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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Thursday, November 17, 2022

Today -100: November 17, 1922: Revolution has its rights

Mussolini speaks before the Chamber of Deputies, demanding it grant him the power to rule by decree through 1923. “He did not appear before the Chamber in the guise of a suppliant asking for its confidence, but rather as a conqueror imposing his will.” Boy, that’s saying it. The duck: “I am today performing in this hall what is an act of purely formal deference toward you and for which I do not seek your thanks. Italy has given herself a government outside, above and against any designation by Parliament. Now I affirm that revolution has its rights and I add that I am here in order to defend and make most of the Blackshirts’ revolution by inserting it intimately as a force tending toward development, progress and equilibrium in the history of the nation.” He says with 300,000 Blackshirts behind him he could have bivouacked them in the Chamber or punished his enemies but he didn’t because he’s magnanimous that way – “at least for the present.” He refuses to let most of the deputies who planned to respond to him do so.

Before he left for the Chamber, Mussolini got some fencing practice in, because of course he did.

By the way, I think Mussolini was using the title “duce” by this point, but the US newspapers that insist on using “fascista” and “fascisti” haven’t picked up on it yet. I will be using “the duck” until it stops being funny.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Today -100: November 16, 1922: Of reactionary relativity, new coups, Brelections, and singing and dancing together

The Russian Communist Party allegedly rejects Albert Einstein’s theories as reactionary and “the product of the bourgeois class in composition.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

He will demand the Chamber of Deputies give him emergency powers to rule by decree through 1923, or he will dissolve it. Remember: the Fascist and Nationalist parties won only 42 seats of the 535 in the last election.

British elections. “Women Turn Out in Large Numbers Despite the Heavy Fog.” Labour more than doubles its MPs to 142 and is now officially the opposition party. The Tories lose some seats but have a clear majority, 345 seats out of 615. Liberals are screwed, both the followers of never-to-be-relevant-again Lloyd George (62) and the followers of never-to-be-relevant-again Asquith (54). LG’s fantasy of a new centrist party is proved untenable.

Churchill loses his 2-member Dundee constituency (voters have 2 votes) to both Edwin Scrymgeour (how do you pronounce that?) of the Scottish Prohibition Party (the only Prohibitionist in the new Parliament) and E.D. Morel, whose pacifism landed him in prison during the Great War. Churchill had attacked Morel & Communist candidate William Gallacher for “A predatory and confiscatory programme fatal to the reviving prosperity of the country, inspired by class jealousy and the doctrines of envy, hatred and malice, [which] is appropriately championed in Dundee by two candidates both of whom had to be shut up during the late war in order to prevent them further hampering the national defence.” Worse, his wife Clemmie accused Morel of having been “born a Frenchman” and coming to England to avoid military service. Morel agreed that his father (but not his mother) was indeed French, just as Churchill’s mother was American, and says it was “very clever of me” to come to England when he was 8 to avoid conscription. Churchill comes in 4th place.

H.G. Wells fails to win the University of London seat.

Lady Nancy Astor is re-elected in Plymouth. The only other woman in the new Parliament is also a holdover, Margaret Wintringham. A bunch of women ran and lost. Lady Alice Cooper failed to win in Walsall, which her husband, who stepped aside so she could run, had represented since 1910. There are 34 women in the German Reichstag (0f 469), 8 in the Netherlands’ State General (of 100), and 2 in the Irish Dáil.

One interesting candidate is Col. Arthur Lynch, an Irishman who raised an Irish brigade to fight against the British in the second Boer War, was sentenced to death, pardoned, and elected to Parliament from West Clare for the Irish Nationalists. This time he ran for Labour, and lost badly.

Future Labour prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, defeated in 1918, wins in Aberavon, Wales. And Sidney Webb enters Parliament for the first time at 63, for Seaham.

The Mexican government complains that a mob in Breckenridge, Texas (and isn’t Breckenridge a very un-Texas name for a town?) ordered all Mexicans (and blacks) out of the town. Mexico also complains about the number of Mexicans being killed in the US, especially in Texas, including a lynching in Waco last week.

Another “Fascisti” group emerges in Jalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico. (Update: ah, it will actually be called the Partido Fascista Mexicano. Won’t come to much.)

