Saturday, September 21, 2019

Today -100: September 21, 1919: Of lusks, protectorates, colonists, and infamous words

The anti-Red Lusk Committee of the New York Legislature takes credit for shutting down 10 radical publications, one of them in Finnish.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Lord Curzon says the treaty signed this week between Britain and Persia does not amount to a protectorate and Britain toooootally respects Persia’s independence. No, Britain is just giving Persia “financial aid” (i.e., a loan, with customs revenues as collateral) and providing “expert assistance” (including military experts, paid for by Persia and given what the treaty calls “adequate powers”). For some reason he doesn’t mention the bit about gaining access to Persian oil. Probably slipped his mind.

Germany is allegedly “colonizing” Germans into Upper Silesia before the big plebiscite. Employers are being gently encouraged to continue paying the salaries of workers born in Silesia who take a little voting vacation there.

The Italian government sends Rear Admiral Cassanova (there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere) to Fiume to put a stop to the D’Annunzio occupation. Instead, the rear admiral has been “detained.” The Italian head of staff in the armistice zone informs D’Annunzio that officers who remain in Fiume will be considered deserters. D’A responds that “this infamous word” “does not touch me or my companions.” A bunch of planes (one carrying Prince Aimone) also fly in to help out the poet-aviator (there may come a time when I grow tired of that phrase, but that time has not yet arrived), just in case Fiume needs an air force, I guess. The poet-aviator’s men “marched up and down through the streets of Fiume, shouting their cause and demanding who had aught to say against them. It seems that if any one had they didn’t say it.” 

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Friday, September 20, 2019

Today -100: September 20, 1919: Of delights, agitators, cataclysms, German efficiency, and field guns

The Seattle longshoremen’s union members will stop loading arms for the Russian Whites, which were to sail for Siberia aboard the steamer Delight.

New York Mayor John Hylan responds to attempts to create a unified union for all city workers by writing to the heads of all city departments, telling them to identify employees who “spend more time agitating and making trouble” than working and zero out their positions in the next budget.

The Peace Conference hands Bulgaria its peace terms. The Bulgarian delegates blame any wrongdoings committed by their country on the deposed monarchy and say the alliance with Germany was forced on the Bulgarian people and “came to them as a cataclysm.” Those words from Gen. Georgi Todorov, who seems to have suppressed his misgivings quite well while commander-in-chief of the army.

Allied warships are pointing their guns at Fiume, pointedly. D’Annunzio says he will fight, the Italian army I guess, if attacked, and if necessary will blow up Fiume in order to save it, as is the custom. A day after the censorship on Fiume was lifted, it’s reimposed. The Italian government can’t commit to any course of action on anything related to Fiume.

In more fallout from the suppression of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, six members of the Soviet are found guilty of having murdered hostages, sentenced to death, and executed, in the same day.

The British government is, presumably, offering German military items as displays for parks and such. The municipal council of Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland, accepts the offer of two field guns – as long as they are in working order and come with shells.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Today -100: September 19, 1919: Of one pure thing

A belated report on the first day of the invasion of Fiume includes some quotes from poet-aviator Gabriele D’Annunzio: “In the present mad, cowardly world, there is one pure thing – our love for Fiume.” “I, a war volunteer and a mutilated fighter, appeal to Victor Hugo’s France, to Milton’s England, and Lincoln’s America, and, speaking as an interpreter of the valorous sentiments of the whole Italian people, proclaim the annexation of Fiume to Italy.” To be fair, the poet-aviator had a high fever at the time. He says he has “assumed military command of freed Fiume.”

The German government concedes to Allied threats and nullifies Article 61 of the new Constitution, which provided for possible future annexation of Austria.

Headline of the Day -100: 

I guess this is what the Allies wanted when they forced Béla Kun out, right?

Charles Comiskey sets prices for World Series tickets, ranging from $1.10 in the bleachers to $5.50 in the boxes. You have to buy tickets for at least 3 games. 4 tickets a customer max. On sale now even though the White Sox haven’t won their league yet.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Today -100: September 18, 1919: I go because I must

On its front page, the NYT reports “persistent rumors” that Peruvian President Augusto Leguía has been assassinated. He has not.

