Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Today -100: August 31, 1921: Them strikers ain’t int’rested in reco’nition o’ no coal mine unions no more than what you or I be

Harding issues a proclamation against “insurrectionary” striking miners in Mingo County, West Virginia, ordering them to disperse. This is a threat to send in federal troops.

Tolbert Hatfields, of the fussin’ and feudin’ Hatfields, says the Mingo uprising is more about moonshine than unionism.

More rioting in Belfast, now with added snipers.

Germany bans several far-right newspapers. And a decree bans people not actually in the army from wearing army uniforms, and this means you, Gen. Ludendorff.

Pittsburgh police ban the sale on the streets of Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic Dearborn Independent, arresting two paper sellers.

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Monday, August 30, 2021

Today -100: August 30, 1921: Our honor has been affronted

Texas Gov. Pat Neff denies that prisoners are hung by their wrists in chains as punishment – any more. A bill is pending to ban that practice and to limit beatings with a chunk of wood known as the “bat.”

King Alfonso of Spain, presenting a flag to the Valencia Regiment, says of Spanish military defeats in Spanish Morocco: “Our honor has been affronted, and Spanish soldiers know how to avenge an offense.” He says how sorry he is not to be able to go with them but, you know, it’s “forbidden.”

German President Friedrich Ebert issues a proclamation banning meetings, demonstrations, publications etc likely to encourage seditious movements. He says Germany’s public morals are disintegrating and “unbridled agitation” is threatening the foundations of the Republic.

Cleveland City Council opposes any branch of the KKK establishing itself in the city.

The Klan has 50 branches in New Jersey, at least according to King Kleagle Dr. Orville Cheatham. Newark Mayor Alexander Archibald, whose name, like Dr. Cheatham’s, is a bit much, says Newark can take care of maintaining law ‘n order without any assistance, taking the Klan’s claim to be a law ‘n order body at face value. Cheatham says the Klan’s principles are to protect pure womanhood, white supremacy, and yes, upholding law ‘n order.

Charlie Chaplin, in NY on his way to London, says women shouldn’t wear short skirts and should wear tailored suits and rolled stockings. He’s okay with bobbed hair. I should say it was reporters who brought up short skirts, not him. He’s surprised how many phone calls he’s getting in NY: “Out West I live a very quiet life. I’m not much interested in people, as people, and I haven’t much social activity. I have just a few personal friends. I hate actors.” He says capital must pay working people more.

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Sunday, August 29, 2021

Today -100: August 29, 1921: They don’t drink milk in China

Potsdam police shoot at Communist and Socialist demonstrators who gathered to prevent a (banned) right-wing demonstration celebrating the assassination of Matthias Erzberger.

NYC cops are selling tickets to the Police Field Day games in annoying ways. Traffic cops are stopping cars to sell tickets, and uniformed cops are visiting restaurants and cabarets, particularly ones illegally selling liquor, and bothering the patrons.

The territory of West Hungary, occupied by Hungary but assigned to Austria by the treaties with Hungary and Austria ending the Great War, was supposed to be handed over yesterday (the Austrians will call it Burgenland). However, as Austrian gendarmes moved in, they met resistance from the Hungarian military.

A letter to the editor from Chen Ping Ling reacts to an ad from the Dairymen’s League Co-operative Association which claimed “They don’t drink milk in China,” which it says accounts for children dying and for adult Chinese being “inevitably short of stature, lacking in vigor and energy.” He says Chinese people get food value from soya beans instead, and some of them are quite tall and energetic, and hey there are a lot of short weaklings in the US too.

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Today -100: August 28, 1921: Of batty magistrates, assassinations, klans, and kings

The British send troops into the Malabar District of India to suppress disturbances. The troops are led by someone called Magistrate Batty, because of course he is.

Left-wing and centrist newspapers in Germany blame the assassination of Matthias Erzberger on the relentless vilification of him by the right-wing press.