Isadora Duncan, giving a dance performance at Carnegie Hall, says her idea of Communism is everyone singing and dancing together. I think that’s also probably the gist of Lenin’s speech at the Communist International yesterday, but I didn’t read it.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Today -100: November 15, 1922: Gum or gun

French senators debating women’s suffrage say French women don’t need it because French men treat them so well, though obviously it’s different for British and American women. But the big argument, as always, is that women would be told how to vote by their priests. And thanks to the, you know, war, there are 1.8 million more women than men.

Germany: Joseph Wirth’s cabinet falls after Gustav Streseman’s right-wing People’s Party (DVP) demands greater representation in the coalition government and the Socialists refuse.

Secretary of War John Weeks says the US could afford the 150,000-man army he wants if everyone just cut back on chewing gum.

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Monday, November 14, 2022

Today -100: November 14, 1922: Of free white people, beer, and fascists

The Supreme Court unanimously rules that Japanese people aren’t “free white people” and therefore can’t become US citizens. Justice Sutherland says the Court must follow the original intent of the Framers, who intended to exclude black people and Indians from citizenship. Takao Ozawa argued that Japanese are free people and he’s pretty pale, but nope, the Court says it’s not about skin color, which can vary, that “white person” actually means, exclusively, members of the Caucasian race. This case (Ozawa v. US) upholds California’s law forbidding land ownership by people ineligible to be citizens. A separate case upholds Washington’s similar Alien Land Act.

Lady Astor is having trouble with her re-election bid because of her stance on prohibition, which is that she’d like it but realizes that the British people aren’t ready for it yet. Brewers are spending a lot of money to defeat her. “I am not trying to take away any one’s beer,” she insists.

Other movements being called fascist, or rather Fascisti, because the NYT insists on the Italian plural, include Hungarian monarchists led by former prime minister István Friedrich,
and a Czech group that wants idlers sent to prison. The Hungarian group self-identifies as fascist, not sure about the Czech.

Outgoing NY Governor Nathan Miller is going back into the practice of law, while incoming guv Al Smith will spend the rest of the year on trucking. Which sounds like a euphemism, but isn’t.

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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Today -100: November 13, 1922: Of stupid populations, masks, and flying machines

More than 1,000 dead in Chilean earthquake + tidal wave.

Archbishop Curley of Baltimore says “America... has one of the most stupid populations in the world, because it allows such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan to exist.” He’s pissed at the Oregon ban on parochial schools. And at the Masons, who also supported it.

The KKK in Georgia will resume the wearing of masks, now that the elections are over and kluxer Clifford Walker has been elected governor.

Russia seizes an Italian steamship and, for some reason, a French one, as reprisal for the treatment of Communists in Italy.

3 veterans sue the town of Rye, New Hampshire, which owes them $400 for joining the Navy in 1864.

The Soviets are secretly building a flying machine with flapping wings.

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Saturday, November 12, 2022

Today -100: November 12, 1922: I owe Muskogee nothing

Alice Robertson graciously accepts her defeat in her congressional re-election race, saying when the congressional session is over, she’ll only return to ungrateful Muskogee long enough to collect her clothes. “I owe Muskogee nothing.”

She will live the rest of her life in Muskogee.


Headline of the Day -100:  

Not sure what the back story is, but there must be one: When Mississippi Gov. Lee Russell goes to Tennessee for a college football game, Lt. Gov. Homer Casteel assumes power as acting governor and starts pardoning black prisoners. Thanks to some obstruction about pardon forms, he has to type them up himself and only gets two done before the governor rushes back. The State Prison Board seems to be refusing to honor the pardons. The state Supreme Court will uphold them.

I had thought the Met had rejected as pointless the idea of going on the radio, but here they are performing Aida on WEAF. AT&T’s engineers prepared the Kingsbridge Armory for the performance for a week, using canaries to test the amplifiers.

An anti-Klan newspaper in Chicago, Tolerance, has been printing the names of KKK members, resulting in boycotts, withdrawals from banks, shunning, and bans from juries.

Scotland Yard attacks the Daily Mail for publishing the truth about how Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir William Horwood was poisoned. They also think this might be a conspiracy to kill a bunch of prominent people by sending them anonymous arsenic chocolates but yeah the press should definitely keep that secret.

British Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law hopes to return to election campaigning Monday. He has a sore throat. Not sure if he knows yet it’s throat cancer. Winston Churchill, recovering from appendicitis, finally returns to the campaign trail, where his wife has been covering for him. He has to be carried on a chair. He says the Coalition Government prevented war with Turkey.

Congresscritter-elect Winnifred Huck says there should be an amendment to the Constitution requiring a referendum of all the people before a war can be declared.

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Friday, November 11, 2022

Today -100: November 11, 1922: I would have proclaimed a dictatorship, which I could have done easily

Headline of the Day -100:  

Sir William Horwood, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is poisoned – in Scotland Yard itself – by a box of chocolates with walnut & arsenic that arrived in the mail.  He’ll survive, but it’s probably not a great reflection on his detecting skills. To be fair, it’s his birthday (54), so he thought they were from his daughter. He’ll hereafter be known as the Chocolate Soldier by the rank & file, who are not fans, and are in fact suspects in the poisoning. Or it’s the Communists, because it’s always the Communists. Or “a desperate gang of race track crooks.” Sir Basil Thomson, former head of Special Branch, thinks it can’t possibly be a deliberate poisoning because English people just don’t kill public officials with poison. It’ll turn out to be some random nutter.

Mussolini tells an American reporter that only Communists call the Fascists reactionary. Why, he didn’t even have to reopen parliament, which he did. If he were reactionary, “I would have proclaimed a dictatorship, which I could have done easily.” Color me reassured. He says women will probably eventually get the vote, but they won’t know what to do with it.

Irish Free State forces capture Erskine Childers, novelist and de Valera’s #2. If they’d been smarter, they could have followed him to de Valera and got him too.

Commerce Secretary Andrew Mellon orders the release of vessels seized outside the 3-mile limit for having liquor on board if they haven’t sent boats ashore. That’s about 20 ships over the last few months.

Headline of the Day That My Father Would Have Enjoyed -100:  

Happy Armistice Day or, as the French have decided to call it, Capitulation Day.

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Thursday, November 10, 2022

Today -100: November 10, 1922: Of disappointments, coercion, Nobels, and wet enthusiasm

Headline of the Day -100:  

Headline of the Day -100:  

The Nobel Prizes in physics for 1921 and 1922 are given, respectively, to Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.

32 black people are arraigned for protesting the Fulton School in Springfield, Ohio, which has just opened to educate all the black students of the district. Stones were thrown, guards pointed guns, etc.  The Civil Rights Protective League will win an injunction against the school, since Ohio laws did not sanction Jim Crow schools. The school board will then fire all the school’s black teachers to insure no white students had to suffer the humiliation of being taught by a black teacher, and they’ll allow white parents to transfer their children out, which almost all of them will.

The New Jersey Board of Education rejects the appeal of a couple of fathers to overturn Berlin Township’s rule requiring vaccinations for pupils. One of the fathers has threatened to shoot any doctor who tries to vaccinate his child.

Mussolini will privatize the railroads, telephone and telegraph systems (all of which suck).

The Association Against the Prohibition Amendment says if the D’s and R’s refuse to accept the people’s wishes, it will be forced to run independent wet candidates for Congress in 1924. They say there are 205 wets in Congress; the Anti-Saloon League counts 140. 

Tomorrow’s op-ed:

The United American Lines transfers the registry of 2 of its ships from the US to Panama to avoid the new rule about not carrying alcohol.

Supposedly Portugal stops a revolution. 

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Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Today -100: November 9, 1922: Of nice little women, farmer-laborers, tittles, and Bavarian Mussolinii (that’s the plural of Mussolini, right?)

Rep. Alice Robertson (R-Oklahoma), defeated in her bid for re-election, says there was a lot of election cheating.

Annie Dickie Olesen blames her defeat for US Senate from Minnesota on “Republican newspaper propaganda, usually contained in this sentence: ‘She is a nice little woman, but she cannot win.’” Henrik Shipstead, who won, will be the only member of the Farmer-Labor Party in the Senate, for a few months anyway.

More wets are elected to Congress, and Andrew Volstead (R-Minn.) himself is voted out, though losing to a Lutheran minister, Ole Kvale, who’s even drier than he is (and another Farmer-Laborer). Federal prohibition authorities say the wet majorities in New York and New Jersey won’t cause them to ease up on those states.

The South is “solid South” for Democrats again after victories in various congressional and gubernatorial elections.

