Monday, February 28, 2022

Today -100: February 28, 1922: I am hard up and confining myself to the necessities of life

No links, NYT website still fucked.

The (German) Association of War Veteran Cripples write to former kaiser Wilhelm asking for a donation. He replies, “I am hard up and confining myself to the necessities of life.” He says he’s even had to fire some of his servants. He does send the war cripples a photo of himself in a field marshal uniform.

The US Supreme Court rules unanimously that the 19th Amendment was properly ratified. One complained that the Maryland Constitution limited the franchise to men and the Legislature voted against ratification of the 19th Amendment. A second suit is rejected on the basis of standing.

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Today -100: February 27, 1922: Of coalitions, alliances, and vowels

Luigi Facta forms a new government in Italy. It’s a wide-ranging coalition.

Britain and France agree to a 20-year alliance aimed against Germany, including if Germany causes any trouble in the east. Britain is now committed to protecting Poland.

Bulgaria is eliminating one of the 32 letters of its alphabet, and firing university professors who protest. We don’t know for sure which letter, but it’s probably a vowel.

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Saturday, February 26, 2022

Today -100: February 26, 1922: Of truces, guesses, balances, pianos, and Cuban extravaganzas

Some NYT article links are currently redirecting to a generic page (and it’s getting worse), so no links below for those stories.

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George plans to propose at the Genoa conference a 10-year truce throughout Europe.

There’s an article in the Sunday NYT by William Jennings Bryan setting out his views on evolution. Did you know there is “not one syllable in the Bible” to support “Darwin’s guess”?

On the 4th anniversary of the Red Army, Russian War Minister Trotsky says Russia’s fate is “now balancing over” the forthcoming Genoa economic & financial conference (which looks like being postponed), and if the conference doesn’t go favorably for Russia, the balance may have to be tipped with blood, so the Red Army will need to be built up before the conference starts. I have no idea what he’s actually threatening here, to be honest.

In the first half of 1921, the German birth rate was 3 times that of France.

It’s estimated there are 12,588,949 automobiles in the world, of which 10,505,660 are in United States.

Half as many pianos were sold in the US in 1921 as in 1913, and no one knows why.

West Point cadets put on a play. It is called “Ho, Ho, Jose,” a “Cuban extravaganza.” One assumes it is super-racist.

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Friday, February 25, 2022

Today -100: February 25, 1922: Of ice chips, regular extraditions, bluebeards & death villas

Some NYT article links are currently redirecting to a generic page, so no links below for those stories.

A big explosion hits Chicago. Dynamite at an ice plant. No one knows why.

Latest theory in the murder of director William Desmond Taylor: he was killed because he was fighting a dope gang to save some woman.

North Carolina, still trying to get Matthew Bullock extradited from Canada so he can be lynched or whatever, refuses to send witnesses to Ontario as the judge there is demanding. Gov. Cameron Morrison tells the State Dept that if Canada fails to extradite Bullock “in the regular way,” the state won’t honor any Canadian requests. Under the extradition treaty, the court in Canada can require evidence that the fugitive would be charged if the alleged crime had been committed in Canada.

Serial killer Henri Landru is guillotined. “His head fell into the basket as the first rays of dawn gleamed in the sky.” Pres. Millerand rejected the jury’s recommendation of mercy (which they presumably made because no bodies were ever recovered). Such recommendations were always respected before this case. The villa in Gambais where he killed many of his victims was bought for a lot of money and opened to paying tourists, as is the custom.

A few days ago, the Mississippi State Senate voted 25-9 to ask Harding to forgive some of the European war debt in return for some piece of colonial Africa, and then to ship the state’s black population to the new “final home for the American negro.” Mississippi was 52% black as of the 1920 Census. The measure will fail in the Miss. lower house, because white plantation owners needed the super-cheap labor force.  (I originally missed this story, by the way, because the NYT didn’t report it. h/t to Jon Schwarz for the WaPo article, which I must pedantically point out is wrong about who the KKK imperial wizard was.)

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Today -100: February 24, 1922: Where’s Solomon when you need him?

In 1914 Marcelle Heymann was born in Nancy, France. At the start of the war, her German parents were interned and a French family took her in, everyone assuming the war would be over in a few months. Last year the Heymanns, now back in Germany, wrote the Demanges demanding their daughter back (not clear why they waited until 1921). The Demanges, not wanting to return her, then demanded 5,000 francs, which is the equivalent of some money, for the expense of keeping Marcelle. Her parents have refused to pay and are having the matter raised in the Reichstag. Hopefully the NYT will actually follow up on this story, cuz a quick googling reveals nothing.