A petition by Milwaukeehoovians asks Gov. John Blaine to prevent the Ku Klux Klan organizing in Wisconsin. He says he can’t presume they’ll indulge in violence and crime, so no. He and the Klan will soon have a rather more contentious relationship.

Although Alexander, still sick in Paris, has already taken the oath of king of Yugoslavia, another candidate for king is heard from: Prince George, who was forced to renounce his right of succession in 1909 when he kicked a servant. To death. He now wants to renounce his renunciation.

Premiering today:

Starring Douglas Fairbanks, with Adolphe Menjou as Louis XIII.

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Today -100: August 27, 1921: They were not made in any haggling spirit

Matthias Erzberger, the former finance minister/vice chancellor of Germany (1919-20, Zentrum party), is assassinated while on vacation in the Black Forest by two men, who escape. Erzberger signed the armistice in 1918, for which the Freikorps types who killed him never forgave him. 

The two assassins will live in hiding in Hungary, Spain, Spanish Guinea and elsewhere until Hitler issues a general amnesty for old political murders in 1933. In 1946 Heinrich Tillessen will be tried for the murder by a German court but released because it decided to respect Hitler’s impunity order; he’ll then be grabbed by the French and tried for the assassination by another German court which will decide the amnesty is no longer in operation, and sentenced to 15 years, of which he’ll serve 5. Heinrich Schulz also returned to Germany in 1933 and joined the SS. He was convicted of manslaughter in 1950 and released in 1952.

The Dáil Éireann unanimously rejects the British proposals, and de Valera writes Lloyd George to so inform him. LG writes back, complaining that de Valera showed no recognition of the liberality of LG’s proposals, which “were not made in any haggling spirit.” In other words, take it or leave it. The British are increasingly patting themselves on the back for their incredible generosity and shocked at the sheer lack of gratitude by the Irish.

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Wesley Redding is promoted to detective, the first black detective in the NYPD, after only 18 months on the force. He is 28 and will die in 1924 of TB.

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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Today -100: August 26, 1921: Peace in lounge suits and straw hats is still peace

The peace treaty between the US and Germany is signed at the German Foreign Office in Berlin, without the usual speeches, ceremony or dressing up – “the surprised English correspondents exclaimed that it was the first time in history a treaty had been signed in lounge suits.” This informality is by request of the Germans, who didn’t even allow a photograph to be taken of the signing. The US will get all the advantages specified in the Versailles Treaty without any of the obligations, like joining the League of Nations or guaranteeing borders.

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By the numbers: 1,000 killed, 3 paragraphs, page 9. I don’t know about the accuracy of the number of dead at this stage of the Malabar rebellion, but this anti-British, anti-upper-caste rebellion will last months and kill many more than that. The British blame “agitators,” you’ll be surprised to hear.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Today -100: August 25, 1921: Of lemons and treaties

The dirigible ZR-2, the largest airship ever built, sold by the British to the US Navy for $2 million (well, $1.5 million so far; the US won’t have to make the last payment), breaks apart and explodes over Hull, killing 44 of its crew of 49. 16 Americans, 28 British, and a black cat named Snowball whose nationality is undisclosed. Some of them fall out into the Humber River when the ship splits apart. A few of the crew had parachutes, for all the good it did them. This is the largest air disaster to date, and if you’re wondering, the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 killed 36. The ZR-2 was not well-designed or well-built.

For example, the design failed to take aerodynamic stresses into account. And the testing process was rushed. Its girders, chosen for lightness rather than strength, didn’t hold up in the 3 earlier test runs and really really didn’t hold up this time. Crew called it a “lemon,” which is earlier than I would have expected to see that term. 

Admiral William Moffett, head of the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics, hopes this little setback won’t hurt the development of dirigibles: “We will carry on and build and operate as many big, rigid dirigibles as are necessary, so that these brave men shall not have given their lives in vain.” Moffett will die in a dirigible crash in 1933.