Lee Tittle, who lost his Republican primary challenge against US senator from Washington Miles Poindexter, who subsequently lost the general election to Clarence Dill, kills himself by drinking poison, but are you KIDDING me with these names?

The NYT talks about rising “Fascisti” activity in Bavaria. One thing I’ve been curious about was when Nazis were first referred to as fascists, and here it is. Also, I believe we have the 1st NYT mention of a certain someone: “The leader of the movement... is one Herr Hittler [sic], who is said to be desirous of becoming a Bavarian Mussolini.”

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Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Today -100: November 8, 1922: Of elections, klandidates, vampires, and what women’s hands are made for

So many confident but wrong predictions in today’s NYT reporting of election results.

The R’s lose 77 House seats but retain a majority of 225-207. The R majority in the Senate of 60 to 36 is reduced to 53:42 (and one Socialist, Victor Berger of Wisconsin).

In state and national races, D’s are doing much better even than anticipated, which they think shows a rejection of the Republican policy of high tariffs – maybe best not to pass a measure that will raise the cost of living 6 weeks before an election.  All of which bodes well for the D’s for the presidential election in 1924 – why, Harding might not even be re-nominated by his party!  But mostly this is a course correction from the crazily broad R. sweep of 1920.

Al Smith (D) is elected governor of New York for the second time, easily defeating incumbent Nathan Miller. D’s in fact sweep state offices but R’s narrowly hold both houses of the Legislature. Royal Copeland, health guy during the Spanish Flu, is elected to the US Senate.

Governor-Elect of the Day -100:  

Some propositions:

CA: Prop 2 Declares all acts prohibited by the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution unlawful (52%). Among the 30 or so other propositions, one which would have banned unlicensed people acting or advertising as lawyers loses nearly 3:1 and one to ban vivisection gets only 30% of the vote.
-Colorado overwhelmingly rejects allowing Asians property rights.
-Illinois, in an advisory vote, overwhelmingly approves legalizing light wines and beer. Ohio rejects a similar measure.
-Massachusetts overturns the state’s prohibition measure and rejects state censorship of movies. I assume they can still be “banned in Boston.”
-California, Illinois, Montana, Kansas and Iowa vote for soldiers’ bonuses, but in Oklahoma a majority of all voters is required and it only gets a majority (52%) of those who voted on the measure.
-South Dakota votes to retain its Blue Laws.
-Michigan rejects a state income tax.
-Nebraska bans picketing, I guess?
-Missouri votes to strip the word “male” from voting requirements.
-Oregon votes 52.7% to require children 6 to 18 to attend public schools. This is a Klan-backed measure aimed at closing Catholic parochial schools; it will be overturned by the Supreme Court before it can take effect.
-Washington voters repeal the poll tax but refuse to remove vaccination requirements for school children.

John Roberts, editor of a Montreal weekly, The Axe, is hauled up before the Quebec Legislative Assembly for printing the rumor that two members of the legislature, who he does not name in either his paper or when questioned by the Lege, murdered shopgirl Blanche Garneau in 1920. The Assembly finds him guilty of infringing the honor, dignity, and smugness of the Assembly and passes a bill to put him in jail for a year. This is the first ever bill of attainder in Canada. Other rumors say she was killed by a club of the sons of politicians and judges – possibly including the Quebec premier’s son – named... wait for it... the Vampire Club.

The French Senate, where ideas go to die, is discussing women’s suffrage. One senator, annoyingly unnamed, says “Woman’s hand was made to kiss, not to drop a voting paper in a ballot box.”

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Monday, November 07, 2022

Today -100: November 7, 1922: Of malicious lies, leagues of some women voters, bombings, and crowbar governors

The D.C. District Court overturns the District’s minimum wage law for women, because women are totally equal now.

Rural New Hampshire polling stations close at 3 pm?  Some states just specify sunset.

Joseph Frelinghuysen, US senator from New Jersey (R) running for re-election on a dry platform, calls a “malicious lie” stories going around that he has liquor in his cellar. Whether that malicious lie has anything to do with his losing the election today to Gov. Edward Edwards (the man so nice they named him twice), an opponent of prohibition, I do not know.

Mrs Herbert Ottenheim, president of the Kentucky League of Women Voters, appeals to women to vote. And by women, she means white women. She calls on them to prove wrong the Southern anti-suffragists who said black women would vote and white women stay home.

