Friday, January 31, 2020

Today -100: January 31, 1920: We will make you chew wood

The bipartisan Senate talks about the peace treaty collapse, with Henry Cabot Lodge refusing to contemplate any compromise on his reservations.

The forces of Gabriele D’Annunzio kidnap an Italian general who’s been critical of the Poet-Aviator.

The new Cork and Limerick Corporations (city councils) declare allegiance to the Irish Republic. And the council of Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland elects its first Nationalist and its first Catholic mayor, Hugh O’Doherty, as audience members taunt the Ulsterites, “Derry has surrendered. We will make you chew wood.” Jennie Wyse Power, a member of Dublin Corporation is disqualified by the town clerk for signing the roll in Gaelic.

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Today -100: January 30, 1920: What wine goes with pneumonia?

French spies have allegedly uncovered a Bolshevik plot for an uprising in India.

Russia, making an offer to Poland to discuss peace, accuses the agents of Churchill and Clemenceau of inciting a “senseless, criminal war against Soviet Russia” (it’s funny cuz it’s true).

The feds announce rules for the use of liquor for medicinal purposes (i.e. the spreading influenza outbreaks): doctors and pharmacists with permits may dispense no more than one pint per patient within ten days. There’s no set limit on wines.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Today -100: January 29, 1920: Of signals from Mars, secret treaties, and referenda

Marconi is still investigating those mysterious signals or whatever that wirelesses are picking up. He says he can’t exclude them being extraterrestrial in origin.

The Allies gave Yugoslavia an ultimatum to accept their proposed revision of its borders with Italy (Fiume, Dalmatia, etc) or they will implement the Treaty of London with the bribes offered to Italy to enter the war in 1915. Yugoslavia says no, pointing out that it doesn’t even know what it’s being threatened with, since the treaty was a secret one and its terms have still never been officially published.

Meanwhile, an Italian ship en route to Albania with stores for the Italian occupation soldiers there as well as pay for those soldiers of 2 million lire, which is roughly the equivalent of some money, sails instead to Fiume, where Poet-Aviator-Pirate Gabriele D’Annunzio seizes the cargo and the money.

Mississippi, like Virginia, will punt on the question of women’s suffrage, putting the federal Amendment up to a popular vote – in November. The South Carolina Legislature rejects it outright.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Today -100: January 28, 1920: Of women’s suffrage and aliens

Wyoming ratifies the federal women’s suffrage Amendment. 27 down, 9 to go. Or possibly 26. Did I miss one?

Marconi wirelesses have been experiencing interference. Could they be signals from aliens? Sir Frank Dyson, the Astronomer Royal, thinks they might.

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Today -100: January 27, 1920: Of treaties, assassination attempts, Americanization, and anti-gas

Hungary will refuse to sign the peace treaty, which would limit its army to 35,000, which it says is too small.

German troops are occupying parts of Berlin to prevent a royalist outbreak on the ex-kaiser’s birthday. Finance Minister Matthias Erzberger is shot in the shoulder by a would-be assassin with a small-calibre gun (one bullet was deflected by a button). Erzberger was leaving court, where he is suing former Vice Chancellor Karl Helfferich for libel. Erzberger is a hate figure for the far right, due to his financial policy and his role in signing the peace agreement. A more competent assassin will find him in 1921.

The Senate votes an “Americanization” bill, providing $6,500,000 to teach English to aliens and illiterate Americans. States accepting the money would have to make it compulsory for people aged 16 to 21 to take 200 hours of instruction in English a year.

The French are working on measures to counteract poison gas attacks. “Naturally the French chemists are guarding closely the secret of this anti-gas.” They’re also working on developing shells to fire at enemy planes to poison the air around them.

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Today -100: January 26, 1920: It is always well for men to walk humbly

Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge says he’s not a candidate for president, without quite saying that he would object to someone nominating him at the Republican Convention. He says he doesn’t want anyone to be able to say that he used the office of governor to influence the selection of Massachusetts’s delegates. He says “The curse of the present is the almost universal grasping for power in high places and in low to the exclusion of the discharge of obligations. It is always well for men to walk humbly.”

