Thursday, November 30, 2023

Today -100: November 30, 1923: Of Marxes, Klux wreaths, and Fascism’s charm

Wilhelm Marx of the Zentrum Party, the Catholic party, will form a minority government of the same 3 parties in Stresemann’s cabinet, indeed with most of the same people in the same roles. Stresemann will be foreign minister. None of those 3 parties is the Social Democratic Party, on whose tolerance in the Reichstag Marx will nonetheless depend. Marx is the 4th person in a row Pres. Ebert asked to try to form a government, the other option being a new election, which would be... troublesome given the French occupation of part of the country and the rise of Nazis and other far-right groups.

Assistant Navy Secretary Teddy Roosevelt Jr. rejects an offer of support from the Ku Klux Klan for his run for governor of NY. “Americanism never goes masked,” he says.

Kluxers show up at the dedication of a monument to local Great War dead in Cedarhurst, Long Island and get into a fight with American Legionnaires determined to prevent them laying a wreath with the letters K.K.K.

Talking with the chief rabbi of Rome, PM Mussolini denies that the Fascist government has even considered an anti-Semitic policy. He regrets that foreign anti-Semitic parties seek to exploit “the charm which Fascism exercises throughout the world.”

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Today -100: November 29, 1923: Of pies, Rhenish republics, whippings, and hunger-strikers

Coolidge wasn’t willing to accept a free Thanksgiving turkey, but he’s evidently okay accepting a free 2½-foot pumpkin pie.

For the record, so am I.

Josef Matthes dissolves the separatist Rhineland Republic of which he was the head. It had broken into competing factions and a coup was in the works, led by someone Matthes claims is a Prussian spy. Also, he says, the provisional government was led partly by incompetent people and partly by dishonest ones.

The Putnam Lumber Company pays $20,000 to the family of Martin Tabert, who was whipped to death in a convict labor camp in Florida with which the company contracted for slave labor.

The Bishop of Cork, Daniel Cohalan, refuses Christian burial for Denny Barry, an IRAer who died during a hunger strike at the Newbridge internment camp. The bishop claims he based his decision on the Church position on suicide, but adds that the Republicans are “a wicked and insidious attack on the Church.” Over the years the Catholic Church’s position on hunger-striking has tended to depend on national politics. During the hunger strikes of Bobby Sands et al in 1980-1, the British Catholic Church said hunger striking was suicide, the Irish Church that it wasn’t.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Today -100: November 28, 1923: Not valid in Jewish hands

Calvin Coolidge rejects all offers of a free Thanksgiving turkey, will buy his own.

A “civil christening” is held in the Russian Free Opera House in Moscow, which is like a Christian christening except, you know, Communist. Isadora Duncan and her troupe dance to Schubert’s Ave Maria. The baby’s mother says she was inspired by reading the biography of Rosa Luxembourg.

Pomerania (or the town of Stolt? unclear) issues a local currency, backed by rye (although not made of rye bread. Dammit, I want some dark rye with cream cheese now). Printed on the bills: “Not valid in Jewish hands.”

The Italian Cabinet decides that PM Mussolini’s emergency dictatorial powers should be extended. How long? However long he wants.

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Monday, November 27, 2023

Today -100: November 27, 1923: Don’t laugh at religion

Nominations are closed for next month’s British Parliamentary elections. 50 of the 615 seats are unopposed. Of the remaining candidates, 500 are Tories, 443 Liberals, 420 Labour and 20 other. Neither Conservatives nor Labourites are willing to stand aside for Liberals, so there’ll be a large number of three-cornered contests. There are 34 women running (8 will win, but the other 26 are all running against incumbents). T.P. O’Connor is the Father of the House of Commons, the longest-serving MP, having sat since 1885; he is the last remaining Irish Nationalist MP, although representing Liverpool.

The campaign we’ve been hearing the most about is Lady Astor’s in Plymouth, where she’s been facing a systematic heckling campaign. Making some sort of case against socialism based on religion, she responds to jeering, “Don’t laugh at religion” and calls it blasphemy. She responds to one heckler (his remarks are not given), “Don’t be cheeky, or I will knock that pipe out of your mouth.” Must be one of those zingers she’s known for.