The Japanese Diet rejects universal suffrage, 288 to 159. Currently voting is restricted to those paying 15 yen a year in property taxes. During the debate, someone throws a live snake on the floor of the Diet, as was the custom.

The British, confused by the Sinn Féin convention decision not to decide anything for 3 months, puts off ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Today -100: February 23, 1922: Of helium

The Roma dirigible flame-out and that of the R-38 last year are being blamed on Congress for not funding helium production. Those two deceased airships were filled with hydrogen, which is flammable... or possibly inflammable... definitely one or the other.

The national convention of Sinn Féin narrowly avoids a split between republicans and free staters by... adjourning for 3 months, delaying the parliamentary election for that period, and putting the Anglo-Irish Treaty to a vote of the electorate.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Today -100: February 22, 1922: Oh the... you know

The Roma, a dirigible the US Army bought from Italy, crashes in Norfolk, Virginia, killing 34 people, the biggest aviation disaster in US history. The rudder system failed and it headed straight into the ground, hitting a high-voltage power line which ignited its hydrogen. The 11 survivors were able to jump to the ground through the hole ripped in the fabric, usually landing with their clothes on fire.

They keep telling us the Roma was the largest semi-rigid dirigible in the world, but don’t say which one is the largest now.

The LA cops are re-interviewing all the witnesses in the William Desmond Taylor case in pursuit of their current theory that it was a jealous woman who shot him.

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Monday, February 21, 2022

Today -100: February 21, 1922: Of smoking and immigration

The Board of Education of the Nebraska State Normal Schools will henceforth refuse leaves of absence for instructors to study at Columbia, Northwestern, or any other universities that permit women students to smoke.

The House of Representatives votes 280-36 to extend immigration limits for another year.

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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Today -100: February 20, 1922: Of governors, and king-free constitutions

E. Montgomery Reily, the appointed governor of Puerto Rico, is still not popular. Several of his appointments have been rejected by the Legislature, and his opponents have found evidence that they think will cause Harding to remove him from office or Congress to impeach him: when he was assistant postmaster of Kansas City, Missouri in 1909, I believe, it was recommended he be fired because he spread rumors about prominent Kansas Cityhoovians.

The Viceroy for Ireland Lord FitzAlan orders, finally, the release of the IRA prisoners which set off all that hostage-taking. And at a meeting in Cork attended by many IRA members, Éamon de Valera calls on the Free Staters to make a constitution “which the English king will not be in.”

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Saturday, February 19, 2022

Today -100: February 19, 1922: Of so-called lynchings, evidence, and bryans

Evidently Matthew Bullock will be extradited from Canada to North Carolina after all. Racist governor Cameron Morrison says “People in some sections of the country do not seem to understand that so-called lynchings in the South are nothing more than the killing of a criminal by the friends and frequently outraged relatives of the victim of the prisoner’s crime. ... What has come to be called lynching in the South is nothing but ordinary killings in other sections of the country.” Which should be very reassuring for Bullock, whose brother has already been the subject of one of these perfectly ordinary killings.

Letting jurors in Prohibition cases “test” the evidence for themselves is becoming a thing. How else are they gonna know it’s really alcohol?

Everyone thinks William Jennings Bryan will run for the US Senate from Florida this year. His big idea: buy the Bahamas, or just get them in exchange for Britain’s war debt, in order to shut down rum-running from there. He also wants the teaching of evolution banned in public schools and colleges and the Everglades drained. Bryan will not run for Senate.

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Friday, February 18, 2022

Today -100: February 18, 1922: Of wars of aggression and dishwashing

Japan bars Margaret Sanger, who was intending to lecture there on birth control, from entering the country. Sanger says Japan is badly over-populated and unless it introduces “a scientific limitation of her population increase... I can see nothing but a war of aggression that must come inevitably within the next 20 or 25 years.” She was warned of this future war of aggression by the head of the Dept of Medical Affairs in the Japanese government.

Two women on the Three Oaks, Michigan City Council resign, saying they’d “rather wash dishes than argue over a paving contract”.