The Soviets announce that they have captured not only Irkutsk, but Adm. Kolchak and his government as well. The latter is true, the former is not.

The French winners of Nobel prizes in economics and medicine decline to accept the award because the chemistry prize went to Fritz Haber for his work on nitrogen, um, something or other, which is important in producing fertilizer but which he also put to use during the war in developing chemical weapons. (Update: or possibly this story is complete horseshit - see comments).

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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Today -100: January 25, 1920: Of medicinal whisky, destroying the state in open combat, and armistices

As influenza spreads in New York and elsewhere, Assistant Supervising Federal Prohibition Agent James Shevlin says that “most druggists have little desire to handle whisky because of the legal restrictions, but that an appeal was being made to them on the ground that they were in duty bound, as purveyors of medicine, to carry a stock of liquor.” (I asked my GP about this a couple of weeks ago. He seemed to think using whisky to treat flu and pneumonia is a bad idea.)

Secretary of Labor William Wilson decides that membership by aliens in the Communist Party is a sufficient ground, all by itself, for deportation, because the Party is “seeking to destroy the State in open combat.”

The Allies (not including the US) are trying to resume commercial relations with the Soviet Union without actually recognizing the Soviet Union by dealing directly with Russian cooperatives. But Russia says that unless there is a military armistice first, it will sink any ships arriving at Russian ports.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Today -100: January 24, 1920: Of emigration, extradition, and ugly duchesses

Japan is prohibiting emigration to Mexico, because of an “understanding” with the US.

The Netherlands refuses to extradite former kaiser Wilhelm. In truth, the demand by the Allies’ Supreme Council was a bit bizarre, saying that, had Willy remained in Germany, the peace treaty would have required Germany to extradite him, so, um, Holland should. The Dutch point out that they aren’t a party to the Versailles treaty because they weren’t actually, you know, in the war, and that there’s no international court to try war crimes anyway.

Quentin Matsys’s 16th-century painting The Ugly Duchess sells at Christie’s for 880 guineas.

The painting is now (2020) in the National Gallery in London.

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Today -100: January 23, 1920: Root and branch

Herbert Hoover is seriously considering running for president without committing himself as to which party’s banner he’d run under. This would be accomplished by the formation of Hoover clubs, dominated if not entirely comprised of business men. He would then  publish a platform, and either party would be free to adopt both him and it.

The mayor of Camden, New Jersey appoints a black man, Dr. Clement Branch to the city’s Board of Education. Immediately, the president of the board and another long-time member resign, with more threatening to do so, although no one’s admitting that Branch’s appointment is the reason.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Today -100: January 22, 1920: Of communist laborers, flu, women’s suffrage, and whipping

A Chicago grand jury indicts 39 Communist Labor Party leaders, including John Reed (who is in Russia) and William Bross Lloyd, for conspiracy to overthrow the government by force.

Influenza is rearing its head again and the main problem is the difficulty in getting whisky for, you know, medicinal purposes.

The lower house of the Mississippi Legislature rejects the federal women’s suffrage Amendment.

Atlanta City Council orders an end to the whipping of women prisoners at the city stockade.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Today -100: January 21, 1920: Of weak, doubtful, second-class men, and open arms

The Allied Supreme Council breaks up without resolving the status of Fiume. It sounds to me like Yugoslavia conceded to Italy almost everything it demanded, but that’s still not good enough for Italy.

The NYT editorial page expresses confidence that the Republican party will choose Henry Cabot Lodge as its presidential candidate. “The Republican party is not going to foist upon the country any weak, doubtful, second-class man.” (They’re being sarcastic).

Russia has evidently decided to accept all 249 deported radicals. As Maxim Gorky’s wife tells them, “Russia opens her arms to all who are politically persecuted.” Um, yeah, that’s totally what Russia does (I’m being sarcastic).

