Friday, April 30, 2021

Today -100: April 30, 1921: Shakespeare won’t mind

The British military in Tipperary, Ireland warn that anyone with hands in their pockets is liable to being arrested or shot. And in Cork the military announces that in response to the burning of houses of two loyalist farmers, the houses of 3 “prominent active Sinn Feiners have been burned as official reprisals.” Remember when they were denying that there was any such a thing as official reprisals?

The Michigan State Senate rejects the bill banning newspapers attacking, misrepresenting or criticizing religious cults, intended to target Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic Dearborn Independent. One senator seemed to think it would ban reprinting the bits of the Bible about the crucifixion.

May Day is coming up, and the Chicago PD are preparing by arresting communists, anarchists and the like, and seizing pamphlets.

A 19-year-old black man accused of attempted assault on a 14-year-old white girl is seized by a mob from the police station in Bowling Green, Missouri and hanged.

The Fascist takeover of Fiume a few days ago was accomplished by incoming Fascists from Trieste who previously supported Poet-Aviator Gabriele d’Annunzio. They threatened the death penalty for anyone defying the “Exceptional Government of the Italian City of Fiume.” Since then, however, the man they named dictator, former mayor Ricardo Gigante, has fled the city.

The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon will show movies when not in use for Shakespeare festivals, and Shakespearistas are LIVID, although playwright J.B. Fagan (the NYT calls him F.B.) says “why not, after all, make the devil serve? ... I am sure Shakespeare won’t mind.”

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Today -100: April 29, 1921: We are going to do the German people a favor

French Prime Minister Aristide Briand tells reporters that the German offer is just one more sign of German bad faith. He says that in occupying the Ruhr, “We are going to do the German people a favor in helping them to get rid of those men who paraded themselves at Potsdam the other day, those men who learned nothing from the war, to whom defeat gave no lessons.” He’s referring to the kaiserin’s funeral, after which an American couple were beaten up by a crowd that thought they were French. Briand says Germany “has neither good faith nor good will and she plans revenge in her heart.” Note that he’s referring to “Germany” as a whole here.

Lloyd George calls the German offer “thoroughly unsatisfactory.”

A jury in Deming, New Mexico rather quickly decides to acquit 16 Mexicans for the 1916 raid by Pancho Villa’s troops on Columbus, New Mexico.

The British execute 4 more Irish nationalists in Cork after a military trial.

Chief Secretary for Ireland Sir Hamar Greenwood tells Parliament that the IRA are murderers who are targeting Protestants.

So far two cases have been tried under NY’s new dry law, and both ended in acquittals. Just getting a jury has proved troublesome: in the case of a bartender, 57 prospective jurors said they were against enforcing the law. The grand jury has been dismissing cases of people arrested for possession of a hip flask.

The Daily Chronicle (London) reviews the language of Harding’s address to Congress, sneering at phrases like “illy prepared for war’s aftermath,” “ready... to approximate disarmament,” “fritters energies,” and his coinage (which is not actually his coinage) of “hospitalization.” They’re still shuddering at “normalcy.”

Madrid police put up posters threatening punishment for men who accost women in the streets.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Today -100: April 28, 1921: Of reparations, whipping posts, and queens of Sheba

The Reparation Commission fixes a figure of 132 billion gold marks, which is the equivalent of some money, for Germany to pay. This doesn’t include other obligations, such as paying Belgium the total of loans it took out during the war.

NY Supreme Court Justice Lewis Fawcett, at the trial of a stick-up man, says shorter sentences should be replaced by the whipping post.

Italian troops restore order in Fiume.

Fascists burn the “palatial” Chamber of Labor in Turin, with people still inside, though they are saved by firemen. In response, a general strike breaks out.