King Alfonso of Spain, visiting Italy, is invested a corporal in the Fascista militia.

Adolf Hitler starts a (snicker) hunger strike in jail.

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Sunday, November 26, 2023

Today -100: November 26, 1923: Hello America

Radio broadcasts from Britain are heard in the US for the first time. US stations stop broadcasting at 10pm Eastern to facilitate the test, although some jackasses in Chicago and San Antonio couldn’t manage to stay off the air the whole 30 minutes. 8 British stations from London to Cardiff to Glasgow participated in the experiment.

Former German treasury minister Heinrich F. Albert will attempt to form a caretaker government. This would be a cabinet of non-partisan technocrat types, without the backing of a majority in the Reichstag. Albert was in the US before it entered the Great War trying to keep the US out but also overseeing spying and sabotage.

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Saturday, November 25, 2023

Today -100: November 25, 1923: Of maybe-chancellors and bombings

The feds & the Philadelphia cops think the bombings of the Spanish and Italian consulates was the work of Spanish Communists boomily protesting the agreement between Mussolini and Primo Rivera, or the Prime-Duck Pact, as no one calls it.

Siegfried von Kardorff of the German People's Party (DVP) refuses Pres. Ebert’s request that he attempt to form a government, after he fails to get support from the right-wing German National People’s Party (DNVP) or to get Stresemann to take the post of foreign minister. So Oskar Hergt of the DNVP will try to do so. And fail.

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Friday, November 24, 2023

Today -100: November 24, 1923: I know of only one man who was flogged and did not get what he deserved

Bombs explode at the Spanish and Italian consulates in Philadelphia.

Gustav Stresemann loses a vote of confidence 230-155 and resigns as German chancellor. He and his cabinet will continue in office until a replacement is named.

French PM Raymond Poincaré wins a vote of confidence 506-70.

Gen. Hans von Seeckt, commander-in-chief of the Reichswehr (didn’t he challenge Stresemann to a duel some time back?) bans and orders dissolved the Communist Party (KPD), the Nationalist Party, and the National Socialists.

Pro-Klan members of the Oklahoma Legislature defeat a bill to make membership lists of secret organizations public. One senator declares that the Klan stands for law n’ order: “I know of only one man who was flogged and did not get what he deserved.” Ousted Gov. Jack Walton is indicted for 7 counts, coinciding with 7 of the charges for which he was impeached.

A circuit court orders Chicago to issue a license for a birth control clinic. Judge Fisher thinks knowledge of birth control methods would not materially lessen morality.

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Thursday, November 23, 2023

Today -100: November 23, 1923: If you have a better man, bring him out

German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann admits that “the development of internal German conditions is driving toward radical tendencies,” which he blames on France. Facing forthcoming motions of no confidence from the left and right, he proclaims, “If you have a better man for the job, bring him out.”

Headline of the Day -100:  

I’m assuming being only slightly drunk is illegal in Russia. This is Serge Essenin, Isadora Duncan’s husband. She will shortly announce that she is done with him.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Today -100: November 22, 1923: Of notes, Saxons, and surprisingly feisty dead Bavarians

Britain gets France to tone down the note to Germany on monitoring the size of its military. The issue of the return of the crown prince is dropped entirely.

Ousted Saxon Prime Minister Erich Zeigner is arrested, while Beer Hall Putsch leaders like Ludendorff still roam free.

Bavarian radical Kurt Eisner kills a peasant trying to assassinate him. Which is impressive, since Eisner was actually assassinated in 1919.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Today -100: November 21, 1923: Of spies, hunger, and butterfly jazz

Lothar Witzke, the only German spy convicted in the US during the Great War, is released from prison and will be expelled from the country.

Hunger-striking prisoner Dennis Barry dies in Newbridge internment camp, the first hunger-strike death under the Irish Free State.

Giacomo Puccini wins a lawsuit against the Ricordi music publishers for a fox-trot containing an excerpt from Madame Butterfly. Puccini claimed his dignity had been affronted by the jazzing of his music.

