Friday, November 15, 2019

Today -100: November 15, 1919: Of porches, vigilante legions, and Bolshevik et anti-Bolsheviki

On Armistice Day, Pres. Wilson was allowed out of bed for the first time since returning to the White House, in a wheeled chair. Today he was rolled to the rear porch. Did no one find it strange that he’d been confined to bed for a month and a half, with no explanation of his condition offered beyond “nervous exhaustion?”

Members of the American Legion are sworn in as special constables in Spokane, which is expecting a mass invasion of Wobblies. 52 supposed Wobblies have already been convicted of “criminal anarchy.” They refused to put up a defense and were sentenced to 30 days and a $100 fine. In Kansas City, Poughkeepsie and elsewhere, American Legion branches are organizing vigilante squads.

The Centralia, Washington coroner’s jury fails to place the blame for the deaths of those 4 American Legionnaires on the IWW, after hearing testimony that the Legion attacked the IWW hall. But the prosecutor says he has other witnesses who say shots were fired before the attack on the building.

The NYT says the only issue in the French parliamentary elections is “Bolshevik et anti-Bolsheviki.”

Italy raises its blockade on Fiume.

Yesterday I marked what I think is Mussolini’s first mention in the NYT. Then today’s would be the second. Not all of it is legible, but someone is killed and 8 more wounded when a gunfight breaks out at an election meeting in Lodi at which the future Duce is speaking.

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