Thursday, August 31, 2023

Today -100: August 31, 1923: Of humiliating conditions, masks, sleepwalkers, and really French hats

Greece replies to Italy’s ultimatum. It agrees to the apology for the assassination of Enrico Tellini & co. and the memorial service, but refuses to let the Italian military attaché take part in the investigation, to commit to the death penalty for the unknown perpetrators, or to pay an indemnity, calling those conditions “humiliating.” Which is rather the point. A lot of people are comparing them to the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia in 1914.

In Naples and Milan, Fascisti attack the Greek consulates. Demonstrations throughout Italy chant “Down with Greece.”

The Klan tries to hold a meeting in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, but it’s broken up by 6,000 Perth Amboyhoovians, who are in turn attacked by police and firemen. Some kluxers wind up holed up in the Town Hall overnight, afraid to leave. When they do try to leave, the crowd overturns their car and beats the snot out of them. A cop prevents one kluxer being dropped down a manhole.

Michigan bans masks. You know, like the Klan wear.

The farming & livestock business of Warren McCray, governor of the ku kluxiest state, Indiana, is going bankrupt (not literally bankrupt; farmers in Indiana can’t be forced into bankruptcy). He blames the general state of the agricultural sector but also mutters something about blackmail. He says it’s a private matter and the public shouldn’t be especially interested in it. In the coming months he will try to restore his fortune through fraud and blackmail, as is the custom. He will take out loans from the State Ag Board and coerce banks into giving him other loans by threatening to withdraw state funds from them; he’ll offer forged promissory notes as collateral. He’ll will wind up in prison in 1924 after the Klan, with which he has been at odds, digs all this up. 

Headline of the Day -100:  

Still more proof that silent movies were documentaries. 

At Gimbel’s.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Today -100: August 30, 1923: I want to be guillotined

Italy is blaming the assassination of Enrico Tellini et al yesterday, on the border between Greece and Albania, on Greeks, without any actual proof.  No one will ever be caught or identified. Greece says they were Albanian bandits, although valuables were left behind. No points for guessing who Albania blames. Italy issues an ultimatum to Greece, demanding: an indemnity of 50 million lire, which is the equivalent of some money, a 21-gun salute to the Italian fleet, the execution of the people responsible (trial optional, presumably), an abject apology, and funeral ceremonies at the Catholic church in Athens attended by every member of the Greek Cabinet. And they want a response within 24 hours. Italian Navy ships are on the way...

The German government denies persistent rumors that it’s about to surrender to France on reparations and passive resistance.  The rumors say Chancellor Stresemann will resign so the Social Democrats take the blame for surrendering.

Hitler (the NYT is back to spelling it Hittler) (and his followers Hittlerites) is supposedly planning to declare Bavaria independent of Germany on September 2nd, Sedan Day, the anniversary of the victory over France in 1870. Trouble is expected all over Germany on that day.

Convicted French murderer Pierre Levée is furious that his death sentence was commuted. “I want to be guillotined,” he says.

Princess Anastasia is dead! I didn’t bother reading the story so I can’t say what country she used to princess for.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Lon Chaney as Hunchy, premieres at Carnegie Hall.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Today -100: August 29, 1923: The real cause of Warren Gamaliel Harding’s untimely demise

Former Gov. William Sproul of Pennsylvania says Prohibition hastened Harding’s death, because he felt obligated to obey the law (hah!) and was unable to take his usual whiskey, which would have sustained him during his arduous Alaska trip.

Gen. Enrico Tellini, the Italian president of the International Commission for Delimitation of the Greco-Albanian frontier, is killed along with 4 of his staff while inspecting that border, in an ambush on their automobile 3 miles on the Greek side.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Be vewwy vewwy quiet.

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Monday, August 28, 2023

Today -100: August 28, 1923: Virtual but not actual technical recognition

The US has recognized the Mexican government. No, wait, it’s given it “virtual but not actual technical recognition.”

Stuttgart, Germany declares a state of siege because Communists threaten to celebrate Party Day. The police ban it, so they have a picnic in the woods.