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Monday, November 20, 2023

Today -100: November 20, 1923: Brain fever, huh? That’s one term for it.

The Oklahoma State Senate removes Gov. Jack Walton from office on the first count of impeachment, abusing his pardon & parole power, by a unanimous vote. Walton’s defense had withdrawn from the trial. The Senate goes on to convict on 10 other counts: padding the state payroll, dispersing a grand jury, suspending habeas corpus, issuing deficiency certificates when there was no deficiency, raising excess campaign funds, illegally seeking gifts, and general incompetence. He is acquitted of other charges.

Vienna University is closed after violent attacks on Jewish students. Similar attacks take place in the university of Jassy, Romania.

Adolf Hitler, held in Landsberg fortress under guards “selected for their powers of resistance to Hitler’s magnetic personality,” is said to have brain fever.

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Sunday, November 19, 2023

Today -100: November 19, 1923: Of occupations, konklaves, and broken clubs

French PM Raymond Poincaré says France will occupy the Ruhr not only until reparations are paid, but until every other provision of the Versailles Treaty is met.

Poland says if Germany and Bavaria don’t stop persecuting Jews, Poland will persecute Germans.

The New Jersey state organizer of the Ku Klux Klan says the Klan will soon be strong enough in the state that they can take off their hoods. Dr. William Gudlidge, National Konklave (that’s a title), at a Klan-only meeting at the First Reformed Church of West Hoboken, claims there are negro societies in Chicago and New York pledged to marry only white women. And that the Catholics plan to take over the Navy in 1926, expelling all Protestants. And that Jews are trying to destroy pure womanhood through their control of commercial vice.

A Citizens’ Vigilance Committee forms in Atlantic City to combat the Ku Klux Klan. Mayor Edward Bader (business partner of Nucky Thompson, a very fictionalized version of whom was played by Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire) tells cops to “break your clubs over their heads.”

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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Today -100: November 18, 1923: Of protection, equal rights, spotless generals, and zebras

The British elections begin. PM Stanley Baldwin’s platform includes: higher duties on imported manufactured goods, using those as a bludgeon to negotiate lower foreign tariffs, imperial preference in imports. He claims to be concerned by unemployment and thinks protective tariffs are the only way to deal with it. It’s only been a year since the last elections, so this one is entirely down to Baldwin, who wants a mandate for protectionist tariffs. He might come to regret this decision.

The Duchess of Atholl is standing for Parliament, despite having been a prominent campaigner against women’s suffrage. She will win.

Pres. Coolidge meets a delegation from the National Woman’s Party, who ask his support for the Equal Rights Amendment. Sidestepping that, he tells them he’s sure Congress will respond favorably.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The Bavarian branch of the German Officers’ Association finds his behaviour “spotless” and says the poor naif was deceived by Hitler.

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Countess Hardwick of the Hohenlohe royal line, after an ill-fated trip to the Budapest Zoo. I haven’t been able to confirm this story, but Christian Prinz zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who I presume is related to her, was charged in 2008 with killing mountain zebras in Namibia. Not sure if the Hohenlohe-Zebra feud continues.

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Friday, November 17, 2023

Today -100: November 17, 1923: Of the spirit that is necessary for cooperation and entente, acquittals, and royal furniture

Britain won’t agree to any further sanctions on Germany, especially France’s plan to seize ports. And it won’t agree to an ultimatum to Germany to expel or surrender former crown prince Friedrich Wilhelm, a demand Britain points out is not covered by the Treaty of Versailles. Yesterday PM Stanley Baldwin suggested in Parliament that France is being so bitchy that Britain “could not continue indefinitely to maintain the spirit that is necessary for cooperation and entente.” French PM Raymond Poincaré responds that France has not been stubborn and intransigent. France has sooooooo been stubborn and intransigent.

Mussolini also opposes expanding the occupation.

The two men who assassinated Vatslav Vorovsky, the Soviet delegate to the Lausanne Conference, last May, are acquitted by a Swiss jury after a trial that largely focused on the evils of the Bolshevik government. The Soviet Union will start a boycott of Switzerland.