There’s some heckling at Woodrow Wilson’s pro-League of Nations speech in San Francisco, mostly on the Irish question. He had answered a written set of questions, denying that League membership would require the US to aid British against an Irish uprising or stop it recognizing Irish independence. De Valera finds those answers inadequate: the US might not be obligated to aid Britain, but the League would force it to help prevent other nations assisting rebels.

Italy blockades Fiume, hoping to starve D’Annunzio out. Or, to put it another way, Italy is afraid to order its troops to expel the poet-aviator, because they might well mutiny. Yugoslavia is also blockading the city. D’Annunzio telegrams a newspaper, the Idea Nazionale, “I go because I must.”

Italy is still censoring news of events in Fiume, but Germany is not, and Germans are following with great interest to see if they might be able to get away with the same shit in Danzig.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Ralph Madsen wanders around Broadway, attracting crowds. He is 7’6”. The article says he’s a movie actor, although imdb only lists 4 credits starting in 1928 (3 circus movies and a Little Rascals short).

Last week I reported on the oldest man in the world, 131-year-old “Uncle John” Schell. Well evidently the oldest man in the world is in fact a Turkish laborer, aged 144, named, um, Zorro. I stand corrected.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Today -100: September 17, 1919: Fiume or death!

The Italian government, embarrassed by its inability/unwillingness to get its soldiers to follow orders, censors all news about Fiume.

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Today -100: September 16, 1919: Of mutineers, cops, and lynchings

Headline of the Day -100: 

“Mutineers” means that many of the poet-aviator’s filibusters are regular Italian army soldiers (including a “cyclist corps”) who are not supposed to be invading anywhere. The Allied Supreme Council will leave all this up to Italy, calling it an internal matter. D’Aunnunzio declares Fiume annexed to Italy, which is a power all poet-aviators have.

Boston starts recruiting a whole new police force. With higher pay.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Everyone needs a hobby. (The Mexican ambassador and consul are heading to Pueblo, Colorado to investigate that lynching of two Mexican citizens, which is more than the police seem to be doing).

Lots of people die in a storm in Corpus Christi.

In a letter to Adolf Gemlich of Ulm, Adolf Hitler writes about Jews for the first time. It won’t be the last. He says Jews are a race, not a religion, that antisemitism should be based on reason rather than emotion, which should be manifested not in pogroms but “Its final aim must unshakably be the removal of the Jews altogether.”

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Today -100: September 15, 1919: Of lunatics betraying the cause of the fatherland, strikes deferred, and sympathetic bartenders

Italy sends troops to disarm Gabriele D’Annunzio and his merry men and get them the hell out of Fiume, but the troops refuse. Prime Minister Francesco Nitti calls supporters of the poet-aviator’s actions “lunatics, betraying the cause of the fatherland.”

Steel workers at US Steel will defer strike action until after the national labor conference, on Woodrow Wilson’s request.

Other Boston unions are backing away from the idea of a general strike in support of the striking police, although the Bartenders’ Union no. 77 votes for a sympathy strike.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Today -100: September 14, 1919: Of cops, lynchings, poet-aviators (poets-aviator?), and positions

Boston Police Commissioner Edwin Curtis (a former mayor) says all the striking cops will be fired, including those now offering to return to work. Gov. Calvin Coolidge says he will support that decision. Samuel Gompers complains of the “autocratic” attitude of Boston officials. Only a few people are shot today by trigger-happy guardsmen and volunteer cops, including one while the fake cops broke up a craps game, and why are craps games such a priority, anyway? The state guards threaten crowds with machine guns.

Two Mexicans are lynched in Pueblo, Colorado, hanged from a bridge.

Austria refuses to extradite Béla Kun to Hungary.

“Poet-aviator” Gabriele D’Annunzio and several thousand of his friends (soldiers, students, Futurists, etc) invade Fiume, which is supposed to be a neutral city under the League of Nations. The general who was supposed to block him didn’t after D’Annunzio dared him to shoot him.

