Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Today -100: May 17, 1922: Of conferences, bombings, and Greeks bearing cabinets, or something


The Genoa Conference has agreed to... hold another conference, next month in The Hague, dealing with Russia. The US refuses to attend, as was the custom, and France is threatening to boycott as well.

A partly completed, partly occupied building in Chicago is blown up. Tenants were warned to leave. Evidently a protest against the Landis award, in which Judge Landis allowed the building industries to cut pay.

I missed the fall of the Greek government a week or two ago. The Gounaris government fell due to its poor military record against Turkey. Now there’s a new cabinet, led by Nikolaos Stratos. Good luck with that, Nick!

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Monday, May 16, 2022

Today -100: May 16, 1922: Of duels, child labor, and Rudy’s marriages


Benito Mussolini fights a duel – with swords, no less – with the editor of the Turin Secolo, Mario Missiroli. Mussolini is declared the victor after 7 assaults (or the duel is called when he is injured on the hand, depending on which account you read).

The Supreme Court overturns the 1919 federal law against child labor which put a 10% excise tax on factories employing children under 14 or mines children under 16. The Court says that’s a state issue.

The Superior Court in Los Angeles says Rudolph Valentino’s Mexican marriage with Winifred Hudnut last week is not valid in California because his divorce from Jean Ackers isn’t final yet (or it is final, but he has to wait one year before remarrying, depending on which account you read).

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Today -100: May 15, 1922: Of standards, foot-kissing, and harmony


The building industry forms an American Construction Council to help raise standards, naming former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt as chairman. Unpaid, but I guess it’s his first gig post-polio.

In a Chicago police court, a man charged with wife-beating is ordered to kiss his wife’s foot. Pretty sure the judge didn’t ask the wife’s permission before so ordering. Then he puts the guy on probation.

Headline of the Day -100:  


Because if there’s one thing the French like, it’s foreign tourists.

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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Today -100: May 14, 1922: Of decent burials, protectorates, and polo balls


Emile Holley, or possibly Emil Holly, depending on which NYT story you read, the black man appointed for admission to Annapolis by Rep. Martin Ansorge (R-Harlem, NY), fails the mental tests (this probably means IQ tests), which isn’t suspicious at all, although the grading is supposedly anonymous.

I’ve been meaning to praise NYT correspondent Edwin James’s prose in his opinionated reporting from Genoa. Today: “Today was spent arranging the funeral of the Genoa conference. Having seen it fail almost beyond their fondest hopes, the French appear unwilling to see it have a decent burial.” Lloyd George wants an international commission to study reconstruction in Russia as a way to get something out of the conference, but France objects to Russia being included on the commission, although obviously Russia would reject a commission on Russia with no Russians.

The League of Nations Council agrees to establish a protectorate over Albania, since no country is willing to take up the burden.

Headline of the Day -100:  



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Friday, May 13, 2022

Today -100: May 13, 1922: There’s unseemliness, and then there’s golf buddies


Although Harding said he’d stay entirely out of primaries, because endorsing candidates would be “unseemly,” he endorses Sen. Joseph Frelinghuysen (NJ), with whom he often plays golf.

Chicago police raid a bomb factory supplying trade union “sluggers.” They’re getting some prisoners to “confess” because, well, Chicago.

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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Today -100: May 12, 1922: In times of war


Russia rejects the conditions the other countries at Genoa are trying to impose on them in return for resumed commercial relations but without the huge loan that Russia’s been demanding. Those conditions amounted to ending socialism, and it’s still not clear to me if they thought Russia’s ending of private property was something it would really just give up. Russia is now withdrawing its previous agreement to pay the tsarist debts and compensate foreigners whose property was nationalized.

Illinois Gov. Len Small’s trial for corruption finally begins. When he was state treasurer, he “deposited” state funds in a bank which did not exist, depriving the state of interest while he actually invested the funds in packing company bonds.

The Chicago grand jury is called into a rush special session to head off habeas writs by indicting 8 leaders of trade unions and others for alleged incitement to the murders of those two cops. This is under the law used to execute anarchists after the Haymarket Riot of 1886 (none of whom had participated in the riot). The prosecutor says he has enough “evidence” to hang several of the arrestees. The lawyer for Cornelius “Con” Shea of the Theatrical Janitors’ Union (I assume they mop floors very dramatically) asks if the right of habeas corpus is to be abridged just because he is Con Shea; the judge says “In times of war – yes” (the judge thinks there’s a war on law n’ order).

The motion picture theatre owners of America ban any possible films starring Peggy Joyce, citing their opposition to “the exploitation on our screens” of all “such objectionable lines of conduct,” presumably referring to the former Ziegfeld girl’s loud and contentious divorce last year and her chaotic romantic life in general (some French guy may have just committed suicide because she threw him over) (by the time she died, she married 6 times, starting at 15 years old).

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Today -100: May 11, 1922: We’ll meet their gunplay with guns


In a Chicago labor dispute among glaziers, bombs explode at open-shop glass plants and two cops, a lieutenant and a patrolman, are shot dead by unionists. The police respond, as was the custom, by raiding every union headquarters in town and arresting over 200 union leaders or “hoodlums who pose around as labor leaders,” as Police Chief Charles Fitzmorris calls them. “We’ll meet their gunplay with guns,” he says, probably doing a Sean Connery impression.

