Sunday, January 31, 2021

Today -100: January 31, 1921: Of loans, dictatorships, and suicides

The Allies keep adding burdens to Germany which are not covered by the peace treaty. Now it’s a ban on German governments at any level getting foreign loans without permission.

Lenin says dictatorship may be necessary in Russia for 40 years because the peasants are reactionary and won’t give up agricultural products without getting paid.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Today -100: January 30, 1921: Oops

The French Supreme Court rules that 6 soldiers shot for cowardice in 1914 were innocent and orders pensions for their widows and children. At their court-martial, a lieutenant denied that he panicked and gave a retreat order, which he did.

Obit of the Day: Prince Kropotkin, anarchist extraordinaire (although the NYT calls him a nihilist). I’m not sure if this makes him a good anarchist/nihilist, but he’s not actually dead.

A father and his two daughters, unbeknownst to each other, all elope and marry within 24 hours of each other.

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Friday, January 29, 2021

Today -100: January 29, 1921: Of kaiserinnen, obedience, and reparations

The former Mrs Kaiser of Germany is dying (although she’s not as close to death as everyone thinks). She will be buried in Germany, but if Wilhelm attends the funeral, the Netherlands says, he won’t be allowed back in.

The Anglicans are revising the Book of Common Prayer for the first time since 1662, but are not removing “obey” from the female version of the marriage vows.

The Allies agree to extract from Germany reparations of 2 to 6 billion gold marks a year for 42 years (probably at 2 billion for 5 years, then 4 billion for 5, then 6), and a 12½ tax on its exports. The last bit, unlike the rest, can’t be simply imposed on Germany, since it wasn’t mentioned in the peace treaty.

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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Today -100: January 28, 1921: Of reparations, women voters, papal states, and helicopters

French President Alexandre Millerand intervenes in the Interallied talks to overrule his government and reduce the French demand for reparations from Germany to 100 billion gold marks, paid over 42 years with interest bringing the total to 250 billion gold marks, which is the equivalent of some money. Lloyd George had made it clear that he would never agree to France’s earlier maximalist demands.

New governor of New York Nathan Miller, addressing the League of Women Voters’ New York convention, mansplains that the League has no reason to be in existence. He says political parties are good but groups trying to exercise political power are bad and a menace to the institutions of the republic. He complains about the League’s attempt in the last election to defeat Sen. James Wadsworth, who for many years led the charge against women’s suffrage in NY. Miller also objects to their support of various social welfare measures, saying that provision for old age, illness, and unemployment should be left to the thrift and foresight of the individual. “For the most part his speech was received in dead silence, with here and there a burst of derisive laughter”. Carrie Chapman Catt responds with a defense of pressure groups, noting that no great reform (abolition, prohibition, women’s suffrage) came from a political party, and “No political party will ever take up an idea until that idea has grown so strong that unless it takes it up it will lose votes.” (Republican members of the League will issue a reply to the governor).

500 new Klansman are initiated at the Alabama State Fair Grounds, much of which was underwater.

The Allies decide to recognize Estonia and Latvia as independent states, ignoring Woodrow Wilson’s position that they shouldn’t take advantage of Russia’s current weak state to try to dismember it. There’s also a worry that Japan will take advantage of this precedent to annex Siberia.

The Austrian Christian Socialist party wants Austria to become a papal state (the Vatican is not a country at this time).

France buys Raúl Pateras Pescara’s helicopter.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Today -100: January 27, 1921: Of reparations, lynchings, home duties, and castles

France suggests that German reparations should be 200 billion marks gold, which is the equivalent of some money, plus interest, which would double that amount. Lloyd George is sceptical that Germany could pay this.

A lynch mob drives 100 miles in six cars to grab a black man, Henry Lowery, who was being brought in by train from Texas, where he had fled after killing two people while drunk. The mob takes them from deputies in Sardis, Mississippi, where they had arrived early, “made no secret of their intentions and calmly waited at the hotel.” They then drive Lowery back to Nodena, Arkansas, and ask him if he has anything to say. He says he’s hungry, so they give him a “hearty meal” (details not provided), and burn him at the stake, which takes 40 minutes. “Repeatedly he was turned over and more oil poured on the flames to hasten the burning.” Gov. Thomas McRae calls the lynching the most disreputable act ever committed in Arkansas. He wants any cop who didn’t prevent it fired.

