Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Today -100: May 31, 1922: Of memorials and parades

The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated by Harding (and where’s the Harding Memorial, I ask you?). Present are some Civil War vets, a few of whom knew Lincoln personally, as well as Robert Todd Lincoln. They’ve been building this thing since 1914. Is the dedication segregated? What do you think?

New Yorkers celebrate Memorial Day with a parade in which a soldier is crushed between two tanks and a children’s procession which witnesses two men run over by an elevated train.

Former Texas Gov. James Ferguson, impeached in 1917, and his wife Miriam (not sure if they’re doing that obnoxious “Ma” and “Pa” shtick yet) are both running for the US Senate, although only she has filed for it so far.

Flags are flown at half-staff at Germany’s Reichstag building and cabinet members all wear black in sorrow at the loss of Upper Silesia to Poland.

The Italian government bans all parades, in order to prevent Fascist-Communist clashes and, presumably, soldiers being crushed by tanks.

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Monday, May 30, 2022

Today -100: May 30, 1922: Of lynchings

A black man, William Byrd, accused of killing a farmer is lynched in Wayne County, Georgia, shot to death and his body burned by a mob. Byrd was one of several blacks being brought in by truck to work on the farmer’s farm, and he was pissed that the driver refused to let his wife sit inside the truck.

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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Today -100: May 29, 1922: From each according to their means... It’s a cook book!

Can this be true? Supposedly there’s a government exhibit in Moscow with photos (taken by the Cheka) and other evidence of cannibalism in the famine regions. And there’s a notice posted on walls in Moscow: “These people are not cannibals who eat their dead because they are hungry; but those are cannibals who do not give of their surplus to the hungry.” Evidently it’s the Bolshevist press that’s spreading the cannibalism stories. Mothers strangling their children in order to eat them, a new restaurant in Pongstcher in Samara which only serves human, etc.

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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Today -100: May 28, 1922: Of signs of reviving idealism, mandates, odd feet, treason, and lynchings

Former President Woodrow Wilson, who’s been increasingly involving himself in politics again recently, praises the Democratic Union of Women of Manhattan for rejecting any William Randolph Hearst candidacy. He calls their act “one of the many signs of the reviving idealism of the country.” 

The pope protests to the League of Nations about the British mandate in Palestine, which he says threatens religious equality, by which he means it gives too much power to Zionist Jews.

Dancer Isadora Duncan is banned from Britain, and possibly the US as well, because she’s a Russian citizen now, as far as they’re concerned, having married Ukranian poet Sergei Yesenin earlier this month.

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Decoration Day will be celebrated by the 49 widows of War of 1812 soldiers. None of that war’s soldiers are alive, but there are 73 living vets of the Mexican-American War, the youngest of whom are 89, so they must have been, what, 14 when they joined up?

Charles Blizzard of the United Mine Workers is acquitted of treason for the West Virginia miners’ strike. The jury didn’t take much time. I hadn’t realized this, but the charge of treason against Blizzard and many other union officials is treason against West Virginia. Are people ever charged with treason against a state these days?

Fascists are again killing Communists all over Italy. Firearm permits have been withdrawn for the Rome region and in Florence guns and walking canes are also banned.

A black man is lynched in Waco, Texas, and Texas Rangers are now guarding 5 black men sentenced for murder in McLellan County Jail, which is surrounded by a mob.

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Friday, May 27, 2022

Today -100: May 27, 1922: This blog is also aging backwards

At a meeting called for the chair of the NYC Transit Commission to explain the plans for new subways, the president of the Central Park West and Columbus Avenue Association objects to the plans to place the terminus in the negro district. A director of the Association says “There is little use in trying to beautify Central Park West if the line serving it terminates in the black belt of Harlem.”

The Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act is signed by Harding, establishing a Federal Narcotics Board to regulate the importation and sale of raw opium, cocoa leaves and the like for legitimate purposes.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is published in The Smart Set.

