Saturday, December 31, 2022

Today -100: December 31, 1922: Of people giving stuff away

With Al Smith due to take the NY governor’s office tomorrow, Tammany’s Boss Charles  Murphy takes a suite in the Hotel Ten Eyck in Albany so he can give out all the patronage jobs.

Henry Morgenthau, former US ambassador to Turkey, has a cunning plan: why not give Constantinople to Russia?

At the All-Union Congress of Soviets, Trotsky says after the forthcoming revolution in Europe, “America, that Babylonian tower of capitalism, will fall in ruins also.”

Looks like the NYT missed the news that the Congress created a new thing called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

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Friday, December 30, 2022

Today -100: December 30, 1922: I wouldn’t live long enough to smell the smoke

The Department of Agriculture is advertising for Americans to eat more meat. Lots and lots of meat. “Meat is the cornerstone of the diet in our Western civilization,” it says.

The Ku Klux Klan says it will investigate the Moorhouse County, Louisiana murders itself and “outlaw” any members found guilty. But that lynch mob wore black hoods and we wear white ones so it probably wasn’t us, they say. Meanwhile, former Mer Rouge mayor/cyclops Dr. Bunnie McKoin is resisting extradition from Maryland, saying “The sight of me would be the signal for the beginning of the greatest slaughter of human life this country has ever known. I wouldn’t live long enough to smell the smoke.” 

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Thursday, December 29, 2022

Today -100: December 29, 1922: Of lynchings, guarantees, and Ulysses

2 confessions in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana implicate 45 people in the abduction and murder in August of Watt Daniels and Thomas Richards, the men whose bodies surfaced in Lake La Fourche showing evidence of having been tortured and mutilated (castrated, not that the NYT would ever use the word).

At the Lausanne Conference, the Allies & the US are demanding that the capitulations Turkey has abolished (treaties giving exemption from Turkish laws & taxes to foreigners) be replaced with “guarantees,” that is some form of special protection, such as foreigners only being tried by foreign judges, which for some reason Turkey claims would be an infringement of its sovereignty. Lord Curzon says Turkey’s legal system is based on Muslim law and its judges uneducated and lazy.

How have I missed until now that the British High Commissioner to Constantinople is named Sir Horace Rumbold? If you’re wondering about the name of his She Who Must Be Obeyed, it’s the scarily formidable Etheldred Constantia Fane.

James Joyce’s Ulysses is banned in the UK. It’s already banned in the US. It’ll be unbanned in the US in the ‘30s, not sure about UK.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Today -100: December 28, 1922: Of dynamite, consulates, and Mosul

A 21-year-old Klansman, Wesley Holyoake, is arrested in Indiana with a couple of suitcases of dynamite. He says he used dynamite, although presumably not this dynamite, to attract attention to a cross-burning ceremony on Christmas Eve. As you do.

There are accusations that US District Attorney for western Louisiana P.H. Mecom has been interfering with the investigation into the Klan murder of those two guys whose bodies turned up in Lake La Fourche, threatening to arrest Justice Dept investigators, tipping off kluxers, etc.

Éamon de Valera aide Laurence Ginnell comes to New York and seizes the Irish Free State Consulate in the name of the Republic.

The Turkish position at the Lausanne Conference is now that if it doesn’t get Mosul (and its oil) (and its Kurds), it won’t sign a treaty about anything else it’s agreed to. Lord Curzon is more or less threatening war.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Today -100: December 27, 1922: Of bunnies and wood

Dr. Bunnie McKoin, former mayor of Mer Rouge, Louisiana, is arrested at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for whatever his role might be in the KKK killings of 2 men in August. He says people hated him because as mayor until 1920 he tried to stop “such evils” as gambling and white men associating with black women. He accuses the deceased of having been bootleggers, gunmen, and men who kept black concubines. (Incidentally, McKoin has been accused of murder before, in 1916. If I ever find out what that was about, you’ll be the first to know.)

The Allied Reparation Commission declares Germany in default on wood deliveries, Britain voting against.

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Monday, December 26, 2022

Today -100: December 26, 1922: Dry Christmas

The NYPD claim the city experienced its driest Christmas ever. Not a single person charged with intoxication. Oh, and 6 people died of wood alcohol poisoning. 


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Sunday, December 25, 2022

Today -100: December 25, 1922: Of boycotts and nonagenarians

14 members of the New Britain, Connecticut police dept refuse to attend drill because they heard that their instructor (who also works for the YMCA) attended a Ku Klux Klan meeting, pardon, “klonkave.”

Ezra Meeker, who rode the Oregon Trail in an ox-cart and was the first mayor of Puyallup, Washington, will hold a dinner for his 92nd birthday in NYC, to which he’s inviting every man (just men?) over 90. He’s previously done this in Seattle. He’s serving possum soup, because of course he is. Attendees are invited to explain how they got so fucking old. Presumably a marsupial-heavy diet.

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Saturday, December 24, 2022

Today -100: December 24, 1922: Of amnesties, bunnies, and bootleggers

Italy amnesties everyone convicted of political crimes through the time the Fascists seized power. I’m assuming it will not be interpreted to include Communists or Socialists. The Ministry of (ahem) Justice says the recent “manifestations” were not really hostile to the state but had the same aims as the state.

Those bodies recovered from Lake La Fourche, Louisiana show signs of flogging and broken bones. One T.J. Burnett, a former deputy sheriff (no explanation as yet as to why he’s former), is arrested for murder by the feds. The local KKK is denying any involvement and offering to assist law enforcement. All the violence started when Dr. Bunnie McKoin, the mayor of Mer Rouge and local Klan leader, a cyclops I believe, in a very Klan-ridden town, claimed that an attempt had been made to kill him. He says he was called out at night to a bogus house call and his car was shot up; the feds think he shot it up himself because evidence. So after this incident that may or may not have occurred last August, the Klan kidnapped and tortured people to get them to give up McKoin’s assailants, including the two found in the lake. After that, McKoin disappeared, claiming he was going to John Hopkins, which says they’ve never heard of him (actually he’ll be arrested there later this week).

