Thursday, April 30, 2020

Today -100: April 30, 1920: Of scrubs, May days, and joy rides

Pro- and anti-Sinn Féin crowds clash violently outside Wormwood Scrubs Prison. And Sinn Féiners blow up a police barracks only 10 miles from Dublin.

Attorney Gen. A. Mitchell Palmer claims there is a Red plot to assassinate many many many political leaders and others on May Day. He thinks all his arrests and deportations have thwarted this nefarious nation-wide plot. Also, he says, there’s a plot for a general strike, in conjunction with European leaders. All aimed at forcing peace with Russia.

Pres. Wilson takes his longest car ride since his stroke and doesn’t bring along his doctor.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Today -100: April 29, 1920: Of black Republicans, impossible candidates, and hunger strikes

The Arkansas Republican state convention refuses to seat some negro delegates. The NYT doesn’t seem to know how many, or how many other black delegates were seated. But all the black delegates leave and hold their own separate convention, vote their own delegates to the National Convention to contest the lily-white delegation, and nominate Josiah Blount, a black school principal, for governor (Blount, born a slave in 1860, will receive 8.4% of the vote).

Virginia negro Republicans also hold a convention, disputing the legitimacy of that state’s all-white convention and also elect an alternative delegation to the national convention.

Harding did receive more votes in the Ohio Republican primary, but Gen. Wood did well too and they will divide the delegates. There were also primaries Tuesday in New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts. The NYT concludes that Harding has been eliminated, he’s “an impossible candidate,” and the Republican presidential battle is nearly tied between Wood and Sen. Hiram Johnson of California.

The Sinn Féin prisoners’ hunger strike spreads to Belfast jail. For days there have been crowds outside Wormwood Scrubs Prison in London cheering on the prisoners there; for the first time they come into conflict with anti-SF demonstrators. Tom Kelly, Lord-Mayor of Dublin, is released from the Scrubs due to ill health; I’m not sure if he was hunger-striking.

A Unionist MP, Ronald McNeill, responds to the US Senate’s concern with Irish independence by bringing up the Philippines, so there. Sir Edward Carson suggests it would be better for each country to leave the other alone.

Gabriele D’Annunzio’s forces shell an Italian torpedo boat destroyer, missing it, although perhaps they were (20) warning shots. Italy is finally sick of the poet-aviator’s shit; its current blockade of Fiume, unlike the previous ones, is more or less effective. D’Annunzio planned to shower pamphlets by plane over the San Remo Conference, replicating his feat over Vienna during the war, but he started too late. The pamphlet would have claimed that his Anti-League of Nations includes Ireland, Egypt, Persia, all of Islam, Croats, Albanians, etc.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Today -100: April 28, 1920: Of examples of independent manhood and practically eliminated candidates

Alongside the overalls movement to protest the high cost of clothing is the old-clothes movement, which finds an adherent in Louisiana Governor-Elect John Parker, who boasts of having bought only one pair of shoes in the last three years. He says “The man who has the moral courage to wear old clothes these days is setting an example of independent manhood to the whole world.”

A story that Warren G. Harding is leading in the incomplete results from the primary in his home state of Ohio sits on the front page next to one saying Harding is practically eliminated from the race after doing poorly in the primary, losing the big cities to Gen. Wood, in part thanks to Democrats voting in the Republican primary since the state’s Gov. James Middleton Cox was a shoo-in on the D side.

In Indiana, a William Ray, a black man, is tried, convicted and sentenced to death in a single day for killing a 14-year-old white girl. The state will get to try out its brand-new electric chair.

In Bristol, England, thousands of unemployed veterans riot against the continued employment of women on trams. The mob also enter random offices and banks and order the firing of women in favor of vets on 8 days’ notice.

San Francisco tells members of the new teachers’ and firemen’s unions to quit them or be fired.

The president of Chatham Episcopal Institute, a girl’s boarding school in Virginia still around as Chatham Hall, bars a lecture on Harriet Beecher Stowe, so the (Northern-educated) faculty resigns en masse.