A Fox Studio ad on the amusements page talks about the controversy over the alleged threat of imported German films which some film companies have ginned up:

You see, “No picture in any country – Germany, France, England, America, Italy, Zanzibar or Hindustan – has ever been produced which we believe is the equal of ‘The Queen of Sheba.’” Which coincidentally was just released by Fox. This lost film starred Betty Blythe (after Theda Bara dropped out). Topless in some scenes, but only in the European release.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Today -100: April 27, 1921: Or reparations and coups

France, you’ll be surprised to hear, rejects Germany’s reparations offer as insufficient. The US had rejected Germany’s request to act as arbiter, saying it would pass on the German proposal if it were good enough; it has decided that it isn’t.

In truth, the Germans are being rather vague about what they’re promising to pay, while demanding the end of all economic sanctions, the release of German-owned property abroad, the retention of Upper Silesia, etc.

Communists seize power in Fiume, as was the custom, after evidently losing an election to Autonomists. As they occupy City Hall, fascists and followers of the Poet-Aviator occupy other buildings. The ballots are destroyed.

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Today -100: April 26, 1921: Together at last

Dr. Daniel Russell Hodgdon, President of Valparaiso University in Indiana, resigns, calling the university a “hotbed of Bolshevism, communism and other cults.”

France and Britain are now demanding that Germany deposit 90% of the Reichsbank’s gold reserves in the Bank of France by the end of the month to guarantee that Germany will pay the reparations demanded of it.

Germany offers to pay 200 billion gold marks in reparations ($48b) rather than the 226b the Allies are demanding, spread over 30 to 42 years at a rate fluctuating with the German economy. It repeats its offer to help reconstruction in the war-devastated areas of France and Belgium, and you can imagine how thrilled France and Belgium are at the prospect of German workers coming in to do that.

In the semi-official plebiscite in the Austrian Tyrol, the vote is 98% to join Germany, although some of that suspiciously large majority are actually Germans brought in for the vote, including a trainload of 700 from Bavaria. In the South Tyrol, annexed by Italy at the end of the war, Fascists attacked costumed Tyrolese at the fair in Bozen/Bolzano on Saturday.

Rep. Volstead introduces a bill to ban doctors writing prescriptions for beer.

Albert Einstein goes to the White House. Pres. Harding admits he doesn’t understand relativity.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Today -100: April 25, 1921: Of clocks and ghosts

The Connecticut Legislature’s law rejecting Daylight Saving (which went into effect yesterday, er, some places) is being flouted by Hartford and other cities, and the Legislature is threatening to declare the capital city in rebellion and suspend its charter. New Hampshire is not setting its clocks ahead either. It ordered the Boston and Maine Railroad not to use Daylight Saving in its time-table within the borders of the state, but the B&M is ignoring them. Yesterday some churches across the country used Standard Time and some didn’t.

Front Page Headline of the Day -100:  

(Update: lord, they actually followed up a week later):

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Today -100: April 24, 1921: Distracted boyfriend meme, 1921 version

The Dáil Éireann warns that anyone in Ireland using English courts will be regarded as waging war on the Irish community. It will also ban the importation of certain English goods next month. And it bans any election speeches in any language but Irish.

Nicaragua leaves the League of Nations. Not worth the expense, they say.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Today -100: April 23, 1921: Getting them at last

The House passes the Immigration Bill restricting immigration for the next 14 months to 3% of the number of nationals of each nation in the 1910 census. Supporters of Irish independence propose an amendment exempting political refugees, but it fails.

An IRA innovation: a death squad shoots a former soldier, then call a priest to give him last rites, then shoots him some more. They leave a note: “Getting them at last. Beware.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Today -100: April 22, 1921: The nincompoops are out

Harding refuses a German request that he mediate the reparations issue.

Germany refuses to transfer Reichsbank gold reserves to branches in Allied-occupied cities.

Col. George Harvey closes down his Harvey’s Weekly as he takes up his new post as ambassador to Britain. In the last issue, he declares victory: “So: the war is won; the League is dead; autocracy is no more; the nincompoops are out.” Obviously a natural diplomat.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Russian War Minister Leon Trotsky supposedly tells military school students that he’s considering a war of revenge against Poland.