Headline of the Day -100:  

Giant negro.

Sen. Charles Curtis, chairman of the Rules Committee, orders the police to arrest all bootleggers entering the Senate office building. There have been rumors about bootleggers operating in the congressional office buildings.

Having dropped its plans to serialize Lloyd George’s memoirs (if he ever gets around to writing them), the NYT chooses an obvious successor, Will Rogers, to write a weekly Sunday column.

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Friday, December 23, 2022

Today -100: December 23, 1922: We are not in the habit of giving Christmas presents

Howard Carter is doing escorted tours of King Tutanhkamen’s tomb, but the Egyptian government plans to seize the contents, with Carter and Lord Carnarvon not getting any of the loot.

At the Lausanne Conference, a French rep on the minorities sub-committee suggests to the Turkish rep, “At this Christmas time it would be most becoming for Turkey to give the Christian minorities the good results which would come from a less stern attitude on their part.” To which the Turk replied, “We are not in the habit of giving Christmas presents.”

The ACLU objects to NYC Mayor John Hylan’s request to Pres. Harding to suppress the Texas Klan newspaper Colonel Mayfield’s Weekly (by banning it from the mails).

A large and mysterious dynamite blast in Lake La Fourche, Louisiana, brings to the surface the bodies of 2 men seized by a bunch of kluxers on August 24 in Mer Rouge. White men, one might add. Presumably the dynamiters intended to destroy the bodies before the feds dredged the lake. Investigators sent by the state to Mer Rouge are being guarded by National Guards with machine guns.

Eleanor Boardman, an unknown actor in 1922 who will co-star in The Crowd (and marry King Vidor), is bitten by a camel on the set of... I dunno, none of the movies she made at this time sound especially camel-centric... and will probably lose her arm (pretty sure I’d have noticed if she was missing an arm in her later films).

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Thursday, December 22, 2022

Today -100: December 22, 1922: Sometimes it is expedient that one man should be sacrificed for his group

The Blackshirts of Alessandria, northern Italy, decide to eliminate drunkenness by forcing any inebriated person they find to consume castor oil, and warning them that a second offense will meet with a cudgeling.

Politicians, club women, and Karens generally strongly disapprove any possible revival of Fatty Arbuckle’s career. The NYT, which thinks Fatty was “only the victim of a mischance,” nevertheless says Hays made a bad decision: “Sometimes it is expedient that one man should be sacrificed for his group.”

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Today -100: December 21, 1922: Of “militias,” peacemakers, and fatties

Mussolini will set up a volunteer militia operating alongside the regular army, under his personal control and recruited from the Blackshirts.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Former interior minister Stanisław Wojciechowski is voted the new president of Poland. A former exile who was deported from Poland by the Russians, he worked for independence (I’m assuming that’s the case for every current Polish politician).

Chief Film Censor Will Hays says it’s ok for Fatty Arbuckle to work in the film industry again because he’s promised Hays he will keep on going straight. The mayor of Indianapolis disagrees and will prevent any Fatty films appearing.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Today -100: December 20, 1922: Of railroad-wreckers, duels, the spirit of Klan-kraft, and straitses

Former British Prime Minister Earl Balfour gives a lecture at Glasgow U. on telepathy.

Ireland executes 7 people for wrecking railroads in County Kildare. The IRA have been burning the houses of their enemies; the 7-year-old son of Deputy Sean McGarry dies of burns.

Belgium’s Minister of Colonies Louis Franck challenges former foreign minister Paul Hymans to a duel.

The Allied Patriotic Societies tries to get the NY Board of Alderman to ban anyone speaking foreign languages on public streets and squares. It dies in committee. 

Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans says the Klan will never unmask. Disdainful of Kansas Gov. Henry Allen, who he ran into yesterday in a Washington hotel, he says “The spirit of Klan-Kraft has enwrapped the United States in a mantle of love for country which designing and ambitious politicians cannot break, and in a few brief years the influence of the Klan will have so engulfed the thought of the country that we can expect intelligent legislation from the Congress of the United States which will drag down the white flag of inertia” etc etc.

At the Lausanne Conference, Lord Curzon tells Turkey it can accept the Allied position on the Straits or go fuck itself, and there is discussion of an Allied demand that Christian nations be allowed to remove Christian women from harems in Turkey if they don’t want to be in harems. Turkey says homes are sacred and anyway there are no women in harems who don’t wish to be there.

There’s a rumor in Germany that Henry Ford is financing Adolf Hitler’s movement. He’s certainly spending a suspiciously large amount of money. And Hitler has a picture of Ford on the wall next to his desk. (No, Ford did not subsidize Hitler).

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Monday, December 19, 2022

Today -100: December 19, 1922: That damned elusive pimpernel

Éamon de Valera attended morning mass in Dublin, presumably this past Sunday. A couple of ratfinks recognized him and went to the military, but he was gone by the time they arrived.

The idea of creating a Central American Union is officially over.

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Sunday, December 18, 2022

Today -100: December 18, 1922: Why thank you, we won’t let the door hit us in the ass, thank you for what I’m sure is a quaint Irish expression of cordiality!

All the remaining British troops leave southern Ireland. Col. Commandant Tanner views the joyous Dublin crowds waving as his soldiers depart as a sign of great “cordiality toward us,” which seems like a misinterpretation, but a very British one.