Anna Lee Worley (D) is elected to the Tennessee State Senate. The first woman in the state Legislature, Worley is filling the vacancy left by the death earlier this month of her husband, James Parks Worley. He was an anti-suffragist who claimed to represent the women who “were at home tending to their home duties.” In March, she will successfully sponsor a bill to allow women to hold public office. Suck it, dead husband!

Headline of the Day -100:  

Fantasy author, poet and playwright Lord Dunsany is arrested after ammunition is found in Dunsany Castle in a search under martial law, then released when it is found to be obsolete ammunition.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Today -100: January 26, 1921: Some of them may not be married, and it is a terrible thing for them

Socialists and Fascists are killing each other in Modena and elsewhere in Italy. All gun-carry permits are revoked in the provinces of Modena and Bologna.

The Dept of Labor reports that between February 1919 and the end of 1920 it deported 505 “anarchists.”

A divorce case in London is heard, for the first time, by a jury of 6 men and 6 women, but one of the lawyers is upset that women see all the evidence: “Some of them may not be married, and it is a terrible thing for them.” So the document (a letter, I guess) is only shown to the male jurors.

A court martial begins in the requisitioned Dublin City Hall of two men for the murder on “Bloody Sunday” last November of a lieutenant who “for good and sufficient reasons” was living in Dublin under an assumed name.

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Monday, January 25, 2021

Today -100: January 25, 1921: Of reparations, dead Lenins, mad mullahs, and universal robots

The Interallied Conference discusses German reparations. “The difference arises from a divergence in the fundamental conception of Germany’s position. England sees Germany in the light of a bankrupt who owes more than he can pay, but who is entitled to be given an opportunity to settle on a basis on which the creditors can agree. France regards Germany as a criminal who should be sentenced to thirty years’ hard labor to repair the damage of his crime.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

The graphic descriptions in such stories (front page, above the fold) continue to startle me.

British planes bomb the shit out of the Somali strongholds of the Mad Mullah, which is not going to make him less mad (actually, he died a month ago of influenza).

Russia denies rumors that Lenin is dead. Again.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) premieres in Prague. The US premiere in 1922, with 22-year-old Spencer Tracy and Pat O’Brien, both in their Broadway debuts, will introduce the word “robot” into the English language.

If you’re going to read Čapek, and you should, you’re better with his short stories or his novel The War with the Newts.

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Today -100: January 24, 1921: Of reapportionment, lynchings, and helicopters

States which would lose seats in Congress after reapportionment if membership were kept at 435 are uniting to fight that plan.

A race riot in Warrenton, North Carolina which developed from “a quarrel over a trade involving some apples”, is followed by the lynching of two black men.

Argentinian inventor Raúl Pateras Pescara claims to have invented a helicopter, which is good because that word was coined 60 years ago and it’s just been waiting all that time to be applied to something in the real world. He’s planning to sell it to the French military, if it works. He’s gotten it (literally) off the ground, but is still working on hovering and, you know, flying (it will take him two or three years to make one with a powerful enough engine to do those things).

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Today -100: January 23, 1921: As popular as baseball

Snow falls in Hollywood. The end of the world is nigh.

Woodrow Wilson proposes to the League of Nations that the great powers pledge to guarantee Russia from attack, putting to the test Russia’s claim “that they are afraid to demobilize because they fear new attacks.” This idea will gain just about as little traction among the Powers as you’d expect.

New French Prime Minister Aristide Briand’s plan on German reparations is not to set a fixed amount until the German economy has recovered, but in the meantime to demand 3 billion gold marks, which is the equivalent of some money, for each of the next 5 years. And then, presumably, the sky’s the limit, for decades to come.

Ireland Secretary Sir Hamar Greenwood inspects the Black and Tans, and tells them they are the custodians of civilized government in defeating the Sinn Féin “conspiracy.”