Arthur Finley, a constable in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, pleads guilty to being part of a Klan flogging party. He’s sentenced to 2 years. 3 other participants pled guilty last week. The victim was a Myrtle Spain, 22, a married woman accused of improper relations with a younger man named Goolsby. A few days later her husband died in a parachute accident and she married Goolsby shortly after that. So she is now named Myrtle Goolsby, which is surely punishment enough.

The Klan calls off a parade in Binghamton, New York, saying their rules say they can’t parade without a permit. The mayor keeps telling them parades don’t need permits in Binghamton. There’s a street battle between kluxers and opponents, and someone gets a little stabbed. I assume there is no requirement for permits for street fights either.

NYT Index Typo of the Day -100:  

Her real name was Letitia Rudge. Her 4 sisters also entered show business, one as Lydia Flopp and one as Fanny Dango.

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Sunday, August 27, 2023

Today -100: August 27, 1923: Of scents of anarchy, assassinations, and baby movies

The Ku Klux Klan offers $5,000 for the capture of whoever killed their compatriot-in-bedsheets outside Carnegie, Pennsylvania. “The action of the mob of Carnegie residents scents of anarchy,” a Klan statement says. It says they marched on Carnegie “to prevent their constitution right of peaceable assembly being abridged by an element of citizenry absolutely dangerous to the safety and cause of freedom.” It fails to mention that their application for a parade permit had been denied.

Rayko Daskalov is assassinated in Prague. He was the Bulgarian ambassador to Czechoslovakia before the coup. The coup regime has been trying to get Czech. to extradite him, unsuccessfully.

Professional actor Baby Peggy (age 4) “has signed a new contract” with Universal Studios for $1.5 million per year. Her parents will piss it away before she is of age, so she’ll see none of it, as was the custom for child actors. Baby Peggy died a couple of years ago at 101. Somehow I’ve never felt tempted to watch a Baby Peggy film. Most didn’t survive, but if your tolerance for saccharin is higher than mine some are on YouTube.

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Saturday, August 26, 2023

Today -100: August 26, 1923: Of konfrontations, ordinary citizens, and whippings

The Ku Klux Klan try to hold a large parade in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, for which they had been denied a parade permit, following a mass initiation in the hills. They are stopped by protesters; indeed one of them is stopped quite dead by a bullet. Knives are also used. At one point both sides raid a Pennsylvania Railroad coal train and have a coal fight, as was the custom. The kluxers eventually retreat.

Former crown prince Friedrich Wilhelm tells a Dutch newspaper reporter he’d like to return to Germany someday: “I ask only to live like an ordinary citizen on my large estate in Silesia”.

Oklahoma Gov. Jack Walton, who has put Tulsa and other parts of the state under martial law, tries to explain the recent wave of mob violence in his state. He finds its origins in “the hysteria of war,” when everyone was encouraged to spy on their neighbors. Now, people don’t trust cops to enforce the law. “Thousands of citizens, otherwise normal, apparently approve the whippings on the theory that it is utterly impossible to secure prosecution and conviction through the legal agencies of Government.” So some of the whippings come from certain (unnamed) organizations, but many come from individuals and groups of individuals who think they can get away with it.

Headline of the Day -100:  

That Harvard expert is Prof William McDougal (Psychology/Parapsychology/Being Wrong) (William McDougal is also the name of The Simpsons’s Groundskeeper Willy).

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Friday, August 25, 2023

Today -100: August 25, 1923: Fiume again

Mussolini threatens Yugoslavia over Fiume, giving it until the end of the month to come to an agreement. This was supposed to have been taken care of by the Treaty of Rapallo, but the two countries have bogged down over details.

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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Today -100: August 24, 1923: Of chancellors, flogging parties (and not the sexy kind), speculation, and boxers in the river

Neville Chamberlain is named chancellor the Exchequer after Reginald McKenna, PM Baldwin’s first choice, declines.

3 Klansmen from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma plead guilty to rioting (being part of a flogging party) and are sentenced to 2 years in prison, the first convictions in the state for such a crime.

France says food shortages in the Ruhr are due to speculation and certainly not from anything the French occupation may or may not have done.