Former kaiser Wilhelm says he had no idea former crown prince Friedrich Wilhelm was going to Germany. Indeed, he goes to court to get back some of the family furniture the crown prince was sending to his estate in Silesia.

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Thursday, November 16, 2023

Today -100: November 16, 1923: Of revitalized parties and territories

Sen. Hiram Johnson (R-Cal.) and William Gibbs McAdoo (D) announce their candidacies for president. Johnson calls for a “revitalized Republican Party, the instrument neither of static reaction nor destructive radicalism.” McAdoo just reminds everyone he’s Woodrow Wilson’s son-in-law, probably. 

The American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (i.e., white people), finding Filipino agitation for independence and opposition to appointed Gov.-Gen. Leonard Wood to be interfering with bidnizz, calls for the Philippines to be declared a territory, ending what little autonomy it has.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Today -100: November 15, 1923: Yay Yeats

Former Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, back in Silesia on his 50,000-acre estate, says he intends to mind his own business.

Germany will stop paying unemployment in the Rhineland and Ruhr on the 25th.

William Butler Yeats is awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Today -100: November 14, 1923: Of reconciliations, passports, and crown princes

In the UK, the divided Liberal Party is divided no more. Asquith & Lloyd George reconcile and will march off into irrelevance hand in hand.

Germany denies having issued passports and visas to ex-kaiser Wilhelm.

France proposes that Germany be punished for letting the crown prince return and for non-compliance with Allied inspections of its military (Germany says it can’t ensure inspectors’ safety in the current climate) with the seizure of Hamburg.

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Monday, November 13, 2023

Today -100: November 13, 1923: Caught!

Hitler is captured.

Rumors say that former kaiser Wilhelm has received passports from Germany, will return, and he or his son will be reinstalled as kaiser next month.

The Supreme Court upholds California and Washington laws banning people who are barred from citizenship (i.e., Japanese) from owning land.

Albert Einstein flees Berlin after receiving anti-Semitic threatening letters.

Treasury Sec. Andrew Mellon proposes reducing taxes on earned income.

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Sunday, November 12, 2023

Today -100: November 12, 1923: Monstrous fallacies are the worst kind of fallacy

Bavarian Dictator Gustav von Kahr calls the Beer Hall Putsch “utopian,” attempting “to pick the fruit before it was ripe.”

Winston Churchill declines to stand for Parliament in Bonar Law’s old seat. He does say that the Conservative Party’s turn towards protective tariffs is “a monstrous fallacy.” 

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Saturday, November 11, 2023

Today -100: November 11, 1923: Of deeply ignoble shit, words of honor, and unexiles

Woodrow Wilson addresses the nation on radio through 3 powerful radio stations, other stations agreeing to go off air during the 10-minute speech. He calls the US’s isolationism since the Great War “deeply ignoble,” “cowardly and dishonorable.”

Ludendorff, who was indeed captured, is released on his word that he won’t do another coup. Reports are that he then went home and committed suicide. He did not.

Former Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm leaves his Dutch exile for his estate in Silesia. Everyone’s in a tizzy. The Allies present the Netherlands a note objecting to the departure, handing it over 15 minutes after the princeling crossed into Germany.

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Friday, November 10, 2023

Today -100: November 10, 1923: The beer probably didn’t help

The Beer Hall Putsch is over. 16 putschists are dead and a few cops.

There really doesn’t seem to have been a plan. Hitler declared a coup and then everyone sat around the beer hall drinking for several hours. Eventually, Erich Ludendorff shouts “We’re marching” and leads an attack on the Bavarian War Ministry. Today’s paper is saying the storm troops are fought off by soldiers (police?) and pretty easily dispersed. This is wrong. In fact, they occupy the building without a shot fired.