Leaders of the Dadaist art movement are on trial in Berlin for insulting the army. In an exhibit last year there was a stuffed effigy in an army officer suit with a pig mask. The label said it could best be appreciated if one spent 15 minutes on a parade ground in full kit.

The lower house of the Michigan Legislature passes a general libel bill aimed at Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic Dearborn Independent. A “general libel” is one which impeaches the honesty, integrity, virtue, reputation or patriotism of any religion or sect. There’s already a similar Detroit city ordinance, under which a seller of the paper has been arrested.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Today -100: April 21, 1921: Of treaties, severe and energetic repression, and the late Bertie Russell

The US Senate ratifies the treaty with Colombia which has been kicking around for years, after rejecting a poison pill amendment by William Borah (R-Idaho) asserting that paying $25m to Colombia is not an admission that the US fomented the Panama revolution in 1903 (which it totally did) (and if not, what’s the $25m for?). Colombia for the first time recognizes Panama’s independence.

New Hungarian PM Count István Bethlen tells Parliament that an anti-Semitic policy is not desirable, but he won’t let Jews monopolize Hungarian commerce.

Socialist MPs in Italy tell Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti that if he doesn’t do something about the Fascist violence, Socialists will abstain from next month’s election and Socialist officials will abstain from their work (unclear if this means in general or just administering the election). Giolitti reassures them that all violence will be “severely and energetically repressed.” Spoiler Alert: it won’t be.

Irish Unionists are begging the government to postpone elections to the Southern Irish Parliament. 

Premature NYT Obit of the Day -100: Bertrand Russell!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Today -100: April 20, 1921: These people

Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes asks Congress to severely restrict immigration to make it “impossible for most of these people” – undesirables from the Balkans, Armenia, Russia, Georgia – “to enter the United States.”  Many of “these people” are of course Jews. The State Dept report says Romania is allowing any Jew in the army to be discharged if they go America (which certainly sounds like something Romania would do). And Latvian and Lithuanian immigrants, it says, are mostly “Jews of an undesirable type.” And “Armenians, Jews, Persians and Russians, all of which have been so driven hither and thither since 1914 that they cannot be regarded as desirable populations for any country.” (Update: the State Dept will sort of deny that these are Hughes’s personal views, but rather reports from officials abroad which Hughes passed on to Sen. Fall.)

The Allies’ Commission on Reparations demands that Germany move the entire gold reserve of the Reichsbank to its Cologne or Coblenz branches (Cologne is currently occupied by Britain, Coblenz by the US), where the gold will be under Allied control.

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Today -100: April 19, 1921: Of work propaganda, gold, and cuts

Fascist-Communist fighting in Tuscany, with 14 dead. Fascists from Florence spread out to conduct “work propaganda” in nearby towns.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Headline of the Day -100:  

Paper cuts are the worst.

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Today -100: April 18, 1921: Oh, just your basic thuggery

The IRA kills a woman, its first. The body of Kitty MacCarron, a farmer, is left with the usual note about spies and informers but no clarity about what, if anything, she actually did.

It seems that one of the things Poet-Aviator Gabriele d’Annunzio did before he left Fiume was to rewrite the city’s divorce code and then use it to get a divorce. He has now remarried, to a much younger pianist.

More street fights between Socialists and Fascists in Italy. A primary fascist tactic for a while has been attacking buildings – labor and party headquarters, newspaper offices, etc. – going after the infrastructure of the Left. In Fiume, Fascists attack a street car with hand grenade(s). I was going to remark that none of the recent stories mention anyone being arrested, but in this case one of the attackers is turned over to the Italian carabineers. Who let him go.