NYC Mayor John Hylan, in his eternal grudge match with Gov. Nathan Miller, rejects the latter’s order that voting machines be used in the city’s elections. There are questions about how the Automatic Registering Machine Corporation got the contract for over-priced voting machines.

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Well, it’s certainly worth a try. 

Oh, they mean the mayor of Buffalo, New York, not an actual buffalo. He’s a brewer being tried for, you know, brewing. 

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Today -100: May 10, 1922: Peace, ain’t it grand


Poland and Germany finally come to an agreement over the division of Silesia. It includes free transit through Poland of goods between Germany and Russia.

Attorney General Harry Daugherty says the Wilson Administration actively concealed war-contract fraud cases.

Cuba just ended its role as a combatant in World War I. I don’t think anyone noticed they were still at war.

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Monday, May 09, 2022

Today -100: May 9, 1922: Of lynchings, quitting clerics, and cleared names


A fourth black man is lynched near Kirven, Texas, the brother of one of the men burned at the stake a few days ago.

Headline of the Day -100:  



Headline of the Day -100:  




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Sunday, May 08, 2022

Today -100: May 8, 1922: Of kidnappings, and sudans


A British war veteran, Alec Robertson, accuses US Sen. Charles Culberson (D-Texas) of hiring the Burns Detective Agency to kidnap him after he tried to woo Mary, the senator’s daughter. Two private dicks pretended to be real cops, threatened him with arrest and tried to hustle him out of the country.

Newly independent Egypt decides it owns the Sudan. Britain disagrees.

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Saturday, May 07, 2022

Today -100: May 7, 1922: Of domed teapots, lynchings, pictures of France as painted in Los Angeles, and hot thief chases


Suspicious senators disbelieve Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall’s claim that oil companies were draining oil from the Teapot Dome reserve in Wyoming, which is his stated reason why the reserve needed to be leased to Harry Sinclair before all the government oil was drained. Geologists, including the Wyoming state geologist, say the geo. structure of the formation, featuring a deep water line, actually makes it impossible for slant drills to siphon off its oil. Sen. John Kendrick (D-Wyoming and former governor) has been taking point on the Senate inquiry and notes that the Interior Dept lied last month when it said there was no lease, 6 days after it was signed.

Three black men are burned at the stake, one at a time, by a lynch mob in Kirven, Texas after a 17-year-old white girl, Eula Ausley, is sexually assaulted and stabbed to death. Supposedly the first, “Snap” Curry, confessed and implicated the other two, who refused to confess even under torture (and castration, according to some reports). It is now believed that Snap was actually rape-murdering with two white men from a family in a feud with the Ausleys, not with the other two lynched black men, Mose Jones and Johnny Cornish, who had nothing to do with it. The cops had arrested the white men and then let them go once they had enough blacks to blame the crime on. There’s a book on the events.

The Genoa Conference is widely believed to be about to fail. Everyone plans to blame Russia.

Some French newspapers are demanding the suppression of the Rex Ingram-directed, Rudolph Valentino-starring World War I film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse because it puts too much emphasis on the American military role and depicts the German soldiers as “strong and splendid, though barbaric” (not sure where that quote comes from). Illustration complains “we are shown a picture of France as it is painted in Los Angeles.”

Headline of the Day -100:  


Once again proving that silent films were actually documentaries.

And yes, yes, was it the chase that was hot, or the thief? We may never know.

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Friday, May 06, 2022

Today -100: May 6, 1922: Of paper money and portraits


Germany can’t print money fast enough to keep up with demand. That’s probably bad, right? They will introduce a 5,000 mark note, which is the equivalent of some money; the previous highest-denomination bank note was 1,000 marks.

Artist William Burton got a judgment against Claire Cornell, who refused to pay him for a portrait of her daughter Claire Jr. The judgment is reversed on appeal because the Appellate Division justices think the painting sucks. Experts testified on both sides about whether it looked anything like Claire. Art experts, not Claire experts.

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Thursday, May 05, 2022

Today -100: May 5, 1922: Of non-aggression and truces


France rejects Lloyd George’s proposed non-aggression pact unless 1) every European nation signs, 2) Russia recognizes its current boundaries for the next 10 years, 3) France can act unilaterally to enforce the Versailles Treaty against Germany. Germany rejects these terms, saying only the Allies acting together have the right to enforce the treaty. And Russia rejects them, saying Romania has no right to occupy Bessarabia. Also, Russia will pay its war debts or it will compensate foreign owners of nationalized property, but it won’t do both, and it wants a large loan as a condition for doing either.

The Irish Free State and Republicans agree to a 96-hour truce.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Today -100: May 4, 1922: Of truces and castles


The Dáil Éireann adopts a resolution by Éamon de Valera ordering both sides to arrange an immediate truce.

Irish Free State forces storm Ormonde Castle in Kilkenny.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Today -100: May 3, 1922: Of compensation and unseemliness


At the Genoa Conference, the Allies have been working on formulating terms to present to Russia, but at the last minute French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré intervenes to order the French delegation not to sign, following Belgium’s decision to do the same. Belgium wants seized foreign-owned property in Russia returned, which would mean restoration of private property rights in Russia, instead of compensation or the 99-year leases which Lloyd George seems to think would sidestep Russia’s socialist ideals if they were, you know, looking for a loophole. Part of his plan is an arbitration panel with a member named by US Chief Justice Taft; don’t know if anyone asked whether the US or indeed Taft are willing to do this (OK, another article says Harding has expressed himself privately as extremely gratified). Anyway, the statement will be sent to the Russians without French or Belgian signatures.

