Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Today -100: August 9, 1922: Of black Republicans, greater battles, and eclipses

Black Republicans elect a black chairman of the Montgomery County, Alabama Republican Party convention, so the whites walk out and hold their own separate-but-no-doubt-equal convention. Both groups elect delegates to next month’s state convention, which will have to decide who to seat.

Mussolini will order Fascists to stand down so he can declare victory over the general strike. His manifesto calls on Fascists to prepare “for the greater battle which will crown our work.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

Well that’s very ambitious.

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Monday, August 08, 2022

Today -100: August 8, 1922: Of life expectancy, extraordinary measures, tongs, and haircuts

Life expectancy in the US is highest in Kansas, at 60. Well, white Kansans. Most of the Commerce Dept statistics reported here, based on the 1920 census, are just for white folks (New York City residents’ life expectancy, for example, is reported as 51.5 years for white males & 52.7 years for white females). Well down in the article we see that the life expectancy of black males in big cities is 37.9 years, compared to 51.55 for white males. Which is actually an improvement over past years.

Italy’s Interior Ministry orders the army to put down the civil war and prevent all demonstrations. The movement of trucks has been prohibited, since Fascists have been using them to move squadristi around the country. In Genoa, 200 Fascists evade the authorities’ “extraordinary measures” to prevent them attacking the offices of the Socialist periodical Lavoro by the clever ruse of going in through the back door, and then burn the building. Pope Pius thinks everyone just needs to pray more. Mussolini’s Popolo D’Italia says those monks the Fascists killed in Ancona were really Communists in disguise as monks.

Chinese tongs in San Francisco sign a peace treaty. The police immediately raid the conference hall and seize the document, saying they won’t open it unless the violence resumes, at which point every signer will be arrested.

William Jennings Bryan gets a haircut.

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Sunday, August 07, 2022

Today -100: August 7, 1922: Beavers against the Klan!

Every publisher and author unsuccessfully prosecuted by the NY Society for the Suppression of Vice (the late Anthony Comstock’s baby) will file suit for false arrest, hoping to smother the Society in litigation. Since a recent appeal court ruling laid it open to such lawsuits, the Society has been pushing a plan for a “jury” of prudes, or whatever, to pre-censor all books, like exists for plays and, after a fashion, movies.

5 Italian provinces, including Milan and Genoa, are put under martial law. Troops with machine guns are guarding the Chamber of Deputies in Rome from possible Fascist attack. Fascists force the dissolution of Milan’s Socialist-run Municipal Council.

Atlanta Police Chief James Beavers, running for mayor, demands the other candidates, especially Councilman Walter Sims, declare their opinions on the Ku Klux Klan. Beavers doesn’t like ‘em. Sims will win the election.

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Saturday, August 06, 2022

Today -100: August 6, 1922: Of hibernians, Fascists, einsteins, and crittendens

The Ancient Order of Hibernians declares war on the Ku Klux Klan. 

Violence has slowed down in some parts of Italy, but the Fascists order a general mobilization of their forces. The Facta Cabinet meets this threat by deciding to issue a politely worded appeal to the country. Facta, giving off a strong Biden-talking-about-Republicans vibe, says he trusts the sense of responsibility of the leaders (!), the sense of fraternity among the masses (!) and the goodness of the Italian people (!) to prevent a recurrence.  An anonymous Socialist deputy tells a newspaper that the Fascists are planning to march on Rome. No spoilers, anonymous Socialist deputy!

Death threats drive Albert Einstein out of Germany. Since they come from Organization C, the group that assassinated German Foreign Minister Rathenau, he’s right to take them seriously. One assumes their problem with Dr. Einstein is that he’s Jewish.

Crittenden Clark is nominated by the Missouri Republican Party to be a Justice of the Peace. He would be (and indeed will be) the first elected black judge in Missouri.

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Friday, August 05, 2022

Today -100: August 5, 1922: Evil shepherds are the worst kind

Fascists seize Milan’s Municipal Building. Gabriele d’Annunzio addresses the crowd from its balcony, because the dude loves him a balcony. He calls for unity and brotherhood: “Every workman, every peasant and every sailor led astray by evil shepherds must be convinced of this.” Because nothing says unity and brotherhood like accusing everyone who thinks differently from you of being led astray by evil shepherds.

Lots of street fighting and other violence in Genoa, Milan, and all over Italy really. Can’t tell how many dead - a few dozen? This isn’t a Fascist uprising or anything, it’s just everyday life in Italy now. The NYT’s coverage of Italy is at best beset by both-sidesism, at worst outright pro-Fascist: “Police and Fascisti are keeping the disorderly elements well in hand.” Beating up parliamentary deputies, burning anarchist clubs and chambers of labor, you know, keeping the disorderly elements well in hand.

