Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Today -100: February 24, 1921: There is a scent of violets here

Herbert Hoover is still playing coy about whether he’ll take the commerce secretary job, which we know Harding offered him. “The matter requires consideration and I cannot discuss it,” he says. He reportedly told Harding that the post doesn’t have a wide enough field to interest him. Harding reportedly responded that Hoover would have a free hand and could make the post a wider one (which is what Hoover will do with it, involving himself in all sorts of policies normally not in the remit of the commerce secretary).

A performance of Arthur Schnitzler’s play Reigen (La Ronde) in Berlin is disrupted by a bunch of idiots, starting with a stink bomb thrown right after the line “There is a scent of violets here.” Police and military arrest c.40 demonstrators, who shouted “Down with the Jews” and “I’m a Prussian” and sang Deutschland über Alles, which the article points out “proved conclusively it was their so-called nationalistic sentiments and not their morals which had been shocked.”

An ambush in which two constables in Ballybunion, County Kerry, are killed is followed by the retaliation burnings of 20+ buildings, as was the custom.

The Atlanta Penitentiary has been holding Eugene Debs incommunicado as punishment for giving an interview criticizing Wilson for not pardoning him.

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