After Pres. Harding meets Pennsylvania  Attorney General George Alter, who is running for governor, the White House insists Harding is not endorsing Alter in the primary, or indeed anyone in any Republican primary, because that would be “unseemly.”

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Monday, May 02, 2022

Today -100: May 2, 1922: Bornn white


Anti-treaty IRA rob several banks, explaining that they’re not being paid by the government, you know, the one they’re fighting. They leave receipts.

Mrs Ingrid Bornn is denied an annulment by the Queens Supreme Court, which she demanded on the grounds that her husband Jose Bornn has negro blood. The court rules that he doesn’t. 

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Sunday, May 01, 2022

Today -100: May 1, 1922: As was the custom


The anti-Treaty IRA is stepping up attacks on police in the North and the south. There have been several murders of Protestants in the south, one of them around 80 years old, which have shocked the public.

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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Today -100: April 30, 1922: Of partition and plunder, tea pots dome, and police radios


The final meeting of all the sides in (southern) Ireland fails to come to any peace agreement. De Valera rejects a proposal by Griffith and Collins for a referendum on the Anglo-Irish Treaty, I guess because it would only take place in southern Ireland, thus “ratifying” the “partition and plunder act of 1920.”

The Senate orders its Committee on Public Lands to investigate the Tea Pot Dome and Elk Hills oil leases. It will also investigate Interior Secretary Albert Fall’s (false) claim that the leases were necessary because oil companies owning fields next to the government oil fields have been siphoning oil from them.

Paris police cars are getting radios. Do they have the wee woo wee woo sirens yet?

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Friday, April 29, 2022

Today -100: April 29, 1922: Of sluiceways of corruption, spirit flappers, and corsets


Sen. Robert La Follette (R-Wisc.) calls the Interior Dept the “sluiceway for 90% of the corruption in this country.” (I’m not entirely sure that’s a 9). Sen. Miles Poindexter (R-Wash.) says the Naval Affairs Committee will probably investigate the lease of the naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome. La Follette says naval officers who protested the leases were transferred.

Headline of the Day -100:  


Warlord v. warlord.

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The Chicago Corset Club, which, sadly, probably isn’t as kinky as it sounds, says only 5% of women wear corsets. How it came by this data is not disclosed.

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Today -100: April 28, 1922: I won’t be intimidated by any gunmen here


The Secret Service suggests Pres. Harding not take an excursion steamer to an event celebrating Ulysses S. Grant’s 100th birthday in the small Ohio town where Grant was born, because the steamer is kind of crowded. He doesn’t, and the observation deck collapses. Instead he sails on the War Dept. tugboat Cayuga, on which a 9-year-old stowaway is found on the way back. Hardy not only stops the boy being removed, but takes him to dinner at Charles Taft’s house.

Oh, and happy Ulysses S. Grant Day, I guess, to those who celebrate.

British newspapers have been offering free insurance to their subscribers. Anyway, Winston Churchill puts in a claim to three of these papers after falling off a polo pony while drunk (I’m just assuming the last part, but c’mon it’s Churchill).

At the Dáil Éireann, Irish Free State Pres. Arthur Griffith says Éamon de Valera used to be willing to compromise on the issue of the Republic. De Valera says that’s a lie. Griffith replies, “I won’t be intimidated by any gunmen here.”

Near East Relief made a film last year to promote famine relief, Alice in Hungerland. Its star Esther Razon, plucked out of a Constantinople orphanage to play the lead, has since been adopted by Florence Spencer Duryea. But Rabbi Stephen Wise is complaining that little Esther (now called Alice) is not being raised as a Jew and wants to take her and give her to a Jewish family. Won’t happen.

Henry Ford’s auto is stolen. The policeman he phoned to report it asks what kind of car it is.

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In other news, there’s a “Lady Belper.” And a Baron Belper. That’s the 3rd Baron Belper, born Algernon Henry Strutt. How these people escaped into the real world from the pages of a P.G. Wodehouse story, I do not know.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Today -100: April 27, 1922: By the throat


Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey, who began the Nick Carter, Detective stories in 1890 and wrote, according to MacLean’s, 40 million words in over 1,000 Nick Carter stories, now penniless, shoots himself in the Hotel Broztell. “Things have gone to smash with me, and I’m just tired out, and want to try the long sleep,” he says in a letter. He was 61.

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Lenin has a second operation to remove a remaining bullet fragment.

King Gustav of Sweden is injured when his automobile is hit by the car of a Geneva banker, which is probably a metaphor of some kind.

Speaking of metaphors, NYC District Attorney Joab Banton says “We’ve got the crime wave by the throat.”

Fritz Lang’s film Dr Mabuse the Gambler part 1 premieres in Germany.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Today -100: April 26, 1922: Of bullets, klans, and dinosaurs


Surgeons remove the bullet from Lenin’s side that’s been there since an assassination attempt 3 years ago.

A large group of Klansmen attack the home of the Elduayen family in Inglewood, California, for unknown reasons. A night marshal shoots at the band, killing a deputy constable participating in the event in his other capacity as a Kluxer.

A hunting party in Argentina fails to find that plesiosaur, which totally exists.