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Monday, January 20, 2020

Today -100: January 20, 1920: Of international duties, exiles, and the more extreme types of foolishness

The Allies send the Netherlands a note demanding she “fulfill her international duty” and hand over the former kaiser.

The “undesirable aliens” deported from the US arrive, finally, in Russia, crossing over the frozen Systerbak River from Finland. They are met by a military band and welcoming crowds. Emma Goldman says “This is the greatest moment of my life. After 35 years of absence I am returning to Russia with a feeling of awe. I am glad to leave America, but I love the American people and expect to return there some day.” She won’t.

Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, suggests that since there is “no human cure for some of the more extreme types of foolishness,” radicals should be rounded up and exiled to some island in the Philippines.

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Today -100: January 19, 1920: Of deserters and Gaelic

The Paris police plan to round up 1,000 US Army deserters they claim are living in Paris, many of them broke and engaging in crimes. The flics will arrest anyone in uniform without the proper papers. Wait, in all their criming they haven’t stolen some new clothes?

Sinn Féin win a majority of seats on the Dublin municipal council. They even win a few seats in Belfast. One of the new councilors, Michael Carolan, who fought in the Easter Rising, gives a speech thanking his voters... in Gaelic. In Belfast. Love it.

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Today -100: January 18, 1920: Of the most Bolshevist act in New York, arks, and Fenian councillors

The New York Bar Association condemns the Assembly’s refusal to seat those 5 Socialist members. Former governor and former US Supreme Court chief justice Charles Evans Hughes says that the Assembly, “in the name of hatred of Bolshevism commit the most Bolshevist act ever performed in this state by depriving a part of the population of the right to be represented by their duly elected representatives.”

The “Soviet Ark” drops its deported radicals off in Finland, from whence they will be taken to the Russian border by train. The Finns have informed the Soviets of this plan and requested that Soviet troops stop shooting when the train arrives, but they have received no reply. Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman say they will not stay in Russia, but return to the US to save it.

The French National Assembly elects Paul Deschanel president of the Republic. His term in office will be most notable for his descent into eccentricity/insanity.

Sinn Féin does quite well in Irish municipal elections. There aren’t that many women candidates, but those are mostly SF, including Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington, woman suffragist leader and widow of Francis S-S, summarily executed for no very good reason during the Easter Rising.

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Today -100: January 17, 1920: Of prohibition, leagues of nations, dumping grounds for agitators, rejected tigers, and brown October ale

Prohibition is now in effect.

So is the League of Nations, although it’s mostly just sitting around, waiting for the US to show up. There’s an empty chair and everything.

The “Red Ark” containing Emma Goldman and 248 other deported aliens still hasn’t reached Russia. The ship broke down and needed several days to repair, and now Finland and Soviet Russia are negotiating. The Soviets seem reluctant to “be used as a dumping ground for agitators from America.” Finland may take custody of them and trade them to Russia for Finnish prisoners.

French Premier Georges Clemenceau drops out of the French presidential race after his caucus rejects him in favor of Paul Deschanel, with whom he once fought a duel. Clemenceau says he didn’t really want to be president anyway and only ran because his friends wanted him to.

The Allies will resume trading relations with Bolshevik Russia. This comes out of the blue and the reasons are obscure. The speculation is that Lloyd George has realized that the White forces are doomed, which they totally are. “The only official explanation of the move is that it is intended to reach the Russian peasants and thus weaken the Soviet Government. Some statesmen say that this reasoning is not clear to them.” The US was never part of the blockade of Russia.

Reginald De Koven, American composer of songs such as “Oh, Promise Me,” and light operas, most famously Robin Hood (1890), dies at a dance held in celebration of his recently opened Rip Van Winkle. Here’s a song, such as it is, from Robin Hood, praising a substance no longer legal in the United States.

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Today -100: January 16, 1920: Of swarms, free cities, and Reds

Secretary of War Newton Baker tells Congress that Poland needs a large loan to enable it to withstand the onslaught of Soviet Russia. Loans should also be made to Armenia and Austria, he says. Gen. Bliss agrees with a suggestion by Rep. John Nance Garner that the Bolsheviks could “swarm over Europe.”