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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Today -100: February 17, 1922: We don’t recognize the Irish republic and never will

Harding says the only “commendable” plan to pay for bonuses for Great War veterans (he’s rejected bonds backed by Allies’ debt, among other things) is a general sales tax, which he knows is a non-starter. Harding, to the extent that he favors doing anything for vets, likes the idea of giving them farms. Or we could just postpone the whole thing, he suggests.

British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill asks Parliament to pass the Irish Treaty quickly, to set up in Ireland “a fresh, a normal, and a sensible Parliament” to “represent the hope of the future rather than the hate of the past.” And if the Irish people still prefer a republic, well, “We don’t recognize the Irish republic and never will.” He says that now it’s Ireland and not Britain that is “on trial before the nations of the world.” He sounds rather smug about that, or perhaps the smugness is because a massacre committed by British forces in India last month didn’t even make the papers. Britain should pretty much always be on trial before the nations of the world.

The Kentucky State Senate kills, barely, the bill against the teaching of evolution (or any theory that “would weaken or undermine the faith of pupils”).

Headline of the Day -100:  

In other news, the 1920s have invented “petting.”

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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Today -100: February 16, 1922: Of kidnappings, unlawful associations, censorship, fucking Fiume again, I am so tired of fucking Fiume, assassination attempts, and secret negroes

Michael Collins “obtains” the release of 26 of the men kidnapped by the IRA a week ago. It’s unclear how many remain. British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill tells Parliament that there will be a joint commission to study the border conflicts, and yes the British government, masters of messaging that they are, assigned responsibility for Ireland to the colonial secretary.

Chittaranjan “C.R.” Das, president-elect of the Indian National Congress, is sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment for being manager of an unlawful association. 

NY state motion picture theater owners agree to ban movies with immoral stars.

Italian Fascists are arming for yet another attempt to capture Fiume. They throw a bomb at the president of Fiume’s palace, but it doesn’t go off. The bomb-throwers are arrested, but Fascists storm the prison and free them.

There was an assassination attempt last week on Hungarian dictator/”regent” Adm. Miklós Horthy, with shots fired into a castle in which he was staying after a hunt. The incident was covered up.

Ingrid Bornn, wife of José Bornn, files for annulment of their marriages because all this time (14 years of marriage) he’s secretly been a negro. He denies it, although he admits to not being white (because his mother was Spanish, I guess?).

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Today -100: February 15, 1922: 16 inches

Princess Mary of Britain is getting married, and seats in Westminster Abbey will be only 16 inches apart to accommodate more attendees. Peeresses are protesting. The Duke of Atholl, responsible for the 16-inch rule, says he managed it wearing a kilt and sees no reason women require dresses bigger than his kilt. A newspaper reporter measured the seats in various public places: the underground allots 19 inches, theatres 20...

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Monday, February 14, 2022

Today -100: February 14, 1922: Of coups, lynchings, censors, and women police

A day after Éamon de Valera held a large rally in Dublin against the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Michael Collins accuses republicans of planning a coup. This in a cable to the US trying to head off Americans raising funds for the republicans.

The British have stopped the withdrawal of troops from Ireland, but will probably just reinforce Northern Ireland and not occupy the Free State.

Russia will strip Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious bodies of their treasures to pay for famine relief.

The Klan, presumably, have been active in Texarkana, Texas, flogging 5 white men and lynching a black man. 

And in Fort Worth, 3 men are arrested for participating in a lynch mob a couple of months ago. 2 of them are cops in Niles City.

The film censors of Lynn, Massachusetts “request” that movies featuring any actress mentioned in the investigation of William Desmond Taylor’s murder not be shown, starting with one with Mary Miles Minter, who did nothing more than be friends with someone who was murdered. And they’ve stopped a Mabel Normand movie after one showing.

The police investigating that murder have moved on from the theory that Taylor was killed by a blackmailer to something about a narcotics ring. Also there’s a milkman who claims that Taylor’s valet once said something about Taylor being found dead some morning. In other words, they got nuthin.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police Sir William Horwood says there’s no need for women police and they’re “too costly to maintain as a luxury,” so he’ll be abolishing women’s patrols.

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Today -100: February 13, 1922: Sacrifices

Headline of the Day -100:  

I first read this as “Harding Sacrificed Sheep for Speech,” and, like Harding, I need a nap now.

The IRA is still holding those prisoners.

