Friday, October 30, 2020

Today -100: October 30, 1920: You have murdered our brother and you are not going to arrest his body

Prof. William Estabrook Chancellor is fired by Wooster College for allegedly writing pamphlets about Harding supposedly having black blood. Chancellor didn’t write them, probably, but the anonymous author had access to his extensive research, i.e.,  interviewing everyone who would talk to him in Marion, Ohio. Stories about Harding’s ancestry have circulated around Marion for years, mostly by his father-in-law, now dead, who really didn’t like him. This NYT article, published on the front page three days before the election, is very mysterious about the actual content of the pamphlets, without knowledge of which the story would be rather confusing. The closest it comes is a quote from a statement put out by the Ohio Republican Party about “malicious propaganda” being circulated by the Democrats “in the most malicious and cunning matter [sic]”, “the purpose of which is to arouse group against group, race against race, religion against religion.” Today’s Chicago Tribune is more informative: “some of his ancestors were colored”. The pamphlets have been circulating widely and in large numbers, suggesting serious money and organization.

The struggle over Terence MacSwiney’s body continues. Police drag family members off the train carrying the body in Wales, his sisters crying “You have murdered our brother and you are not going to arrest his body.” In Ireland, train employees refuse to run a train with the coffin since it’s accompanied by police and soldiers, so a navy launch is used. When it reaches Cork, no one – city officials, church officials – is willing to take charge of the body. The family eventually does so after a threat that they’ll just bury him in the barracks yard.

Vice presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt makes 12 speeches in one day in New York and Connecticut, mostly on the subject of the League of Nations, an issue he says is “above party and above candidates.” The deluded soul evidently thinks pro-League Republicans will vote Cox-Roosevelt in large numbers. He says “there is no doubt about” Cox winning the election. Wall Street betting odds are 7:1 in favor of Harding, so there might be some doubt.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Cooperative rows are the best kind.

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