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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Today -100: December 17, 1922: Yeah, but is it art?

Polish President Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated, 5 days after assuming office, by artist Eligiusz Niewiadomski at an art gallery. Niewiadomski is a nationalist with a reputation for looniness since a 1918 car accident which required trepanning. Narutowicz was chatting with the British ambassador, who congratulated him on being elected president. “Condolences, you should say,” Narutowicz responded aaaaaand then he was shot 3 times in the back.

Poland has never had a president, king, prince, anything, assassinated before; they were quite proud/smug about that. But how many assassinations have happened in art galleries? Google tells me the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in one in 2016. There were photos. There were memes (no link because Jesus, people). I don’t remember this at all.

Speaker of the House of Deputies Maciej Rataj, now acting president until the House elects a new president, asks Gen. Władysław Sikorski to serve as prime minister.

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Friday, December 16, 2022

Today -100: December 16, 1922: Pembroke is another matter entirely

Headline of the Day -100:  

The NYT admits this story may not be true but puts it on the front page anyway. The Borneo chieftain supposedly tells the missionaries, “Of course no Balliol man could think of eating a fellow Balliol man.”

At the Lausanne Conference, Britain and Turkey are arguing over who gets Mosul and the region’s oil. Turkey thinks the area should be part of Turkey, Britain says Irak is part of their Mesopotamia League of Nations mandate. Turkey also says no to an Armenian homeland and that “Kurds” are not a separate race.

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Today -100: December 15, 1922: I was defeated by the Ku Klux Klan of Oklahoma

Headline of the Day -100:  

They aim to wipe out all holidays of “decadent religions.” And no angel decorations: “Angels are symbols used to enslave the child’s mind.” But there will still be celebrations: Moscow children will be treated, if that is the word, to satirical plays on such subjects as the Lausanne Conference and the Kerensky regime.

At the Lausanne Conference, Turkey responds to British Foreign Minister Lord Curzon’s imperious threat to break up the conference if Turkey doesn’t provide guarantees to its Christian minorities. Turkey says it will join the League of Nations so that the League (rather than the special commission of Allied nations Curzon is demanding) would oversee the treatment of minorities as it does for Central European countries, to which the Jewish populations of Romania, Austria etc are doubtless saying, “Er, yeah, about that...”

Rep. Alice Robertson (R-OK) blames her re-election defeat on the Klan, accusing the winner, William Hastings of being a klansman.

Two Communist members of the French National Assembly, Marcel Cachin (editor of L’Humanité) and Paul Vaillant-Coururier, are sentenced to 6 months for articles inciting mutiny in French troops, presumably related to the possible occupation of the Ruhr. Not that it matters because they have parliamentary immunity.

Two black accused horse thieves are kidnapped from jail in Pilot Point, Texas and... we don’t know. The same thing happened a few months ago and those black men were never seen again, an incident that didn’t lead to the authorities actually guarding the jail at night. A note left at the local newspaper says, “Both negroes got what they had coming. Let this be a warning to all negro loafers. Negroes get a job or leave town.”

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Today -100: December 14, 1922: Of duels, state presidents, bodyguards, and rights of correction

Uruguayan President Baltasar Brum challenges political opponent Luis Alberto Herrera to a duel, which is legal if the duel is first approved by a tribunal of honor. They fight in front of hundreds of government officials, firing two shots each. No one is hit.

Bavaria’s reactionary monarchists are trying to create an office of state president of Bavaria, which would sooner or later be occupied by Crown Prince Ruprecht. They’re encouraging Hitler to stir up the Bavarian youth, á la Mussolini, “but the reactionary chiefs do not take him seriously.”

Hitler now has a “bodyguard” of 10,000 uniformed men, and has been visiting states beyond Bavaria, although Württemberg police did stop a planned meeting in Goeppingen.

A judge in Paris rules that a husband has the legal right to hit his wife, the “right of correction.”

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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Today -100: December 13, 1922: Sigh

Following the riots attending Gabriel Narutowicz’s swearing-in as president of Poland, the interior minister and the Warsaw chief of police resign, and the latter will be prosecuted. There’s a general strike in protest of the right-wing violence and the power is off in Warsaw. The Nationalists are organizing an economic boycott of Jews.

The rector of the University of Vienna bars Jews from professorships.

Labor Secretary James Davis talks about the need to “educate” foreign-born people, both aliens and naturalized citizens, to “eradicat[e] the false doctrines of radicalism”. He proposes requiring every alien to enroll in government-run “training” on the glories of American democracy, with the added benefit that enrolment would bring to government notice those who “actively resist organized government or are disposed to treat lightly the institutions of law and order.” And of course these people, with all their resisting and treating lightly, would all be deported.

“Elections” are held in Italian cities where Blackshirts forced left-wing council members to resign. You can guess who wins.

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Monday, December 12, 2022

Today -100: December 12, 1922: Of inaugurations, occupations, seductions, scolds, lynchings, and double jeopardies

Gabriel Narutowicz is sworn in as Poland’s new (and indeed the republic’s first) president. The inauguration is marked by right-wing riots (they think Narutowicz is too supportive of the Jews) in which 4 people are killed, as was the custom. Still, I’m sure this won’t mar a long and successful presidency.

British PM Bonar Law tells France that if it occupies the Ruhr, it will do so alone.

A Jewish deputation complains to King Ferdinand of Romania about students (high school? college? I don’t know what “higher schools” means) attacking Jews and Jewish shops in the major cities.

Mississippi Governor Lee M. Russell prevails in the lawsuit brought against him by Frances Birkhead for seduction and impairment of health (he forced her to get an abortion, leaving her sterile). The jury is all male and all married.