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Monday, April 25, 2022

Today -100: April 25, 1922: Harding disapproves


On the 6th anniversary of the Easter Rising, Dublin has a one-day strike to protest the developing civil war. Everything shuts down, including telephones, trains, and newspapers.

Last week cops trying to arrest moonshiners in Clay County, Kentucky were attacked. So Circuit Court Judge Hiram Johnson orders the arrest of everyone over 12 in the Mill Creek neighborhood.

Some of the former German princes are forming an organization to demand the return of the property they lost when they abdicated in 1918. Günther Victor, the ex-prince of Schwarzburg, says the agreements made along with abdication are “null and void, as contrary to good morals,” suffer from irregularities, and were made “under compulsion and misapprehension.”

Nebraska bans non-citizens buying property (existing non-citizens are grandfathered in).

Headline of the Day -100:  



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Sunday, April 24, 2022

Today -100: April 24, 1922: Wherein is revealed what is directly responsible for much of the turmoil in the world today


Another day at the Genoa Conference, another snippy note to Germany from the Allies (plus the Little Entente countries and Portugal), this one claiming they have the power to nullify any clause of the Russo-German treaty they don’t like. Germany decides not to respond.

Bishop Quertin of Manchester, New Hampshire says modern women’s fashions are “directly responsible for much of the turmoil in the world today.”

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Today -100: April 23, 1922: When in Rome


Russian Foreign Minister Georgy Tchitcherin does indeed meet the Italian king, and is even filmed shaking his hand. “In Rome, do as Rome does,” he says.  Telling the Italian people that they’re wrong to like having a king would be meddling, he says (Update: It will come out that toasts to the king were omitted because of fear that the Russians wouldn’t drink – it’s like they’ve never met a Russian before).

Tchitcherin also shakes the hand of French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, who upon discovering that the moment was captured on film demands “in explosive French” that the film be destroyed. The cameramen refused.

The Freeman’s Journal (Dublin) reappears three weeks after its press was wrecked by the IRA, announcing, “To our readers and raiders, good morning!”

Lloyd George says “I am tired of crises at the Genoa conference.” 

France, which is not tired of crises at the Genoa Conference, demands that Germany and Russia reveal the secret clauses of their treaty, which France is pretty sure totally exist.

500 members and officials of the United Mine Workers of America go on trial for treason.

With the Kelsey Perfected Friction-Drive!



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Friday, April 22, 2022

Today -100: April 22, 1922: Of debts, ghosts, champions, teapots dome, and cannibals


Russia says it will recognize its pre-Communist debts if its government is recognized first. France, to which most of those debts are owed, says it will recognize the Soviet government if it recognizes those debts first.

But will the Russian delegates attend a luncheon for all the delegates given by King Victor Emmanuel? The Italian Communists are asking them not to.

In Carnegie Hall, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shows pictures of ghosts, including one of his son’s ghost.

The IRA, presumably, smash up the Sligo Champion newspaper to prevent it reporting on Pres. Arthur Griffith’s pro-Treaty meeting.

Sen. Bob La Follette introduces a resolution calling for the facts on the oil leases in Teapot Dome and Elk Hills.

French conservative newspaper L'Echo National claims that Col. William Haskell, head of the American Relief Administration, doing famine relief work in Russia, has been eaten by starving Russians.

Um, he hasn’t been.

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Today -100: April 21, 1922: Going to succeed because it must succeed


Headline of the Day -100:  


And in Dublin IRA gunmen shoot up buildings occupied by government forces. Which brand of IRA gunmen they are is unclear, as the ones occupying the Four Courts disavow them.

Lloyd George crows that he has “saved” the Genoa Conference by his threat to Germany that it either renounce its treaty with Russia or withdraw from Conference discussions about Russia. It has chosen the latter. “This conference is going to succeed because it must succeed,” he says. He again accuses Germany of being “disloyal,” which gets more hilarious each time I read it.

British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill falls off a horse.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Today -100: April 20, 1922: Of navies, ethnic cleansings, and windles


The House of Representatives supports Harding’s demand for a 86,000-man Navy and a pay raise for the Navy. The bill also limits the money spent on the teaching of swordsmanship at Annapolis.

Mussolini says there’s something crooked about the Rapallo Treaty and the Russians are up to no good and something something Adriatic and Fascist squads should be ready for action.

Berlin authorities are considering responding to the assassination of those two Young Turk genociders by expelling all Armenians from the city. Germans are not big on irony.

The Nebraska Supreme Court upholds a wartime law banning the teaching of German to pre-high school students in any schools, including private and parochial schools

Sir Bertram Windle of the University of Toronto will speak at the New York Province of Newman Clubs at the Waldorf-Astoria on the subject “No, Your Name Is Fucking Hilarious.”

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Today -100: April 19, 1922: Of trickery, assassinations, teapot domes, and No Fatties


At the Genoa Conference, the Allies send Germany a note complaining that it violated their “offer of good-will and fellowship” by signing the Treaty of Rapallo with Russia. They punish Germany by excluding it from negotiations with Russia. Which accomplishes exactly zero, since the whole point is that Germany and Russia have completed their negotiations. Signed a treaty and everything. German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau rejects British claims that Germany acted sneakily, saying they informed Lloyd George’s people (LG wouldn’t meet with him) that if the Allies insisted on leaving Germany out of talks about Russia it would sign a separate treaty. LG denies this and calls the move “trickery.”