The peace treaty between the US and Austria is signed, but the one with Germany isn’t because of some secret technical reason. The details of both treaties are also being kept secret.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Today -100: August 24, 1921: Well, at least he’s willing to admit it

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According to an alleged private letter that the Paris Matin claims to have gotten hold of.

Nicaragua declares a state of war in several provinces. The 3-sentence story is on the front page, but the NYT fails to explain with whom Nicaragua is at war (rebels, as it turns out, crossing the border from Honduras).

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Monday, August 23, 2021

Today -100: August 23, 1921: Of legions and cassocks

Spain, whose ass is being badly beaten in Spanish Morocco, is recruiting American vets for the Spanish Foreign Legion. The pay is 60¢ a day. How many countries had foreign legions, anyway?

Guadalajara, Mexico police have been arresting priests for appearing in public in clerical garb, including an archbishop.

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Sunday, August 22, 2021

Today -100: August 22, 1921: Of airships and beards

If the ZR-R airship, which the US Navy is buying from the British Navy, isn’t flown to the US soon, weather may delay the trip until 1922. Also, it’s failed every test so far due to structural defects and design flaws, but I’m sure everything will be fine.

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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Today -100: August 21, 1921: Might as well jump in the lake with your clothes on

Carl Großmann is arrested by Berlin police investigating a complaint of noise coming from his apartment. They find a dead woman. Further investigation will suggest that over the years he murdered more than 20, possibly more than 100, women. He was a butcher who had a hot dog stand during the war, so there are strong Sweeney Todd suspicions. Weimar Germany was lousy with serial killers.

The Senate is fighting over attempts to amend the Beer Bill to prevent warrant-less searches of private homes, cars, office buildings and baggage.

In more beach bathing attire news, Oyster Bay, Long Island’s Town Board barred the police chief (who works for the village of Bayville) from its beaches, where he’s been arresting literally hundreds of people who changed into bathing suits in their cars or the woods or women whose costumes he finds scandalous. And in Zion City, Illinois, rules for the usually under-regulated male bathing costumes require they be long enough to cover those sexy sexy knees, with skirts to cover the sexy sexy thighs. An alderman opposing the measure says “Might as well jump in the lake with your clothes on.”

Boys swimming in the East River find as many as 100 autos the river’s bottom, evidently driven off a pier in the Bronx. Police suspect insurance fraud. Recent reductions in new car prices make this sort of thing more remunerative for people than selling their old cars secondhand. There’s been a similar discovery of an automobile graveyard in an abandoned quarry near Chicago. Some of these idiots didn’t think to take their license plates off.

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Friday, August 20, 2021

Today -100: August 20, 1921: We have put all our cards on the table

Lloyd George on Ireland: “We have put all our cards on the table.” He says his offer isn’t up for haggling.

Latest Russian Rumor™: Trotsky and other Trotskyites, fearing assassination, are sending their wives out of the country to live in exile incognito in Paris or wherever.

Speaking of Paris, Yugoslavia’s new king, Alexander, is stuck there with appendicitis (he came to France to take the waters at Vichy, which oddly did not totally cure him and he needs an operation his doctors are afraid to perform on him). The rule is that he has to take his oath within 10 days so he’ll have to take it from his hospital bed, which means a commission will have to be sent from Serbia to administer it. 

Sheriff’s deputies in Knoxville, Tennessee, shoot into a large lynch mob which is surrounding the county jail and demanding that a black man arrested for assault be turned over to them. The deputies first fire warning shots, but several men in the mob shoot back, and... 27 people are wounded, all of them white, plus 2 deputies. A machine gun company of the National Guard was outside the jail but just stood around and watched, as was the custom. The article mentions, over and over, that there were women in the crowd, which I take as a rebuke to the deputies, because everyone knows Southern women are always demure and un-lynchy and just hang around in lynch mobs out of curiosity.

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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Today -100: August 19, 1921: I am tired of having to sit and listen to illegal evidence

William J. Burns of the Burns Detective Agency, which has done some good detective work over the years and also pulled some pretty shady stuff, is named director of the Bureau of Investigation in the Justice Dept. Contrary to what the NYT says, he will continue to run his private agency while running the proto-FBI. Also, next week he will appoint J. Edgar Hoover assistant director.

