Monday, January 23, 2023

Today -100: January 23, 1923: If we win this we shall have peace for fifty or 100 years

20-year-old French anarchist Germaine Berton assassinates Marius Plateau, a leader of the far-right monarchist group the Camelots du Roi and editor of L’Action française, at that newspaper’s offices. She’d actually wanted to kill monarchist deputy Léon Daudet, of whom we shall hear more later this year, but he wasn’t in. Berton will admit, nay brag about the act at her trial in December and will be acquitted, presumably because it was a political crime – her lawyer will point out that the assassin of Jean Jaurès was acquitted on those grounds. Berton blamed Plateau in part for Jaurès’ assassination and for the occupation of the Ruhr.

The strike in the Ruhr is, maybe, not going that well, depending on whether you listen to French or German reports. The problem is in getting miners, railroad workers, etc. to come out on strike in support of their terrible bosses, especially when they’ve been underpaid for years and can’t afford to go on strike. Gen. Denvignes tells the AP “This is the last battle of the war. If we win this we shall have peace for fifty or 100 years. If we lose, all our sacrifices of men and money during the war will have gone for naught.”

Oil baron Harry Sinclair is allowed to stonewall Fightin’ Bob La Follette’s Senate Oil Investigating Committee and refuse to produce papers about the Teapot Dome lease. His testimony “failed to provide a single thrill”.

Thomas Dixon Jr., author of the novels that D.W. Griffith turned into Birth of a Nation, denounces the current Ku Klux Klan for not being as fun as the original, or something.

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