Italy agrees to give up its claim over Fiume, leaving it a “free city,” with its port and railroads controlled by the League of Nations and with its “Italian character” to be recognized, whatever that means. France and Britain are putting pressure on Yugoslavia to accept the deal.

A federal judge orders the release of 9 of the “Reds” being held for deporation on Ellis Island. 65 more will be bailed. The position of the Immigration Commission is that the burden is on the aliens to prove that they should not be deported.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Today -100: January 15, 1920: Of citizens

The House passes a bill giving Native Americans US citizenship, although it sounds like it’s really more about breaking up tribal property.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Today -100: January 14, 1920: Gloom

Oregon ratifies the women’s suffrage Amendment. 25 down, 11 to go. The measure is proposed by Sylvia Thompson, the only current woman member of the Legislature (and third ever woman member).

Protesters outside the Reichstag in Berlin, objecting to a bill setting up factory workers’ councils which they say are not good enough, allegedly attack soldiers, who respond with machine gun fire, as was the custom.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Last month driver’s licenses were introduced in Ireland, intended to curb Sinn Féin drive-by shootings. So in Sligo, a bunch of cars and trucks which belong to people who complied with that law – “driven under British permit” as the notices attached to them describe them – are sabotaged.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

Today -100: January 13, 1920: Whatever happened to pulling a sword out of a stone?

In an editorial entitled “A Severe Strain on Credulity,” the NYT calls bullshit on Prof. Robert Goddard’s claim to have invented a rocket that could operate in space because how could its forward motion continue in the vacuum of space? “To claim that it would be is to deny a fundamental law of dynamics, and only Dr. Einstein and his chosen dozen, so few and fit, are licensed to do that.” Goddard, “with his ‘chair’ in Clark College... does not know the relation of action and reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react – to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”

The NYT will issue a correction to that editorial in its July 17, 1969 edition: “Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.” I can’t get a functional link, but it’s on page 43, the same page as an article by Isaac Asimov explaining that spacecraft maneuver like a squid.

The US will pull the last of its forces out of Siberia. They’ll help the remaining anti-Bolshevik Czech soldiers evacuate, and then they’re outta there and Japan can protect the trans-Siberian railroad itself.

The Monarchist Party in Hungary wants, as the name suggests, a king. They’re hoping a rich American will buy the position, paying off the country’s debts. None of the Habsburgs has enough money.

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Today -100: January 12, 1920: Of rockets and colored and other unchecked profligates

Prof. Robert Goddard has invented a multiple-charge, high-efficiency rocket he thinks can reach beyond earth’s atmosphere, maybe even to the moon.

Headline of the Day -100: 

The Allied occupying forces in the Rhineland have issued an edict – I think this is real but I may be wrong – setting forth fines or imprisonment for anyone whose “words, manners or attitude” towards members of the occupying authorities or the occupation troops or indeed their flags are “insulting or improper.” According to irate Prussian Finance Minister Albert Südekum, this means any British, French or American negro soldier is placed “in a position to terrorize even the most harmless person against whom his brutal African instincts may wish to vent themselves. ... Rapine and murder may well become a pastime of these black fiends if this edict takes effect” as they can simply send the male relatives of any woman who catches their eye into detention, leaving her “unprotected game for colored and other unchecked profligates.” He notes that the edict is based on the armistice agreement which Woodrow Wilson signed, though it “practically encourages all those crimes for which, in the United States, negroes are burned at the stake. What do Americans think will be the effect of the return of those negro soldiers, whose licentiousness in Germany is officially encouraged, on the rest of their race?” In fact, the US Army points out, there are no negro units stationed on the Rhine.

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Today -100: January 11, 1920: We won’t need any music

The Peace Treaty has been ratified. The Allies and Germany are now at peace. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau refuses to shake hands with the Germans, which is very on-brand. The US was not, of course, present, but the State Department decides to piss on the event on general principles:

There are rumors that the German government has been overthrown, but nah.