A Klan meeting at Brilliant, West Virginia decides to “run [black boxer] Jack Johnson into the river” if he goes ahead with a boxing match in Mingo on Labor Day. I assume the match is with a white person.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Today -100: August 23, 1923: Of alliterative bombers and petting parties... and worse

Headline of the Day -100:  

The Barling Bomber. It’s super-expensive, slow, can’t achieve much height, has a short range, and will be scrapped as a failure.

Kansas Attorney Gen. C. C. Griffith says college towns must crack down on “petting parties and worse.”

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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Today -100: August 22, 1923: Adopt a forward poise

German banks & corporations will be required to state – under oath – how much foreign currency they’re holding, so the government can seize a portion of it to stabilize the mark.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Also touching heads or putting arms around the partner’s neck. They are also to “adopt a forward poise” and move continuously in one direction.

The Ku Klux Klan gives up plans for a parade in Steubenville, Ohio. The grand kleagle says “they had no desire to become targets for local gunmen.” The local gunmen are doubtless quite disappointed.

A restraining order is issued in New York against the Klan and lady Klan group Kamelia exercising corporate rights under its charter, which they took out claiming to be charitable groups not subject to laws requiring disclosure of members’ names.

Newsboys across the country are collecting pennies to be made into a statue of Warren G. Harding’s dog Laddie Boy. The Smithsonian has it now. It is not on display. I can’t help noticing the statue includes a (copper) penis.

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Monday, August 21, 2023

Today -100: August 21, 1923: Of rigid dirigibles, Rhenish indies, and nickels

The Navy’s ZR-1, the largest ever rigid dirigible (snicker) is launched. The previous largest ever airship, the ZR-2, blew up two years ago. The ZR-1, which will be called the USS Shenandoah, uses helium rather than hydrogen, so it probably won’t blow up... Instead, weather will be its nemesis. It will get badly torn up during a storm in 1924 and, after repairs, destroyed by another storm in 1925, with 14 dead. Crowds will rush to the Ohio crash site and loot it, as was the custom. Wikipedia says the schools in the district in which it crashed are named after the airship and their sports teams are called the Zeps.

The various independence groups in the Rhineland unite under Hans Adam Dorten and Hugo von Metzen, who recently forced Dorten to move from a policy of federation with Germany as a state to full independence. I’m not sure how much aid they’re getting from France; maybe less than you’d think.

John D. Rockefeller gives out nickels to members of a crowd outside his church on Sunday, because that’s just the kind of guy he is. Also a dime to a real estate broker he gets into a conversation with, as a souvenir.

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Sunday, August 20, 2023

Today -100: August 20, 1923: Of floggings, martial law, and dangerous movies

The Macon County, Georgia sheriff is actually cracking down on racist terrorists, arresting 3 white men caught in the act of flogging 2 black men. Everyone in Macon has been buying guns. There are believed to be several flogging gangs, going after adulterers, bootleggers, whatever, not necessarily black. And of course there are lynching gangs.

The NYT notes that Southern governors are more concerned with floggings of white people than lynchings of black ones, the latter being a slippery slope towards the former.

Many Klan and anti-Klan meetings are held in and around Steubenville, Ohio, but police realize that many of the people pouring into the area aren’t either, they just want to see another fight. The NYT says an “impartial investigation,” by whom is not said, claims 90% of the adult men in the agricultural parts of Jefferson County are kluxers.

Oklahoma Gov. J.C. Walton describes the martial law imposed on Tulsa as Tulsahoovians being  “told to go to bed and when to get up”. The Klan denies being responsible for the many recent floggings. Court cases challenge the governor’s right to just declare martial law and place the military over civil authorities.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Annoyingly, we are not told what dangerous film he was watching. And there’s no listing in today’s paper for what’s playing at the Lyric.

Speaking of dangerous movies, French PM Raymond Poincaré bans The Birth of a Nation, which was playing in Paris, worried about more conflict between American tourists and black French citizens. The film had been passed by the censors but Poincaré is using a French Revolutionary decree.

