Thursday, October 15, 2020

Today -100: October 15, 1920: Of hyphenated activity, night riders, Cork City Hall uncorked, and lynchings

Gov. James Cox, speaking in Columbus, Ohio, accuses Sen. Harding of being the puppet of various groups: the reactionary party, the pro-German party, the Italian party, the low-wage party, the suppression party, the Greek and Bulgarian parties, the bayonet party, which wants to solve industrial disputes through martial law, the atavistic party, the national isolation party, whose creed is selfishness, the Liberty bond speculators’ party, the anti-Federal Reserve party, the profiteer party, and the anti-League of Nations party. That’s a lot of strings. Also, he says, “There is behind Sen. Harding the Afro-American party, whose hyphenated activity has attempted to stir up troubles among the negroes upon false claims that it can bring social equality, thereby subjecting the unsuspecting Colored people to the counterattacks of those fomenting racial prejudice and endangering them to the bloody race riots which distinguished cities like Chicago, citadel of [Mayor] William Hale Thompson, one of the supporters of Senator Harding.” There is A LOT in that sentence.

Harding’s handlers reject Cox’s challenge to a debate as “utterly absurd.”

Night riders burn cotton and cotton gins in Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas.

The US says it won’t recognize any treaty between Russia and Poland in which Russian territory changes hands unless it’s signed by a Russian government that the US recognizes.

British soldiers with armored cars and machine guns seize the Cork City Hall, search it and the employees, and arrest a clerk who had a raffle ticket for a revolver. Then they steal some cash from the safe and leave.

Travel writer Harry Franck (Vagabonding Down the Andes, etc) says (or possibly writes in The Century Magazine), that Southerners in the US Marines hunted Haitians for sport, including with machine guns from airplanes, although Franck is generally happy with the idea of killing “bandits.” Maj. Gen. John Lejeune, commandant of the Marine Corps, says that Haitian prisoners were only ever summarily executed on the orders of a lieutenant who was later conveniently found to be insane. The privates who did the actual shooting were acquitted.

In other colonial news, Warren Terhune, governor of American Samoa, removes 2 native governors for disloyalty to him. An admiral is being sent to investigate his regime.

A mob near Greenville, Alabama lynch a black man, Select Reid, who hit his boss at the Southern Cotton Oil Company with a pipe after being fired.

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