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Today -100: April 17, 1921: Of occupations, kaiserinnen, free hands (the best kind of hands), and arson

France, already threatening to seize the Ruhr and tax it heavily if Germany doesn’t coup up sufficient reparations, is now also threatening to occupy Westphalia’s industrial region.

The funeral in Potsdam of former kaiser Wilhelm’s wife, the former kaiserin Augusta was postponed from last Friday to next Tuesday, evidently to allow the organization of a proper degree of rabid monarchist agitation around it. The Hohenzollerns were a bit dispirited about their chances for retaking the throne after watching – closely – Charles’s lame attempt to establish himself as king of Hungary. The authorities are worried that an openly restoration-cheerleading funeral will provoke the Communists to react violently. Wilhelm will not be allowed into Germany for the funeral.

Poland ratifies the Peace of Riga with Russia. Lithuania claims there’s a secret clause giving Russia a free hand in Latvia and Poland one in Lithuania. There isn’t. 

In retaliation for the killing of Maj. MacKinnon, the British burn 12 homes in Ballymaoelligott, County Kerry, including a presbytery.

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Friday, April 16, 2021

Today -100: April 16, 1921: Of sundered alliances, conventions, and emergecies

The other two-thirds of the Triple Alliance (railroad, transport unions) decide not to join the British coal miners’ strike.

The Republican-controlled NY State Senate repeals primary elections in favor of conventions, which will name their party’s candidates for all state-wide offices, including the state Supreme Court.

The House of Representatives passes an “emergency” tariff bill.

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Today -100: April 15, 1921: Traitors, beware!

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George meets union leaders and tells them they should “go to the people” rather than strike, which is not how elections actually work.

Sir Arthur Vicars, heraldist and former Ulster King of Arms (until he was fired after the Irish Crown Jewels were stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907), is killed in Listowel by an IRA death squad, who leave a message: “Traitors, beware! We never forget.” It’s unclear in what way Vicars was a traitor, but it might be for not giving up his weapons to another IRA group that raided his house last year.

Feds say that Georgia planter John Williams also ordered the killings of a couple of black workers who got too old to work. So rather than a panicked response to a federal peonage investigation, the murders – now up to 18 alleged so far – are part of a pattern dating back over 10 years. And yes, they did use whips and ball & chains. One former peon worker, who received a full $1 in pay during his six years on the plantation, says “If Mr. Johnny had told me to kill a nigger, I certainly would have done it. I’d have known better not to do it.”

An NYPD plainclothes cop pretends to collapse from illness, gets a passing porter to get him a reviving drink of whisky, then arrests him. In court, the cop says he only asked for milk, but we all know fucking better. The magistrate agrees that it’s unlikely someone would bring whisky to a man who asked for milk, but holds the good samaritan for trial anyway.

Headline of the Day -100:  

I think this is a Ringling Brothers publicity stunt. “Mr. and Mrs. Doll,” as they are known on stage, are actually brother and sister, which isn’t creepy at all.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Today -100: April 14, 1921: We are about to enter upon a great industrial struggle; we are not proclaiming a revolution

500 disabled Italian veterans occupy the headquarters of the state railway in Rome and its Genoa and Florence offices to enforce their demand it fire women workers and replace them with disabled vets.

István Friedrich, prime minister of Hungary for a few months back in 1919, goes on trial for inciting and helping organize the 1918 assassination of former prime minister Stephen Tisza.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The coal strike in Britain will now be a Triple Alliance (miners, railwaymen, transport) strike, with the electrical unions sympathy-striking. The Triple Alliance issues a manifesto: “We are about to enter upon a great industrial struggle; we are not proclaiming a revolution.” They are in fact fighting for a national pay scale, based on a national profits pool. Prime Minister David Lloyd George sends the union leaders a letter asking for “the grounds on which you have determined to inflict such a serious blow on your fellow-countrymen.”