A Trenton, New Jersey jury (including 4 women) finds Mrs Marie Sarmosky guilty of being a common scold (that’s the worst kind of scold). She uses bad language and throws water at people, which just sounds like Trenton to me.

George Gay, a black man, is lynched in Streetman, Texas. He’d been arrested for an attack on a white woman, who was unable to identify him as the attacker.

The Supreme Court rules that people can be prosecuted for the same offense under both federal and state Prohibition laws without violating the 5th Amendment ban on double jeopardy.

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Sunday, December 11, 2022

Today -100: December 11, 1922: Of hostages, kkkhurches, stantungs, and retaliations

Adolf Hitler is reported to have said that Jews in Bavaria should be taken hostage in large numbers to... influence... business and international finance in favor of Germany.

In defiance of NYC Mayor John Hylan’s order to the police to get rid of the Klan in the city, a masked kluxer gives an advertised talk at the Washington Ave. Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Cops are there but don’t do anything. He speaks about the history of the Klan, White and Protestant supremacy, etc. The pastor then endorses his remarks, but denies being a member himself. (Update: the pastor will admit that this was a stunt and the guy wasn’t an actual klansman).

Japan gives Shantung back to China which, lacking a proper military to maintain order, will give local bandits $100,000 not to make trouble.

The IRA retaliates for the execution of its 4 leaders, which was in retaliation for etc, by burning the homes of the postmaster general, a prison governor, and another government official.

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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Today -100: December 10, 1922: Of kluxers, shady dancing, and Barrymores

NYC Commissioner of Accounts David Hirshfield says any city employee found to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan will be fired.

The NYT thinks 75 or so members of the next Congress owe their election to the Ku Klux Klan, although it points out that since the Klan keeps its membership lists secret we don’t know how many of them are themselves actual kluxers (a lot of them have question marks to this day).

Other things NYC doesn’t like: “shady” dance steps. The NYPD call together dance hall owners to voluntarily agree to stop them – or else. Everyone agrees that the “Chicago” and “balconading” are bad. Also any slow dances. And “parking,” which is just a couple standing on the dance floor but not dancing.

Play of the Day -100:

Looks super-intense, huh?

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Friday, December 09, 2022

Today -100: December 9, 1922: Of contempt for law, reprisals, sopranos, and Cubist plays

Harding gives the State of the Union Address (still not so called), on something like an hour’s notice. Fightin’ Bob La Follette fails to applaud him.

Harding says he will call a governors’ conference to discuss enforcement of the 18th Amendment, which he calls a “nationwide scandal,” “the most demoralizing factor in our public life,” and says that “easy contempt for the Prohibition law... breed[s] a contempt for law which will ultimately destroy the Republic.”

He calls for constitutional amendments to ban child labor and something about tax-exempt securities.

And registration of aliens.

And he wants to prevent forest fires.

Really, it’s a long list of proposals for which there is no time in the remainder of the lame-duck 67th Congress.

One day after the assassination of Dáil deputy Sean Hales and wounding of Deputy Speaker Pádraic Ó Máille, four IRA leaders, including Commandant Rory O’Connor, who led the takeover of the Four Courts in April, are executed in reprisal – the government uses the actual word – after a hasty court-martial held the night of the assassination. A proclamation says anyone found with a bomb, firearm, or ammunition may be summarily executed on the signature of any 2 members of the Army Council.

Assholes are still going after German singers. The American League is protesting a Johanna Gadski concert in L.A.

A Parisian audience riots at Raymond Roussel’s Cubist play (whatever that might mean) “Locus Solus.” The play is about playing music for earthworms. Whatever. After this one performance, the theatre cancels subsequent ones, claiming equipment malfunction.

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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Today -100: December 8, 1922: It has been shown that Greeks and Turks cannot live side by side

Dáil deputy Sean Hales is killed and Deputy Speaker Pádraic Ó Máille (1st day in the job) wounded by presumed IRA assassins (who will never be caught) in Dublin in retaliation for the execution of IRA members.

The Allies (and the US) tell Turkey that the 200,000 Greeks in Constantinople should not be expelled or, you know, massacred. The Turkish delegate at Lausanne says “It has been shown that Greeks and Turks cannot live side by side, and the only solution is for the Greeks to go.”

Grady Rutledge, secretary of the American Unity League, an anti-Klan, mostly Catholic group responsible for Spotlight, which has been publishing the names of Chicago members of the KKK, comes to New York to start the same sort of activity there, with plans to go nation-wide. I believe the naming & shaming method only ever really happened in Chicago, and while very successful there in dissuading people joining, it ended badly after they got sloppy with their intel-gathering and named some people who weren’t actually kluxers, including a member of the Wrigley family...

Not content with passing the referendum to ban parochial schools in Oregon, kluxers start a fight at a Portland School Board meeting because the contract for a new building went to a Catholic architectural firm.

New Zealand voters defeat prohibition.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Today -100: December 7, 1922: Mussolini fully approves

The local Fascist organization in Alessandria province in northern Italy issued a threat to criminals that they would be sent to the hospital and, if they continued their evil ways, to the morgue. Mussolini telegrams them, “I fully approve your new methods of punishing criminals.”

Gov. Lee Russell of Mississippi is being sued by Frances Birkhead, a stenographer who used to work for him for seduction and breach of promise of marriage (he said he’d divorce his wife, allegedly). She also seems to be saying he forced her to get an abortion. She’s asking $100,000.

Headline of the Day -100:  

He says she committed fraud when she told him she was capable of managing their household finances. She says she does too know math, he doesn’t, and he (a widower with 6 children, by the way) is using this as an excuse to get rid of her because he fell in love with someone else.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Today -100: December 6, 1922: Of school religion and ice

The Youngstown, Ohio Board of Education is considering a request by the local Ku Klux Klan to summon representatives of the Knights of Columbus, the B’nai Brith and, of course, the Klan to work out the introduction of religious instruction into the public schools.