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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Today -100: February 12, 1922: Of debasing and degrading music, romantic women, and emigration

Headline of the Day -100:  

Kansas City school superintendent I.I. Cammack, thinks jazz – “this debasing and degrading music” – is as intoxicating as booze and should be legislated against.

New pope Pius XI will allow Italian army officers to attend his coronation wearing their uniforms for the first time since Italy annexed Vatican City in 1870. He’s trying to ease relations with Italy, which will only happen when Italy gets a more congenial leader (Mussolini, of course I’m referring to Mussolini). Scalpers are selling tickets to the event for 100 lire, which is the equivalent of some money.

The Hungarian government wants to restrict women’s suffrage to those over 30 because the young ‘uns are “romantically” inclined in favor of the deposed Hapsburgs.

Russia says if it goes to the Genoa international finance conference, it better be treated as a sovereign country and not as a colony (so far it’s mostly France which is insisting on imposing preconditions for Russian participation).

One effect of the establishment of the Irish Free State: Irish emigration to the US has dropped dramatically.

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Friday, February 11, 2022

Today -100: February 11, 1922: Of writing discouragement where today the world is ready to acclaim new hope

Russia will no longer hold prisoners longer than 2 months without trial. And there will be actual trials, not the Cheka (now abolished or at least renamed) just executing people.

Pres. Harding presents to the Senate the 7 treaties negotiated at the Washington Conference, saying if they aren’t ratified, quickly, “we shall discredit the influence of the republic, render future efforts futile and unlikely and write discouragement where today the world is ready to acclaim new hope.” He insists none of the treaties require the US to protect another country militarily.

Headline of the Day -100:  

200 arrest warrants are issued for people involved in the distribution of magazines Newark doesn’t like, and the city plans to start censoring literature at newsstands. Some of the magazines seized: “Hot Dog,” “Whiz Bang,” “Pajamas,” “Jazz.”

Mexico bans any movies with Mexican badguys or that show Mexican life unfavorably. Or indeed, any movies from film companies that show such films elsewhere. Not that there are many movie theaters in Mexico.

Michael Collins issues a general amnesty for acts of hostility against the Irish people during the late unpleasantness. You know, by members of the British army, police, Black and Tans, whatever.

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Thursday, February 10, 2022

Today -100: February 10, 1922: Grave but confident anxiety

The Northern Irish government complains that the Imperial government failed to protect NI borders against yesterday’s IRA incursions. It would have protested to the Free State government, but it doesn’t recognize anyone in the Free State government, so it protests to the viceroy instead. Owen O’Duffy, chief of staff of the IRA, calls the raids spontaneous and demands the NI government release IRA prisoners (those held by the British were amnestied, those held by NI not so much).

British Indian police fire on a mob of 10,000 at Tiruvannamalai, 85 miles from Madras, killing at least 3.

Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India, says there is “cause for grave but confident anxiety” about India. He says India is a big country, so riots in one part don’t mean that the whole of India is in revolt; Montagu is a “glass half in revolt” kind of guy. He says self-government will be given to India slowly. Super duper slowly. And within the Empire, of course.

The House Census Committee votes 8-6 against reapportionment based on the 1920 census, you know, the thing that the Constitution requires them to do.

A Minnesota Chippewa man dies, supposedly at age 138.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Today -100: February 9, 1922: Of radios, raids, and sex groups

Pres. Harding gets a “wireless telephone receiver” (i.e., a radio) installed in his study.

Simultaneous IRA attacks along the Northern/Southern Irish border hit 3 Northern Ireland police patrols and the houses of numerous Unionist leaders in both NI and the Irish Free State. 100 cops and Ulstermen are kidnapped, some released, some taken over the border into the Free State, presumably to be held hostage for the release of IRA prisoners held by the NI authorities.

Naughty-Sounding Headline of the Day -100:  

NY Gov. Nathan Miller still thinks the League of Women Voters shouldn’t exist.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Today -100: February 8, 1922: A military power, but not militarist

3 IRA men under sentence of death in Northern Ireland for killing 2 constables are reprieved, although they didn’t qualify for the amnesty.

French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré says France needs an army of 630,000 and will eventually reduce the draft from 18 months to 12. “Events oblige France to be a military power, but not militarist,” he says.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The India Office warns it will put down the non-cooperation movement with “sternness and severity,” saying “no Government could discuss” Gandhi’s demands. But it does “correct” some of his “misstatements,” such as that non-cooperation is necessary to secure the rights of free association, free speech and free press. You know, the things they JUST FUCKING SAID they’d crack down on with sternness and severity.

