Monday, July 13, 2020

Today -100: July 13, 1920: Of campaigns, special sessions, coal, states of fatigue, machinations, and discrimination


Cox and Roosevelt plan to campaign in every state, with FDR focusing on the West. FDR says he sees the League of Nations as the dominant issue of the campaign. One problem: he’s stuck in his day job as assistant secretary of the Navy until Secretary Daniels returns next month from a cruise in Alaska.

Vermont Gov. Percival Clement (R) refuses to call the Legislature into special session to ratify the federal women’s suffrage Amendment. He’s not so much against suffrage as he is against any federal amendment being passed without a referendum, which the Supreme Court ruled out earlier this year. Alice Paul and other suffragists blame Harding for not pushing Clement on this. Harding claims to be disappointed.

Another day, another ultimatum at the Spa Conference, where Germany is given until 3 pm tomorrow to agree to deliver 2 million tons of coal a month.

French President Paul Deschanel has “suffered a new relapse into a state of fatigue,” which is French for barking mad. They’re thinking it might be time to create an office of vice president. Deschanel will be unable to officiate at the Bastille Day parade, which is pretty much the only thing the president of France had to do during the Third Republic.

Sir Edward Carson warns that if the government doesn’t “protect us from the machinations of Sinn Féin,” they will organize to protect themselves. The British poured soldiers into Northern Ireland to guard the July 12th Orange parades precisely in order not to give the Ulsterites an excuse to organize paramilitary forces.

With complaints from Japan about a November California referendum to restrict Japanese leasing of land (ownership is already banned), the NYT editorializes that there are two sides to the issue: on the one hand, such restrictions are discriminatory and humiliating; on the other hand, “the people of California are opposed to any increase in the Japanese population”. So hard to balance those two perfectly legitimate sentiments.

The Japanese Diet rejects women’s suffrage.


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