In Texas, the Anti-Saloon League and the KKK join together to support US senatorial candidate Earle Mayfield against impeached former governor James Ferguson in the second Democratic primaries (although the Drys don’t all seem entirely happy about who they’re in bed with). Mayfield refuses to say answer questions about whether he’s a Klan member and will continue to refuse.

US Marines are sent into Teapot Dome naval oil reserve to oust a Mutual Oil Company drilling crew. The White House says the operation was done “sweetly and without conflict.”

Blood and Sand, the bullfight movie starring Rudolph Valentino and Lila Lee, premieres.

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Thursday, August 04, 2022

Today -100: August 4, 1922: Ask not for whom the Bell doesn’t toll

Germany, whose currency is still in free fall, has been resisting French demands for repayment of old debts to French citizens, so France, as was the custom, is threatening not only to occupy the Rhineland, but to remove it from Germany altogether and set up a separate country, under Allied financial control. 

Alexander Graham Bell’s funeral will be marked by a one-minute silence. That is, all telephone service in the US and Canada will be suspended.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The Irish Civil War reaches the inevitable kinky phase.

Oh dear, I wrote that before seeing the sub-hed:

Evidently, “landing forces in Dingle Bay” is the Irish euphemism for, um, striking irregulars in the rear.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Today -100: August 3, 1922: Ask not for whom the Bell tolls

Indiana Gov. Warren McCray declares martial law over the coal miners’ strike and calls for “volunteer miners.” Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover approves plans for the federal government to take over the distribution of coal.

Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell, 75, dies. Among other things, he played with big box-kites, taught Helen Keller, and was prevented by Pres. Garfield’s idiot doctors from possibly saving his life.

And the phone thing.

Rep. Lemuel Padgett of Tennessee dies, which I only mention to point out that you don’t see the name Lemuel nearly as often these days.

The Italian Fascists are threatening to move 14,000 squadristi into Rome with “solid arguments” against the general strike which the Communists called in protest of previous Fascist violence. Someone shoots at the mayor’s car. Companies whose workers are among the strikers are politely requested by the Fascists to fire them and replace them with... Fascists. 

Mayor Jack Walton of Oklahoma City takes the Democratic nomination for governor on an anti-KKK platform.

Since the start of Prohibition, 22 federal dry agents have been killed.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Today -100: August 2, 1922: Just the factas

Harding offered a plan to solve the railroad strike, but the railway execs reject it out of hand. They’ve been especially interested in using the strike to take away seniority from strikers. They’re also not thrilled by Harding’s demand that they follow any and all decisions of the Railroad Labor Board without question (or lawsuit).

Britain sends a note to Yugoslavia, France, Italy, Romania, Portugal, and Greece saying that Britain would like to cancel Allied countries’ debts to Britain but can’t because the US is demanding payment of British debts to it, but Britain will reduce the amount it’s demanding in proportion to US debt forgiveness. The Balfour Note says it would prefer a general cancellation of debts, including German reparations.

Luigi Facta does the impossible and forms another Italian government. It’s a mix of the same centrist parties as the last Cabinet. No Socialists or Fascists.

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Monday, August 01, 2022

Today -100: August 1, 1922: Or our revolvers will proclaim their doom

In the prosecution of publisher Thomas Seltzer by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice for publishing D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love and two other books, the defense calls Carl Van Doren, Columbia U professor and literary editor of The Nation (and uncle of the Quiz Show guy); Gilbert Seldes, editor of The Dial; the editor of the New York Medical Journal, and others to testify to the non-obscene nature of the books. Prosecutor James Wilson complains that these witnesses are “no authorities on morality or immorality” and says obscenity can only be determined by a cross-section of people unable to weasel out of jury duty.

Recently deposed Italian PM Luigi Facta is now trying to form a new government after everyone else has had a go. The Socialists have called off their threatened general strike because they are afraid of Fascist violence, with good fucking reason. Mussolini says: “Either the Socialists must cease attempting to break the peace of Italy” – the WHAT now? – “or our revolvers will proclaim their doom.” Il Popolo d’Italia, the Fascist newspapers, issues an ultimatum to both the strikers and the state itself, the Fascists threatening to stop the strike itself if it doesn’t stop, or the state stop it, within 48 hours. After that, “Fascism will claim full freedom of action and will replace the State, which will once again have shown its powerlessness.”

Greece does indeed proclaim a protectorate in Smyrna. It will be called Occidental Asia Minor. Greece claims the announcement was received with much enthusiasm by everyone in the region, regardless of race or religion, but especially Muslims. Greece actually thinks everything’s going swimmingly, and is lobbying the Allies to be allowed to occupy Constantinople. But if you’re looking for a map showing “Occidental Asia Minor,” it’s going to have to be printed before the end of the month.

The Irish Free State captures Tipperary.

Connecticut Gov. Everett Lake says there is no “serious or semi-serious” evidence of KKK activity in his state, beyond “a comic opera midnight initiation”.

Headline of the Day -100:  


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