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Today -100: April 27, 1920: Of scab gamblers, poles, and German attitude

There’s rebel activity near Mexico City, and yet another general has defected from the federal government.

Tacked on to a story about events in Mexico is this from Agua Prieta, Sonora: “American gamblers employed here went on strike today. Employes of gambling houses demanded a raise from $10 a day to $15. Chinese gamblers were being employed as strikebreakers.” I have questions.

Explorer Roald Amundsen gives up his attempt to reach the North Pole, although giving up doesn’t mean much when your ship is stuck in the ice, as it has been for two winters now. Also: polar bear attacks.

The San Remo conference issues a statement accusing Germany of bad faith in implementing the Versailles Treaty and threatening to force Germany to comply by measures up to and including military force. Also, Germany’s application to retain an army of 200,000 instead of the 100,000 in the treaty, is rejected due to Germany’s “attitude.” Another conference is called for next month, to which Germany is invited to send delegates to explain itself.

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Today -100: April 26, 1920: In a smiling peace lies our only hope of salvation

The San Remo Conference gives the mandate over Mesopotamia and Palestine (which will be known as the “National Home for the Jews”) to Britain and gives Syria (which includes Lebanon) to France, and will offer Armenia to the US or at least get Wilson to arbitrate Armenia’s borders.

Italian Prime Minister Francesco Nitti says “The trouble with the world today is it has forgotten how to smile.”

Now the Irish political prisoners held in the English prison Wormwood Scrubs also go on hunger strike.

The duel between Uruguayan Pres. Baltasar Brum and El Pais director Rodriguez Loretta is called off. Loretta would only do it in a foreign country, presumably one where dueling is legal?

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Today -100: April 25, 1920: Of overall parades, duels, and free states

William Howard Taft says he couldn’t be a candidate for president again because of his support for the League of Nations. He was asked to consider running by a postmaster in Morris Park, Illinois and by literally no one else.

“Whatever else New York may want to do about the high cost of living, it doesn’t want to parade about it.” The several-times-delayed overall parade in NYC consists of a mere 249 overall-clad participants.

Uruguay’s Pres. Baltasar Brum challenges the director of El Pais, Rodriguez Loretta,  to a duel, three weeks after a former president killed an editor of the paper in another duel. Brum’s brother was the first to challenge Loretta, who refused, noting that Pres. Brum isn’t maimed or old so he should be fighting his own damn duels.

Ohio Gov. James Cox accuses Republicans of trying to buy the presidential election with a slush fund provided by millionaires who expect to profit under a Republican administration. It’s funny cuz it’s true. He accuses R’s of stirring up Irish, Italians, Jews and Germans.

At the San Remo conference, Italian Prime Minister Francesco Nitti accepts Woodrow Wilson’s idea of a Free State of Fiume, a buffer state not contiguous with Italy.

The US recognizes the Republic of Armenia.

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Today -100: April 24, 1920: You will have war in Asia Minor

Interviewed by reporters in San Remo, Lloyd George pooh-poohs (French) fears about Germany, saying the country is paralyzed and disjointed, not functioning as a unit, with the central government’s orders being disregarded. So no German military coup against the Allies is likely. Nor will it fall to Bolshevism because Germans are “too used to discipline.” He expresses disappointment that the US only sent someone to the San Remo conference to take notes, not to explain American positions.

Headline of the Day -100: 

The Sam Remo conference decides to establish an independent nation of Armenia, because no one feels like taking the mandate. The League of Nations was asked if it would take it, but the League pointed out that it didn’t actually have a budget. The conference hasn’t worked out Armenia’s borders yet, but it will probably be smaller than earlier plans had foreseen because no one feels like sending in troops to evict the Turks occupying parts of Armenia. Smyrna will be officially part of Turkey but administered by the Greeks.

Italian Prime Minister Francesco Nitti says the dismembering of Turkey means “You will have war in Asia Minor, and Italy will not send a single soldier nor pay a single lira.”

The New York State Senate passes the bills already passed by the lower house banning Socialists from public office.