The Supreme Council of the League of Nations will meet for the first time on the 16th. France, Britain, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Spain and Brazil will be on the council. Clemenceau decides against it being a big ceremonial affair. “No, we won’t need any music,” he growls (I assume; he’s a growler).

The House of Representatives again votes not to seat Victor Berger, 328-6. He was re-elected in a special election in Wisconsin’s 5th District after the last time the House refused him his duly elected seat. He says he’ll run again. The Socialists re-nominate him, saying “We will keep on nominating Berger until Hades freezes over if that un-American aggregation called Congress continues to exclude him.” Wisconsin Gov. Emanuel Philipp (R) says he won’t call another special election, he’ll just leave the seat empty.

A lot of Republicans have come out against the NY Assembly’s refusal to seat 5 Socialists, including Warren Harding, former governor and Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes, and now Sen. Borah.

Admiral Kolchak is reported to have been arrested by the White “All-Russian Government.” That’s not quite right, but it’s about now that he does get betrayed and handed over to the Bolsheviks for... disposal.

The London Tube introduces a railroad innovation: electrical signs in the cars announcing the stations. Mornington Crescent!

Gen. Pershing denies in a letter to the House War Investigation Committee that soldiers’ lives were wasted when pointless attacks were ordered on 11/11/18. FACT CHECK: soldiers’ lives were totally wasted in pointless attacks on Armistice Day.

The US Senate passes a bill against sedition.

100 or so Sinn Féiners attack a police barracks in County Galway with bullets and bombs. Doesn’t sound like anyone got killed.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Today -100: January 10, 1920: Sure, Norway, why not

Since the US now seems unlikely to accept a League of Nations mandate over Armenia, some are suggesting it be taken by... Norway.

The last of the American Expeditionary Forces leave Europe. The AEF’s last commander in Paris, Brig. Gen. Fox Connor tells Paris reporters how much he likes Paris, France’s well-behaved children, and its women, “the most perfect and the most developed.” Asked about the Germans, he replies, “I believe we have got to watch them.”

Lucy Page Gaston of the Anti-Cigarette League, is running for president.

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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Today -100: January 9, 1920: The world has been made safe for democracy, but democracy has not been finally vindicated

The Democratic Convention will be held in San Francisco. Which some consider a plus for Herbert Hoover, if he decides to run for president as a Democrat.

A letter supposedly from Pres. Wilson is read to the Jackson Day dinner calling on the Senate not to alter the meaning of the peace treaty, although interpretations are fine. If it persists in doing so, he wants the 1920 election to focus on the treaty and the League of Nations. “The United States enjoyed the spiritual leadership of the world until the Senate of the United States failed to ratify the treaty... Personally, I do not accept the action of the Senate of the United States as the decision of the nation.”  Wilson’s former secretary of state William Jennings Bryan then gives a speech calling for the issue to be kept out of politics and saying whatever compromise is necessary to get the treaty passed quickly should be made.

Sen. Warren Harding calls the NY Assembly’s refusal to seat those 5 duly elected members unconstitutional. “We still adhere to popular government and its liberties,” he says, wrongly. New York Mayor Hylan also “regrets” the Legislature’s actions. The 5 say they were expelled to prevent them asking uncomfortable questions about the activities of the Lusk Committee and exposing that it’s being manipulated by the British Secret Service.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Today -100: January 8, 1920: Every country has its traitors

The New York State Assembly refuses by a vote of 140-6 to seat five Socialist members elected from New York City. The no’s include 4 of the Socialists. There will be a hearing later about whether to make this permanent. The vote is preceded by a hectoring speech by Speaker Thaddeus Sweet (whose claim to historical fame is that he will be the first ever member of Congress to die in an airplane crash, in 1928), accusing them of being bound to obey the orders a party whose executive “may be made up in whole or in part of aliens or alien enemies owing allegiance to governments or organizations whose interests may be immediately opposed to the best interests of the United States and of the people of the State of New York.” Sweet refuses to let the accused assemblymen respond to the resolution refusing to admit them because... they hadn’t been admitted.