In Berlin, two Armenians assassinate Djemal Azmy Bey (also spelled Cemal Azmi), the former governor of the Ottoman Empire’s Trebizond Province, where he organized the Armenian Genocide, and his aide Baha Eddin Chakir. The Berlin police round up the usual (Armenian) suspects, but the assassins are not caught, and won’t be.

The Department of the Interior explains the oil leasing arrangements in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California.

Will Hays bans Fatty Arbuckle films, acquittal or no acquittal. So instead of stopping “immoral” movies, he sees his remit as extending to people. #CancelCulture1922

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Today -100: April 18, 1922: Naturally furious


Michael Collins fights off an assassination attempt by a dozen men in Parnell Square, Dublin, personally capturing one. What a guy.

During the first week of the Genoa Conference, it became clear to the Germans that they wouldn’t be getting any concessions, so they signed a treaty with Russia (the Treaty of Rapallo, well, a Treaty of Rapallo, since there was another one of those in 1920) which they’ve supposedly been negotiating for months, reestablishing diplomatic relations, canceling all indemnity claims from the war as well as pre-war debts and compensation for nationalization of Germany properties in Russia. Which is the deal Russia wants from the conference, and isn’t getting. Lloyd George sends Germany a letter expressing “pained surprise,” while the French are “naturally furious.” Naturally.

The Belgian Socialist Party votes against women’s suffrage for provincial elections, out of fear that the Catholic Party would gain women’s votes. Women will get the vote at the provincial and national level in 1948.

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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Today -100: April 17, 1922: Now we can have a fight in peace among ourselves


What counts as good news for the Irish Free State administration: Pres. Arthur Griffith makes a speech in Sligo without even being kidnapped. Griffith went to Sligo in defiance of an IRA ban on his speech. He came with a bunch of soldiers, who got into desultory bloodless gunfights with the IRA. Before he went, he made out his will.

Michael Collins warns that Ireland is “rapidly developing a state of civil war.”

In Dublin, the IRA continues to occupy the law courts and other buildings, and the government has likewise fortified the buildings it holds, but neither side seems to be preparing for offensive action. The NYT passes along a joke: “The Black and Tans have gone and now we can have a fight in peace among ourselves.”

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Saturday, April 16, 2022

Today -100: April 16, 1922: Take it!


The House of Lords is debating Nancy Astor’s bill to repeal the Saxon law under which wives who commit crimes in the presence of their husbands are deemed to be acting under their control. Some peers think the law should be updated to reflect the modern status of women, but former Lord High Chancellor Lord Buckmaster insists that women today, especially among the lower classes, do act under their husbands’ direction. The Saxons, he says, “knew as much about men and women as we do today.” Lady Frances Balfour, in The Times, points out other laws affecting married women, who evidently need permission from their husbands to have an operation.

Éamon de Valera issues an Easter message to the youth of Ireland: “Ireland is yours for the taking! Take it!” People are taking this to mean he’s planning a coup during Easter.

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Friday, April 15, 2022

Today -100: April 15, 1922: Of debts, the our Courts, and short skirts


At the Genoa Conference, Russia is refusing to take dictation from the other countries, which had assumed that Russia’s need for foreign loans put them in control. Russia keeps bringing up the issue of the compensation for damage during the war which they could have demanded from the Central Powers and for damage caused by Allies-backed Whites during the Civil War, as a counter-balance, or something, for the war debts it owes.

IRAers seize Dublin’s law courts and a nearby hotel. Commandant Gen. Rory O’Connor says this isn’t a coup, they just needed the room.

A high school board election in Kansas is fought on the issue of skirt lengths, with Perry Stevens, defending the 3-inches-below-the-knee rule, defeating Seth Fenton, who thinks the rule is a blow at national liberties.

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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Today -100: April 14, 1922: Always a dagger in her pocket and holding a poignard between her lips


The Massachusetts Supreme Court says women are indeed eligible for elective and appointive offices, contrary to what Attorney Gen. J. Weston Allen said.

Puerto Rico’s Gov. E. Mont Reily and president of the Puerto Rican Senate Antonio Rafael Barceló sent Secretary of War John Weeks a joint telegram saying they’d worked out their differences. Barceló now denies this. The confusion is being blamed on the fact that Reily speaks no Spanish and Barceló no English. 

The grand jury that recommended Gov. Reily be indicted has been dismissed, even though it still had matters before it. Just so subtle.

NYC Mayor John Hylan says the whole “crime wave” thing is being ginned up by people afraid he might run for governor, you know, gamblers and “smug, surface respectables” opposed to public ownership of utilities, people like that. Incumbent Gov. Nathan Miller recently vetoed a bill to increase the mayor’s pay.

Headline of the Day -100:  


The Wall Street Journal reports the leasing by Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall of the Teapot Dome oil reserves to Sinclair Oil. I don’t have access to the whole WSJ story, so I’m not sure if it makes it clear that this deal was done in secret. (Update: ok, I thought the Journal broke this story, but there’s also an article on p.34 of today -100’s NYT).

Australian aviator Sir Ross Macpherson Smith and his mechanic are killed in the crash of a Vickers amphibious plane which was intended to travel around the world, or at least more than a few feet. In 1919 he and his brother flew from England to Australia.

French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, leading the French delegation to the Genoa Conference, complains that France is misunderstood in the US & Britain: “they conceive of France as concealing always a dagger in her pocket and holding a poignard between her lips.” Kinky. He defends France’s refusal to allow reparations or disarmament (even of poignards) to be discussed at the conference.