The French Senate sentences former PM Joseph Caillaux to 3 years’ imprisonment (the time since his arrest in 1918, with time off for it being in a cell, covers this), plus 5 years’ banishment to a town designated by the Interior Minister, and 10 years’ loss of political rights.

The Senate votes to increase pensions for Civil War veterans to $50 a month, and for their widows to $30. Also the 215 veterans of the Mexican-American war and 1,576 widows, and 73 widows of War of 1812 veterans.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Seven black couples attend the senior dance of Brooklyn Girls’ High School. The senior class had voted to cancel the dance if black students attended. Some of them claimed to have no objection to their fellow black students, but worried that their escorts might want to dance with white girls. Protests ensued, including from W.E.B DuBois, who happens to be the father of one of the girls, so the school superintendent told them that if the black students can’t come, the dance would be cancelled. The class changed its vote because they’d already paid for dresses and the ballroom. One of the teacher chaperones says that “everyone seems to be enjoying the dance. Naturally, the negro couples are keeping to themselves and not mingling with other students.” Naturally.

Want to go to the movies? Cecil B. De Mille’s Why Change Your Wife? with Gloria Swanson and Bebe Daniels opens at the Criterion Theatre in Times Square, which is converting from a live theatre to a movie theatre. 

It’s on YouTube.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Today -100: April 23, 1920: Of mandates, lynchings, and lawlessnesses

Canada offers to take the mandate over Armenia if Norway says no, as is expected. (Tomorrow it will deny having made such an offer).

Indianapolis police break up an attempted lynching of a black man being held for the murder of a white girl.

The French Senate convicts former prime minister Joseph Caillaux for “commerce and correspondence with the enemy” during the war, commerce here meaning association rather than economic trade. Basically, he talked with some shady dudes with questionable connections to German intelligence, and that’s about it. Charges of high treason and “intelligence with the enemy” are rejected. It was a purely political trial, held behind closed doors. Long-time readers of this blog will remember that his wife, who committed the very real crime of shooting dead the editor of Le Figaro, was acquitted in 1914.

Presidential candidate Gen. Leonard Woods’ enemies are spreading a rumor that he’s Catholic.

Judge George Anderson of the First Circuit Court issues writs of habeas corpus to 13 aliens who the government ordered deported for being lefties, calling their detention without warrants for two weeks “lawless.”

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Today -100: April 22, 1920: A touch of jazz

Police shoot 14 IWW strike picketers in Butte, Montana.

At the San Remo Conference, the Allies decide not to decide what lines to draw on the map of all those territories being removed from Turkey. Turkey will therefore be expected to simply sign them over to the Allies for later disposal according to their whims. This includes Armenia, which might become a League of Nations mandate under the Netherlands, greater Syria (which has declared independence), Mesopotamia (ditto), Palestine, Anatolia, etc. The Allies have decided to leave Kurdistan with Turkey and come back to the issue in two years.

At the conference, Britain and France are at odds over how to deal with Germany. Lloyd George wants a fixed sum named for German reparations, and says the UK will even help France collect it with military force if necessary, but only if France gives up its self-declared prerogative of acting alone against Germany, like that’ll happen.

Overalls continue to make appearances in unaccustomed areas, with six congressional secretaries coming to work so attired, a “touch of ‘jazz’” which is evidently newsworthy.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Today -100: April 21, 1920: Is there news in every little irritant in every community?

The NY State Assembly votes 83-56 to ban the Socialist Party from the ballot and give the attorney general the power to ask the courts to ban any other party with Bad Ideas. Both houses of the Legislature pass a Teachers’ Loyalty Bill.

Britain informs the Russian government that it would view with disfavor any persecution of captured members of the defeated White army of Gen. Denikin and explains that Britain has a moral right to involve itself. The Soviets have already suggested that an amnesty might be arranged in exchange for an amnesty for Hungarian Soviet members (and other concessions, unspecified here).

Speaking to a luncheon of newspaper editors, Vice President Whatsisname Marshall decries all the crime reporting: “Is there news in every petty murder, in every slimy divorce suit? Is there news in every little irritant in every community?” He says papers should instead publish “the things that are helpful.” He says that immigrants, evidently even naturalized ones, unlike native-born Americans, have no right to propose changes in the US system of government (i.e. socialism).