Prohibition agent Milton Extein goes to the office of a US commissioner to get a warrant for a bootlegger from whom he bought some corn whiskey, only he says the bottle was lost or stolen on his way to the office. Then he collapses with alcohol poisoning and has to be rushed to the hospital.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Proving once again that silent so-called “comedies” were actually documentaries.

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Monday, February 07, 2022

Today -100: February 7, 1922: Of popes, seduction, and non-cooperation

Cardinal Achille Ratti, a compromise candidate, is elected pope. He will be called Pope Rat Pius XI. They were on a schedule and didn’t wait for cardinals from the Western Hemisphere to get to Rome before they voted. Pius XI (which is also the nickname of the current president of China) gives the benediction from the balcony, which popes stopped doing in a snit when Italy took over Vatican City in 1870.

So what do we know about him?

Um, okay.

Well, that seems unlikely.

Sure, why not.

And he’s supposedly written 330 books, and he likes hanging out with boy chimney sweeps.

Russia dissolves the Cheka. And creates in its place the GPU (State Political Directorate).

Gov. Lee Russell of Mississippi is sued by former stenographer in his office, Frances G. Birkhead, for $100,000 in damages for “seduction,” half for being persuaded to fuck him (“yielded to his will”), causing her to lose her job and her health, half for his getting her to have an abortion. Russell calls the suit “the most damnable blackmail conspiracy in the history of Mississippi.”

Indian Nationalists storm a police station in Bengal and kill 17 cops. Unfortunately, this coincides with Gandhi’s offer to postpone the start of civil disobedience if political prisoners are released and freedom of association and the press are restored.

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Sunday, February 06, 2022

Today -100: February 6, 1922: Of cardinals, glands, forgeries, and missing pink silk nightdresses

The cardinals still haven’t elected a new pope. The NYT thinks (wrongly) that it’ll be Cardinal Giovanni Tacci Porcelli, or Johnny Piggies as he’d be called if he were a character in The Sopranos.

With the Washington Conference almost over, it’s time to tot up the scores, and the NYT thinks the big winner is Japan and the big loser is Russia (which wasn’t invited). China is pretty fucked too. Japan promises, “for the third or fourth time,” to leave Siberia. Any points of friction between the US and Japan that might lead to war have been removed, so that’s good. France’s reputation in the US has been damaged by its stubborn, not to say intransigent, negotiating style.

In Sing Sing last month a Manhattan doctor, tampering in God’s domain as was the custom, removed the glands of a prisoner executed in the electric chair and implanted them in an epileptic convict. Prison officials are being evasive about whether it even happened.

Some forged English banknotes have turned up in Paris, and the cops are pretty sure it’s a scheme by Russia to undermine the French economy.

The police seem to be having a ball investigating the murder of movie director William Desmond Taylor. They’re looking for a “drug peddler” and a missing valet and also searching for a pink silk woman’s nightdress that went mysteriously missing from Taylor’s apartment, as have letters from actor Mabel Normand, possibly stolen after Taylor’s death was announced by studio operatives.

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Saturday, February 05, 2022

Today -100: February 5, 1922: Of influenza, Lincolns, non-profit wars, and saddlemakers

As flu cases rise, New York health authorities are considering banning talking on the subway.

Henry Ford buys the bankrupt Lincoln Motor Company for $8 million.

The International Association of Machinists proposes taking the profit out of war by removing the manufacture of war materials from private companies.

German President Friedrich Ebert is expelled from the saddlemakers’ union.

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Friday, February 04, 2022

Today -100: February 4, 1922: In for a wetting

In the murder investigation of William Desmond Taylor, the LAPD think the butler did it (well, the former butler who Taylor accused of stealing valuables including a car when he was out of town), but they can’t find him. A bunch of actors are subpoenaed to appear at the inquest, including Mary Miles Minter, Mabel Normand, and next-door neighbor Edna Purviance.

New Jersey state enforcement of Prohibition ends after the NJ Supreme Court rules the state’s dry law unconstitutional and releases many prisoners. This leaves enforcement in NJ to 20 federal dry agents, and the feds don’t plan to increase that number. My favorite phrase in the article: “New Jersey is in for a ‘wetting’”.