Pittsburgh police are issued riot guns because of the crime wave, and told “shoot to kill.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has thoughts about what the afterlife is like. This is so embarrassing.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Today -100: April 13, 1922: Out of the fire


Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle is acquitted in his third trial. The jury deliberated for about a minute and also came back with a statement that the trial was “a great injustice” against Fatty, against whom, they say, there was no evidence whatsoever. It’s unclear who actually wrote the statement for them, as they weren’t out long enough to have written it themselves. The Famous Players-Lasky Corporation announces it will release a new Arbuckle picture and... see how it goes from there.

Puerto Rico District Attorney R. Diaz Collazo refuses Gov. E. Mont Reily’s order to leave his post, saying his dismissal is illegal. So Reily has him thrown out of his office by the cops. So subtle.

Russians’ right to own personal automobiles is restored.

Roberta Birmingham files papers to run for justice of the peace in St. Joseph, Missouri. She promises not to marry during her term of office. Miss Birmingham, a clerk in the justice’s office, “is called one of the prettiest women in the Court House.”

Headline of the Day -100:  



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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Today -100: April 12, 1922: Of firings, conferences, and bonuses


Puerto Rican Gov. E. Mont Reily fires the district attorney, R. Diaz Collazo, who the grand jury just directed to indict him. Subtle.

The archbishop of Dublin and the lord mayor of Dublin call a peace conference, with Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. 

Russian Foreign Minister Georgy Tchitcherin objects to the presence at the Genoa Conference of Japan, which is occupying part of Siberia, and Romania, which is occupying Bessarabia. France and Belgium object to Germany and Russia being on the principle committee. 

NY passes a $1 million bonus bill, giving a max of $250, in monthly instalments, to wounded veterans unemployed more than 14 days.

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Monday, April 11, 2022

Today -100: April 11, 1922: Europe needs quiet


Germany rejects the Reparations Commission’s demand for Allied control of German finances and massive new taxes.

The US Supreme Court rules that citizens of Puerto Rico do not have a 6th Amendment right to trial by jury for misdemeanors. Chief Justice William Howard Taft says, “Puerto Rico belongs to the United States, but is not part of the United States. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory and even though Puerto Ricans have American citizenship, they do not have the same rights as the common American citizen.” Since the case was one of criminal libel, this effectively means that Puerto Rico doesn’t have 1st Amendment protections either. The Biden Administration continues to rely on this and the other Insular Cases in claiming that US possessions are not strictly part of the United States and their residents have only those rights specifically given them. A 2020 Circuit Court case, for example, ruled that goods arriving in the US Virgin Islands could be searched without a warrant.

A Puerto Rican grand jury calls for indictments against Gov. E. Mont Reily, his secretary, and an auditor, for misappropriation of funds.

At the Genoa Conference, everyone is talking about Russian Foreign Minister Georgy Tchitcherin’s silk top hat. There were long debates back home over whether he should wear this bourgeois affectation, but he was ordered – ordered! – to buy one (in Berlin along the way to Genoa) and wear it. Then he mislaid it at the border with Austria and had his train stopped while a courier was sent to retrieve it. There’s probably a metaphor in there somewhere.

Lloyd George makes a speech at the conference that doesn’t even mention the hat. “There is no real peace in Europe,” he says. “Fighting has ceased, but snarling goes on, and as there are many dogs in every country who imagine that the louder they bark and the longer they bark the deeper impression they make of their ferocity, Europe is deafened with this canine clamor. It is undignified, it is distracting, it destroys confidence. It wrecks the nerves of a nerve-racked continent, and we shall make a real contribution to the restoration of Europe if at this conference we can stop that snarling. Europe needs quiet. We can get peace if we act together, but not if we act in a spirit of greedy vigilance over selfish interests.” French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, who may have recognized himself in that last bit, says: “The French delegation will never pronounce one word of hate. It desires no one’s humiliation. ... It is inspired by good faith and good will.” FACT CHECK: No it isn’t.

NYC Police Commissioner Richard Enright calls up the police reserves “as emergency attack on the alleged crime wave which he says does not exist.” The 75 motorcycle cops normally used to halt speeders will patrol the streets at night. Enright asks the public to lend cars and horses to the cops.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

Today -100: April 10, 1922: Is it by civil war and the shedding of the blood of our brothers that we can win peace and freedom?


Michael Collins warns, “Is it by civil war and the shedding of the blood of our brothers that we can win peace and freedom?” That’s a trick question, right? “That is the language of treason, not patriotism.” If there is a civil war, as he says looks likely unless there is “an immediate change in tone and tactics” – and he’s lookin’ at you, De Valera – the British will return.

The IRA attempt to wreck a train they wrongly believe Collins is on.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (both great, as Alan Sherman said) is in the US, lecturing (sigh) on spiritualism. He says he’s personally spoken with 20 ghosts.

The Countess Markievicz is also lecturing in the US, attempting to drum up support for the Irish Republic and against the Treaty. I wonder if she and Doyle came over on the same ship. That would have been awkward.

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Saturday, April 09, 2022

Today -100: April 9, 1922: Of the big five, bobbed hair, anti-Semitic bombs, and gerrymanders


Russia is moving away from the idea of making major concessions at the Genoa conference. Russia’s “big five” leaders aren’t attending, including Commissar for Labor and Peasant Inspection Stalin who, although he was made general secretary of the Communist Party last week, is mentioned for what I believe is the first ever time in the NYT today.