Maine bans ice in drinks.

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Monday, December 05, 2022

Today -100: December 5, 1922: Of budgets, constitutions, and klans

Harding sends Congress his 1923-4 budget. He’s aiming to eliminate the deficit altogether, but not quite yet.

The Irish Constitution passes both houses of the Westminster Parliament. Tim Healy, a longtime on & off Irish nationalist MP and occasional lawyer for Sinn Féiners, will be governor-general, a title replacing lord lieutenant.

I think this is a first: the Irish Free State bombs and machine-guns IRA irregulars by aeroplane. Near Cork.

The special session of Congress ends without confirming Pierce Butler to the Supreme Court. He’ll need to be re-nominated. Some of the La Follette wing think he has a temperament problem and dislike his background as a corporate lawyer.

Congress passes a bill allowing Supreme Court Justice Mahlon Pitney, who is in bad health, to retire and collect a pension before reaching retirement age.

Attorney General Harry Daugherty says any illegal acts by the Ku Klux Klan do not come under the jurisdiction of the federal government. 

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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Today -100: December 4, 1922: Public authority, before demanding obedience, must itself obey

Threats from the Ku Klux Klan against Harvard sophomore Hubert Clay cause him to flee the university. He’s an apostate former member they consider too “indiscreet.”

Rep. George Tinkham (R-Mass.) writes to Pres. Harding, who is expected to chastise disrespect for the law, specifically for prohibition law, pointing out that nothing is being done about enforcing the provision of the 14th Amendment calling for states that restrict the black vote to lose some of their representation: “Public authority, before demanding obedience, must itself obey.” How quaint.

Liam Lynch, the Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army, threatens, in public letters to the speaker of the Dáil and others, “drastic measures” in response to the government executions of 8 (so far) IRA members after courts-martial. In private he issues “orders of frightfulness” authorizing assassination of government officials involved in the executions and Dáil members who voted for the courts-martial.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Australian PM Billy Hughes is stabbed! Um, with a hat pin during an election meeting in Melbourne.

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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Today -100: December 3, 1922: Of filibusters, banishments, and capitulations

The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill has been filibustered to death in the Senate. Sen. Lee Overman (D-NC) used up most of the last day of the filibuster, making these charges against the bill: 1) It was written by a (gasp, horror) negro, 2) It was purely intended to support the negro Republican vote in the North, 3) Ignorant Southern negroes would take it as permission from the federal government to rape white women, 4) Good Southern negroes don’t need the law (because lynch mobs only murder guilty black people).

Greece: Prince Andrew is sentenced to perpetual banishment by a court-martial for his role in the war with Turkey, in which he was a major-general. He admits having disobeyed orders to bring his troops to support another general, who then lost a major battle; Andrew says things would have gone worse if he’d obeyed. He might well have been executed like those former prime ministers if other countries (and the pope) hadn’t put major pressure on Greece (he’s related to the royal families of Britain and Spain and is also a prince of Denmark). The banishment will be rescinded in the ‘30s, but in a couple of days he will leave Greece with, among other family members, his 1½-year-old son Philip, the future consort of Queen Elizabeth II, who will have a son also named Prince Andrew who has not been sentenced to perpetual banishment as of the time of writing.

After attacks in the Bavarian towns of Passau and Ingolstadt on French and British officers of the Allied Commission of Control, the Allies demand an apology from Bavaria and the removal of the towns’ mayors and police chiefs, and impose a fine of 500,000 gold marks, which is the equivalent of some money, on each town. The Bavarian people, to say nothing of “Bavaria’s Mussolini, Hitler,” are very upset with this Allied high-handedness.

At the Lausanne Conference, Turkey is adamant that capitulations – old treaty clauses whereby foreigners are basically exempt from Turkish laws and taxes – are abolished, while everyone else says nah nah.

House Immigration Committee chair Albert Johnson (R-Wash.) rejects the idea of raising the immigration cap for Greece to take some of the refugees fleeing/banished from Turkey.

The Prince of Wales falls off a horse, as was the custom.

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Friday, December 02, 2022

Today -100: December 2, 1922: Of giants, banishments, progressives, and pyramid garage sale

Obit of the Day -100:  Captain George Auger, the Cardiff Giant, something like 7½ feet, although the circuses he worked for claimed he was 8 foot 4. A former cop in Cardiff and London, he supposedly got the “captain” nickname from Queen Victoria, who he sometimes escorted. He worked for both Barnum and Bailey and Ringling Brothers, and starred in a production of Jack the Giant Killer which he wrote.

At the time of his death of “indigestion” at 39, he was in talks to act in “Why Worry?” with Harold Lloyd (that’s them, with Princess Wee Wee and Francesco Lentini the Three-Legged Man)(who really did have 3 legs)(and 4 feet).

At the Lausanne Conference, Turkey announces an order that the 1 million Greeks who haven’t already fled Eastern Thrace and elsewhere in Turkey are banished. They have until December 15 to skedaddle. 

33 members of the House and Senate form a “progressive” bloc under Robert La Follette. They vehemently deny that it’s a third party, but rather a bunch of like-minded Republican, Democrats and one Farm-Laborite aiming to “drive special privilege out of control of Government.” Hiram Johnson is their likely 1924 candidate for president. They will suggest a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Electoral College.

The Third Internationale resolves that the Communist campaign to free all the negroes of the world should focus first on the US.

Someone has already put a value on the contents of King Tut’s tomb: £3 million.

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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Today -100: December 1, 1922: Helllp meee!

