Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Today -100: January 11, 1923: Ku Klux got daddy

French troops move into the Ruhr, occupying Essen. Now, why did they need to do that at 4:45 a.m.? Britain, which opposed this move, nevertheless permits French troops to travel through its Rhineland occupation zone. The German Coal Syndicate moves its hq to Hamburg from Essen, so France might have to figure out how to run the Ruhr coal mines on its own. “We do not propose to become the slaves of PoincarĂ©,” says one of the mine operators.

Harding ends the US occupation of its zone of the Rhineland and calls the troops home, like immediately. He’s not saying this is a rebuke of the French move, but it’s not exactly subtle. Those troops are bummed at the end of a super-cushy berth. The Germans worry that if Britain follows suit, they’ll be even more at the mercy of French occupiers.

At the Mer Rouge hearings, the widow of one of the victims, Thomas Richards, testifies about the first time the Klan kidnapped him, a few days before they came back and killed him (first mention I think I’ve seen of him leaving behind two children, by the way; when they kidnapped him the first time his 4-year-old daughter was left by herself; “Ku Klux got daddy,” she reported). Mrs Richards names names. Other witnesses, including a girl who the Klan ordered to leave town, identify local kluxers involved in various kidnappings and the sheriff who just watched one of them happen. That sheriff is in the court in his official, um, sitting-in-court capacity, which is one reason, along with a general atmosphere of intimidation, that witnesses seem to be revealing less than they know.

The Lausanne Conference accepts Turkey’s proposal for a forcible exchange of populations, with 600,000 Greeks to be expelled from Turkey and 450,000 Turks from Greece. Turkey would have been happy for it to be “voluntary” but the Greeks insisted it be compulsory and the Allies sided with them. The Greeks in Constantinople (200,000 or so) are exempted, as are 300,000 Turks in Western Thrace. In practice this will be more a religious cleansing than an ethnic one, with Greece choosing Muslims as expellees. The Allies also give up their demand that minorities in Turkey only be brought before special courts with judges appointed by outside countries and their demand for an Armenian homeland.

172 Indians are sentenced to death for the riots in Lucknow last February, when 17 native police were killed at Chauri-Chaura.

United Artists offers child actor Jackie Coogan (The Kid, The Addams Family), age 8, $500,000 + 60% of the profits to appear in 4 films. His mother will steal most of that money, as he’ll find when he turns 21. (Update: Metro will outbid UA.)

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