Friday, December 06, 2019

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


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

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

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

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

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


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