The Irish Free State made a raid looking for Éamon de Valera, missed him but made several arrests of prominent Republicans. One of them, Mary MacSwiney, begins a hunger strike. This will be a touch awkward as she is the sister of Terence MacSwiney, the lord mayor of Cork who hunger struck to the death in British custody 2 years ago.

Southern Rhodesia votes against being absorbed into South Africa by 59%. And by Southern Rhodesia, I of course mean white people in Southern Rhodesia.  The colony, which has been ruled by the British South Africa Company founded by Cecil Rhodes, will now have to be given responsible self-government.

Hecklers including Knights of Columbus break up the first attempt by the Ku Klux Klan to hold a meeting on Long Island.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Obit of the Day -100:  Morgan Bulkeley, insurance guy, baseball guy (1st president of the National League), two-term Connecticut governor and US senator. The interesting thing about the two-term-governor part is that he was only elected to one term. Under CT rules, if no one got 50%, it was thrown to the Legislature. In 1888, a Republican Legislature chose Bulkeley despite his having fewer votes than the Dem (see? they were like that even then). 2 years later, when Bulkeley hadn’t even run for re-election, the two houses of the Legislature were controlled by different parties and deadlocked, so Bulkeley just... stayed in office for a whole extra term. He did have to break into his own office with a crowbar after a D. official changed the lock. The Legislature refused to appropriate funds to run the state government during those two years, so he got Aetna Life Insurance, of which he was president, to fund it. Connecticut changed its election rules after that. Dead at 84.

Huh, they had yogurt in the US in 1922:

You will notice very interesting results.

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Sunday, November 06, 2022

Today -100: November 6, 1922: Of royal weddings, vigor, clean living

Former kaiser Wilhelm’s wedding comes off, a legally mandated Dutch civil ceremony followed by a religious one. He wears a Prussian general’s uniform. Pretty sure he’s not actually a Prussian general. “He looked every inch an ex-King and ex-Kaiser.” What does that even mean? The former crown prince is dressed in the field uniform of the Death’s Head Hussars and accompanied by a woman not his wife, who is boycotting. There are jeers from the distanced crowd, led by journalists who were prevented from getting any pictures of anything interesting. Lots of American and English journalists, just one German. Willy had wanted the bells of churches in Doorn to ring, but nope. I get the feeling locals are kinda over the whole expat-ex-royals thing.

In Turkey, the Nationalists officially take over.

Fash-Curious Headline of the Day -100:  

The eagerness to take Mussolini at his own self-appraisal is evident in the line “Italy has obtained a strong Government.” It’s only been a week.

The Chicago school district will advise female students against marrying men who have not lead clean lives (this is presumably a VD thing).

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Saturday, November 05, 2022

Today -100: November 5, 1922: The people have too much money and use it wrongly

Headline of the Day -100:  

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the highest-ranking black man in government. There seems to be a high school named after him in New Orleans.

Vice President Calvin Coolidge, in a campaign speech in Chicago, says “The people have too much money and use it wrongly. Good living never has been so high nor bad living so low as it is today. The cure, of course, is religion, embodying in conduct the spirit of Christ.”

The deposed Turkish sultan Mohamed VI rejects the Grand National Assembly’s decision, which he says doesn’t represent the will of the nation, and refuses to go.

There are 15 women candidates for the House or Senate. One is Winnifred Mason Huck of Illinois, running in a special election to fill for the rest of the 67th Congress (until March, that is) the seat held by her father until his death last year. She will win, making her the 3rd woman in Congress, along with Mae Nolan, who will likewise fill out her dead husband’s term as rep for California’s 5th district. Nolan will also run for re-election and become the only woman in the 68th Congress. The first 4 women in Congress, including Alice Robertson, who will lose her re-election bid this week, are all Republicans.

The Times thinks Adelina Otero-Warren, running for Congress from New Mexico, another Republican, will also win. That’s wrong, but she is the first Latina to run for Congress (the first to actually win, Barbara Vucanovich, will be elected 60 years later).

All 48 states now have at least one radio broadcaster.

The British Broadcasting Company begins broadcasting. It gives the news & weather, then repeats them so listeners can take notes. The BBC of course later banned hesitation, repetition or deviation.

