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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