Two of former kaiser Wilhelm’s sons, ex-princes August Wilhelm and Joachim, are getting divorces.

Viscount Milner, Special Commission for Britain in Egypt, has been having difficulties finding any prominent Egyptian willing to negotiate with him. He meets with the Grand Mufti, who tells him, “We can have no discussion until the protectorate is withdrawn.” Milner tells him some Egyptians would be willing to discuss reforms within the protectorate system, if they weren’t afraid of being killed; the GM replies, “Every country has its traitors.”

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Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Today -100: January 7, 1920: Of Socialists, lashing, divorces & boners, and women’s suffrage

Victor Berger, the Socialist elected from Wisconsin to Congress, which refused to seat him, and who has since been re-elected, is ejected by police from Jersey City, where he was due to speak, and put on a ferry bound for Manhattan.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Not to be mistaken for “Harding lashes Americans red.” What goes on behind closed doors between a US senator and his mistress remains behind closed doors.

A court in Kentucky blocks the 4th marriage of 27-year-old Ora Iring. The judge decided that her third divorce didn’t count because it was on the grounds of cruelty, the same as her 1st divorce, and Kentucky doesn’t all more than one divorce on the same charge. She had planned to marry the president of a milk powder company, a Mr. O. W. Boner.

The Indian National Congress demands the removal of Gen. Reginald Dyer and the prosecution of Punjab Lt. Gov Sir Michael O’Dwyer for the Amritsar Massacre.

Rhode Island and Kentucky ratify the Women’s Suffrage Amendment to the federal Constitution. 24 down, 12 to go.

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Monday, January 06, 2020

Today -100: January 6, 1920: Offering women everything we offer the men

Republican women from 14 Mid-Western states, meeting in Chicago, demand equal representation on the RNC and fair representation at the National Convention. RNC Chair Will Hays tells them that “The Republican Party offers the women everything we offer the men. Republican women come into the party not as women, but as voters... They are not to be separated or segregated, but assimilated and amalgamated.” Kinky.

The NYT does not approve of the idea.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Some people are trying to evade census-takers because they think it has something to do with prohibition enforcement.

The New York Americans (Yankees) buy Babe Ruth for a record $125,000.

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Sunday, January 05, 2020

Today -100: January 5, 1920: Of concentration camps, Girl Scouts, barracks, Palmer Raids™, penologists, and Our Lady Who Weeps

There are so many alien Reds being held prisoner on Ellis Island that the government will have to turn a military camp into a concentration camp – their term, not mine.

The US claims Russia is forging foreign currencies and US Liberty Bonds.

The New York branch of the American Legion calls on Congress to suppress radical newspapers.

To overcome immigrants’ resistance to the Census (can’t imagine why they’d be concerned about feds asking them questions), enumerators in Manhattan will take Girl Scouts with them on their rounds.

In Carrigtohill, County Cork, hundreds of Sinn Féiners attack a police barracks. The assault lasts for hours, thanks to the recent hardening of barracks after other such attacks, but a bit of dynamite and the cops are made prisoners and the barracks looted of arms.

The Justice Dept says the Palmer Raids™ have only swept up half the 4,000 foreign Reds for whom warrants have been issued, and they intend to get all of them. Americans are also being swept up, and will supposedly be prosecuted.

By the way, the term Palmer Raids has not yet appeared in the NYT. Does anyone know when it was coined?

Headline That Sounds Dirty But Really Isn’t, Well Not In That Way of the Day -100: 

The Cook County sheriff is threatening to force prisoners to watch another execution.

