Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Today -100: June 1, 1922: Of tunnels, archduchesses, peasants, and apache duels

Ground is broken for what will be called the Holland Tunnel. It is done semi-secretly, in the middle of the night, because the mayor of Jersey City is demanding money from the New York Commission to widen streets leading to the vehicular tunnel and is threatening an injunction, which the Commission thinks would be less likely to be issued if construction is already underway. 

Thousands of Fascists are gathering in Bologna. They’re building barricades, burning left-wing newspapers, bombing club-houses, and forcing local Socialist and Communist mayors to resign.

The former Austro-Hungarian Empress Zita, widow of Charles, gives birth to Archduchess Elisabeth, who is named after the wife of Emperor Franz Josef, because you definitely want to name your kid after someone who was assassinated (I recently watched the 1st of the three 1950s “Sissi” films about the empress, played by Romy Schneider; weirdly light-hearted, with a comic bumbling policeman and everything. I’m guessing the next two movies don’t cover the periods when her son killed himself at Mayerling in a suicide pact with his mistress, as was the custom, and her death, stabbed by an Italian anarchist). This Elisabeth will marry a Liechtensteiner prince.

The British “crush” a Hottentot uprising in the League of Nations mandate in South West Africa (Namibia), using, among other things, aerial bombardment.

Aleksandar Stamboliyski, the “peasant premier” of Bulgaria, warns the bourgeoisie that it is the peasantry which is now in control. He says Sofia is “another Sodom and Gomorrah, inhabited by speculators and unproducers,” which I’m just gonna go ahead and assume is code for Jews, and warns the king to just stay out of it. He supports women’s suffrage only for women earning a living (not counting the 4 months per year free work for the government he is requiring bourgeois girls of Sofia and Varna aged 16 to 20 perform).

Two members of Paris “apaches” (street gangs, more or less), Maurice “The Terror” Pinteaux and Charles “The Assassin” Allemange, fight a duel over Louise “Loulou the Cunning” Rastie (Rattier?), in which The Terror kills The Assassin. At his trial, he claimed that the duel was fought in the regulation manner (though with knives rather than swords or pistols), calling experts on dueling and recent duelists to testify that it was just like duels fought by nobles and newspaper editors. Nevertheless, Mr. Terror and his seconds are sentenced to 2 years.

The Nevada Supreme Court upholds the validity of Mary Pickford’s divorce from Owen Moore (and thus her remarriage to Douglas Fairbanks).

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