Science! of the Day -100:  

Mexico City has been without water (completely? unclear) for 8 days after a water plant fails. Police shoot up a protest against the situation with machine guns, killing maybe 50 people.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Today -100: November 30, 1922: If the nation is to live, many individuals must die

Supposedly George, the new king of Greece, tried to prevent the executions of former cabinet members and is now kept a prisoner in his own palace, prevented from fleeing the country.

There is, supposedly, a Sinn Féin plot to kidnap the members of the Dáil Éireann who support the Free State government – all 80 of them.

In the Dáil, Minister of Home Affairs Kevin O’Higgins defends the execution of Erskine Childers, saying Ireland “is not a stage or platform  whereon certain neurotic women and a certain megalomaniac kind of men may cut their capers. ... if the nation is to live, many individuals must die, and... it does not matter that they die coldly at 7 o’clock in the morning.”

In Smackover, Arkansas, a boom town after the discovery of oil earlier this year, a Vigilance Committee (i.e., a mob wearing sheets but evidently not the KKK) attacks various “undesirable” establishments and people, with shootings, tar-and-featherings, and the like.

The Senate filibuster of the Anti-Lynching Bill continues, with Southern Democratic senators insisting on the previous day’s record being read out in full, then noticing that the chaplain’s prayer hadn’t been included and having a two-hour debate on including it, because irony is not big among pro-lynching Southern Democrats.

Members of Prussia’s Diet calling for a ban on the immigration of Jews from Poland and Galicia claim it’s because of the (very real) food and housing shortage and not because of (very real) racial animosity. Also, most of them are speculators and profiteers (“exchange hyenas,” which is new to me as a synonym for Jew).

Dr. Andrew Roman sets up “voluntary” medical inspections for applicants for marriage licenses, intended to collect data to use in pushing for compulsory eugenic inspections.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Today -100: November 29, 1922: Of filibusters, doles, treason, emperors, and busts

In the Senate, Southern Democrats filibuster the Dyer anti-lynching bill, as was the custom.

The British Parliament yesterday discussed giving £100 a week to the ousted sultan of Turkey. Jack Jones (Labour) suggested he get the same rate as the dole for British unemployed, 18 bob a week and a shilling for each of his wives.

After a court martial, Greece executes 3 former PMs, Dimitrios Gounaris, Petros Protopapadakis, and Nikolaos Stratos, plus a couple of other former cabinet officials and a general, by firing squad for treason for their role in the military fiasco against Turkey. Britain breaks off relations. Interim Prime Minister Sotirios Krokidas, who supported the trial, resigns because of a conflict in the cabinet over it, and Col. Stylianos Gonatas takes over.

The Ku Klux Klan elevates founder and former imperial wizard, the drunkard William Simmons, to a new and entirely meaningless title, emperor, for life. E.Y. Clarke is also sidelined and named Imperial Giant, also for life. The Klan’s new imperial wizard is Dr. Hiram Wesley Evans.

Mussolini orders each Italian embassy to have a bust of Dante.

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Monday, November 28, 2022

Today -100: November 28, 1922: I prefer sincere adversaries

Immigration officials refuse entry to a 15-year-old who intended to study at Tuskegee and who says he’s a Ugandan prince.

Simultaneous riots in Austrian universities, beating up Jewish students and demanding a quota of no more than 10% Jewish teachers or students.

The Italian Senate gives Mussolini a unanimous vote of confidence (and full dictatorial powers through next June) after he makes his usual insulting speech to them about how he wouldn’t be excessively flattered by a unanimous vote and he has nothing but contempt for former opponents who now support him out of fear. “As against doubtful friends, I prefer sincere adversaries.”

Many Italian unions are offering to work an extra hour a day, for the government.

Hitler holds one of his anti-Semitic rallies in the streets of Munich while inside the Bavarian Diet the government explains why it’s not cracking down on the Nazis (the article details neither those explanations nor Hitler’s bons mots).

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Today -100: November 27, 1922: Mistaken for a partridge

Irish Republicans attack police in protest against the execution of Erskine Childers. Took me a second to realize this was in New York, not Dublin.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Boy, that headline writer sounds eager to add to the collection of trophies on his wall.

We all have “Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow” going through our heads now, right?

Among the hunters/hunted: 

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Today -100: November 26, 1922: Or CharPola, to give them their Hollywood name

Charlie Chaplin refuses to confirm or deny that he is engaged to Pola Negri. He isn’t, but he has been seeing her (it won’t last long). The engagement rumor was probably ginned up by the Paramount publicity department to boost Negri’s visibility.

George Barton Cutten, president of Colgate University, says democracy is a bad idea and universal suffrage the worst, because people are stupid.

Billy Sunday sends Pres. Harding a turkey. This was the only way to call a president a “jive-ass turkey” in the days before social media.

Howard Carter enters the tomb of King Tutankhamun (pictured below)

with his backer Lord Carnarvon and Carnarvon’s daughter Evelyn Herbert. Lord C. will die in April because of The Mummy’s Curse. Or blood poisoning from a mosquito bite, which is much the same thing, medically speaking. Lady Evelyn married one Brograve Beauchamp, which is quite a name.

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Friday, November 25, 2022

Today -100: November 25, 1922: Of executions, German, and piqueurs

Erskine Childers, author of The Riddle of the Sands, is executed by an Irish Free State firing squad for unlawful possession of a firearm.

The Paterson, New Jersey Ku Klux Klan threatens city officials if German-language instruction is restored in the high school. Which they don’t plan to do and vote it down every time it comes up.

The latest Paris trend: piqueurs, who stab women in department stores with needles coated with some unknown poison. None have been caught. This was also a thing in Paris in 1819.