Yugoslav Prime Minister Nikola Pašic is working on a new constitution, dropping federation in favor of centralism, which doesn’t bode well for a notoriously diverse country stitched together from the ruins of the Austrian, Ottoman and, hell, Venetian empires: 7 neighbors, 6 republics, 5 nationalities, 4 languages, 3 religions, 2 alphabets and 1 dinar, as Yugoslavs will enjoy describing the country. No women’s suffrage; Pašic says the time isn’t right yet.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Today -100: April 13, 1921: Of world-governing super-powers, charms, lawful sovereigns, secret treaties, and peonage

Harding gives his first State of the Union address. “He wore a dark morning coat that fitted him well.” He’s still talking about forming a non-political association of nations “based upon the application of justice and right, binding us in conference and cooperation for the prevention of war and pointing the way to higher civilization and international fraternity,” which he has to know won’t happen. He says that with “the existing League of Nations, world-governing with its super-powers, this republic will have no part.” He will have Congress declare a “technical peace” with Germany. US occupation troops in the Coblenz region will remain, because they are there under the terms of the armistice of 11/11/18 rather than the Treaty of Versailles.

He says “Congress ought to wipe the stain of barbaric lynching from the banners of a free and orderly, representative democracy.” Spoiler Alert: It won’t. He doesn’t say a thing about racial voter suppression but does suggest... wait for it... a commission “embracing representatives of both races” to discuss the subject of race. Both races. Fortunately there were only two, evidently, which should make it easier. This part of the speech was greeted by “applause and then silence.”

The NYT provides a guide to presidential pronunciation, comparing how Harding pronounces words like either, personnel, maintained etc with how Wilson pronounced them.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The Hungarian government, while asking Switzerland to allow former emperor Charles to live there permanently, says it considers him Hungary’s lawful sovereign.

IRAers shoot military horses and mules, in separate incidents suggesting this is a new tactic. That’s one way to hamper military activity, and this blog does not approve.

Italy has a secret treaty with the Turkish nationalists, signed last month, to support them in their war with Greece, despite Italy being a signatory of the Treaty of Sèvres, which Greece is fighting to enforce. By “secret treaty,” I mean Italy didn’t inform the other Allies of its existence.

A superintendent and 3 foremen of the Southern Construction Company, which is building the Lee Highway in Tennessee, are arrested by federal agents for violating peonage laws by forcing 75 black men to work on the project. One described how he was beaten with a pine board after trying to escape. “The Government has forced the defendants to release every negro in the camp with the exception of the cook.” 

Sen. Ralph Cameron (R-Arizona) is sued by a man for alienation of affection. Cameron responds that Mrs. McFarlin was not married to the plaintiff at the time and that under AZ law the case is past the statute of limitations.

Proposed bills before the 67th Senate include: a Bonus for veterans, a ban on railroad strikes, racial segregation in D.C. street cars, recognition of Irish independence, a federal sales tax, forgiving British war debts in exchange for its West Indian colonies, ditto for the French Antilles, a two-cent Teddy Roosevelt coin, purchasing Baja California from Mexico, and banning foreign-language periodicals without English translations in parallel columns.

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Today -100: April 12, 1921: Of distinguished kisses, crackatoos, cows, and smoking in Iowa

The NY State Senate steamrolls through a bill for movie censorship, with only Republican votes in favor. A censorship board can ban films which are “obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, sacrilegious or of such character that their exhibition would tend to corrupt morals or incite to crime.” Inhuman? Sen. John Boylan (D) notes that the board would have the job of standardizing the screen kiss. “Should it last a minute or only thirty seconds to pass muster,” he asks. And should it distinguish between kisses between a mother and her son, a wife and a husband returning from war or from a long trip. Jimmy Walker accuses Sen. Clayton Lusk, the originator of the bill, of being only a step beyond the crackatoo who wants a 20th Amendment abolishing religious liberty. I only include that remark because of the word “crackatoo,” which is new to me. Walker also uses the word bunk, which outside the columns of Charles Pierce is too seldom seen these days.