The new business manager of the Chicago Opera Association says “We intend to make opera as popular as baseball.” Men will even be allowed wear overalls instead of tuxedos. Hell, it’s Chicago, overalls are probably mandatory.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Today -100: January 22, 1921: Splitters

The left-wing faction of the Italian Socialist Party, failing to get the party to join the Third Internationale, splits and forms a Communist Party.

Poet-Aviator d’Annunzio is gone from Fiume, but the legionaries he left behind attempt a coup.

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Today -100: January 21, 1921: Of retaliation, car accidents, franklins, kids and passion

British forces blow up more houses in Cork in retaliation for sniping at police.

Maj. Gen. Strickland, in charge of troops in Ireland, complains that women are hiding guns in their dresses. He wants “vigilance committees” formed to snitch on the IRA. And he opposes indiscriminate retaliation but supports official retaliation, presumably like that in the previous item, but prefers that it be called “punishment.”

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica will sign a compact Monday to merge their nations. Nicaragua is staying out, and the plan will go nowhere.

The car of King Albert of Belgium, in which the king was a passenger, runs over and kills a 5-year-old girl and injures her 7-year-old brother. The king is said to have been quite distressed.

Franklin Bache Huntington, an architect and also the great-great-great grandson of Benjamin Franklin, will be given a tour of New York dressed as his ancestor, who expressed a desire to see what the US would look like in a 100 years. I don’t think that’s what he had in mind.

What to Watch: premiering at Carnegie Hall in a charity screening is The Kid, the sentimental Charlie Chaplin feature film (his first) that shows how, with the right homeless adoptive father, a child can grow up to become Uncle Fester. Also on the bill, Pola Negri in Ernst Lubitsch’s Passion, which is an odd double bill.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Today -100: January 20, 1921: Of daily stars, reapportionment, and independence in any form whatever

Harding will escape the pressures over his Cabinet appointments by going on a 12-day cruise. And he’ll announce the whole Cabinet at the same time, rather than naming Charles Evans Hughes secretary of state early as he’d planned. He says it will be a Republican Cabinet. He resigns as president of the Harding Publishing Company. The Marion Daily Star will just have to get along without him.

The House of Representatives decides not to increase its size to 483 members for reapportionment after all. Where that plan (and districts of 218,979 people) would not have reduced the size any state’s delegation, keeping membership at 435 (242,267 people each) would reduce the delegation of 11 states and increase that of 8 states. Rep. George Tinkham (R-Mass.) proposes to cut representation for the Southern states as called for in a never-used clause of the 14th Amendment because of their suppression of black voting rights This is ruled non-germane although it is totally fucking germane.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Says Manuel Quezon, president of the Philippines Senate.

Speaking of independence in any form whatever, the Philippines Territorial Legislature drops a bill to require men to wear trousers.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Today -100: January 19, 1921: Of roots, needful repose, constitutional kings, and prosecutors

Republican senators are pressuring Harding not to name Charles Evans Hughes secretary of state, threatening not to work with him. They’d prefer Elihu Root, mostly because they like saying his name out loud over and over – try it, it’s fun – but to be honest they don’t much like him either.

Poet-Aviator-Looooooser Gabriele d’Annunzio leaves Fiume, anticlimactically, in a simple automobile. He is going to Switzerland for “desired solitude and needful repose”. Italy’s blockade of Fiume has been lifted.

Charles, the former emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is willing to accept a demotion to constitutional king of Hungary, although he seems to be conditioning that on his being (re-)coronated between June and September, which is crowning season, I guess.

Cook County (Illinois) State’s Attorney Robert Crowe says in future all women tried in the county will be prosecuted by women deputy prosecutors.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Today -100: January 18, 1921: Of crown princes, trademark infringements, chefs, and black runners

Congress votes a resolution to reduce the Army to 175,000 (yes, it was supposed to be 150,000 last week) and asks Secretary of War Newton Baker to stop recruiting until it gets down to that level.

Supposedly the Netherlands asks former kaiser Wilhelm and all his family to leave the country, since the crown prince, the Don Jr. of the Hohenzollerns, has been violating the terms of asylum by plotting a coup in Germany. (This will be denied by the Dutch government tomorrow).

Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard William Simmons offers a $100 reward for anyone using the KKK name “in an unlawful manner or in connection with any purpose or movement not sanctioned by law.”

Sing Sing Prison chef Jim Blanche, himself a prisoner, although one with only 3 weeks left in his sentence, quits as death row chef because the inmates just kept complaining (and not tipping)(are they really expected to tip, or was this a joke?), in part because their food always arrives cold from the distant kitchen.

Senate Republicans decide to refuse to convene in any executive session called by Wilson so they don’t have to confirm any nominations he makes. There are thousands pending (I think mostly post office jobs).

Winston Churchill is moved from his post as war minister to colonial secretary. Oddly, he’ll still be Air Minister. I’m not sure why he’s being demoted.

The Harvard varsity track team cancels its planned trip through the South after the University of Virginia and Annapolis cancel meets because the Harvard team has two negroes.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Today -100: January 17, 1921: Of cabinets, anti-Semitism, Dadaist hoots, and Tibbles the Great

France: Peret couldn’t form a cabinet, so Aristide Briand will. This will be Briand’s 7th time as prime minister (but not the last), because the Third Republic was ridiculous that way.

A protest against anti-Semitic propaganda is signed by, among others, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, Jane Addams, Charles Beard, Clarence Darrow, George Creel (who knows something about bullshit propaganda), Robert Frost, and Charles Dana Gibson. No Jews were involved, by design. Harding refused to sign, because it would be a bad precedent and he’d be inundated with memorials, but he says anti-Semitism is narrow, intolerant and un-American.

Arty Headline of the Day -100:  

P. T. Selbit (the stage name of Percy Thomas Tibbles – Selbit is sort of Tibbles spelled backwards) becomes the first magician to saw a woman in half (in public at least), at the Finsbury Park Empire in London. The woman is called Betty Barker, if you can believe it. Christabel Pankhurst turned down the job.

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Today -100: January 16, 1921: Quitter

Mrs Sadie Harrington of Danville, Illinois gives up her hunger strike after 48 days of failing to coerce her husband into joining her church. Except she was probably faking the fast.

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Today -100: January 15, 1921: Of armies, karpovs, hammer & scalpel, missing liquor, and the propeller

The Senate votes to reduce the Army to 150,000, ignoring the pleas of the secretary of war and “Black Jack” Pershing to keep it at at least 200,000. The 34-28 vote cut across party lines.

Gosh, it really was a guy named Karpov who died, not Lenin.

French President Alexandre Millerand chooses Raoul Peret, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, as prime minister. If he can form a cabinet, that is. It’s already going badly. Peret wanted Raymond Poincaré as minister of finance, but Poincaré would only take the post if he had a free hand against Germany on indemnities.

Hungarian dictator Adm. Horthy pardons 4 members of the government he overthrew who had been sentenced to hanging, after a polite reminder from Lenin that Russia still holds Hungarian prisoners with very cuttable throats.

Euphemistic Headline of the Day -100:  

An abortion, they’re talking about an abortion. I never know when I see euphemisms like this what percentage of readers knew what wasn’t being said.

Some of the liquor seized by dry agents in Chicago and stored in a government warehouse is missing. And by some, I mean 400,000 gallons.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Filippo Marinetti has some ideas about dance. The dancer of the Aviator will have gauze wings “which she will keep in a perpetual state of palpitation.” I bet she will, I bet she will. And a propeller on her chest... I don’t think devotees of the fox trot have anything to worry about.

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Today -100: January 14, 1921: The people of Philadelphia need not be afraid to go to bed tomorrow night

A French court orders the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) dissolved because of its failed strike last May to force the government to nationalize the railroads, that is, because it struck for political rather than economic reasons, or, as the judge put it, “a phantasmagoric of revolutionary ideals more or less deceiving and more or less in opposition to the fundamental laws which regulate life and society”.

The NYPD mobilizes, placing guards around churches, public buildings, Grand Central, the homes of prominent men like Rockefeller, etc. Seems to be related to a radical plot to raze Philadelphia...

...Which the Philly police superintendent denies ever existed. “There won’t be any bomb outrages,” he says. “The people of Philadelphia need not be afraid to go to bed tomorrow night.” There was a planned parade of the unemployed at midnight, but it’s been called off.