Foreshadowy Headline of the Day -100:  

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Today -100: September 13, 1919: Of going and solvent national concerns, the most drastic measures, and police strikes

Giving an anti-League of Nations speech in St. Louis, Sen. Hiram Johnson (R-Cal.) says the League would make the US “subject to the will of Great Britain and Japan,” who want to use the League to protect the spoils given them by the Peace Treaty. He says the US is “the only going and solvent national concern” and joining the League would be to “enter into a partnership with four bankrupts.”

The British “suppress” the Irish Parliament and raid the Dublin Sinn Féin headquarters and many other locations. Papers and pamphlets and explosives are seized. Viscount French, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, threatens “the most drastic measures.” Detective Hoey is shot dead in Dublin. A related story is headlined “‘Dail Eireann’ Shortlived,” suggesting a belief that the Irish Parliament no longer exists because the British say it no longer exists, which is just adorable. President De Valera, in Rhode Island, says the proclamations are “a cover for military ruthlessness in Ireland.” He says law & order could be restored in 24 hours if the “alien government” withdraws its army of occupation.

Samuel Gompers of the AFL meets Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge and offers to suspend the Boston police strike if the rule against police union membership is also suspended until Pres. Wilson’s labor conference next month. Coolidge has said that the cops are not strikers but deserters, and should not be reinstated.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Today -100: September 12, 1919: Of crimes against civilizatin and coups

There may be a general strike in support of the police strike in Boston. Then again, there may not. Woodrow Wilson calls the strike “a crime against civilization,” leaving Boston “at the mercy of an army of thugs.”

The US lands troops in Honduras to do something or other during its revolution/coup. Pres. Francisco Bertrand flees the country.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Today -100: September 11, 1919: Austria cannot hate

Massachusetts State Guard troops are patrolling Boston during the police strike, shooting at mobs with rifles and machine guns. There are also cavalry charges. With sabres. Bottles and bricks are thrown back. Guardsmen break up dice games with bayonets. Gov. Calvin Coolidge sends in more troops, blaming Mayor Andrew Peters for taking two days to ask for assistance. Peters blames Police Commissioner Edwin Curtis, who is appointed by the governor.

Austria signs the peace treaty with 27 of its former enemies. Romania and Yugoslavia do not sign. China, which did not sign the treaty with Germany, signs this one because it does not give away any part of China to Japan. The Chinese and Japanese delegates are seated far away from each other. Chancellor Karl Renner, signing on behalf of Austria, says “Austria cannot hate. It always respects the man with whom it has to fight.”

A mob near Athens, Georgia lynches black man Obe Cox, shooting him and burning him at the stake.

Ex-kaiser Wilhelm is finally moving into his own place, in Doorn, Netherlands. 51 moving wagons.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Today -100: September 10, 1919: We are the predestined mediators of mankind

The Boston police, at least 3/4 of them, go on strike after 19 cops are fired for union activity (joining an AFL-affiliated union). Boston youth break some windows, loot a few stores. Harvard’s President A. Lawrence Lowell calls on students to be prepared to assist the authorities.

The NYT opposes the striking cops, condescendingly saying they are “inspired unconsciously by anti-social ideas” and that they have “no more right to belong to a union than a soldier or a sailor. He must be ready to obey orders, the orders of his superiors, not those of any outside body.” After all, they may be called on to put down strikes and so receive contradictory orders. And if they don’t like their pay and conditions (which by the way are pretty crappy), they can just quit.

Police shoot dead three striking workers of the Standard Steel Car Company in Hammond, Indiana. The article repeatedly tells us that the troublesome workers are foreign-born (mostly Poles).

Woodrow Wilson tells the Minnesota Legislature and a St. Paul public meeting that the cost of living will continue to rise and labor relations will continue to suck until the peace treaty is ratified. Also, the US is the only country the world trusts to stabilize peace: “We are the predestined mediators of mankind.”

The former aide of Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, brother of Tsar Nicholas, says Michael Alexandrovich is actually still alive, having escaped “with his secretary and a sailor” on a motor boat and is now living somewhere incognito. Yah, no, he isn’t.