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, James Good (R-Iowa) says giving a bonus to veterans would just be insulting: “The greatest badge that the American soldier will wear will be the badge of sacrifice and not the badge of a bonus.” I didn’t know it was either/or.

Mexico says it did not in fact ask the US to allow passage of troops through US territory to attack the Republic of Sonora.

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Today -100: April 20, 1920: Of Jim Crow, bayonets, anti-leagues, and lynchings

The US Supreme Court upholds Kentucky’s Jim Crow law for railroad carriages.

The new British ambassador to the US, Sir Auckland Geddes, arrives and immediately tells everyone to butt out of Irish affairs and let the Irish work things out for themselves. You know, like this:

Poet-Aviator Gabriele D’Annunzio says he will form an Anti-League of Nations consisting of all the oppressed minorities of the world. He has invited representatives of Egypt, Ireland, Turkey, Persia, Montenegro, Hungary and India.

France finally gives permission for the US to dig up and repatriate the bodies of American soldiers.

A black man accused of attacking a white girl is lynched in Mulberry, Kansas.

Ad from a travel agency:

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Today -100: April 19, 1920: Of conferences, kapps, and black shames

The San Remo conference is set to start. Yugoslavia is boycotting it because it couldn’t come to an agreement in advance with Italy over their territorial disputes in the Adriatic. This means the conference won’t be able to consider those disputes. The United States will send observers (although the US ambassador to Rome is running late due to a railroad strike in Italy) but won’t participate. The delegates will hold their sessions in private.

Another Mexican state, Michoacan, is in revolt against the central government. Its pro-Obregón governor flees the capital, taking the contents of the treasury with him, as is the custom.

Wolfgang Kapp of Kapp Putsch fame finally turns up, in Sweden, where he arrived by plane a day ago. He was arrested, but is being allowed to stay in a hotel, with a police guard. Sweden will evidently refuse to extradite him.

France withdraws half its troops occupying Frankfort, including all the non-white ones the Germans have been loudly  bitching about (Die Schwarze Schmach, the black shame, in their words).

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Today -100: April 18, 1920: Of overallers, assassinations, and cabreras

Overall Headline of the Day -100: 

“The mysterious blue overall, which has been reported in various sections of the country, made its appearance in Times Square yesterday, where it was seen, touched, examined and verified by hundreds of persons.” The president of the Cheese Club, which organized this event,  Thomas Oliphant, who has very possibly never left the island of Manhattan in his life, says “Many of you have seem them before, covering honest hearts in New England melodramas. ... I am informed that they are a common sight on the streets in some parts of the country.” And then it rained, and people found out why you don’t wear expensive silk shirts underneath overalls in the rain.

Other Overall Headline of the Day -100:  

Rep. William Upshaw  (D-Georgia) comes to Congress dressed in $4 overalls, as does some judge in Cleveland. But North Carolina (not Virginia, NYT, jeez) Gov. Thomas Bickett thinks all this will do is drive up the price of overalls for those who actually need them.

The Cork coroner’s jury inquest into the assassination of Tomás Mac Curtain, Lord Mayor of Cork, brings charges of willful murder against Lloyd George, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Viscount French, former Chief Secretary for Ireland Ian Macpherson, and various members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, which they correctly accuse of carrying out the murder.

Massachusetts Attorney General J. Weston Allen rules that even after the federal women’s suffrage Amendment passes, women won’t actually be able to vote in in the state until there’s a state constitution amendment, which would take at least 2 years, or until there’s an act of Congress.

Guatemalan president/ex-president Estrada Cabrera surrenders after his forces are surrounded by Unionist forces.

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Today -100: April 17, 1920: Of strikes, stairs, overalls, and shortcuts

The wildcat railroad strike is disintegrating in the face of threats by the owners and lack of assistance from the unions.

