Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Today -100: October 3, 1923: The fight on Invisible Empire has just started in Oklahoma

With a quarter of ballots counted, the Oklahoma constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to call itself into session is passing 4 to 1. Gov. Jack Walton issues a statement: “The fight on Invisible Empire has just started in Oklahoma. I am still Governor of the State.” Fact Check: correct. For now. In a couple of counties state police seize voting materials or prevent polling places opening, including Johnson County where voters instead vote by affidavit, mailing their ballots to the state election board.

Walton (and everyone) seem to miss the constitutional provision requiring a special election to have a 2/3 vote of the Legislature, which means this provision will be thrown out by the state Supreme Court, but not until 1930.

Russia gets a new triumvirate of Dzerzhinsky, Trotsky and Stalin (oh my!).

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Monday, October 02, 2023

Today -100: October 2, 1923: Elections a-comin’

Oklahoma Gov. Jack Walton offers a compromise, keeping his ban on elections Tuesday but holding them in 2 months. Counties are going ahead with preparations for the election anyway, ignoring Walton and his tame State Election Board and his attempt to dismiss county election boards defying him. A state district court enjoins Walton from interfering with elections officials and with the elections. The only direct interference by the governor’s forces today is an attempt by special police to prevent the distribution of ballot boxes in Tulsa; they are thrown out of the court house by 200 special deputies.

800 German royalists of the “Black Reichswehr” paramilitary group attack the Küstrin Fortress in eastern Germany in some sort of half-assed attempt at a putsch begun out of anger at the end of passive resistance in the Ruhr (and maybe to let Black Reichswehr chief Bruno Buchrucker escape an arrest warrant out for him). The Küstrin Putsch is a pathetic affair which does not last long. The government somehow blames Communists as well as monarchists.

Frederick Stock, director of the Chicago Symphony, returns from visiting Europe, predicting another European war because new European music is hysterical, new dances display weird frenzy, women’s clothing is brightly colored and sexalicious, which all shows that Europeans are fidgety, restless and frenzied. You heard it here first.

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Sunday, October 01, 2023

Today -100: October 1, 1923: There may be bloodshed, but there will be no election

French PM Raymond Poincaré does not care for the tone of Germany’s proclamation ending passive resistance, he does not care for it AT ALL: “The surly proclamation of an inevitable truce is nothing; it is the execution which is everything.”

Oklahoma Gov. Jack Walton orders the indefinite postponement of tomorrow’s election, which he does not have the authority to do. He says there wasn’t 5-day’s notice of the inclusion on the ballot of the constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to call itself into session, but that’s not actually a requirement and the OK Supreme Court said last Friday that the election is legal. To prevent the vote – “There may be bloodshed, but there will be no election” – Walton orders the mobilization of the National Guard plus 75,000 volunteers plus 22,000 secret service, which seems like a lot of secret service for a state with a little over 2 million people. Walton says he has been very patient but “one more crack and I am going to put this state under martial law that will be martial law. I will make them go to bed at 6 o’clock”.

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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Today -100: September 30, 1923: If the Nazis complain about being cancelled, I may fwow up

Otto Gessler, who German Pres. Ebert put in charge of martial law, suppresses the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter, which is owned by Hitler personally, until further notice, after it quotes Bavarian dictator Gustav von Kahr saying that he would allow the proclamation of a Bavarian monarchy soon (Prince Rupprecht has been very visible in Munich lately, reviewing parades of veterans and the like). Von Kahr refuses to confirm or deny the quote. The federal government first tried to get von Kahr to suppress the paper, but he refused.

An ad for Ben Hecht’s book The Florentine Dagger calls it “A mystery story that does not insult the intelligence.”

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Today -100: September 29, 1923: Of ballots, facists, and little boys at Columbia

The Oklahoma Supreme Court hears arguments about whether a ballot initiative can be tacked onto next Tuesday’s election alongside the less exciting constitutional amendments already on the ballot. This one would give the Legislature permission to call itself into session without being called by the governor, in order to investigate officials  (i.e., impeach Gov. Walton) but not pass legislation.

Bulgaria crushes the Communist uprising, or whatever it was.