“Uncle John” Schell, the oldest man in the world at, um, 131, goes on a ride in an airplane at the Kentucky State Fair. It feels a lot like being drunk, he says, “but it’s all right at that.” He’s just sorry he didn’t bring his 5-year-old son to the fair.

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Monday, September 09, 2019

Today -100: September 9, 1919: Of pro-German elements, reservations, pershings, and home runs

In Sioux Falls, Woodrow Wilson warns that “the pro-German element in the United States has again lifted its head,” in the form of attempts to keep the US out of the League of Nations, which would somehow result in better peace terms for Germany. He says the US is the only real idealist among the nations of the world.

Romania wants to sign the Austrian peace treaty with reservations (like many US Republican senators), and is being told no. The provisions it objects to would require it to treat its Jews nicely, which it says would interfere with its sovereignty in its newly acquired territories. The Yugoslavs have similar objections to being made to be nice to their minorities.

Gen. Pershing is in town for parades and shit.

Babe Ruth hits his 26th home run of the season, which is a record.

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Sunday, September 08, 2019

Today -100: September 8, 1919: Of corks, peaces founded on brute force, and lynchings

In County Cork, Sinn Féiners attack soldiers parading to church, evidently in an attempt to grab their weapons, but in the ensuing firefight they kill 1 soldier and wound 3 more and then escape scot free, despite 18 planes being deployed.

The Austrian National Assembly ratifies the Peace Treaty, 97-23, while protesting “a peace founded on brute force” and the “violation of Austria’s right of free disposal of herself,” saying Austria must join Germany.

A mob in Jacksonville, Florida breaks into the jail looking for a black man accused of assaulting a white girl/woman, but finding that he’d been removed, lynch two other black prisoners instead, shooting them and then dragging their bodies through the streets, as was the custom.

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Saturday, September 07, 2019

Today -100: September 7, 1919: Do you not know that the world is all now one single whispering gallery?

In another of his League of Nations speeches, Woodrow Wilson in Des Moines says the world is waiting for our leadership. He also blames the internet wireless and telegraph – “Do you not know that the world is all now one single whispering gallery?” – for the spread of “the poison of disorder, the poison of revolt, the poison of chaos” beyond Russia to Eastern Europe and maybe even the US, “and so long as the disorder continues, so long as the world is kept waiting for the answer to the question of the kind of peace we are going to have and what kind of guarantees there are to be behind that peace, that poison will steadily spread, more and more rapidly until it may be that even this beloved land of ours will be distracted and distorted by it.”

The actors’ strike is over. Chorus girls also get a wage increase. Stage productions that have now opened or will shortly open include “Chu Chin Chow,” “The Scandals of 1919,” “She Would and She Did,” and “Monte Cristo, Junior.”

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Friday, September 06, 2019

Today -100: September 6, 1919: The supremacy will be ours

The Peace Conference  tells Germany that if it doesn’t annul the bit of its constitution allowing for Anschluß, the Allies will occupy the right bank of the Rhine. French Gen. Charles Mangin, in charge of troops in occupied Rhineland, orders German officials not to take the oath to the new constitution.

Mexican Gen. Salvador Alvarado issues an open letter to his boss Carranza, warning that Mexico is totes fucked up and the US will probably invade soon.

Woodrow Wilson reassures St. Louis that the US would be the “senior partner” in the League of Nations: “The supremacy will be ours.” The choice, he says, is between armed isolation and peaceful partnership. He says if the US doesn’t join the League it will be a “quitter.”

Women get the vote in Italy, the NYT reports, incorrectly.

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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Today -100: September 5, 1919: Of remarriages, open and avowed enemies, and worthy subjects of the Emperor

The state of Lower Austria now allows divorced people to remarry. Which they proceed to do.

The NYT declares the new Communist Party “open and avowed enemies of the United States, its Government, its traditions, and its institutions.” It doesn’t know how things have come to this. It just doesn’t know.