17,000 elevator starters and elevator operators go on strike in New York. Many stairs are climbed. So many stairs. The Building Managers and Owners’ Association says if they wanted better pay, they should have chosen harder jobs, like longshoreman or something.

France and Britain will tell Germany that if it establishes a reactionary government opposed to the Versailles Treaty, all food aid will be cut off.

Prince Joachim Albrecht is fined 500 marks, which is the equivalent of some money, for starting that fight in the Hotel Adlon. Two of his confederates, Capt. Baron von Platen and Prince (take a deep breath here) Hohenlohe-Langenburg, are also fined for assault. This is the first time a member of the Hohenzollern dynasty has been charged in a criminal court. “A cordon of soldiers protected the court building from a mob that did not appear.” The prince claimed not to know that the people he attacked for refusing to stand for Deutschland Uber Alles were French.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Switzerland will ban automobile travel on Sundays, except for doctors, from May through September. Sunday strollers were complaining about the dust. People driving through the country, from France to Italy say, will just have to wait at the border.

The Mexican government asked the US to allow it to send troops through US territory to attack Sonora. That was a couple of days ago and the US still hasn’t answered.

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Today -100: April 16, 1920: Overalls over all

Dirty-Sounding Headline of the Day -100: 

Volunteer scabs against the railroad strike, along with their male counterparts, including Princeton and Rutgers students. The owners’ association demands that strikers return to work within 48 hours or else, although they reserve the right to fire strikers guilty of violence, intimidation, or... seditious utterances. The teamsters call off their sympathy strike after winning wage increases, averting the threat of a butter and milk famine in NYC. The feds arrest a bunch of railway union leaders in Chicago. Special Assistant Attorney General Harry Mitchell says they interfered with the health of the entire nation by stopping food shipments and prevented industry getting fuel and it’s probably “a conspiracy to aim a blow at the government.” 

In other “strike” news, people (mostly college students, it sounds like) objecting to high clothing prices are wearing overalls in protest. This movement, originating in Florida and the South, has reached New York. There will be a march on Broadway today, weather permitting.

Sen. Warren G. Harding admits that his presidential campaign committee is spending quite a lot of money, but he says it’s probably not corrupt and he thinks there are no corporate donors. He objects to Sen. Borah’s bill to limit campaign spending to $10,000 per state, because he only plans to campaign in 2 or 3 states.

Margaret Bondfield, who will eventually be the first woman member of the British Cabinet, loses a by-election in Northampton.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Today -100: April 15, 1920: No patriotic American could decline to serve

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer blames the railroad strike on the IWW as part of a world-wide communist conspiracy, as was the custom. The government thinks the railway workers will go back to work once the government informs them they’ve been duped. Palmer says the strike is part of a program “to capture the political and economic power, to overthrow the Government and to establish a dictatorship on the part of what they call the proletariat, and transport to this country the exact chaotic condition that exists in Russia.”

Gen. Pershing says that he’s not running for president, buuuuut “no patriotic American could decline to serve” if The People called him. Just couldn’t do it.

The Irish 89 hunger-striking prisoners are suddenly released, possibly because a general strike was called demanding it (I think this was its first day). The authorities had tried to divide the prisoners, releasing only some of them. And it tried to release them on license, to return to prison after their health recovered, under the Cat and Mouse Act brought in in 1913 for hunger-striking suffragettes. The prisoners rejected both proposals.

Mexican presidential candidate Gen. Álvaro Obregón flees the capital. And there was an assassination attempt against Pres. Carranza. Federal troops are moving into position to invade the now-independent Republic of Sonora.

Striking railroaders deny that they are revolutionaries. They just want better wages and shit.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Sadly, in an outrigger, not on a surfboard.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Today -100: April 14, 1920: Of booze, wood, and meat

NY State Senator George Thompson claims that during the Assembly debate on expelling the 5 elected Socialists, assemblymen were plied with liquor by a lobbyist to win their votes, or at least their unconsciousness. Several had to be carried out of the chamber, Thompson says.

Gen. Leonard Wood leaves the presidential campaign trail temporarily to resume his day job in the army to deal with the rail strike. It’s not like he could take the train to his speeches anyway.