The Philadelphia Board of Education says teachers won’t be fired for bobbing their hair.

A bomb that exploded at a dinner in Budapest of the Liberal Party last week which killed 8 was probably an anti-Semitic thing.

The NY Legislature’s reapportionment map for congressional seats carves out a Republican seat in lower Manhattan, where there should be no Republican seat, but my question is... what reapportionment? With Congress having given up on national reapportionment for this decade, it hadn’t occurred to me that state legislatures might still go ahead with their own. Oddly, they’re using the 1910 census as their basis.

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Friday, April 08, 2022

Today -100: April 8, 1922: Guns and automobiles, the American dream


After gangsters from NY were found to be buying guns in New Jersey, the NJ Legislature attempted to pass a law requiring gun permits, but somehow during the legislative process wound up passing one making it easier to get a gun, as is the custom. So now anyone who owns a car or other vehicle can purchase a gun without a permit.

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Thursday, April 07, 2022

Today -100: April 7, 1922: Of brigands, boycotts, and bosses


Grigory Semyonov, the Ataman of the Cossacks, is arrested at Penn Station, not for the massacres he was responsible for during the Russian Civil War, but because of a civil action brought by one of the trading companies he stole from back in Siberia. He says he has immunity because his actions were supported by the Allies; they say he was nothing more than a brigand. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Also, we don’t use the word brigand enough these days.

The rebel IRA are searching trains to enforce their boycott on goods from Northern Ireland.

Former NY governor Al Smith meets with Tammany’s Boss Murphy, evidently to deny the rumors that he’ll be running for governor again this year. He says he will stay in the trucking business. Tammany is especially worried that William Randolph Hearst might try to run.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Today -100: April 6, 1922: I left my heart...


The House of Representatives votes 222-73 for a bill to deport aliens convicted of violating federal or state Prohibition laws.

The IRA seize Lenaboy Castle in Galway. Wondering how big a deal this was, I googled “how many castles are there in Ireland.” 30,000! Lenaboy Castle was used by the Black and Tans to torture and murder prisoners and later as an orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy, and may or may not have a secret burial site for all the babies the nuns mercied to death.

The former heart of the former emperor Charles of Austria-Hungary is removed to be sent (in a glass jar in a silver coffin, if you’re wondering how royal hearts are transported) for burial in Austria, while the rest of his body will be buried in Hungary, authorities permitting. Hungary seizes newspapers that published the Legitimists’ proclamation that 10-year-old Otto is now king of Hungary.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Today -100: April 5, 1922: Of guns, crappy feminists, and half drachmae


25,000 pistol permits have been issued in NYC since the beginning of the year. Wall Street bankers and brokers are arming to the hilt, fearing stickups, which have been on the rise. The cost of a permit recently increased to $1.50.

All members of an all-women ticket for municipal offices in Altus, Arkansas are disqualified for failure to pay poll tax, which they didn’t realize was required for office (were they also not planning to vote for themselves?). They blame men, presumably the male candidates who took office unopposed, for failing to inform them of the law.

The Greek government, short of money for its endless war with Turkey, proposes a forced loan requiring everyone with paper currency to lend half of it to the government. Literally: each drachma banknote would be cut in half, with the left half be exchanged for a government bond and the right half worth half as much as the original.

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Monday, April 04, 2022

Today -100: April 4, 1922: Relatively snubbed


Albert Einstein has been lecturing in Paris, but cancels an engagement at the Academy of Sciences since some members planned to protest his appearance by standing up and leaving. What is their objection? Do they reject the theory of relativity or Einstein personally for being a German, or a Jew? The NYT does not inform us. He can lecture in French and has done this week, so it’s not that.

(Update: a general who is one of those who pledged to protest says it’s because Germany is not in the League of Nations.)

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Sunday, April 03, 2022

Today -100: April 3, 1922: Of parades, cannibals, and ottos


Rebel IRA troops parade in Dublin. Thousands of them take an oath of non-allegiance to the Dáil Éireann. 

More claims of starving people resorting to cannibalism, this time in Armenia.

The Hungarian government declares a day of national mourning for deceased former emperor/king/putschist Charles. Austria does not. Monarchists in Hungary are taking heart from the fact that while the Allies forced Charles to abdicate last year, they forgot to do the same for former empress Zita, so if the monarchy were restored she could act as regent until Otto comes of age in 8 years. Monarchist deputies plan to move legislation to bring Otto to Hungary so he can be educated by Hungarian teachers.

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Saturday, April 02, 2022

Today -100: April 2, 1922: Of strikes, red armies, and dead emperors


The coal miners’ strike shuts down most mines in the US and Canada. So far, only one scab shot. Actually, it turns out that April 1, the start of the strike, is also traditionally a day coal miners take off anyway to celebrate the winning of the 8-hour day in 1898.

Lloyd George will, reportedly, suggest to the Soviets at the Genoa Conference that the Red Army be cut in half, and then cut further in stages, in exchange for a promise that no one will attack Russian territory for 10 years. However, this is part of LG’s plan for a general European disarmament, which would be strongly resisted by France. Also, Russia is still fighting a civil war.