Bavarian “Dictator” Gustav von Kahr, Reichswehr Gen. Otto von Lossow, and police chief Col. Hans Ritter von Seisser, who had all pledged support for the putsch at the beer hall but were unaccountably then allowed to leave by Ludendorff after they solemnly promised to come back later (hoo boy was Hitler pissed at that one), now say they were acting under duress and didn’t mean it. God knows they’re all hostile enough to the federal German government and insubordinate to its orders that it was not unreasonable to assume they’d go along with the putsch.

Ludendorff and Hitler are variously reported to have been captured or to be in the wind, with Hitler possibly suffering a gunshot wound.

The NYT calls the attempted putsch “a crazy movement inspired and directed by persons better fitted for the comic opera stage than for a serious effort to overthrow the Berlin Government,” referring more to Ludendorff than Hitler, who the editorial fails to mention.

Headline of the Day -100:  

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Thursday, November 09, 2023

Today -100: November 9, 1923: Of putsches with beverages

Headline of the Day -100:  

This is the Beer Hall Putsch. Invading a meeting in the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich called by Bavaria Minister-President Eugen von Knilling, Hitler, accompanied by a few hundred SA, fires a shot into the ceiling,  shouting “The national revolution has broken out!” and announces the overthrow of Bavaria’s government, naming State Commissioner Gustav Ritter von Kahr as National Protector (Reichsverwehr) and Gen. Erich Ludendorff as head of the German army. Von Kahr takes a while to agree, saying he’s only doing it as a viceroy of Prince Rupprecht. Hitler says he’ll be German chancellor. He says there will be a march on Berlin.

In Berlin, a proclamation by Chancellor Gustav Stresemann and Pres. Friedrich Ebert points out that Hitler is a foreigner who only recently became a German citizen (actually, he hasn’t done that). “The success of this crazy mutiny can bring only a new catastrophe to Germany.”

No one thinks the army (Reichswehr) can be trusted to put down the putsch.

France warns Germany that it won’t tolerate a dictatorship in Germany.

The Netherlands says it will prevent former Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm going to Germany.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Today -100: November 8, 1923: Of surpluses, duels, impeachments, and inspections

Candidates backed by the Ku Klux Klan sweep Ohio elections.

The Senate is investigating Charles Forbes, who was head of the Veterans’ Bureau until Harding fired him last February for continuing to sell off “surplus” hospital supplies, presumably for a kickback, after Harding told him to stop doing that. This was one of many, many, many grifts he engaged in, which I believe are only being made public now.

Supposedly Gen. Hans von Seeckt, commander-in-chief of the Reichswehr, challenges Chancellor Gustav Stresemann to a duel, evidently because he thinks the chancellor is being too soft on Bavaria.

The federal district court rejects Jack Walton’s request to stop his impeachment as Oklahoma governor.

France demands that Germany allow the resumption of inspections to ensure its military isn’t larger than the 100,000 allowed by the Versailles Treaty. I think the idea is to include all the paramilitary groups, storm troopers etc towards that limit.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Today -100: November 7, 1923: Of elections, impatient fascisti, the influence of passion and prejudice, and hunger strikes

In yesterday’s elections, NY voters approved a bonus for veterans of the Great War. Ohio, by 56%, removes words in the state Constitution restricting the franchise to white males. Vermont elected Porter Dale (R) to the US Senate. Governors: Albert Ritchie (D) in Maryland, Henry Whitfield (D) in Mississippi, and William Fields (D) in Kentucky.

Headline of the Day -100:  

This article entirely fails to mention the head of the Klan in Indiana, D.C. Stephenson, who will probably show up in the news at some point.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The dick pics in question are paintings put up by former Ohio Sen. Charles Dick as collateral for a loan. His wife’s name, I mention for no particular reason, is Carrie Dick.

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Gov., er suspended Gov. Jack Walton of Oklahoma appeals to federal district court to stop his impeachment, saying he can’t get a fair trial in the state senate, where many members are “under the influence of passion and prejudice” against him.

The Glasgow Central Division Liberal Party invites Winston Churchill to stand for Parliament in the by-election to replace the late Andrew Bonar Law. Churchill, meanwhile, is suing Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas for libel.

Some of the IRA hunger strikers held by the Free State give up after being told that Éamon de Valera isn’t joining them.