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Saturday, August 19, 2023

Today -100: August 19, 1923: Of klanning, actualists, and elephants

Headline of the Day -100:  

Is “klan” a verb now?

The Klan ignites crosses in 260 locations in Oklahoma simultaneously.

The epidemic of people being kidnapped and lashed, possibly by kluxers but it doesn’t say, expands outwards from Texas to Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio.

The Netherlands finally gets its own fascists, called the League of Actualists. Won’t come to anything. Hard to goose-step in wooden clogs, I guess.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Friday, August 18, 2023

Today -100: August 18, 1923: Bye, Duchess

Florence Harding moves out of the White House.

Two black men are lynched in Georgia in separate incidents. The first is hanged from a tree customarily used for that purpose.

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

Today -100: August 17, 1923: Of handshaking, electric horses, slemps, and kluniversities

After Steubenville, Ohio, locals beat the shit out of badly outnumbered Klansmen (100 kluxers v. 3,000 townies, supposedly), the Klan is demanding the resignation of Mayor Frank Hawkins (who “was renominated by the hoodlums, riff-raff, bootleggers, gamblers and the entire lawless element”) & the police chief. Armed kluxers are arriving from all over...

The Klan will run a candidate against Hawkins in November. He will lose badly, though kluxers will do very well in other Ohio municipal elections.

The American Philatelic Society cancels a meeting to shake hands with Pres. Coolidge. Harding sometimes shook 1,200 hands in a day, which is the sort of thing people think killed him.

And where Harding liked golf, Coolidge plans to get his exercise by horse-back riding and has picked one of the White House horses (how many horses does the White House have?) named General. The internet provides several images of Coolidge on horseback, always wearing a tie, naturally, but I’m not sure which one is General. Later, the Secret Service made him stop riding, so he got an electric horse, designed by John Harvey Kellogg, the cereal and anti-masturbation weirdo. Sadly, there seem to be no pictures of Coolidge on “Thunderbolt,” as the electric horse was known, but here it is, in its current pasture in the Coolidge Presidential Library.

Coolidge has also chosen a secretary, former Virginia congresscritter (1907-23) C. Bascom Slemp. The NAACP is furious because Slemp worked for a “lily white” Republican party in Virginia and voted against the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill. He may or may not be a Klan member.

The Ku Klux Klan says Valparaiso University, which they are in the process of buying, will be open to people of every race and religious creed who are willing to go to Klan U.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Today -100: August 16, 1923: Of embarrassing prisoners, recognitions, and kluniversities

Éamon de Valera is finally arrested, at an election meeting in Ennis, County Clare, at which his appearance had been announced. Troops rudely interrupt his speech and fire shots (blank, they claim). London newspapers say the “glamour of his imprisonment” may make him an “embarrassing prisoner” for the Irish government. 

Delegates from the US & Mexican governments sign an agreement intended to lead to the US finally recognizing the Mexican government. It sets out land and oil rights details which, if I understand this correctly, give US oil companies greater rights in Mexico than Mexicans have.

The Ku Klux Klan buys Valparaiso University in Indiana.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Today -100: August 15, 1923: Of unchanging policies, changing noses, marital law, trains, and the limit

The White House says Coolidge will not change a single one of Harding’s policies.

Comedian Fannie Brice is getting  a nose job. “In noses as in life, one wearies of the too familiar.” It seems that Brice wants to try her hand at drama, and her nose is just too darned amusing.

German Communists call off their general strike in Berlin in a complete failure no one expected.

Martial law rules in Tulsa include a curfew and a ban on criticism of the military and state government. 

The Pullman Company is NOT retiring the train carriage that brought Harding’s body cross-country. It’s in the shops now, presumably being fumigated.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Serial spouse-abuser Michael Kelly of New York City hit his wife Katherine with his fists and a chair, breaking her arm. So what’s the “limit,” you’re asking? 5 months and 29 days.

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Monday, August 14, 2023

Today -100: August 14, 1923: To Americanize the alien before the alien alienizes the American

Wilhelm Cuno’s last act as German chancellor was to announce that Germany is suspending reparations-in-kind payments, citing the need to prevent a complete breakdown of Germany’s economic & financial system and avoid, you know, famine. Payments in kind to France and Belgium were already suspended at the start of the Ruhr occupation.