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Today -100: May 26, 1922: Potato potatah

With diplomatic relations between the US and Germany resumed, a new ambassador arrives in Washington, Dr. Otto Wiedfeldt. It is pointed out that Wiedfeldt, in addressing Pres. Harding, referred to himself as ambassador of the German Empire, while Harding called the country the Republic of Germany.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Today -100: May 25, 1922: Of normal threatening, bailiffs, lawless kleagles, and lynchings

Nope, there’s no Communist revolution in Bulgaria, and the king has not fled the country. The US ambassador informs the State Dept, “While the political situation is rather threatening, conditions generally are normal.”

We haven’t heard much about Illinois Gov. Len Small’s corruption trial, but now the jury is threatening to strike because the elderly bailiffs have been insisting they go to bed at 9:00. The bailiffs complain that the jurors make fun of them when they can’t keep up during their daily constitutional. 

Oh no! There’s turmoil in the California Ku Klux Klan, and all the kleagles have been de-kleagled because of “lawlessness.”

A black man accused of cattle rustlin’ is whipped to death in Texas, which has seen an awful lot of lynchings this month. Lieutenant Governor Lynch Davidson says, “What? What’re you looking at me for?”

And black man Jom Denson escapes a lynch mob in Georgia when the mob’s car breaks down. He flees into the woods but is later recaptured and put in “safe keeping” in Bibb County jail, although since he’s been sentenced to hang – legally, so that’s ok, right? – the safety of the keeping might be in some question.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Today -100: May 24, 1922: Of burning hotels, Irish roses, and pearls

The Catholic Protection Committee in Northern Ireland telegrams Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill, drawing to his attention that 27 Catholics have been killed in 10 days and hundreds evicted. And in Dublin a hotel owned by Churchill is burned down by arson.

Following the assassination of Northern Ireland Parliament MP William Twaddell, NI bans the IRA, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and various associated organizations, and arrests hundreds of supposed IRA leaders. PM Sir James Craig says that the agreement between the two sides in the South means he can no longer deal with the Irish Free State government – not that he was actually cooperating with them in anything.

In other, um, Irish news, “Abie’s Irish Rose” opens on Broadway. Anne Nichols’s play tells the story of a Jewish boy and an Irish Catholic girl who marry. The NYT says it’s “funny.” It will run until 1927, setting a Broadway record. Robert Benchley wrote: “People laugh at this every night, which explains why a democracy can never be a success.”

Mrs. Hammell, president of the League of Women Voters, is in a legal dispute with her maid. The maid ate one of the clams she was opening for her boss’s dinner and nearly choked to death on a pearl. Hammell demanded the pearl but Lottie refused to give it up. She has consulted a lawyer, who says she has title to it. This is on the front page of the NYT, above the fold.

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Monday, May 23, 2022

Today -100: May 23, 1922: Such an event as this murder demands just retribution

William Twaddell, a member of the Northern Ireland Parliament, is assassinated by 3 members of the IRA on the streets of Belfast. Whether this story is funny or not depends entirely on how Mr. Twaddell pronounced his name. NI PM Sir James Craig calls for a “just retribution.”

The violence has been ramping up in Ulster, while the Irish Free State has been calming down since the Free State and anti-Treaty sides came to an agreement for a coalition government and for elections next month, an agreement which has British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill so worried that he demands both sides come to London to explain it to him. The problem is that the agreement means there won’t, for now, be a proper referendum on the new constitution (won’t be until the 1930s, in fact).

Nicaragua has an 8-hour revolution. Rebels capture a fortress overlooking Managua, but the US Marines, still occupying the country, as was the custom, threaten to use their artillery on the fortress to “protect American interests.” The rebels surrender after the Marines broker a conference between them and the government at which the latter agrees to pardon any civilian rebels and to limit the imprisonment of military rebels to 30 days.

The outside world seems to have no news sources inside Bulgaria, so there is no confirmation or denial today of yesterday’s rumor of an alliterative Communist coup there, but in the only dispatch coming from the country today, about a forthcoming Peasant Congress, “no mention was made of revolutionary activities.”