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Monday, November 06, 2023

Today -100: November 6, 1923: Of knight hawks, traditional German sports, and crown princes

In Atlanta, Philip E. Fox, editor of the Ku Klux Klan newspaper The Knight Hawk, shoots dead William Coburn, lawyer for the Klan’s Wizard-Emeritus William Simmons.

Headline of the Day -100:  

The German army masses on the Bavaria-Thuringia border to prevent Nationalist/monarchist/Nazi forces in the former attacking the latter. Pres. Ebert issues a proclamation warning of the dangers of civil war, saying that Germany has the facilities to put down any putsch and will use them ruthlessly.

The French military order German police out of Kaiserslautern’s town hall so separatists can occupy it and declare a Palatinate Republic.

During all this, former Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm has been given a passport by Germany allowing him to end his exile and move to Silesia, but the Allies are discussing whether to allow it.

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Sunday, November 05, 2023

Today -100: November 5, 1923: Of Hitler bluffs

Wels, Austria, imposes a special tax on plays by Jewish and French authors.

The Third International says it’s the time for German Communists to take over Germany and form a Versailles-Treaty-busting army of all the unemployed.

Nationalists and Nazis are getting ready for some sort of action on the 7th. Would the Reichswehr fight back against a nationalist rising? Very unclear. Is this all a “typical Hitler bluff”? Er...

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Saturday, November 04, 2023

Today -100: November 4, 1923: The Klan issue or anti-Klan issue will not be raised here

A Ku Klux Klan newspaper in the Southwest, Mayfield’s Weekly, announces opposition to the presidential candidacies of Sen. Oscar Underwood, Al Smith and, surprisingly, Henry Ford, who recently gave a special Lincoln to a Catholic Archbishop. They like William Gibbs McAdoo, though. 

In Morristown, New Jersey, black people accuse Republican candidates for county offices of being in sympathy with the Ku Klux Klan. Mayor Clyde Potts (which is as New-Jersey-mayor a name as it is possible to have) responds by threatening to have them arrested: “The Klan issue or anti-Klan issue will not be raised here... Anyone who attempts to incite race or religious feeling among us will be dealt with as a public enemy.”

A mixed-race or possibly Mexican man is lynched at Eufaula, Oklahoma.

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Friday, November 03, 2023

Today -100: November 3, 1923: Of sick days

New air speed record: 259 mph, by a US Navy plane.

“Rhineland Republic” separatists occupy the Aix-la-Chapelle Town Hall. Then Belgian troops kick them out of town (having to protect them from angry Aixlahoovians on the way out), evidently in response to pressure from Britain and the Netherlands, although it’s a little murky. France will not be pleased.

The 3 German Social Democratic members of  Stresemann’s cabinet withdraw. They’d given him an ultimatum regarding Saxony and Bavaria, and he literally faked illness to avoid answering them.

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Thursday, November 02, 2023

Today -100: November 2, 1923: A dictatorship can last forever if properly managed

Headline of the Day -100:  

His lawyers’ request to ask each senator if he’s a member of the Ku Klux Klan is denied.

At the Imperial Conference in London, Indians complain about their unequal treatment in other British colonies. Canada says Indians have full legal rights there, er, except for British Columbia. South Africa’s Jan Smuts says if he gave rights to Indians he’d have to give them to blacks and then where would white rule be?

Headline of the Day -100:  

“A dictatorship can last forever if properly managed,” Mussolini tells foreign reporters. He brags about how few strikes there are now.

Chicago may lose the Republican Convention unless it offers more reasonable hotel rates (those smoke-filled rooms don’t come cheap). Cleveland will get the convention.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Today -100: November 1, 1923: Picky picky picky

Britain reminds France and Belgium that the “Rhineland Republic” would violate the Versailles Treaty, which sets Germany’s borders.

Thousands of men of the many right-wing groups in Bavaria – monarchists, Hitlerites, etc. – are massing on the Thuringian border.

The German occupying forces allow the Saxon State Assembly to meet and elect a new prime minister, Socialist Alfred Fellisch, to replace the one they deposed.

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