Thursday, January 21, 2021

Today -100: January 21, 1921: Of retaliation, car accidents, franklins, kids and passion


British forces blow up more houses in Cork in retaliation for sniping at police.

Maj. Gen. Strickland, in charge of troops in Ireland, complains that women are hiding guns in their dresses. He wants “vigilance committees” formed to snitch on the IRA. And he opposes indiscriminate retaliation but supports official retaliation, presumably like that in the previous item, but prefers that it be called “punishment.”

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica will sign a compact Monday to merge their nations. Nicaragua is staying out, and the plan will go nowhere.

The car of King Albert of Belgium, in which the king was a passenger, runs over and kills a 5-year-old girl and injures her 7-year-old brother. The king is said to have been quite distressed.

Franklin Bache Huntington, an architect and also the great-great-great grandson of Benjamin Franklin, will be given a tour of New York dressed as his ancestor, who expressed a desire to see what the US would look like in a 100 years. I don’t think that’s what he had in mind.

What to Watch: premiering at Carnegie Hall in a charity screening is The Kid, the sentimental Charlie Chaplin feature film (his first) that shows how, with the right homeless adoptive father, a child can grow up to become Uncle Fester. Also on the bill, Pola Negri in Ernst Lubitsch’s Passion, which is an odd double bill.




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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Today -100: January 20, 1921: Of daily stars, reapportionment, and independence in any form whatever


Harding will escape the pressures over his Cabinet appointments by going on a 12-day cruise. And he’ll announce the whole Cabinet at the same time, rather than naming Charles Evans Hughes secretary of state early as he’d planned. He says it will be a Republican Cabinet. He resigns as president of the Harding Publishing Company. The Marion Daily Star will just have to get along without him.

The House of Representatives decides not to increase its size to 483 members for reapportionment after all. Where that plan (and districts of 218,979 people) would not have reduced the size any state’s delegation, keeping membership at 435 (242,267 people each) would reduce the delegation of 11 states and increase that of 8 states. Rep. George Tinkham (R-Mass.) proposes to cut representation for the Southern states as called for in a never-used clause of the 14th Amendment because of their suppression of black voting rights This is ruled non-germane although it is totally fucking germane.

Headline of the Day -100:  



Says Manuel Quezon, president of the Philippines Senate.

Speaking of independence in any form whatever, the Philippines Territorial Legislature drops a bill to require men to wear trousers.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Today -100: January 19, 1921: Of roots, needful repose, constitutional kings, and prosecutors


Republican senators are pressuring Harding not to name Charles Evans Hughes secretary of state, threatening not to work with him. They’d prefer Elihu Root, mostly because they like saying his name out loud over and over – try it, it’s fun – but to be honest they don’t much like him either.

Poet-Aviator-Looooooser Gabriele d’Annunzio leaves Fiume, anticlimactically, in a simple automobile. He is going to Switzerland for “desired solitude and needful repose”. Italy’s blockade of Fiume has been lifted.

Charles, the former emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is willing to accept a demotion to constitutional king of Hungary, although he seems to be conditioning that on his being (re-)coronated between June and September, which is crowning season, I guess.

Cook County (Illinois) State’s Attorney Robert Crowe says in future all women tried in the county will be prosecuted by women deputy prosecutors.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Today -100: January 18, 1921: Of crown princes, trademark infringements, chefs, and black runners


Congress votes a resolution to reduce the Army to 175,000 (yes, it was supposed to be 150,000 last week) and asks Secretary of War Newton Baker to stop recruiting until it gets down to that level.

Supposedly the Netherlands asks former kaiser Wilhelm and all his family to leave the country, since the crown prince, the Don Jr. of the Hohenzollerns, has been violating the terms of asylum by plotting a coup in Germany. (This will be denied by the Dutch government tomorrow).

Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard William Simmons offers a $100 reward for anyone using the KKK name “in an unlawful manner or in connection with any purpose or movement not sanctioned by law.”

Sing Sing Prison chef Jim Blanche, himself a prisoner, although one with only 3 weeks left in his sentence, quits as death row chef because the inmates just kept complaining (and not tipping)(are they really expected to tip, or was this a joke?), in part because their food always arrives cold from the distant kitchen.

Senate Republicans decide to refuse to convene in any executive session called by Wilson so they don’t have to confirm any nominations he makes. There are thousands pending (I think mostly post office jobs).

Winston Churchill is moved from his post as war minister to colonial secretary. Oddly, he’ll still be Air Minister. I’m not sure why he’s being demoted.