Charles I, former Austro-Hungarian Emperor, dies of pneumonia in Madeira, where he was exiled last year after twice attempting coups in Hungary. He was 34. The former empress Zita is pregnant. The NYT snidely describes the Habsburgs as being as intelligent as the Jukes family (a NY family studied for their criminality and used by eugenicists as a prime example of the need for sterilization) and says Charles had “delusions of grandeur” and was “merely a few centuries behind the times.”

Senator (and former Texas governor) Charles Culberson calls on Texas authorities to shut down the Ku Klux Klan, saying otherwise it will “usurp the functions of the State and be destructive of government itself.” Culberson will lose his bid for a 4th senate term this year, defeated in the Democratic primary by Earle Mayfield, an actual (probable) klansman.

Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach dies at 37. Make of that what you will.

The NYT has started printing daily radio schedules, This is for Sunday, so the programs are rather religion-heavy.

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Friday, April 01, 2022

Today -100: April 1, 1922: Of strikes, mules, radio, choleric chickens, and Siamese twins


The great coal miners’ strike against wage cuts begins. As mines shut down, mules are brought out, many experiencing sunlight and fresh air for the first time in years.

Headline of the Day -100:  



Parliament ratifies the Irish treaty.

Both parties plan to use radio-telephone service to deliver speeches to distant constituents during this year’s congressional elections. Some congresscritters are already making use of the Navy’s radio service. And by “some,” I mean only Republicans have been allowed to do so.

Some of the chickens which Germany sent to France as part of reparations died, evidently of cholera. Le Matin is sure that Germany inoculated the chickens with the disease to spread it to French humans.

Siamese twins, Rosa and Josefa Blazek, died a couple of days ago, 12 minutes apart, after their brother refused surgery that might have saved one of them (the autopsy shows it wouldn’t have). The 44-year-old twins had been exhibited since they were 13. Rosa leaves an 11-year-old son Franz, father unknown, and the Chicago courts dealing with the twins’ rather large estate must decide if they counted as separate people – it sounds an awful like the court will have to determine if they had one or two souls. If the former, Franz inherits everything, if the latter Josefa’s money would be divided among her relatives, including the brother who decided against separation. (Update: actually, it turns out they only left $400, not the $200,000 this article claimed). It’s unknown what happened to Franz, who may have actually not been Rosa’s son at all, but adopted to revitalize their act.

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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Today -100: March 30, 1922: Of treaties, radio umbrellas, and annulments


The Senate ratifies the naval limitation treaty and the treaty limiting submarines and poison gas, the former by 74-1, the latter unanimously.

A French inventor, unnamed in the story, hopes to invent a parasol/radio receiver.

NY Gov. Nathan Miller signs a bill removing the absolute right of annulment for a marriage entered into by someone under 18. And another bill firing teachers who are not citizens unless they are taking steps to become citizens. 

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Today -100: March 29, 1922: I make it a policy in my administration never to interfere with the ladies


Pres. Harding plans to stay out of the 1922 congressional elections entirely.

Yup, the NYC ordinance against women smoking that the police started enforcing yesterday definitely does not exist. A clerk sent Police Commissioner Richard Enright a draft ordinance without noticing that the aldermen had voted it down. “It looked authentic,” Enright says, although it wasn’t actually signed by the mayor. Mayor Hylan says “I make it a policy in my administration never to interfere with the ladies – for they will do as they please anyway.” The ladies were pretty pissed by the supposed ordinance and increased their smoking in restaurants in response.

Northern Irish PM Sir James Craig responds to Michael Collins’ accusation that he was breaking the agreement that Catholics in Ulster not be fired or, you know, killed, by saying that it’s Collins breaking his word and the South is sending armed men to create unrest in the North. They both have a point.

The prosecution rests in the 3rd Fatty Arbuckle trial, which is getting waaaay less coverage in the NYT and elsewhere than the first two. There’s a surprise witness, a secretary at the sanitarium where Virginia Rappe died, who has come forward suspiciously late in the game to relate that right before dying Rappe gave a complete account to her, blaming Arbuckle.

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Monday, March 28, 2022

Today -100: March 28, 1922: In which it is revealed what menaces the morals of young girls


NYC Police Commissioner Richard Enright orders cops to crack down on restaurants, hotels or places of public entertainment which permit women to smoke, based on an ordinance passed 2 weeks ago and signed by Mayor Hylan. Which is a surprise to the aldermen who supposedly passed this ordinance, although Alderman Peter McGuinness insists it was passed. It was not in fact passed; the cops are enforcing a non-existent law. When he introduced the proposed ban, McGuinness said, “The morals of our young girls are menaced by this cigarette smoking. ... young fellows go into our restaurants to find women folks sucking cigarettes. What happens? The young fellows lose all respect for women and the next thing you know the young fellows, vampired by these smoking women, desert their homes, their wives and children, rob their employers and even commit murder so that they can get money to lavish on these smoking women. It’s all wrong and I say it’s got to stop.”

30,000 Fascists march in Milan to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the founding of the Fascist Party. One Communist is killed in a clash, as was the custom.

An assassination attempt on former Russian foreign minister Pavel Milyukov in Berlin goes awry, the bullet instead killing former secretary of state Vladimir Nabokov, father of the novelist.

Several women are running for Congress this year, including Ellen Duance Davis, the great-great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin, and two sisters,  Irene Cleveland Buell, city prosecutor of Ashland, Nebraska, and Mrs. A.K. Gault, mayor of St. Peter, Minnesota. Their mother was a cousin of Grover Cleveland.

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