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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Today -100: November 24, 1922: Of justices, dupes, executioners, and groups of racial and religious haters

Pres. Harding names Pierce Butler, a Catholic and a Democrat, but quite a right-wing one, to the Supreme Court.

E.C. Stokes, former governor of New Jersey (R, 1905-8) and current president of the Mechanics National Bank of Trenton, was tricked into lending $1,500 for a bootleg liquor deal (he was told it was grapes). This comes out in court because the guy he gave the loan was sued for money due on the deal; the judge tells the plaintiff you can’t sue for relief for an illegal transaction, you nimrod.

A William Gilbert of Trenton, NJ, has been writing to sheriffs and judges all over the country offering his services as an executioner, at rates ranging upwards of $175, depending on how close the condemned is to Trenton. Mr Gilbert (and yes, his name makes it virtually impossible not to refer to him as Lord High Executioner) is not home when a reporter drops by, but his wife admits he’s never executed someone, “so far as I know,” but he has made a study of electrical switchboards and has built a portable scaffold. He “has a living to make” and would rather earn it this way than working for 35¢ an hour for capitalists.

The Ku Klux Klan opens a recruiting drive in New York City, led by Rev. Oscar Haywood of Calvary Baptist Church. Mayor John Hylan orders the police commissioner to treat “this group of racial and religious haters as you would the reds and the bomb throwers,” “drive them out of our city,” and have detectives find the names of members and give them to the press.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Today -100: November 23, 1922: Even lords and princes gotta queue

The Supreme Council of Russian Monarchists, meeting secretly in Paris, elect Grand Duke Nicholas the new Czar of All the Russias. They’re holding this meeting earlier than planned because Grand Duke Cyril has been going around claiming the (non)-throne and they correctly believe that “Czar Cyril” just sounds silly. The organization will also be removing its hq to Paris because there are too many Commies in Berlin.

At the Lausanne Conference, Turkey demands a plebiscite in Western Thrace on its future status. Everyone else says no. The Powers will also give Bulgaria access to the Aegean via a railroad through Greek territory.

Rebecca Latimer Felton gives a brief speech in the Senate to close out her one-day career. She says future women congresscritters will be good.

The entire Louisiana congressional delegation, you know, the guys denying the presence of the Ku Klux Klan in their state, oppose Harding’s nomination of Walter Cohen, who is black, as controller of customs at New Orleans. It is claimed that Harding had promised not to appoint any negroes to government offices in the South.

There’s a full-page ad on p.19 of the NYT from the NAACP in support of the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill (ex-Sen. Felton is an enthusiastic supporter of lynching):

Vienna deals with its housing shortage by ordering all bachelors with apartments to marry or move.

One of the members of the House of Lords taking his oath in the new Parliament is the Prince of Wales, who throws all precedence to the side by waiting in line like a common duke.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Today -100: November 22, 1922: There is not a bit of altruism in our foreign policy

Pres. Harding addresses a joint session of Congress to ask them for a ship subsidy bill for the merchant navy. He tells the congresscritters it is “loftier statesmanship to support and commend a policy designed to effect the larger good of the nation than merely to record the too-hasty expressions of a constituency.” Congresscritters are not taking well to being scolded for listening to the views of their constituents.

There’s another movement in Germany modeled on the Italian Fascists and the “Bavarian Hittlerites,” the Pan German Workers’ Party in Berlin. The Bavarian Parliament discusses the “Hittlerite” fascists for the first time; the interior minister admits that the movement is in a few points unacceptable but the rest can be accepted and Bavaria is strong enough “to cope alone with excesses of radicalism from either Left or Right.” So that’s okay then.

The French Senate rejects women’s suffrage, 156-134.

Exiled former sultan of Turkey Mohammed VI sends a message to Constantinople asking about all the wives he left behind when he fled. “All are well and happy,” he is informed.

In that referendum in Bulgaria, 75% vote to convict 22 former ministers of treason for getting the country into the Great War.

The Legislature of British Columbia votes unanimously to ask the federal government to ban immigration by Asiatics.

At the Lausanne Conference, Mussolini, “short and radiant,” tells a reporter that “There is not a bit of altruism in our foreign policy,” which is “nothing for nothing.”

Rebecca Latimer Felton is sworn in as US senator. First woman in the Senate, last slave-owner, 87 years old.

British PM Bonar Law refuses to meet a deputation of the unemployed, who have marched to London.

Ramsay MacDonald (or Macdonald, as the NYT misspells it) is elected leader of the Labour Party by Labour MPs, replacing J.R. Clynes, who led the party to electoral victory last week.

Kansas Attorney General Richard Hopkins files suit against 7 KKK state officials, since the Klan don’t have a charter to do business in Kansas. He wants it banned from holding meetings where the participants are concealed, fomenting racial/religious hostilities, and assembling to do unlawful things.

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Monday, November 21, 2022

Today -100: November 21, 1922: Of popular idols, peonage, and false and infamous accusations

Headline of the Day -100:  

“This reactionary Nationalistic anti-Semitic movement has now reached a point where it is considered potentially dangerous, though not for the immediate future.” “He probably does not know himself just what he wants to accomplish.” “But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused”. Except for that bit, this article gives a surprisingly accurate depiction of exactly what Nazism is and how it operates.

Sidney Catts, former governor of Florida (1917-21) is acquitted of peonage. He kept two black men as debt peons on his plantation. You know, slavery. He is acquitted by an all-white jury, as was the custom.

Louisiana Gov. John Parker meets with Harding, Attorney Gen. Daugherty, and William Burns of the Bureau of Investigation to talk Klan stuff. He isn’t asking, as some reports claimed, for the feds to take over the state, but for help stopping support coming to the KKK from outside Louisiana.