Russia announces the death of M. Karpov of the Supreme Economic Council. Since no one’s heard of him and Karpov was one of Lenin’s old noms de guerre, obviously it’s actually Lenin who died. Again.

The US census shows that more Americans live in urban areas (generously defined as places with 2,500 or more people) than rural areas for the first time.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Today -100: January 13, 1921: Of kluxers, prohibition, and reminders of monarchical days

The NYPD have been searching for signs of the Ku Klux Klan in the city for two weeks, but have found none.

The government of Georges Leygues in France falls after less than four months, by a humiliating 463-125 vote in the National Assembly, which thinks he’s not hard enough on the Germans in the ongoing negotiations over indemnities. Leygues was essentially ousted by President Alexandre Millerand, who thinks that the president of the Third Republic should have more power, and the prime minister less. He’s pushing for a tame puppet PM, Charles Dumont. 

New NY Gov. Nathan Miller wants the state and local governments to start enforcing Prohibition.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The minister of interior says monocles are an “affectation and a reminder of the monarchical days.”

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Today -100: January 12, 1921: Of deportations, surrenders, and class antagonism

The State Dept asks the Labor Dept to deport Cork Lord Mayor Donal O’Callaghan, presumably before he has a chance to testify to the Committee of 100.

The Austrian government announces that it gives up, it doesn’t have the resources to continue, and on the 15th will turn over power to the Reparations Commission, whether it wants it or not.

NYC Mayor John Hylan writes the police commissioner, asking him to keep the Ku Klux Klan out of the city: “there is no room in this city for any group which runs counter to law and order and tends to create class antagonism.” The Klan has recently announced plans to expand into the northeast.

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Today -100: January 11, 1921: Of no-frills inaugurations, blondes in sunglasses, affections of the throat, and climbing Everest

The US withdraws from the Council of Ambassadors, starting with a meeting next week to discuss German disarmament and reparations.

Harding wants his inauguration to feature no extravagance. No parade, no ball, nothing but sex with his mistress in every room of the White House, as was the custom.

Dr. R.C. Augustine, president of the American Optometric Association, advises that if your blonde wife or girlfriend is too temperamental, put dark glasses on her. “Blondes are not adapted to this climate. The glaring sunlight irritates their nerves.”

De Valera surfaces, back in Ireland as everyone suspected, to deny British charges that the Irish conspired with Germany in 1918. He says documents displayed in a government White Paper purporting to be written by him are obvious forgeries.

Gabriele d’Annunzio is still in Fiume, busily writing up a report to the Italian Parliament, which didn’t ask for one. He plans a holiday on the Riviera, “in the hope of obtaining relief from an affection of the throat caused by delivering speeches.” I assume that’s a a mistake, but if there’s one thing the poet-aviator-loser suffers from, it’s an affection of the throat. Most of his legionaires have left Fiume, but 550 want to stay because they are engaged to local women.

French Senate elections (it’s like the US Senate, 1/3 of the seats are contested every 3 years for 9-year terms) resulted in a triumph for moderates and a loss for extreme right and left candidates. None of the candidates of the new Communist Party (PCF) won.

Some British people announce plans to climb Mt. Everest. They have permission from the Tibetan government. It’s gonna take a lot of recon work just to figure out paths to get to the mountain.

Edmund Hillary is one and a half years old.

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Today -100: January 10, 1921: Of plots, resignations, and hunger strikes

A meeting between British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Sinn Féin emissary Father O’Flanaghan does not go well. LG insists on the Irish accepting the Home Rule Law. In fact, Sinn Féin is now reconsidering plans to boycott the devolved Irish parliament and instead stand in the elections, inevitably winning most of the seats, and then refusing to take those seats.

Police supposedly capture a Sinn Féin plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament with what sound like RPGs, which hadn’t actually been invented yet.

Warren Harding formally resigns as US senator, effective on the 15th, when a new, Republican, governor of Ohio can appoint his replacement.