The Harvard varsity track team cancels its planned trip through the South after the University of Virginia and Annapolis cancel meets because the Harvard team has two negroes.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Today -100: January 17, 1921: Of cabinets, anti-Semitism, Dadaist hoots, and Tibbles the Great


France: Peret couldn’t form a cabinet, so Aristide Briand will. This will be Briand’s 7th time as prime minister (but not the last), because the Third Republic was ridiculous that way.

A protest against anti-Semitic propaganda is signed by, among others, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, Jane Addams, Charles Beard, Clarence Darrow, George Creel (who knows something about bullshit propaganda), Robert Frost, and Charles Dana Gibson. No Jews were involved, by design. Harding refused to sign, because it would be a bad precedent and he’d be inundated with memorials, but he says anti-Semitism is narrow, intolerant and un-American.

Arty Headline of the Day -100:  



P. T. Selbit (the stage name of Percy Thomas Tibbles – Selbit is sort of Tibbles spelled backwards) becomes the first magician to saw a woman in half (in public at least), at the Finsbury Park Empire in London. The woman is called Betty Barker, if you can believe it. Christabel Pankhurst turned down the job.



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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Today -100: January 16, 1921: Quitter


Mrs Sadie Harrington of Danville, Illinois gives up her hunger strike after 48 days of failing to coerce her husband into joining her church. Except she was probably faking the fast.

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Today -100: January 15, 1921: Of armies, karpovs, hammer & scalpel, missing liquor, and the propeller


The Senate votes to reduce the Army to 150,000, ignoring the pleas of the secretary of war and “Black Jack” Pershing to keep it at at least 200,000. The 34-28 vote cut across party lines.

Gosh, it really was a guy named Karpov who died, not Lenin.

French President Alexandre Millerand chooses Raoul Peret, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, as prime minister. If he can form a cabinet, that is. It’s already going badly. Peret wanted Raymond Poincaré as minister of finance, but Poincaré would only take the post if he had a free hand against Germany on indemnities.

Hungarian dictator Adm. Horthy pardons 4 members of the government he overthrew who had been sentenced to hanging, after a polite reminder from Lenin that Russia still holds Hungarian prisoners with very cuttable throats.

Euphemistic Headline of the Day -100:  


An abortion, they’re talking about an abortion. I never know when I see euphemisms like this what percentage of readers knew what wasn’t being said.

Some of the liquor seized by dry agents in Chicago and stored in a government warehouse is missing. And by some, I mean 400,000 gallons.

Headline of the Day -100:  


Filippo Marinetti has some ideas about dance. The dancer of the Aviator will have gauze wings “which she will keep in a perpetual state of palpitation.” I bet she will, I bet she will. And a propeller on her chest... I don’t think devotees of the fox trot have anything to worry about.

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Today -100: January 14, 1921: The people of Philadelphia need not be afraid to go to bed tomorrow night


A French court orders the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) dissolved because of its failed strike last May to force the government to nationalize the railroads, that is, because it struck for political rather than economic reasons, or, as the judge put it, “a phantasmagoric of revolutionary ideals more or less deceiving and more or less in opposition to the fundamental laws which regulate life and society”.

The NYPD mobilizes, placing guards around churches, public buildings, Grand Central, the homes of prominent men like Rockefeller, etc. Seems to be related to a radical plot to raze Philadelphia...

...Which the Philly police superintendent denies ever existed. “There won’t be any bomb outrages,” he says. “The people of Philadelphia need not be afraid to go to bed tomorrow night.” There was a planned parade of the unemployed at midnight, but it’s been called off.

Russia announces the death of M. Karpov of the Supreme Economic Council. Since no one’s heard of him and Karpov was one of Lenin’s old noms de guerre, obviously it’s actually Lenin who died. Again.

The US census shows that more Americans live in urban areas (generously defined as places with 2,500 or more people) than rural areas for the first time.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Today -100: January 13, 1921: Of kluxers, prohibition, and reminders of monarchical days


The NYPD have been searching for signs of the Ku Klux Klan in the city for two weeks, but have found none.

The government of Georges Leygues in France falls after less than four months, by a humiliating 463-125 vote in the National Assembly, which thinks he’s not hard enough on the Germans in the ongoing negotiations over indemnities. Leygues was essentially ousted by President Alexandre Millerand, who thinks that the president of the Third Republic should have more power, and the prime minister less. He’s pushing for a tame puppet PM, Charles Dumont. 

New NY Gov. Nathan Miller wants the state and local governments to start enforcing Prohibition.

Headline of the Day -100:  


The minister of interior says monocles are an “affectation and a reminder of the monarchical days.”

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