Members of the Louisiana congressional delegation vehemently deny the “false and infamous” accusations in the WaPo about Ku Klux Klan power in the state. One of them, James Aswell, writes to all the sheriffs in the state; they all say that everything is hunkkky dory. Aswell says he’s never knowingly met a klansman. Gov. Parker says Aswell’s district is full of them. He does, however, write to the Post saying its article was 90% inaccurate. 

Capt. George Ingle Finch of the Mt. Everest expedition says cigarette-smoking is helpful at high altitudes as a physical stimulus. Finch’s expedition, the first to use bottled oxygen, did not reach the top of Everest but on the other hand neither did it die in a fiery explosion.

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Today -100: November 20, 1922: Italy is no longer the slave of the Allies

Louisiana Gov. John Parker is coming to D.C. to confer with Pres. Harding about Ku Klux Klan operations in his state. There have been several kidnappings and disappearances recently and several kluxers have been elected sheriffs. Rumor, which Parker denies, says he is calling in the feds to take over the state because Klan murders and mayhem are being allowed by local authorities such as the aforementioned klan sheriffs, or kleriffs as they doubtless call themselves. The Washington Post had a story yesterday about the Klan superseding Louisiana officials and the atmosphere of terror etc, which might well be true but the story contains no actual supporting evidence.

Sen. Truman Handy Newberry (R-Michigan) resigns, ahead of another attempt to have him expelled from the Senate. Newberry was convicted for election spending irregularities, but the Supreme Court overturned the conviction on the grounds that a primary isn’t a real election. That primary was against Henry Ford, so it’s – ironic? – that the man who Gov. Groesbeck will pick to replace Newberry and who will serve until 1936, James Couzens, is a former Ford Motor Company vice president.

Oklahoma Gov. James Robertson (D) denies releasing a convicted murderer to kill the county attorney of Okmulgee County, who has indicted the governor for taking a bribe to keep a defunct bank operating. It’s that county attorney who is making the claim.

Mussolini makes his presence felt at the Lausanne Conference (to settle the Near East) in a childish, one might say Trumpian, way. He fails to show up at the meeting with the French prime minister and British foreign minister. A banquet had been laid on, with orchestra and everything. But Mussolini doesn’t like Lausanne, which once expelled him as an anarchist, and goes to Territet instead. So Poincaré and Curzon are forced to go to Territet. Mussolini tells reporters that Italy is a country “which is equal to any other. I did not come merely to enable the Allies to reach an accord. Italy is no longer the slave of the Allies.”

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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Today -100: November 19, 1922: Of anti-gasses, caliphs, senators, and of course he’s fucking right

A French chemist claims to have invented a product that counteracts poison gases. All of them.

The Turkish nationalists say deposed sultan Mohammed VI’s fleeing the country for a Christian one means he has surrendered his religious role as caliph, so they replace him with his cousin. Incidentally, the ex-sultan left behind his most recent wife, who is more than 40 years younger than him, who he married earlier this year.

Rebecca Latimer Felton really has no legal right to become a US senator, given that she was only supposed to have the vacant seat until a replacement was elected and one was, but the Senate will probably ignore the rules and let her be senator-for-a-day, if no one objects. She couldn’t get the senatorial salary for that day or traveling expenses though.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Friday, November 18, 2022

Today -100: November 18, 1922: We do not believe in your genius

The Italian Chamber of Deputies gives Mussolini his dictatorial powers by a vote of 306-116, the 116 consisting of Socialists, Communists, and Republicans, the 306 including former prime ministers Vittorio Orlando and Giovanni Giolitti. Unitary Socialist Party deputy Filippo Turati complains about Mussolini riding roughshod over the Chamber; the duck replies “I treated the Chamber the way it deserves to be treated.” Turati says “we cannot vote confidence with revolvers pointed at our throats.” Republican Giovanni Conti, whose 40th birthday this is, tells M., “They hail you now as a messiah. Soon you will become a jest... We do not believe in your genius; we do not believe in the possibility of an enlightened despot.”

After the Turkish National Assembly orders the deposed Ottoman sultan Mohammed VI put on trial, he flees Turkey on a British warship, heading into exile on Malta with his retinue, including his First Chamberlain, doctor, valet, barber, bandmaster, confidential secretaries, and two eunuchs. Mohammed insists he is not abdicating.

After a secret trial in Irish Free State military courts, four men are executed for possessing illegal revolvers. Irish Minister of Defence Richard Mulcahy signed off on the executions: “People have to be shot. It was necessary to shock the country into a realization of the grave thing it is to take human life.”

Rebecca Latimer Felton, appointed to the Senate to fill Georgia’s vacant seat temporarily, is traveling to D.C. On the same train is the man elected to fill the same seat, Walter George. He’s willing to hold back on presenting his credentials in order to let her take the seat for a day, but it’s not clear if the Senate will allow that.

Scientific American offers prizes for proof of psychic phenomena, including $2,500 for a psychic photograph produced under test conditions.

During her last visit to Boston, Isadora Duncan said that “all puritanical vulgarity centers in Boston.” So the mayor bans her from returning to the city.

The ethnic cleansing of Breckenridge, Texas seems to have ended with the dispatch of Texas Rangers following the complaint by Mexico and Secretary of State Hughes’ telegram to Gov. Pat Neff asking him to do something.

Marcel Proust dies. There won’t be a NYT obit until December 10th. Temps (Paris) says “Poor Marcel Proust has proved by dying that he really was sick. One had begun to doubt it.” 2 of the 7 volumes of À la recherche du temps perdu remain to be published in French and the English translation of the 1st volume appeared/will appear some time this year.

A large hog is sent to the White House, from Arkansas but with its sender unidentified, so it’s not clear whether the Hardings are supposed to keep it as a pet or eat it for Thanksgiving.

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