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Today -100: May 22, 1922: Fake news -100

There’s a Communist revolt in Bulgaria. King Boris is reported to have fled the country.

None of that is true.

I haven’t checked out the radio schedules for a while. Here’s this evening’s schedule for WJZ, Newark:

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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Today -100: May 21, 1922: I loved deeply, but in loving I may have erred

Al Smith won’t run for US Senate on the Democratic ticket if William Randolph Hearst is the D. candidate for governor.

Charles Hall is still leading in the vote-counting for the Republican primary for governor. The NYT annoyingly says, with no follow-up whatsoever, “Never before in Oregon’s history has religion entered so strongly into a political campaign.”

Rudolph Valentino is arrested for bigamy. “I loved deeply,” Rudy says, “but in loving I may have erred.” Given that the second marriage was performed in Mexico, I don’t see where the LA district attorney’s office even has jurisdiction.

A 19-year-old black man, Joe Winters, accused of attacking a white woman is burned to death in Conroe, Texas. And a 60-year-old black man, Mose Bozier, accused of a similar crime, is hanged by a mob near Allentown, Texas.

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Today -100: May 20, 1922: Of klandidates, peeresses, and flour

In the Oregon primaries, where vote-counting is not finished, State Senator Charles Hall is leading in the Republican primary for governor over incumbent Ben Olcott. When the counting’s done, Olcott will narrowly win the primary and then lose the general election. What’s interesting is that Hall is described as the Ku Klux Klan candidate. This is the first suggestion in the NYT that the Klan might be becoming an electoral force. In the general election, the Kluxers will strongly back Democrat Walter Pierce against Gov. Olcott, who has spoken against them. 

The House of Lords’ Committee on Privileges rejects letting icky girls into the Lords.

Headline of the Day -100:  

She’s still in the hospital, and he’s in the prison hospital, because he shot himself after shooting her. But they’re giving him bail so he can marry her, because they’re just pullin’ for these wacky kids, I guess.

The National Woman’s Party’s ceremony dedicating its new D.C. hq will use a trowel provided by Charlotte Pierce (1830-1924), the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls in 1848. The building they’ll be tearing down to be replaced by a larger one is called the Old Capitol. It’s where Congress sat after the British burned the capitol in the War of 1812, and where Pres. Monroe was sworn in.

Henry Ford claims to have invented a new type of flour, which will be cheaper and healthier than existing flours.

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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Today -100: May 19, 1922: That flagstaff never shall fly a rebel flag

Charles Atkins, a 15-year-old negro accused of murdering a white woman in a carjacking, is burned at the stake in Georgia after being tortured over a slow fire until he named an accomplice.

Another black youth is lynched in Grimes County, Texas.

The Dept of Justice is investigating Rudolph Valentino’s recent marriage with an eye to prosecuting him for bigamy or violation of the Mann Act. They’re sending investigators to Mexico, where the marriage took place.

The US and Germany restore reciprocal copyright protections.

The British Army leaves the last barracks it held in Ireland, in Cork. British officers throw a hissy fit about it, breaking windows and cutting down the flagstaff, responding to the objections of the Irish captain taking over the barracks, “That flagstaff never shall fly a rebel flag.”

The NYPD charges that Eugene O’Neill’s “The Hairy Ape” is “obscene, indecent and impure.” The DA won’t act on the police complaint though.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Today -100: May 18, 1922: Of hearsts, machines, cement juggling, steel heads, and potato dumping

William Randolph Hearst, after denying that he would run for governor of New York, has been telling people that he’s available to run for governor of New York. Democratic Party/Tammany leaders are not enthused – at all – and are trying to get Al Smith out of trucking and back into politics. NYC Mayor Hylan supports a possible Hearst run.

Gifford Pinchot defeats the powerful Pennsylvania political machine to win the Republican primary for governor.

Whoops, Nikolaos Stratos’s government in Greece loses a vote of confidence.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Headline of the Day -100:  

Worst Pornhub Title Ever:

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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.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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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