Monday, August 03, 2020

Today -100: August 3, 1920: You can only be free if I am free

Two men steal a plane in Maywood, Illinois, fly it four miles away and strip it for parts, and now I’m wondering whether this was the first plane theft.

Romania tells Russia to get its troops off Romanian territory or face the might of Romania.

A Chicago jury convicts William Bross Lloyd and 19 other members of the Communist Labor Party for conspiracy to overthrow the US government.  Their lawyer, Clarence Darrow (Lloyd is rich and can afford the best), had told the jury, “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.” The prosecutor recited the Star-Spangled Banner.

At the Universal Negro Improvement Association convention, Marcus Garvey announces that he’s sent a message of greeting to de Valera, saying Ireland should be free just like Africa should. Garvey says “We are the descendants of a suffering people. We are the descendants of a people determined to suffer no longer.” “The other races have countries of their own and it is time for the 400,000,000 negroes to claim Africa for themselves.” Garvey’s followers are addressing him as “Your Majesty.”

In New York, two chauffeurs (which probably means cabbies) are convicted for disorderly conduct for driving along streets, asking women to join them in their automobiles. One is fined, one sent to jail for 20 days; the judge calls them “auto lizards.”

Lloyd George introduces the Irish Crimes Bill (aka the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920) to try Sinn Féiners by military courts-martial rather than civilian juries.

A mob in Center, Texas lynches a black man who supposedly confessed to the murder of a white woman.

Charlie Chaplin’s first wife, actress Mildred Harris, who he married when she was 16 less than 2 years ago, files for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty.

Charles Ponzi’s former publicity agent W.H. McMaster writes about Ponzi’s scheme in the morning paper, leading to another run on the company. Ponzi pays off the runners, and tells reporters that he has twice as many assets as obligations. He says McMaster doesn’t know the ins and outs of his business because “Nobody knows my business except myself. Nobody knows just what I have been doing, and nobody can say that I haven’t sent and received money from Europe during the last week or more.” The federal auditor says he hasn’t found any violations of the law, so far.

Percy Sholto Douglas, the 10th Marquess of Queensberry (not 9th, NYT), brother of Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas), dies in South Africa. He was in the military and the navy, a gold prospector in Australia, and a reporter and cowboy in the US, among other things.

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