Nauseating Headline of the Day -100:  

By Alice Rohe, who interviews Mussolini, says his big nose is “suggestive of power” and seems thoroughly entranced by him, at least until he tells her women are inferior to men. In the ‘30s she will write “Why I Fled Italy” for the Reader’s Digest.

The movie The Headless Horseman premieres, starring... Will Rogers?

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Friday, November 04, 2022

Today -100: November 4, 1922: Ottoman Empire 1299-1922

Turkey’s Grand National Assembly deposes the sultan: “The Palace of the Sublime Porte having, through corrupt ignorance, for several centuries provoked numerous ills for the country, has passed into the domain of history.” Which means we can stop using the phrase “Ottoman Empire,” not that many people still were. The Caliphate survives, to be headed by whichever member of the former royal family the Grand National Assembly finds most compliant qualified.

Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover calls for the voters to return a Republican Congress because the Republicans have done such a good job with economic recovery and reducing unemployment, which, as you know, Republicans like Hoover always do.

To be fair, Hoover was actually quite good at organizing famine relief in Europe. And now he receives his reward: a blanket made from human hair from a grateful woman in Poland. A nice card would have been fine.  “Mr. Hoover is understood to be undecided as to what use to make of the gift.”

Mayor Harry Barber of North Bergen, New Jersey, holds up the pay of the town’s police until after the election to prevent them contributing to his opponent.

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Thursday, November 03, 2022

Today -100: November 3, 1922: Life-destroying confusion is the worst kind of confusion

I’d forgotten H.G. Wells was standing for Parliament, for the University of London seat. He says he’d support Labour, as “its policy is a policy of steady, watchful, generous, comprehensive, scientific organization amid the strained, shattered, wasteful and life-destroying confusion in which we live today.”

Mussolini has picked an odd enemy for special vituperation. Count Sforza, the ambassador to France (and a former foreign minister), resigned immediately upon Mussolini taking office without, Mussolini points out, even waiting to see what the Fascist foreign policy would be. This is obviously an insult to the king or something, and while Sforza quit without making any public statement, the Fascists won’t shut up about it. Sforza (whose father died a month ago) will eventually be forced into exile, returning after the war to become foreign minister again.

Rain prevents Pres. Harding playing golf on his 57th, and last, birthday.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Today -100: November 2, 1922: Of worthy presses, order, broadcasting tests, and train tracks

Mussolini says once the present conditions are over, he’ll restore freedom of the press, “on condition that the press proves worthy of liberty.” Meanwhile his followers set the Socialist newspaper Avanti’s printing plant on fire.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The British Broadcasting Company is almost on the air and is now running tests. Which consists of anti-Labour-Party messages. Two weeks before a general election. They claim the operator just said anything that came into his head. Labour is not best pleased.

Headline of the Day -100:  

More proof, if further proof were needed, that life in the ‘20s was precisely as portrayed in silent films (except for the “negress” part, obvs).

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Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Today -100: November 1, 1922: Of frock coats and fascists

100,000 Fascists march through Rome. Mussolini and the other new ministers take the oath to the king, the Constitution and the laws. After that lie, the king hugs the duce.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Mussolini’s first move is to threaten to fire any civil servant not at his desk by 8 a.m. every day. Evidently bureaucrats operate a “two-hat system,” having one hat that they wear outside, and one permanently left on a hook in the office to fool people into thinking they’re actually in the building somewhere when they can’t be found.

Mussolini says his internal policy will be “Discipline, economy, sacrifice” and “iron rule.” Doesn’t that sound like fun? You can see why he’s so popular. He complains about “lawlessness” in Italy, which is a bit fucking rich.

The US may join the World Court, even though it was set up by the despised League of Nations. 

The IRA rebels demand that newspapers refer to them as Republicans rather than Irregulars and not put quote marks around their military titles. There will be a £1 fine for each offense.

Turkey sentences the signers of the post-Great War Sèvres Treaty to death, as well as members of the Grand Vizier Damat Ferid Pasha’s cabinet. Several of those, including Ferid Pasha, have fled to Switzerland.

Ruth Schermerhorn  – which sounds like a character in a Preston Sturges movie – took out an ad in a Chicago newspaper (I think she lives in Iowa) looking for a prospective husband willing to pay her $5,000 she needs for medical treatment for nerve damage from having been shot by her first husband. A bank employee has agreed to the contract. Ain’t love grand.

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