Oklahoma Gov. J.C. Walton puts Tulsa under martial law after one Nathan Hantman is flogged, something about selling whisky and drugs.

Secretary of Labor James J. Davis has been traveling around Europe investigating immigration. On his return, he says “I am for selective immigration or none.” He calls for inspections abroad and on ships and... I assumed he was talking health, but the “selective system” would also “encourage the coming of those who have an understanding of and are in sympathy with American ideals, American ways and institutions – those who would be easily assimilated into American life, and we will be able to keep out those who are hostile to these principles.” He blames foreign governments for the many arriving immigrants not allowed into the US, saying they should check their “character” before issuing them passports. He also wants to register aliens so they can be deported in their first five years in the country if they express bad ideas: “a law to enroll all aliens will mean that we will be able to Americanize the alien before the alien alienizes the American.”

US Steel actually starts 8-hour instead of 12-hour shifts in Gary, Indiana and South Chicago, though not for everyone.

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Sunday, August 13, 2023

Today -100: August 13, 1923: Cuno out

Amidst food riots and strikes, including a Communist-called general strike in Berlin, with 30 dead, Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno and his Cabinet resign. Cuno will be replaced by Gustav Stresemann of the German People’s Party (Deutsche Volkspartei, DVP), who will maintain the policy of passive resistance in the Ruhr.

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Saturday, August 12, 2023

Today -100: August 12, 1923: Of laddies, half-women, and thumbs

Florence Harding gives away Warren’s dog (the story says temporarily; it won’t be temporary).

Magician P. T. Selbit sues Goldwyn, the movie people, in London for a film exposing how he performs “sawing a woman in half,” which Selbit claims to have invented (although in the US another magician had the forethought to patent the illusion).

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Friday, August 11, 2023

Today -100: August 11, 1923: A rotten day’s work for a rotten day’s pay

Headline of the Day -100:  

Harding is buried.

Headline of the Day -100:  

A lot of the people he’s been meeting the last few days have been frustrated in their attempts to get Silent Cal to express an opinion on pretty much anything.

German Pres. Friedrich Ebert issues a proclamation banning handbills, meetings, speeches etc that will, I don’t know, lead to a soviet republic. There are strikes everywhere (Communist slogan: “A rotten day’s work for a rotten day’s pay”). In the Reichstag, the Communists (KPD) will introduce a motion of no confidence against Chancellor Cuno, and the United Socialists will support it, so he’s toast.

16 nations, including the US, Britain, Germany, Cuba, etc, present China with an arrogant note, as was the custom, about the abductions by bandits from that train in May. Demands include $8,000 compensation per abductee; the firing of 3 officials including the military governor of Shantung and their exclusion from future government positions; and stepped-up measures against bandits, supervised, naturally, by foreigners. The diplomats complain: “As long as China employs her best troops in civil war... the troops will be diverted from their true task.” You know, protecting white foreigners.

Jesus Salas Barraza, a member of the Durango State Legislature, confesses to organizing the assassination of Pancho Villa. He will be sentenced to 20 years but pardoned after 6 months.

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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Today -100: August 10, 1923: Well, I didn’t think we’d be talking about Calvin Coolidge’s feet quite so soon

Marion, Ohio citizens suggest that Harding be buried in a mausoleum on an Indian mound.

The Montmarte Cabaret (or possible a Montmarte cabaret) loses its all-night license after Americans get the manager to assault and eject a black customer, who turns out to be a prince from Dahomey (Benin).

Speaking of Montmarte, I was watching the first episode of the 1960- BBC Maigret series on YouTube a while back, leaving the subtitles on precisely because they were so terrible as to be hilarious. At one point they rendered “Montmarte” as “Walmart.”

The National Association of Chiropodists says New Yorkers have the smallest, worst-shaped feet in the country because they don’t walk enough.