Ominous-Sounding Headline of the Day -100: 

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Monday, April 13, 2020

Today -100: April 13, 1920: Of plagues, overalls, and metros

As the railroad strike continues, threatening NYC’s food supply, Health Commissioner Royal Copeland warns of possible outbreaks of cholera, typhus and bubonic plague because everyone will be starving and become susceptible to disease. This is the guy who kept saying the Spanish Flu was no biggie. He wants to get in contact with the leaders of the strike, but doesn’t know who they are.

Men have started wearing overalls to fight the high cost of clothing. The idea began in Tampa, and the Overall Club of Birmingham has 4,000 members.

The president of Guatemala, Estrada Cabrera, shells Guatemala City after the National Assembly removes him from office for mental incompetence.

The general in charge of the self-described Republic of Sonora says 13 other states have seceded from Mexico, but he doesn’t say which ones.

Headline of the Day -100: 

A US Army Sgt. Bender denies having sold a bridge over the Seine but admits selling the subway. To whom is not disclosed. Or for how much.

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Today -100: April 12, 1920: Of toads and baffling peasants

French PM Alexandre Millerand threatens not to attend the San Remo conference to draw up a peace treaty with Turkey unless Britain rejoins the Committee of Ambassadors.

The wildcat railroad strike is still going on. Samuel Gompers calls it an “outlaw” movement (as does the NYT). Big Bill Haywood of the IWW calls Gompers a toad.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Today -100: April 11, 1920: Of hunger strikes, sonoras, treaty infractions, and plebiscites

104 hunger-striking prisoners in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin are said  to be near death. After just 6 days, really? They are striking for political-prisoner status, like the suffragettes before them and Bobby Sands after them. The position of Lord Lieutenant Viscount John French in refusing to extend political-prisoner status, as I understand it, is that it doesn’t apply to unconvicted prisoners, and since they’re being held without charges under the Defence of the Realm Acts...

Sonora State secedes from Mexico after Pres. Carranza orders federal troops into the state to fuck with Gen. Álvaro Obregón’s presidential campaign.

French PM Alexandre Millerand gives a statement defending his sending troops into the Rhine. The oddest thing is his suggestion that “the sending of troops into the Ruhr [by Germany] was not necessary in the interest of public order. They were being sent there simply as an infraction of the treaty.”

Hungary threatens not to sign any peace treaty that doesn’t provide for plebiscites in all the territories detached from it. The argument is that Hungary has no authority to dispose of those territories without the consent of their peoples, who are no longer represented in the Hungarian National Assembly, so what else is there except plebiscites?

Herbert Hoover’s wife Lou does not approve (her words) of the Herbster running for president.

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Friday, April 10, 2020

Today -100: April 10, 1920: Of hoovers, ending wars, enforcing peaces, and reeds

The chairman of the Massachusetts Democrats asks Herbert Hoover if he would accept the Democrat nomination if it was offered to him. No, no he wouldn’t.

The House passes the resolution to declare the war with Germany over, 242-150, not enough to override a veto. Claude Kitchin (D-NC), the former House majority leader and a huge racist, gives an impassioned speech against the resolution, then promptly has a stroke.

Britain tells France that if it continues to act unilaterally in “enforcing” the Versailles Treaty, as it did in occupying the Rhine, Britain will withdraw from the Committee of Ambassadors that oversees the treaty. Belgium, not surprisingly, will join France with a battalion.

A wildcat railroad strike is spreading in the US.

Unconfirmed and wrong reports say John Reed has been executed in Finland. He was caught stowing away on a ship trying to get from Russia back to the US, carrying diamonds and possibly microfilm.

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Thursday, April 09, 2020

Today -100: April 9, 1920: Of occupations, training, and Martian signals

France’s allies (Britain, Italy) will not be joining it in sending troops to occupy the Rhine.

Congressional advocates for universal military training give up, lacking the votes.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Today -100: April 8, 1920: Of scintillas of legality, sneers, and certain ferments

Banned from picketing the British Embassy in Washington, the women protesting British Irish policy are now picketing the State Department, with banners containing quotes from a speech Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby made 4 years ago, such as “There is not a scintilla of legality in England’s claim to rule Ireland.” Awkwaaaard.