A meeting between Northern Ireland Prime Minister Sir James Craig and Michael Collins ends in recriminations over possible adjustments to the border between north & south Ireland.

The Massachusetts Legislature defeats a measure to legalize the playing of checkers and chess on Sunday (between the hours of 2 and 6).

New York Sacrilege of the Day -100:

Fatty Arbuckle’s second murder trial ends in a mistrial. Where the first one deadlocked at 10-2 for acquittal, this one deadlocked at 10-2 for conviction. His lawyers’ strategy of declining to make a final argument, which they thought would indicate how weak they found the prosecution case (and preempt a prosecution rebuttal, for which they figured the DA was saving all his best stuff), actually convinced the jury that they were throwing up their hands.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Thursday, February 03, 2022

Today -100: February 3, 1922: Of dead directors, fair play, and federations

Director/actor William Desmond Taylor is shot dead in his home. The films he directed include Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Anne of Green Gables, and How Could You, Jean? with Mary Pickford. Did Mabel Normand, the last person known to have seen him alive, shoot him? Probably not. Was he killed by Mabel’s cocaine suppliers? Possibly. Was it actress Margaret Gibson, who confessed to the murder on her deathbed in 1964? Er, probably not. His murder will never be solved. Taylor leaves behind a wife and daughter... sorry, he actually left them behind in 1908, when he split town and changed his name, as was the custom (the wife, who had long divorced him, spotted him in a movie a couple of years ago).

A black man, Will Thrasher, is lynched in Mississippi, accused in a note tacked to the tree from which he is hanged of attacking a white school teacher in, um, Fairplay, Mississippi.

The Italian government of Ivanoe Bonomi resigns. I don’t think it’s entirely because they were too nice to the Vatican after Pope Benedict died, but it’s definitely partly because of that.

The Federation of Cental America project fails when Honduras pulls out.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Today -100: February 2, 1922: Of the reign of peace, women dries, Ulysses, evolution, and film nights

The Washington Conference adopts: the Five-Power Naval Treaty limiting capital ships; the Five-Power Treaty against the use of poison gas and against submarines practicing commercial warfare; agreements on post offices and railroads and radio stations in China and to stop foreign powers establishing spheres of influence or monopolies in China and for Japan to return Shantung to Chinese control – when it feels like it. US Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes calls the conference “perhaps the greatest forward step ever taken to establish the reign of peace”. So yay for the reign of peace, I guess.

Journalist Georgia Hopley is appointed the first woman prohibition agent. She ran the Harding campaign’s outreach to women in Ohio. She’ll be working on publicity rather than going on raids (she is in her sixties).

James Joyce’s Ulysses, some of which was previously serialized, is published for the first time in book form. Also, happy 40th birthday, Mr. Joyce!

William Jennings Bryan has been touring Kentucky, pushing a move in the Legislature to ban the teaching of evolution in KY schools, including the University of KY.

Evidently the showing of comedies to the Death Row prisoners in Sing Sing the night before an execution has become a tradition. In this case, it’s “Robinson’s Trousseau,” with Lee Moran, projected on a sheet that the prisoners had to view diagonally, through the bars of their cells. “Warden Lawes and other officials of the prison emphasized that the pictures were not given to humor the condemned prisoners. They were shown, it was explained, to take their minds off the execution Thursday night.”

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Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Today -100: February 1, 1922: Of lives of shame, ham, and fatties

The Salvation Army is buying Chinese girls from their parents, as one does, 100 of them at 30 shillings a pop, to keep them from “a life of shame.” It plans to put them to work ringing bells or whatever Sally Army conscripts do. If they asked the girls what they want to do, I missed that part.

Unemployed farm worker John Hill of Yakima, Washington pleads guilty to stealing some hams to feed his 5 children. The judge suggests he have a vasectomy in exchange for a suspended sentence and he accepts.

At the (second) Fatty Arbuckle trial, the prosecution tries to strike from the record the testimony of one of its own witnesses, Zey Prevost, whose testimony on the stand conflicted with her statements to the police, statements the defense claims were coerced. And one of Fatty’s witnesses, who supposedly worked with Virginia Rappe and saw her have bouts of illness, may not have worked in the store at the same time as Rappe.

A Post Office inspector prosecutes a publisher for sending the works of 16th-century Renaissance writer Rabelais through the mails.

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