Pres. Coolidge left the New Willard Hotel early this morning for his regular hour-long stroll (his feet must be so well-shaped), accompanied by only 2 Secret Service agents.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Today -100: August 9, 1923: We refuse to work under the bayonets of our oppressors

German Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno addresses the Reichstag, to jeers of “deceiver” and “living corpse” from the Communists. “Germany must and will continue passive resistance” in the Ruhr, he says. “What we cannot do and will not do is to abandon a German land and betray fellow-countrymen. We refuse to work under the bayonets of our oppressors.”

Some members of the Italian Socialist Party have broken off in order to collaborate with Mussolini. The Catholic Party had a similar split.

The Spanish bull-fighting season ends, with 6 dead matadors and 2 picadors. And the great matador Bombita crashes his car on the way to a match, fracturing his skull. Good. (There are several related matadors named Bombita. One of them, the Google Translate of his Spanish-language Wikipedia page informs us, “Sick of gravity, the bullfighter died in Seville on January 19 from 1947.”)

Miners take over the Recklinghausen coal mines in the Ruhr after they are told there isn’t enough paper money to pay their wages. They erect a gallows, and the money appears as if by magic.

Headline of the Day -100, or Title on Pornhub?

That’s new American ambassador Robert Woods Bliss, which is also his porn name. Okay, I’ll stop now.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Today -100: August 8, 1923: Yup, that’s a train alright

People are turning out in large numbers all along the route to look at the train carrying Harding’s body. Which delays its arrival in D.C. until the dead of night.

The Klan hold a parade in Tampa in honor of Harding.

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Monday, August 07, 2023

Today -100: August 7, 1923: Of treaties, gomperses, and fine lots of fools

At Lausanne, the US & Turkey sign their treaty on trade & shit (it’s not a peace treaty; the US didn’t declare war on Turkey during the Great War).

Pres. Coolidge has been meeting almost exclusively with Republicans, with the exception of Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor, who tells him that organized labor wants the continuance of strict limits on immigration.

The former king of Saxony Friederich August III has no desire to return to the throne, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t Saxon monarchists. A mob of them show up at the railway station in Plauen chanting for him, but he doesn’t open his carriage window. Finally they knock at the window, and he lowers it, berating them: “You call yourselves republicans! Fine lot of fools you are!” (Back in Saxony, Dresden police attack demonstrators demanding bread).

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Sunday, August 06, 2023

Today -100: August 6, 1923: Deranged

A lot of talk about how to make the presidency less damaging to its occupant’s health. Assistant president? Single term? (The assistant president idea because there isn’t always a vice president. Like now -100).

Headline of the Day -100:  

Also his lungs, intestines...

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Saturday, August 05, 2023

Today -100: August 5, 1923: Of room 333, doctors, high souls, and kimonos

Coolidge is running the country from the $8-a-day suite in the Willard Hotel (room 333) that he’s been occupying (except after a fire) since taking the veepship. He took 333 over from the previous vice president, Whatsisname. He names Friday the 10th, the day Harding will be buried in Marion, Ohio, a national day of mourning.

Coolidge is probably keeping all of Harding’s cabinet, and he’s also keeping Charles Elmer Sawyer as White House physician, despite the manifestly poor job the homeopathist did in keeping the previous president alive. Sawyer, like Harding a resident of Marion, no doubt got the job because he once helped Harding’s mother, a midwife with a doctor’s license, refute charges that she accidentally killed a baby. Bill Clinton likewise protected an outrageously incompetent state medical examiner who covered up Clinton’s mother’s lethal mistakes as a nurse-anesthetist. 

Finishing up his lecture tour of North America, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
says it might be difficult to contact Harding’s spirit, since he is one of the high souls, not an earthbound spirit. And it usually takes 3 days after death before spirits can communicate (because of the Jesus thing). But after that he might advise Coolidge if asked.

Revolt of the Day -100:  

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Friday, August 04, 2023

Today -100: August 4, 1923: Of private qualities and horses

Coolidge says he’ll carry out Harding’s policies, including pushing for the US to join the World Court.