Police in Ireland claim to have evidence that Sinn Féin was negotiating with Germans to acquire arms.

Georgia Republicans are split, and rival delegations (for Gen. Wood & Frank Lowden) will go to the national convention. Awkwaaaard.

Headline of the Day -100: 

German newspapers are saying that France is in effect protecting Bolshevism and anarchy and red terror in the Ruhr.

They’re also shooting Rhinelanders. “Colored” (Moroccan) French soldiers fire on a threatening mob in Frankfort, killing 7, one of them a child. Gen. Jean Degoutte, commander of the French Army of the Rhine says the first day of the occupation went fine, but then “suddenly, on orders from Berlin, a certain ferment seized the population,” leading to the incident.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Today -100: April 7, 1920: Of Whites, militarism, and pickets

Anton Denikin resigns as commander of the anti-Bolshevik forces and flees on a British warship.

German Chancellor Hermann Müller, mirroring French PM Alexandre Millerand’s comments yesterday about German militarism, says the French occupation of Rhine cities is “a fresh attempt of Gallic militarism on the peace of the world.” Germany claims to have fewer troops in the Ruhr than the 17,500 they have permission for; France says there are 38,000. Millerand says Germany will have to pay for France’s occupation costs. In the five occupied cities, the French army posts notices saying that “The French troops do not appear as conquerors, but as troops of occupation.” So that’s okay then.

Police remove all the war exhibits in the Belfast Museum – machine guns, mortars, etc. Some Sinn Féin prisoners are on hunger strike.

Herbert Hoover tried to register in California as a Republican, but his form arrived too late.

Since police ban those women picketing the British Embassy in Washington over the Irish issue, they drop leaflets on it from a plane. Four picketers are arrested for insulting diplomats from foreign countries, which is evidently a felony.

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Monday, April 06, 2020

Today -100: April 6, 1920: Of racing, coercive and precautionary measures, soviet plans, and political general strikes

Headline of the Day -100: 

So, no Easter Rising II then.

French Prime Minister Alexandre Millerand issues a note explaining the French occupation of Rhineland towns. It accuses Germany of yielding to militarist pressure in sending troops into the Ruhr. France’s military actions are not of course spurred by militarists; “The sole object of these measures is to bring Germany to a due respect of the treaty; they are exclusively of a coercive and precautionary character.” (Tomorrow’s paper will translate this as “restraint” rather than “coercive,” which seems a bit different; I don’t know which French word was used).

The Republican congressman from Ohio who rejoices in the name Simeon Fess (and will head the RNC during the Hoover administration) accuses Woodrow Wilson of displaying “marked socialism” and “partiality to the Soviet plan.”

The general strike in Denmark is called off after King Christian X agrees to dismiss the cabinet he unilaterally named and give amnesty to all political prisoners.

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Sunday, April 05, 2020

Today -100: April 5, 1920: Tax records on fire is the best kind of tax records, ammiright?

Latest Sinn Féin tactic: attacking tax offices, a lot of tax offices, burning tax records.

France will occupy four cities on the west bank of the Rhine in retaliation for Germany sending troops into the Ruhr to suppress the general strike, and to secure the coal France is owed as reparations. This is a unilateral action by France, which is not going over well with Britain and the US. Germany is now moving to crush resistance in the Ruhr quickly so it can declare victory before the French arrive.

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Saturday, April 04, 2020

Today -100: April 4, 1920: Of risings, lepers, and divorces

British soldiers pour into Irish cities, expecting another Easter Rising. They’re searching hay carts.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Paris and Vienna, not for the first and not for the last time, are wrong.

Obit of the Day -100:  Mark Lee, a Chinese leper, “Passaic’s only leper for ten years,” dies in the shack in the woods to which he’s been confined/imprisoned for 10 years, with his food served through the window and the head nurse of the Isolation Hospital trying to convert him to Christianity.