OK, I’ve been resisting this story, but there’s a woman in Illinois, Mrs Sadie Harrington of Danville, Illinois, who is on the 41st day of a fast aimed at forcing her husband to convert to the Church of God, give up his poultry business, and become a preacher. He seems pretty adamant about not doing those things.

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Saturday, January 09, 2021

Today -100: January 9, 1921: We will go to the limit to keep them out

Newly elected Davenport, Iowa Mayor C.L. Barewald quits the Socialist Party and orders the police to rid the town of Wobblies and radicals: “Load up the riot guns for immediate use and give them a reception with hot lead. We don’t want any Reds here, and we will go to the limit to keep them out.”

There’s an op-ed piece in the NYT about India’s new viceroy, Chief Justice Lord Reading, and the new agitation, “far stronger and more menacing” than previous ones, led by Gandhi, “half saint, half agitator,” who is calling for non-cooperation with local elections and boycott of British goods.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Well, that’s a humorous image...

Well that took a turn, didn’t it?

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Friday, January 08, 2021

Today -100: January 8, 1921: Of evictions

A “committee” of the American Legion, Chamber of Commerce, and assholes in general in Brownsville, Texas meet the train of a Japanese man arriving to take up his farm land, and tell him to fuck off within 48 hours or else. What I want to know is how they always know what train Japanese will be arriving on?

The California State Senate votes 29-0 to ask the federal government to make no treaty with Japan which affects the state’s racist land laws or which allows Japanese to be naturalized. (The Assembly will concur, also unanimously.)

The 7th District Municipal Court of NYC has frequently blocked landlord requests for evictions. Their response: they serve an eviction notice on the 7th District Municipal Court.

Speaking of evictions, Poet-Aviator-Squatter Gabriele d’Annunzio is evidently refusing to leave Fiume, at least until after he writes a history of his Fiumian adventure. 

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Thursday, January 07, 2021

Today -100: January 7, 1921: This everlasting standing on one’s guard spoils a man

The feds discover 1,000 forged permits for whisky, millions of gallons of which were transferred from distilleries and warehouses to New York City.

Newark follows Chicago in banning movies that show crimes.

Calvin Coolidge’s two years as governor of Massachusetts end. That’s two terms, because they elected governors every single year. They’re going to two years now. His successor is Channing Harris Cox, as Massachusetts-governor a name as you could ask for. At Cox’s inauguration, some of the music is... German.

Two Japanese families arrive in Harlingen, Texas intending to farm land they’d bought, only to be met at the train station by “a committee of citizens” to tell them that they will not be staying. This is not the first time this has happened this week. The American Legion is lobbying for legislation to ban Asians from the Rio Grande Valley.

Warren G. Harding is promoted to grand poobah, or something, in the Masons. He tells them how sad he is now that he’s president-elect: “There is an aloofness of his friends, and this is one of the sad things. ... I have found already that intrigue and untruth must be guarded against. One must ever be on his guard. This everlasting standing on one’s guard spoils a man.”

Harding’s been getting push-back within his party on some of his preferences for office. And Charles Evans Hughes won’t even respond to offers of Secretary of State.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Today -100: January 6, 1921: The fat lady will sing

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George reportedly invites Irish President Éamon de Valera to London for talks. However, LG’s insistence that Ireland will not be allowed to secede and that Northern Ireland must be given separate treatment means that de Valera going to London would mean he accepted those preconditions, and that ain’t gonna happen.

According to the Daily Sketch, a police raid turned up Sinn Féin plans, with maps and everything, to blow up the part of the Tower of London with the crown jewels.

The local military general orders the destruction of five houses in Meelin, County Cork, after an ambush of a military patrol.

German music is played in Paris for the first time since the war, Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Paris Opera. There are no protests. It was a lot longer after the 1870 Franco-Prussian War before anyone attempted to play German music in Paris (also Wagner), and it did not go well.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Today -100: January 5, 1921: Of censorship, effeminate fools, martial law, and stowaways

Chicago Police Chief Charles Fitzmorris orders censors to ban any film showing a crime being committed, even if the criminal winds up behind bars.

The Public Morals Board of the Methodist Episcopal Church announces a campaign to stop the “contemptuous treatment of Protestant ministers by some cartoonists, writers and actors.” In movies and plays, they say, “the Protestant minister is seldom represented except as an effeminate fool.” The effeminate fools would like this to stop.