The NYT finally, I mean FINALLY, gets caught by the common student spelling error:

Headline of the Day -100:  

In case you were wondering what the correct clothes for little boys were.

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Today -100: September 28, 1923: Of Oklahoma coups and Hitler coups, reparations, refugees, and ethnic cleansing in North Carolina

67 members of the Oklahoma House of Reps apply for an injunction against the National Guard preventing it meeting.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Pfew. Bavaria’s Minister President Eugen von Knilling assures German PM Gustav Stresemann that the declaration of martial law & the appointment of Gustav von Kahr as dictator of Bavaria didn’t mean any rejection of the federal state. Von Kahr bans all 14 scheduled Nazi beer hall meetings in Munich.

Brilliant Prediction of the Day -100:  

With von Kahr’s dictatorship, “Any prospect of Hitler playing a leading part in Bavarian politics appears to have vanished”.

Italy gives Corfu back to Greece after the Council of Ambassadors (over Britain’s objections) awards it that 50 million lire from Greece (the exact sum Italy demanded) for no very good reason. I don’t believe the Council has any intention of forcing Italy to pay reparations to Greece for those refugee children it slaughtered.

Romania is pushing Jewish refugees from Russia and the Ukraine over the Dneister into Russia.

A white mob in Spruce Pine, North Carolina rounds up all the black men working on a road construction project and deports them after some black guy attacks an old white woman. 

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Today -100: September 27, 1923: For millions of Germans the idea of individual liberty no longer exists

Germany formally and bitterly proclaims the end of passive resistance: “the Ruhr and Rhineland have endured most grievous oppression. ... For millions of Germans the idea of individual liberty no longer exists.”

Slightly undercutting the “individual liberty” message, Pres. Friedrich Ebert declares martial law and suspends some provisions of the Constitution, including freedom of press and assembly.

Bavaria also declares a state of emergency ahead of a planned “general review” of Nazis on Friday. Former Bavarian PM Gustav von Kahr is appointed “general commissioner of state” with power to declare martial law if needed. In the meantime, Kahr suspends freedom of speech, press, assembly, mail secrecy, habeas corpus, etc etc etc. Hitler, perhaps pissed that someone got to be dictator before him, “orders” Nazi members of non-Nazi paramilitary groups to quit them and join Nazi stormtroop groups.

Oklahoma Gov. J.C. Walton’s troops disperse legislators attempting to hold their special session of the Legislature.

Walton extends super-duper martial law to another county, but won’t say which one.

Charlie Chaplin says in future he will switch from slapstick to whimsical humor.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Today -100: September 26, 1923: Of national guards, putsches, and flapjacks

Oklahoma Gov. J.C. Walton says 35,000 Oklahoovians have answered his call to join the National Guard to prevent the Legislature from meeting. Which seems like over-kill until you realize the Legislature has 50,000 members, probably.

A putsch is supposedly scheduled for Sunday in the Rhine which will establish an independent state, with, naturally, a dictator.

More news about the Prince of Wales’s eating habits on his visit to Canada: flapjacks, he likes flapjacks.

Charlie Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris starring Edna Purviance premieres in Hollywood. It’s a drama. My review: Go back to comedy, funny man.

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Monday, September 25, 2023

Today -100: September 25, 1923: Of shooting to kill and passive resistance

Oklahoma Gov. J.C. Walton orders the adjutant general in charge of the National Guard to “use all force of arms necessary” to keep the Legislature from meeting Wednesday. “The troops will be ordered to shoot to kill,” he tells reporters. He also orders all Oklahoovian men aged 21 to 45 to grab their firearms and hold themselves ready to follow the governor’s orders. 

German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann abandons passive resistance in the Ruhr following a conference of reps from the Ruhr & Rhineland. He tells them, “In the course of battle it sometimes becomes necessary to surrender or evacuate a fortress because it requires too many men, too much food and too much ammunition.” 8 quadrillion paper marks a week, he tells them is the cost of funding the resistance, which is the equivalent of some money. The reps agree to the capitulation but don’t want to put it into writing, because the French would just fucking love that, wouldn’t they?

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