Kit Dalton, last surviving member of the James Gang (you know, Jesse and Frank James), dies.

The Nevada attorney general will file suit to overturn Mary Pickford’s divorce because she took an oath that she intended to become a resident of Nevada and he thinks she didn’t mean it. If he succeeds, the divorce decree will be set aside, which would be a bit awkward. Her manager says that if her subsequent marriage to Douglas Fairbanks is declared null she would do what any decent woman would do under the circumstances, whatever that means.

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Friday, April 03, 2020

Today -100: April 3, 1920: Of sieges, reigns of terrors, lynchings, duels, princes, and jazz-age marriages

Sinn Féin has a new tactic: its recent raids on police barracks have focused on destroying the buildings.

Women picket the British embassy in Washington with signs reading, “England, American women condemn your reign of terror in the Irish Republic,” “America cannot continue relations with an England ruled by assassins,” “England has perpetrated eighty military murders in Ireland,” etc.

A black man, George Robertson, is lynched in Laurens, Georgia, after allegedly cutting 3 white boys. He’s hanged from a bridge and used for target practice.

Former president of Uruguay José Batlle y Ordóñez kills Washington Beltrán Barbat, a newspaper editor and deputy, in a duel after an editorial about the last elections called Batlle the “champion of fraud.” This is not the first time Batlle has fought a duel with an editor of El País, but it is the first he has won (the last was with swords, this one with pistols).

Warren G. Harding withdraws his name from the New Jersey ballot, saying he doesn’t have enough money, so he’s only running in the Ohio and Indiana primaries (note that only 21 states have primaries).

Prince Joachim Albrecht, who started that fight in the Hotel Adlon which served as a pretext for the Kapp Putsch, is released from prison and banned from living in Berlin.

F. Scott Fitzgerald marries Zelda Sayre.

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Thursday, April 02, 2020

Today -100: April 2, 1920: Delaware was like the battle of the Marne

The Delaware Legislature’s lower house rejects the federal women’s suffrage Amendment 26-6. Mary Kilbreth, president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage says “Delaware was like the battle of the Marne. The suffragists, like the Germans, waged a campaign of frightfulness and threatened members of Legislatures with political reprisals. It needed only a few courageous men to block them, and those were found in Delaware.”

The NY State Assembly (again) votes to expel the 5 elected Socialist members and declares their seats vacant. Two of the not-assemblymen issue a statement: “A bi-partisan combination has overthrown representative government. ... The Constitution has been lynched... If the people are to be driven from the ballot box, where shall they go?” Where indeed. The NYT calls the decision “an American vote altogether, a patriotic and conservative vote.” The Judiciary Committee recommends that the Socialist Party be banned from the ballot until it stops being naughty; legislation is being drawn up to that effect, directing against any party that includes aliens on its governing committees (or even as members); is a member of the Third Internationale; requires pledges of members elected to office, such as not to vote for military spending; or has a policy of using general strikes & sabotage for political ends.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee votes 12 to 6 for the resolution declaring the war with Germany over, with no Democratic support.

Woodrow Wilson fails to respond to Georgia Democrats asking if he’s running again, so some of them remove their names from the petition to put his name on the ballot, and it will not appear.

Herbert Hoover’s name, on the other hand, will appear on both the R and D ballots in Michigan, the D’s having put him on it before he announced that he’s an R. The D’s worry that he’s so popular that many D’s will vote for him anyway.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Today -100: April 1, 1920: Of not-war, women’s suffrage, and Danish kinks

Republican in Congress think they can get around Wilson by voting that the state of war with Germany is at an end. Which is not the same as saying that there is a state of peace, which only the president has the legal authority to negotiate. If the move succeeds, it will automatically end all the wartime laws and presidential proclamations that were supposed to end when the war ended.

So much for Mississippi being the state to put the Anthony Amendment over the top. The Legislature’s lower house rejects ratification 94-23.

A general strike is called in Denmark protesting King (or, in a particularly enjoyable typo, “the Kink”) Christian X’s firing the government and replacing it with a temporary “business cabinet” (insert lego joke here).

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