Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Today -100: December 22, 1920: Of sharpshooters, propellers, hip liquor, home rule, and narrow-chested bigots

In more anti-crime performance theatre, the NYPD sends 20 ex-army sharpshooters out cruising the city with repeating rifles. Patrolmen are ordered to stop gabbing with each other.

The son of Secretary of Commerce Joshua Alexander, Walter Alexander, a former miliary pilot in the reserves, walks into an airplane propeller, dying instantly. Evidently he was always absent-minded.

Russia is about to invade Estonia, maybe?

Romania orders the internment of 12,000 Jewish refugees from the Ukrainian pogroms.

Headline of the Day -100:  

While federal dry agents are threatening to arrest anyone with a hip flask celebrating New Years in Chicago, Chicago PD Chief Charles Fitzmorris says Chicago cops will be too busy dealing with real crime.

Parliament passes the Irish Home Rule Bill, though it only comes into effect when the British government, um, feels like it. And it won’t come into effect if either the North or South of Ireland don’t accept it. It provides for two bi-cameral parliaments, North and South, and a Council covering the whole island.

I’m not sure why everyone was so sure that De Valera was returning from the US onboard the Aqitania, but it was searched by the crew, searched when it arrived in France, and is searched again in Southampton. No De Valera.

The British ban bars in Palestine. Gov. Ronald Storrs also bans stucco and corrugated iron.

William Simmons, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, writes to NY Assistant District Attorney Alfred Talley, asking whether in an interview Talley described the Klan as “narrow-chested bigots” (I think it was actually narrow-minded) for whom there is no room in New York. Talley replies, yup and I was talking specifically about you guys. Funnily enough, the first Google search result for “talley ku klux klan” is a Trump judicial nominee, Brett Talley, who praised the first Klan’s Grand Wizard. 

The only other thing Alfred Talley, later a judge, is known for is once debating Clarence Darrow on capital punishment. Reading that made me realize I’d never heard Darrow’s actual voice. Here it is. Closer to Spencer Tracey than Henry Fonda.

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