The new Japanese governor-general of Korea, Baron Saito Makoto, tells the AP all about his new liberal policies for Korea, such as not crushing the Korean language and culture, abolishing gold braids and swords for officials, abolishing flogging, and developing the Korean people until the point where ultimately they might become “worthy subjects of the Emperor” and even have equal rights with Japanese, some day.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Today -100: September 4, 1919: Of women’s suffrage, menaced Finlands, assassination attempts, and downed planes

The Virginia and Alabama legislatures reject the women’s suffrage Amendment.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Korean nationalists, presumably, try to assassinate the new Japanese governor-general of Korea, Baron Saito Makoto, throwing a bomb at his railroad carriage.

Evidently the Mexican troops who shot down the US plane yesterday were cavalry who were pissed that the low-flying plane was scaring their horses. The US is claiming the plane was in the US (Texas), the Mexicans that it was in Mexican air-space.

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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Today -100: September 3, 1919: Of deaf presidents, angry Frenchies, racial ascendancies and oppressions, workers of the world uniting, and sedition

Headline of the Day -100: 

And yet they’re getting louder and louder.

Headline of the Day -100:  

10 days ago, the Allies ordered Romania to stop looting Hungary, but Romanian troops are still running riot over the country, issuing demands (no one can wear a uniform except Romanians, etc), and have not bothered to respond to the note. But the Allies have proven unwilling so far to clamp down on Romania because Romania has oil.

The Peace Conference demands that Germany alter its new constitution to remove references to Austria possibly joining.

It also gives Austria the terms of its peace treaty, with 5 days to accept them. The terms include a ban on Austria becoming part of Germany. In a response to Austrian objections, the Conference rejects the idea that Austria should not be treated as a defeated enemy because that was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was, like, an entirely different country.  The Conference response says the Austrian people never attempted to cure militarism before the war or object to the start of the war, and anyway the Habsburg Empire was a system of “racial ascendancy and oppression” over the non-German/Magyar populations. Which is a little rich coming from the Allies, who are currently exercising their own racial ascendance & oppression over Indians and Indochinese and Kenyans and Algerians and Filipinos and Irish and... 

In Chicago, a Communist Labor Party of America is founded, with the motto “Workers of the World Unite.” And Dennis Batt, organizer and editor in, I think, a different communist faction, is arrested under the Illinois Sedition Act. In the hall during the meeting, contrary to what this article says.

Mexicans, possibly federal soldiers, shoot across the border, taking down a US military plane.

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Monday, September 02, 2019

Today -100: September 2, 1919: We’re for the Soviet all the while

Chicago police threaten to shut down a Communist convention if red flags are not removed and replaced by American flags. The NYT quotes a hymn sung at the convention:

Bolshevik, Bolshevik, Bolshevik - bang –
We are members of Gene Debs’s gang.
Are we rebels? We should smile;
We’re for the Soviet all the while.

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Sunday, September 01, 2019

Today -100: September 1, 1919: Of the sincerity of Japan, spirits of aggression and cupidity, veeps, and lynchings

Japanese Prime Minister Hara Takashi says China completely misunderstands its intentions towards Shantung. “The day will arrive when China will come to comprehend the sincerity of Japan.”

Speaking of people who fail to comprehend the sincerity of Japan, which he accuses of a “spirit of aggression and cupidity toward Korea,” Syngman Rhee declares the Republic of Korea. He pointedly refers to the 14 Points and the US Declaration of Independence.

The traditional NYC Labor Day parade is cancelled due to the high cost of living, specifically the cost of costumes.

Woodrow Wilson celebrates Labor Day by asking unions not to strike because he’s pretty sure he’ll get inflation down any day now. And his vice president says that he can’t live within his salary and is considering striking. He does admit he is holding a job “which has so little labor connected with it,” but he worked hard in the past and so deserves a little breathing spell.

The race rioting (i.e., white people attacking black people) in Knoxville, Tennessee continues. Blacks break into pawn shops and hardware stores to acquire firearms and wind up in firefights with the National Guard, who have machine guns. And use them. Incidentally, during the initial incident yesterday, the mob not only tore the jail apart looking for a black man to lynch, they let all the white prisoners go.

A large mob in Boaglusa, Louisiana, lynch a black ex-soldier for allegedly attacking a white woman. His body is then dragged through the town tied to a car and burned.

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