Britain tells the US not to seize ships for rum-running beyond the three-mile limit, as it did with the Henry L. Marshall 3 weeks ago.

A NYC magistrate orders the arrest of a cop, who is named Patrolman Clancy as was the custom, for going into a restaurant without a search warrant and arresting the owner for possession of alcohol. “I am tired of having to sit and listen to illegal evidence,” says Magistrate McQuade, who also releases the owner.

In another case, a detective was asked if he wanted a drink by a William Henry, of no address, and drank just enough (he said) to determine that it was whisky... from a tube leading to a rubber bag inside Henry’s coat. Classy.

One of two black alleged highway robbers is nearly lynched in Wareham, Massachusetts (unclear where the second one is), but the cops had already spirited him to safety.

Someone took a shot at Sen. Heisler Ball (R-Delaware) while he was driving in D.C. a couple of weeks ago. This news has just now become public. A threatening letter suggests it was done by someone pissed at the Ball Rent Act for D.C., whatever that is.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Today -100: August 18, 1921: Of discussions, guilt, wills, independence, and fleas

Austen Chamberlain, (Tory) leader of the House of Commons, asks Parliament not to screw up the possible Irish deal by talking about it: “My information does not lead me to think that it is the general wish of the country to have a discussion, unless the discussion be conducive to peace.”

Germans are pissed that the US reportedly plans to insist on a war-guilt clause in the peace treaty.

Well, this is unusual: a posthumous lynching. A mob in Augusta, Georgia breaks into a hospital and seizes the body of a black man who “ran amuck” and shot some people before being shot dead himself. The mob takes the corpse away, burns it, and then returns the remains.

The late Patrick Dunne, father of former Illinois Gov. Edward Dunne (1913-7), leaves everything to his wife “in case of sudden death from violence at the hands of” her brother William Condon, who served in the state Legislature in the 1870s and “was considered eccentric.” Condon once had two lawsuits going at the same time, one for $5 million against a railroad and the other for 5¢ against a newsboy. No hint as to how he went from eccentricity and nickle lawsuits to suspicions that he planned to murder his brother-in-law. Also, I can’t help noticing that the article fails to mention any cause of death for Dunne...

The new governor of Puerto Rico, Emmet Montgomery Reily, says he will refuse to appoint any pro-independence Puerto Ricans to government posts. This is in a letter to Antonio Rafael Barceló, the president of the Puerto Rican Senate and leader of the Union Party, or, as Reily addresses him, leader of the Independence Party. Which is the party in power, so you’d really think he’d know its name (the NYT mistakenly calls it the Unionist Party). Reily says he’ll listen to the party’s recommendations only when they “publicly renounce independence and break loose from some of your pernicious and un-American associates”.

Boston has fleas.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Today -100: August 17, 1921: I do not intend to permit race war in this city

Russia ends prohibition, at least for booze up to 14% alcohol.

Peter, King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (formerly King of, Er, Just the Serbs), dies at 77. He had an interesting life, much of it in exile, enlisting under fake names, first in the French Foreign Legion to fight the Germans in 1870, then for Serbia. He was installed as King of Just the Serbs in 1903 after a coup in which the king and queen were murdered and then tossed out a window.

See how I said tossed out a window? It is a sign of maturity in a writer NOT to use the word defenestration on every possible occasion.

Éamon de Valera addresses the Dáil Éireann (after they took their oath of allegiance to the Irish Republic, “an oath which in former days would have been termed high treason”), saying that the demand is still for complete independence, just like in the US Declaration of Independence. “When Irishmen come to negotiate with Great Britain they find at every step they are confronted not with principle but with force. ... We will negotiate to save bloodshed if we can, but we can only negotiate on right and on principle.” Much of the Dáil’s proceedings were in Gaelic.

