Thursday, July 02, 2020

Today -100: July 2, 1920: There is no law, no order, and there is no punishment for crime


The Democratic convention is running behind schedule, thanks to booze. That is, battles over the prohibition issue are delaying the behind-closed-doors working out of the party platform, while the delegates on the floor amuse themselves singing “Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny” and “I Love You California,” which unlike the former has no racist lyrics at all, and then another few dozen songs before realizing that they’re not going to get any actual work done. At 4 a.m. the Resolutions Committee decides to make no mention of prohibition either way. William Jennings Bryan plans to have a floor fight on the subject. Decisions were also made for a weak-tea expression of “sympathy” for Ireland; to oppose cash bonuses for war veterans, described as putting “patriotism on a pecuniary basis”; for ratifying the League of Nations covenant without reservations; for rejecting Pres. Wilson’s hope for acceptance of a mandate over Armenia; and against establishing a Dept. of Education.

Some more presidential candidates are nominated: Sen. F.M. Simmons of NC, Sen. Carter Glass of Virginia, Amb. John Davis, and Francis Burton Harrison, the governor-general of the Philippines.

New York Gov. Al Smith “went to a leather store to buy sets of pony harness for his children”. Going into a leather store to buy a pony harness probably meant something very different in the San Francisco of 1920 than it does today. Probably.

McAdoo keeps refusing to answer reporters asking if he’d accept the nomination.

Sen. Harding meets Vermont Gov. Percival Clement and maybe persuades him to call a special session of the Legislature to vote on the federal women’s suffrage Amendment (which Clement personally opposes), although this is more hinted at than stated.

The self-styled Irish Parliament sets up a court system. The official British court system is having a little problem: none of the accused are showing up in court. The Lord Justice complains, “There is no law, no order, and there is no punishment for crime.”

China expresses regret that one of its warlords killed an American missionary.


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