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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