The formation of a KKK branch in Trenton, New Jersey is “contemplated,” so Director of Public Safety George Labarre threatens that if they pull any shit, they’ll be imprisoned or “if necessary, shot down.” “I do not intend to permit race war in this city”.

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Monday, August 16, 2021

Today -100: August 16, 1921: Cheers

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Sunday, August 15, 2021

Today -100: August 15, 1921: Facts permit but one answer

Éamon de Valera rejects Lloyd George’s offer of Dominion status for Ireland, calling instead for “amicable but absolute separation.” He rejects partition of Ireland (“the right of the British Government to mutilate our country”) and offers to submit the question of Northern Ireland (“the present dissenting minority”) to outside arbitration. He concludes his letter, “The road to peace and understanding lies open.”

Lloyd George responds that independence for Ireland is unacceptable because of the “geographical propinquity of Ireland to the British Isles” and “historical facts” which “permit but one answer,” and he rejects arbitration re Northern Ireland. 

Which leaves the question of who leaked these and other letters to the press. Presumably the British government, but the Irish are not happy.

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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Today -100: August 14, 1921: Peace, ain’t it grand

The Hungarian National Assembly accepts Harding’s declaration of peace. Still needs a proper treaty.

Japan revokes the rule against cheering and applauding members of the royal family, in time for the return of Crown Prince Hirohito from his world tour.

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There’s a “dance censor” in Philadelphia with “full police authority.” Is she called Marguerite Walz? Of course she is. The dancing teachers’ groups want to ban people teaching dancing without being licensed and controlled.

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Friday, August 13, 2021

Today -100: August 13, 1921: Of gum and cigars

The University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees have to decide whether to release Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood from his job as university provost so he can be governor-general of the Philippines.

“Lenin has thrown communism overboard,” the NYT informs us. The New Economic Policy (NEP) limits state ownership to the most important industries. Also, trams, trains and mail will no longer be free.

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That’s $1,834 actually on her person. I suspect there’s more to this story, and we’ll never know what it is.

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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Today -100: August 12, 1921: Of whisky and famines

Magistrate Gundy of the Windsor court rules that Ontario’s temperance act does not ban the exportation of booze to foreign countries. Already orders from the US are, as it were, pouring in. Canadian customs officers are simply letting ships and speedboats take their cargo across the border.

Maxim Litvinov says Russia must be in charge of famine relief, so control won’t be ceded to outside groups like Herbert Hoover’s American Relief Administration (Hoover is trying to do famine relief without having to acknowledge the existence of the Soviet government). Russia wants to limit the number of Americans in the country and retain the right to expel any of them. Litvinov says the famine has “strengthened the bonds between the government and the people.” So that’s nice. Poland, on the other hand, is offering Hoover the use of its railroads to get food to Russia.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Today -100: August 11, 1921: Of peace, corrupt conspirators, strict neutrality, and polio

Members of Congress are getting pissed that, 40 days after Harding signed the Congressional resolution ending the war, he hasn’t issued a proclamation. Also, he’s holding secret negotiations with Germany.

Illinois Gov. Len Small has some words about his arrest for embezzlement: “Contrary to the accepted principles of our Government and at the behest of corrupt conspirators, the authority of the people has been prostituted to the purposes of a lawless ring... comprised of the most vicious elements in Sangamon County,” which county he calls “gang-ridden,” aided by the Chicago Tribune & Chicago Daily News, the state attorney gen. and Sen. Medill McCormick.

The Allied Supreme Council scraps the Treaty of Sèvres (on its one-year anniversary) and declares “strict neutrality” in the war between Greece and the Turkish nationalists. And by strict neutrality, they mean they’ll sell arms to either side. Or both sides, it’s a party!

Lady Violet Bonham-Carter, daughter of Herbert Asquith, politely declines the invitation of the Westminster Liberals to stand for Parliament, which would have been amusing, recalling how vehemently Asquith fought against women’s suffrage. Lady V will eventually stand for election twice after World War II, losing both times.