NYT: “It seems probable that the memory of President Harding will be cherished longer for his private qualities than for his public acts.”  Sex in the White House coat closet, multiple young mistresses, that secret daughter – you know, private qualities. Or perhaps that’s what the Times means by “that spirit of simple human friendliness and sympathy”. It’s hard to cherish him for his public acts because, well, they’re finding it really difficult to name any actual accomplishments. Personally, I think his greatest accomplishment was to orate the most alliterative speech ever orated at a party convention when he nominated Taft in 1912: “Progression is not proclamation nor palaver.  It is not pretense nor play on prejudice.  It is not of personal pronouns, nor perennial pronouncement.  It is not the perturbation of a people passion-wrought, nor a promise proposed” etc.

Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, is thrown from a horse, as was the custom.

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Thursday, August 03, 2023

Today -100: August 3, 1923: Of dead presidents

President Warren Gamaliel Harding dies at age 57 of a stroke or heart attack in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, as Florence Harding reads the newspaper to him.

Harding is the 6th president to die in office. Of those, 3 were from Ohio.

VP Calvin Coolidge, 51, is sworn in by his father, a notary public.

What’s a “farmer’s line telephone,” which is the type of phone Coolidge’s father has?

Coolidge is the first president from New England since Franklin Pierce 70 years ago.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Today -100: August 2, 1923: These boys are not real murderers

Pres. Harding’s health continues to improve, although a long recuperation is expected.

Headline of the Day -100:  

Ohio’s Gov. A. Victor Donahey is on a fishing trip along with his sons, a prison warden, and two trustee convicts acting as servants. The party crossed into Canada, which is not best pleased, because it doesn’t usually allow convicted murderers into the country. Donahey calls the furore “political bunk,” and says he pardoned one of them. “These boys are not real murderers,” he says, but were only convicted of second-degree murder and anyway he has a murderer-slash-gardener and a murderer-slash-housekeeper at the executive mansion. Canada will deport them in a couple of days, and Donahey will go with them. I’d have thought he would have returned before then anyway, Ohio being Warren G. Harding’s home state and all.

The Irish Court of Appeals rules that there is no state of war in Ireland, therefore the 12,000 IRA prisoners being held without trial can be granted release under habeas. The Dáil Éireann responds by passing, in a single day, a bill allowing the government to hold them 3 more months.

France threatens to crack down on obnoxious racist American tourists. There have been reports of Americans objecting to sharing restaurants, cafés, etc with black French citizens or colonials, including former and present soldiers, trying to impose Jim Crow in Paris.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Today -100: August 1, 1923: Elimination is improving

Pres. Harding is feeling much better. Phew.

In fact, Harding is well enough to read the newspapers with their big headlines about how sick he was.

I’ve spent too much time trying to figure out what “elimination is improving” means, but I’m now fairly sure that the appearance of the phrase on page 1 of the Paper of Record is not a reference to the presidential poop. Fairly sure.

Vice Pres. Coolidge only just found out about Harding’s illness. He’s vacationing at his father’s house in a tiny Vermont town with one telephone and no Sunday stage, hence no Sunday newspapers arriving before Monday. He doesn’t intend to go to D.C.

The NYT suggests maybe not sending presidents out on arduous cross-country trips in the future.

Sen. Oscar Underwood (D-Alabama) says he’s running for president. He says it’s time for a Southerner to again “bear the banner of democracy”. He calls for more international involvement. He doesn’t apologize for having opposed Prohibition.

German Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno plans to introduce “Rhine-Ruhr sacrifice” taxes. Given the collapse of the mark, he’d have been ejected from office by now if someone else was willing to take the job. The Cabinet supports doubling the income tax.

You know who don’t want to be paid in useless marks? The printers in the plants that print useless marks, who go on strike.

In the Ruhr, the French occupy 5 more mines whose workers go on strike, and the Belgians expel (from office or from the territory? unclear) the burgomaster and 5 city councilmembers in Aix-la-Chapelle.

An Uxbridge (Massachusetts) court judge orders home-brewed beer returned to Catherine Pramere, a nursing mother who insists beer is necessary for her diet. She doesn’t try to get the cops to return the moonshine whiskey they seized along with the beer.

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