Friday, October 02, 2020

Today -100: October 2, 1920: Of hit lists & reprisals, non-murder societies, and monkeys

The fiercest anti-Leaguers, William Borah and Hiram Johnson, will no longer campaign for Warren Harding (but when did they ever?), thinking he might join the League with reservations. Borah cancels speeches scheduled under RNC auspices but will campaign for Senate candidates who also hate the League.

Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin, shows the press various captured secret government documents showing that reprisals such as the sack of Balbriggan were not done by a few bad black-and-tan apples but on government orders. Other documents reveal a plan to assassinate moderate SF leaders, including Griffith, and blame it on radical Féiners (which is exactly what was done with the Lord Mayor of Cork Tomás MacCurtain in March, so it’s very much not implausible).

The Chief Secretary for Ireland, Sir Hamar Greenwood, warns the Royal Irish Constabulary against reprisals, buuuuuut goes on to justify and downplay them, talking about the number of cops killed (over 100 now) and saying newspapers “frequently misrepresent cases of justifiable self-defense as reprisals”. Fake news, to coin a phrase.

Black and Tans attack Tubbercurry, County Sligo after a cop is killed there, throwing bombs and setting fire to the town.

Sinn Féin publishes a list of 269 soldiers and police they have captured but then released unharmed (and disarmed), proving that SF is, in their words, “not a huge murder society.”

Harding proposes the establishment of a new federal Department of Public Welfare.

A federal grand jury indicts Charles Ponzi on 86 counts of using the mails for fraud.

King Alexander of Greece is bitten by a monkey.

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