The Spanish government will resign following the major military losses to what the NYT insists on calling The Moors in Spanish Morocco.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt comes down with a chill, soon temporarily losing the ability to walk. After one doctor decides it’s a cold, the family hires a famous diagnostician who says it’s a blood clot, prescribes massages, and charges $600. It’ll be a couple of weeks before they find a doctor who correctly diagnoses polio (for which massages are a bad idea).

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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Today -100: August 10, 1921: Of city finances, governors in handcuffs (there weren’t actual handcuffs), and dead generals

Before an investigating committee, New York City Mayor John Hylan defends his handling of the city’s finances, which include exceeding the legal debt limit by $120 million. He is peppered with a lot of questions which he claims not to understand, and blames the Legislature for creating a lot of the city’s expenses.

Illinois Gov. Len Small is finally arrested, 3 weeks after being indicted for embezzlement and fraud he did when he was state treasurer. After spending most of those three weeks on the road, he returned to Springfield and announced he would resist arrest. So Sheriff Master surrounded the State House and waited for the governor to come out and play. Which he finally does; the sheriff then takes him to the Court House where he signs a $50,000 bond.

An entirely different account today of the death of Gen. José Allesio Robles. Rather than a duel in Mexico City, Gen. Jacinto Treviño shot him five times in his car. Treviño is citing military honor, since Robles publicly slagged him off several times and challenged him to a duel and called him a coward for not agreeing to the duel; General T. preferred doing a drive-by. 

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Monday, August 09, 2021

Today -100: August 9, 1921: Of duels and early prison releases

Mexican generals Jacinto Treviño (the former minister of commerce and labor) and José Allesio Robles run into each other in a café in Mexico City. The former kills the latter in what might be described as an impromptu duel or, you know, murder. Treviño will not go to jail. 

Lloyd George gives in to Sinn Féin demands that Dáil Éireann member John McKeown be released from prison, murder conviction or no murder conviction (he shot a chief inspector during a gun battle, which SF considers to be just what happens in a war, not a matter for criminal law). Evidently McKeown is particularly popular because there’s a ballad about him (which doesn’t seem to be on YouTube). De Valera threatened to end negotiations if McKeown was not released.

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Sunday, August 08, 2021

Today -100: August 8, 1921: Of klans and non-lynchings

The Ku Klux Klan denies allegations against it: “The knights of the Ku Klux Klan do not encourage or foster lawlessness, racial prejudice or religious intolerance and it [sic] is not designed to act in the capacity of a law enforcement or moral correction agency”. So that settles that.

Police arrive in the nick of time to stop a Detroit mob from lynching a black man, Sam Griggs. There was a fight over a seat at a baseball game, and a crowd chased Griggs’ cousin to his house. He shot into the crowd (he says he was fired on first), hitting two white 12-year-olds.

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Saturday, August 07, 2021

Today -100: August 7, 1921: Of death cars

Latest super-unlikely rumor from Russia: Lenin is going on tour, visiting England later in the month, then maybe Scotland and Italy.

The British release all imprisoned members of the Dáil Éireann except for John J. McKeown, who was convicted of murder.

One thing the new law limiting immigration has (foreseeably) done, by instituting monthly quotas, is to set off a race at the start of each month between steamships coming from Europe, which don’t want to be forced to take excess immigrants back.

The Curse of the Hohenzollern Automobile: During the war, one of the princes ran over and killed a child. So he sold the car to a baron, who ran over and killed a man, so he sold it to a chauffeur, who you guessed it, so he sold it to a Cologne business man, who died in a crash. So there’s one car for sale, slightly blood-stained, no takers so far. The article doesn’t say what the model of the car is.

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Friday, August 06, 2021

Today -100: August 6, 1921: Blimp on a rampage!

A police magistrate in Vienna sentences Archduchess Elisabeth Marie to 10 days for refusing to surrender her four children to her estranged husband Prince Otto. She told a cop who tried to take the kids that she’d feed him to her dogs. Archduchesses gonna archduchess.