The former kaiserin of Germany, Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, Wilhelm’s wife, dies at 62.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Georgia plantation owner John Williams is indicted for the murders of 8 more of his black peonage workers. Also indicted are his 3 sons and the black employee who carried out some of the murders on Williams’ orders. The sons are in the wind.

Cigarettes are legalized in Iowa.

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Today -100: April 11, 1921: Of pumping and plebiscites

The British government gets the coal miners to agree to allow pumping to resume during the strike, although not before a bunch of mines are flooded.

There’s a plebiscite scheduled for two weeks from now in the Tyrol region of Austria on annexation to Germany, called by the local Tyrolohoovian authorities, and France is really really opposed to it happening. As is the Austrian federal government, if it comes to that.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Today -100: April 10, 1921: In which is revealed who are the hope of the future

Georgia plantation owner John Williams is found guilty of the murder of one of the 11 (or possibly 14) blacks he kept in peonage and then, you know, murdered. The jury recommends mercy. Since he left corpses strewn over two counties, the grand jury in the other one, Jasper County, is likely to recommend prosecution.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Limerick fight > opera fire > rap battle.

Amidst violent clashes in various Italian cities between Socialists and Fascists, the latter issue a manifesto: “We offer our enthusiasm and faith and the spirit of sacrifice, which beautifies life and renders death sacred. Rally around us. We are the hope of the future. Who is not with us is against us.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Friday, April 09, 2021

Today -100: April 9, 1921: Of course all that cheese has an atmosphere, that’s just science

Russia absorbs White Russia (Belarus).

Former Astronomer Royal Sir William Christie says the moon has an atmosphere.

Albert Einstein (and Chaim Weizmann) are finally given the freedom of New York City, despite continuing objections from Alderman Bruce Falconer, who calls Einstein an enemy alien (he thinks he’s a German citizen).

Jackie Coogan, the 6-year-old co-star of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, is to sign a new contract increasing his salary from $62,400 a year to $300,000.

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Thursday, April 08, 2021

Today -100: April 8, 1921: Of peonage murder, gentleman thieves, and Bens-Hur

John Williams, the Georgia plantation owner on trial for the murder of one of 11 black workers, takes the stand as the sole witness for the defense. He is not sworn in, so he can’t be cross-examined. Let me repeat that: he is now sworn in, so he cannot be cross-examined. He blames his black employee Clyde Manning, who has testified against him. Williams says he might have been “technically” guilty of peonage, but so are most Georgia farmers.

E.W. Hornung, the creator of Raffles, the gentleman thief and cricket player, dies at 54. He was married to Arthur Conan Doyle’s sister Constance. Hornung, not Raffles.

German anti-Semitic leader Rudolph Leibus is fined $16 in a Berlin court for offering a reward for the murders of, among others, Albert Einstein.

The film rights to the 1880 novel Ben-Hur are purchased for a record $1 million by Abraham Erlanger, the producer of the stage version, Charles Dillingham,s and Flo Ziegfeld. They plan to shoot in Jerusalem and Syria. However next year they’ll resell the rights to Goldwyn, which will bring out a film version, after a couple of years filming, in 1925.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Today -100: April 7, 1921: Of peons, yapping, and involuntary deputies

Testifying in the trial of the Georgia plantation owner John Williams for the murder of Lindsey Peterson, Clyde Manning, the “coal black” negro who killed some of the 11 black workers on Williams’ orders, says he was afraid Williams would kill him if he disobeyed. Williams killed (or had killed) the men he was afraid would talk to federal investigators looking into peonage on the farm. 6 of the men were chained to rocks and thrown into rivers while still alive, the rest were shot or hit in the head. Of the several articles on this case, this is the first to confirm that Williams acquired the services of the men by paying their court fines.

Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes writes to Britain, France, Italy and Japan refusing to accept the League of Nations decision to grant Japan a mandate over the island of Yap and indeed rejecting its power to grant any mandate without US permission, citing the “right accruing to the United States through the victory in which it has participated.”

