so I think the ascent didn’t come off. Todd has been trying to communicate with the Martians for years; his family will have him committed in 1922.

The Queens borough president wants motorized garbage trucks to replace horses & carts. Cart & truck owners just formed a union and demanded higher rates.

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