Not sure how its members were chosen, but the Famine Relief Committee formed in Moscow has only 11 Communists of 63 members. Naturally, ever-optimistic Russian exiles think the committee will somehow overthrow the Soviet government and take over.

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The deputy sheriff of Great Barrington, Massachusetts thinks he’s spotted fugitive Illinois Gov. Len Small in his town, acting suspiciously, over the last three weeks and asks if there’s a reward for his capture. Illinios replies that there isn’t any reward and Small hasn’t left Illinois, you ninny.

The Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors rules that aliens don’t have free speech, or at least not the right to advocate changing the form of government or indeed laws.

Spanish troops are doing very badly against a rebellion in Spanish Morocco.

The minor leagues ban the Black Sox players too.

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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Today -100: August 5, 1921: Of exiles and Dáils

Switzerland orders former Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles to leave the country by the end of the month. He will either go to Spain, whose king has offered him the use of a castle, or attempt another coup back home. Bit of a coin toss really.

The Dáil Éireann is called for August 16, which means the British have to release 25 members.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Today -100: August 4, 1921: Really quite a few usual suspects

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Judge Learned Hand in Federal District Court in the Southern District of New York decides a case brought by a couple of women who inherited from their German father during the war, who lost their American citizenship when they married Germans. They contend that property seized under the Alien Enemies Act should now be returned to them because Congress declared the war over and they are no longer alien enemies. Hand rules against them without directly addressing the war question. There’s nothing worse than an incomplete Hand job.


Comiskey and other leaders of baseball say they won’t allow the Black Sox players to return, despite their acquittals.

Two black men were in jail after allegedly killing a shopkeeper in Tobacco, Virginia. A mob breaks in and lynches one of them but for some reason leaves the other one alone.

Yugoslavia has now arrested more than 14,000 people for an attempted assassination in June of Prince Alexander.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Today -100: August 3, 1921: Of tenors, black sox, trinkles, smugglers, and big-ass watermelons

Enrico Caruso dies.

The White Sox players who threw the 1919 World Series are all acquitted by a Chicago jury, perhaps because of the mysterious disappearance of the confessions of three of them.

Elbert Lee Trinkle wins the Democratic primary for governor of Virginia, which means he’ll be the next governor. Did I mention his name is “Elbert Lee Trinkle”? Governor Trinkle.

The feds seize a British-registered schooner they claim was smuggling rum, but they do so in international waters, 4 miles outside Atlantic City, where it’s perfectly legal to sell alcohol. They claim they can do that because they have evidence of a conspiracy. No one will be very convinced by this argument.

Someone’s sending Pres. Harding a 76-pound watermelon.

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Monday, August 02, 2021

Today -100: August 2, 1921: Oh Boy

Izvestia, the official newspaper of the Russian government, says 6 million starving peasants are marching on Moscow, whether looking for revolution or food or both is not clear. The NYT correspondent says “At a conservative estimate 20,000,000 people seem doomed to death,” maybe as many as 40 million. And “hordes of frenzied peasants attack trains.”

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The reporter can read the placards but is presumably afraid to actually talk with one of the participants because they’re scary (the parade is by Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association).

The Hardings get another dog. An English bulldog named “Oh Boy.” He is a super-pedigree, son of a $4,000 dog.

In other news, in 1921 there were dogs worth $4,000, which is the equivalent of some money, but a lot of it.

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Sunday, August 01, 2021

Today -100: August 1, 1921: Of pacifications, swords, pogroms, and missing stairs

The Italian government arranges for a “pact of pacification” – literally a treaty – between the Socialists and the Fascists. Mussolini will sign it, but his ability to rein in the various fascist “action squads” is questionable.

Police in Kobe, Japan have been attacking strikers with swords.

There are reports, or rumors, of pogroms in the Ukraine.

Anna Cohen bought a building in Brooklyn and gave notice of eviction to the tenants. They sued and won, so she removed the stairs into the building.

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