The king of Italy dissolves the parliament and sets elections for May 15.

The sheriff of Polk County, Florida thwarts a lynching of a black prisoner by... swearing every member of the mob in as a deputy sheriff.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Today -100: April 6, 1921: We are strong, and because we are strong we will be paid

French Prime Minister Aristide Briand tells the French Senate that if Germany doesn’t pay up by May 1, “it is a firm hand which will grip her by the collar. It will be our right, and it will be our duty to collect our debts by force.” He doesn’t add that it will also be their pleasure, but that’s pretty much understood. He shouts, “But we are strong, and because we are strong we will be paid!”

Albert Einstein and Chaim Weizmann are visiting New York City. They were going to be given the freedom of the city but one alderman, Bruce Falconer, objects, because the honor is given out too freely and anyway he’s never heard of them (“He asked to be enlightened, but nobody offered to explain the theory of relativity”) and it’s certainly not because they’re Jews. (They will be given the freedom of the state instead).

Former emperor Charles finally leaves Hungary. To make sure, his train is accompanied by Entente soldiers and also Austrian cops, leading to the protest resignations of Austria’s interior and war ministers. Charles issues a statement that he is leaving because “the moment has not yet come for him to take over his right of governing. ... He leaves the land as the crowned King of Hungary.” Yes, he’s referring to himself in the third person, like a common Trump.

In Bologna, “Professor” Benito Mussolini tells 20,000 Fascisti that they should participate in the upcoming general elections to prevent “worn-out men” returning to power. I’m pretty sure this is the first mention of Mussolini in the NYT.

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Monday, April 05, 2021

Today -100: April 5, 1921: Monarchy is best for us

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda, Fake News, and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Prince Andreas of Greece and Denmark is reported killed in the Greco-Turkish war. He isn’t. (Update: ah, that report came from the Turks).

Admiral Miklós Horthy, “Regent” of Hungary, explains to NYT correspondent Charles Grasty that “a republican Hungary is not possible” because “the Hungarian mind has become habituated to monarchy” and elections would just lead to “agitation and excitement.” He denies having ambitions to claim the throne for himself. Former emperor Charles is still refusing to leave the country without a list of demands being met, even as the Little Entente threatens to invade Hungary if he isn’t out by 6 p.m. Thursday and Austria threatens to cancel his safe conduct unless he uses it sharpish. One new demand from Charles is that Horthy resign as regent and then be renominated as regent by Charles.

American citizens’ pre-war ability to enter or leave the country without a passport (and permission from the government) is restored.

A black man is lynched near Brandon, Mississippi. 

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Sunday, April 04, 2021

Today -100: April 4, 1921: There is nothing of normalcy about it

Former Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles is STILL in Hungary, claiming to be too ill to leave his bed much less the country. No one believes him.

Sinn Feiners attempt to set fire to hotels and warehouses in Manchester, so the police raid the Erskine Street Club and a gunfight ensues.

The film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is playing at the Capitol Theatre, and the NYT reviewer is... confused. Interested, but confused:
“Doubtless these expressionistic scenes are full of meaning for the specialist in the form of art they represent, but the uninitiated, though they will now and then get a definite suggestion from some touch here or there, and enjoy it, are not asked to understand cubism,” but these backgrounds and settings accompany a “coherent, logical, a genuine and legitimate thriller”. Everything in the film is unreal, “There is nothing of normalcy about it.” And “it is not likely that it will establish a vogue of cubistic films” unless it is financially successful, in which case studios might make “terrible imitations” of it. The Capitol Theatre provides an orchestra accompaniment; I wonder what they played.

Also playing: The Passion Flower, with Norma Talmadge and Harrison Ford. Not that Harrison Ford.