Martial law in Ireland is extended to four more counties: Clare, Waterford, Wexford, and Kilkenny.

Sinn Féin issues a list of Irish people assassinated by the British in 1920. 175 young men, 6 women, 12 children, 10 men over 60. Of these, 9 were killed during armed conflicts, 36 while prisoners, 69 in their homes, and 98 by indiscriminate firing (such as today, after a bomb explodes under some police on Parnell Bridge in Cork, and the cops randomly machine-gun nearby houses).

Cork Lord Mayor Donal O’Callaghan and Peter MacSwiney, brother of the late lord mayor, arrive in the US to testify to the unofficial Villard Committee investigating Irish stuff. They arrived as stowaways, as was the custom. Actually MacSwiney didn’t have to, but the British wouldn’t have allowed the lord mayor to come and MacSwiney chose to keep O’Callaghan company. The lord mayor will be tied up in red tape for a while since he arrived without a passport.

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Monday, January 04, 2021

Today -100: January 4, 1921: Of boycotts, capitols, gas bombs, and delicious marines

The Supreme Court rules 6-3 that unions are not immune under the Clayton Act from prosecution for secondary boycotts.

Pres. Wilson’s veto of a Congressional joint resolution ordering him to revive the War Finance Corporation to subsidize foreign exports is overridden, easily.

Reports of the violence of the Great Fiumo-Italian War of 1920-1 were over-stated, as the final death count seems to be about 18 on each side.

West Virginia’s capitol burns down.

The Chicago Police Department will be getting gas bombs.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Sunday, January 03, 2021

Today -100: January 3, 1921: Of whole foreign policies, balloons, harmonium taxes, poet-aviator-theatre-producers, reprisals, and moose & dynamite

“France starts the New Year with the resolution to make Germany pay and make Germany disarm. The whole foreign policy of her Government will be shaped by those considerations.”

Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, German chancellor 1909-17, dies.

In a story I haven’t bothered covering, a US Navy balloon went missing after leaving Long Island, with three on board, on December 13th. There’s been a lot of fuss since then. Surprisingly, it turns up, in Canada with the balloonists (I refuse to call them aeronauts) safe and sound in Moose Factory, Ontario (I believe these days Moose Factory just assembles the finished moose from parts manufactured in China. Globalization, eh?).

Parisians are now being taxed if they own a piano (or a harmonium or an organ; I guess harpsichords are tax-free) or keep a servant.

Italy refuses to let d’Annunzio leave Fiume at the head of his legionaries. He is expected to travel to Rome, give all his wartime medals to the king, then go to Paris to write his memoirs and become a theatrical producer (when has he ever been anything else?). This may all be bullshit.

An attack on a police patrol at Midleton, County Cork leads, as was the custom, to reprisals. The local brigade major issues a proclamation that houses near the ambush will be destroyed, “as the inhabitants were bound to have known of the ambush and attack and that they neglected to give any information either to the military or police authorities.” They’re given an hour before their houses were burned, and allowed to take valuables but not furniture. In the future, the proclamation says, anyone who doesn’t “do their utmost” to prevent attacks “will be liable to be confiscated or destroyed.” So this is an official policy of reprisal, the thing they used to say was just the actions of a few troops/Black and Tans/police.

Headline of the Day -100:  

“The mule was unhurt.”

The man not so much.

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Saturday, January 02, 2021

Today -100: January 2, 1921: That damned elusive Pimpernel

Éamon de Valera is definitely back in Ireland, probably. Maybe.

Householders in Ireland are ordered to post on their doors a list of all residents, which isn’t ominous at all.

Michigan State Pen is going to “cure” criminals through brain surgery. That should go well.

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Friday, January 01, 2021

Today -100: January 1, 1921: 1921, bitches!

Fiume accepts the terms Italy imposes on it, including giving back all the munitions stolen from the Italian military and the departure of any “legionaries” not native to Fiume.

Harding will break tradition and use an automobile in his inaugural parade instead of a carriage. Jackson rode a horse, because of course he did.

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