There will be a trial in Nantes, France, this week. So a broker, a police inspector, an orchestra conductor, and a bank cashier beat up a priest, the former Grand Vicar of Syria, the broker using a dog whip, the cop handcuffs, the conductor a rubber band with lead pellets, and the cashier a grooved wooden paddle, and yes, I’m sure there’s something exactly like this on PornHub. Their purpose was to get Abbé Sapounghi to stop his satanic attacks on a woman who used to own a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes which wept tears which could, naturally, cure the sick. Once they’d beaten him and acquired a wax voodoo doll, the woman’s sufferings ceased. Should be an interesting trial, but if I know the NYT, there will be no update to tell us how that went. 

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Saturday, January 04, 2020

Today -100: January 4, 1920: Of embezzlers, conversions, injunctions and child labor

Poet-Aviator Gabriele D’Annunzio’s cashier flees Fiume with 1 million francs, which is roughly the equivalent of some money.

The Turkish government supposedly issued a secret order last November ordering the forcible conversion to Islam of any remaining Armenians.

A Superior Court judge in Spokane issues a permanent injunction on membership in the IWW or advocacy of its principles.

Evangelist Billy Sunday praises the Palmer Raids™, says if he had his way he’d put all the Wobblies, anarchists and socialists before a firing squad.

Another effect of the Great War on the United States, according to the Labor Department: more child labor.

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Friday, January 03, 2020

Today -100: January 3, 1920: When do we eat?

Lots and lots of Palmer Raids™, in 33 cities, with at least 2,600 arrests. Today’s Palmer Raids™ focus on the Communist Party and the Communist Labor Party, which the Justice Department darkly informs us is associated with Lenin & Trotsky’s Third International. Justice also releases a letter which Palmer sent to Illinois State’s Attorney Maclay Hoyne asking him to hold off his own planned raids, which would scare reds into hiding before the Palmer Raids™. Apparently not very deep into hiding, since some of the Palmer Raids™ took place in Chicago, netting 100 or more alleged reds (yes, I’ve stopped putting reds in scare quotes; it was getting tiresome).

Speaking of bad timing, the government says it will get local cops to help locate foreigners for the Census.

200 convicts in the County Jail in Chicago are forced to witness the hanging of Rafflo Durrage in what is described as  an experiment in psychology. Sheriff Charles Peters explains that the crime wave is caused by “the modern coddling of criminals.” After the noose was put on Durrage’s neck but before he was hanged, a chorus of “When do we eat?” went up among the prisoners. Some prison official disconnected the phone to make sure there was no reprieve.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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Thursday, January 02, 2020

Today -100: January 2, 1920: Of the strategic importance of pipes

Chicago police make 300 raids, capturing 200 “reds.” State’s Attorney Maclay Hoyne accuses the Justice Dept of not only refusing to cooperate, but tipping off the reds. Hoyne claims there is a “gigantic conspiracy... to overthrow the United States Government,” much of it headquartered in Chicago.

Marshal Ferdinand Foch says God gave him visions about the strategy to win the war. He adds that he won the war “by smoking my pipe. I mean to say by not getting excited, by reducing everything to its essential, by avoiding useless emotions”.

New Jersey Governor-Elect Edward Irving Edwards thinks the 18th Amendment can be overturned. He has sent his secretary to Washington to look at the original ratifying resolutions from various states, because he thinks some outlaw “alcoholic liquors” instead of “intoxicating liquors,” the actual phrasing of the Amendment. Also, some of them weren’t properly dated. (Update: his secretary won’t find any flaws in the ratifications).

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Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Today -100: January 1, 1920: Roar

Gen. Leonard Wood formally declares for the presidency in the South Dakota primary. Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge, who was nominated for vice president there, declines.

Tuskegee University, which keeps track of such things, reports that 82 people were lynched in the US in 1919. 75 were black, including 1 woman, 7 were white. 77 were in the South.

Mexican Pres. Carranza vetoes a bill to bring back bullfighting.

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer says Bolshevist sympathizers “are composed chiefly of criminals, mistaken idealists, social bigots, and many unfortunate men and women suffering with various forms of hyperaesthesia.” And, of course, he promises to destroy all of them.

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