But if your entertainment tastes run more to bullshit:

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Saturday, April 03, 2021

Today -100: April 3, 1921: Of paprika, registers, German wiles, and well dressed Klansmen

Former Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles still hasn’t left Hungary. He’s spending his time calling Adm. Horthy several times a day and playing at performative Magyarism, like ordering “highly seasoned Magyar national dishes.” The Chamber of Deputies votes unanimously to kick him out of the country.

508 white women employees in the office of the Register of the Treasury petition against the possibility of a negro man being appointed Register, which is one of those few federal posts, like ambassador to Haiti, that sometimes goes to a black man. There have been four black registers in the past, all under Republican presidents, I believe. The women point out that the 900 clerks are mostly white women and veterans and “For a negro to have jurisdiction over those clerks would be intolerable.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

A group of “well dressed white masked men” kidnap a black bellboy from a Dallas hotel, flog him and brand “KKK” on his forehead with acid. He had been found in a (white) (female) guest’s room last week.

The Sunday New York Times Book Review reports on several books exposing the fallacies of anti-Semitism in particular and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in particular.

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Friday, April 02, 2021

Today -100: April 2, 1921: Of impeachments, kings, national homes, and conciliatory motives

The impeachment vote against Oklahoma Gov. James Robertson in the Legislature fails by a 42-42 vote. One legislator staggers in covered in blood after an ambulance bringing him from home crashed avoiding running over a child. To quote Birdie Coonan, that story’s got everything but the bloodhounds snapping at her rear end.

Former Austro-Hungarian emperor Chuck agrees to leave Hungary. In exchange, all of the Hungarians complicit in his little coup attempt will receive amnesty. He will return to Switzerland through Austria in a train accompanied by Etente troops, with every station through which his train will pass closed and under military guard. I’m not sure about the chronological order of the various dispatches in today’s paper, but a possibly earlier AP piece says Charles would only leave Hungary if he could issue a manifesto saying why he was leaving Hungary. This after Horthy made clear that any attempt to return to Budapest would be met by a military response.

Britain’s decennial census will not be taken in Ireland, for obvious reasons.

In Jerusalem, British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill tells Muslims that “The establishment of a national home does not mean a Jewish government to dominate the Arabs.” Phew.

Britain appoints Lord Edmund Talbot the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the first Catholic to hold the office since 1687. The Daily Chronicle says the appointment shows an obvious “conciliatory motive,” “and we hope it will be appreciated.” Spoiler Alert: It won’t be. Also, Lord E. happens to be English, not Irish, and is a member of the Conservative and Unionist (Tory) party. Conciliation only goes so far.

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Thursday, April 01, 2021

Today -100: April 1, 1921: Of coal, kings, hand grenades, and paper cuts

Britain declares a state of emergency over the coal strike and implements rationing. The miners have called out the pump men, who are usually allowed to work during strikes so the mines don’t flood.

Former Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles is negotiating with Hungary on conditions for leaving the country and maybe even officially abdicating. Of course his conditions are ridiculous. He wants his 8-year-old son Otto’s claims to the throne upheld in Hungarian law and he wants civil list money of 150 million kroner, which is the equivalent of some money, and an annual payment. As Hungary’s Little Entente neighbors mobilize troops to prevent Charles being crowned king, Adm. Horthy is trying to send Chuck to Spain. There are a lot of rumors going around, including one that Charles is marching on Budapest at the head of Gen. Anton Lehár’s West Hungary army.

Germany was supposed to disarm by today but hasn’t. Now it wants to arbitrate the question. It says it won’t disarm the fortresses on the Polish border because of “present events in the East.”

A police barracks in West Cork is blown up and burned down, with 6 cops known dead and others probably buried under the rubble so are hand grenades from the barracks’ armory and they’re exploding from time to time.

Sinn Féin will contest rather than boycott the elections for the two Irish parliaments. Éamon de Valera says the elections will demonstrate the Irish desire for independence and no partition.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Who would pay for a paper cut?

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