Friday, August 23, 2019

Today -100: August 23, 1919: Of reich presidents and Texas for Texans only

Friedrich Ebert is sworn in as German Reichspräsident under the new Weimar Constitution. He will be succeeded in that office by Field Marshal von Hindenburg on his death in 1925 and then, you know, Hitler.

John Shillady, the (white) secretary of the NAACP is beaten on the streets of Austin, Texas, in broad daylight, by county Judge Dave Pickle, Constable Charles Hamby and others, who are now proudly bragging about the felony, and ordered to leave Texas. Shillady was in town to investigate the Texas Rangers’ interference with the NAACP; the assistant adjutant general tells him that organizations teaching racial equality are causing troubles between the races. The night before the beating, Shillady was arrested/kidnapped and a secret “court of inquiry” was held, which may or may not have been a real court, although it was presided over by a real judge, and it’s Texas, so “real court” is a relative term. Gov. William Hobby will tell the NAACP that Shillady was “the only offender” in the incident and tells the organization to stay out of Texas. He will further defend the mob action: “I believe in Texas for Texans only, and just as strongly do I believe that Texans should say how the affairs of the state should be conducted and I believe in sending any narrow-brained, double-chinned reformer who comes here with the end in view of stirring up racial discontent back to the North where he came from, with a broken jaw if necessary.” Shillady will resign from the NAACP next year.

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