Friday, May 30, 2008

1919. Society (2)

1919. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes formulates a "clear and present danger" test for defining conditions under which the constitutional right of freedom of speech may be abridged.

1919. Labor unrest rocks the United States. Four million workers strike or are locked out.

1919. Boston police strike September 9 in protest against pay scales that range from 24 cents per hour for 83-hour weeks down to 21 cents per hour for 98-hour weeks despite wartime inflation. Only 427 of the city's 1,544-man force remain on duty to deal with the orgy of lawlessness that ensues. Gov. Calvin Coolidge learns about the rioting the next morning. He sends state militia into Boston and the 1,117 strikers are dismissed. AF of L leader Samuel Gompers asks that they be reinstated. Coolidge wires Gompers, "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, at any time."

1919. A Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution granting women's suffrage is adopted by a joint resolution of Congress June 20 and sent to the states for ratification.

1919. Race riots erupt in 26 U.S. cities throughout the year.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

1919 Society (1)

1919. The Versailles Peace Conference opens January 18 outside Paris with delegates from 27 victorious nations and one week later adopts a unanimous resolution to create a League of Nations whose members will protect each other against aggression and will devote itself to such matters as disarmament, labor legislation, and health.

1919. A new German republic is established with its constituent assembly at Weimar, a Thuringian city far to the southwest of Berlin, where the traditions are humanistic rather than militaristic.

1919. The third International founded at Moscow March 2 is an organization dedicated to propagating communist doctrine with the avowed purpose of producing world-wide revolution. This Comintern will unite Communist groups throughout the world.

1919. The Treaty of Versailles signed June 28 obliges Germany to accept sole responsibility for causing the Great War.

1919. The U.S. Senate rejects the Versailles Treaty and rejects U.S. membership in the League of Nations. President Wilson has suffered a stroke October 2, his left side is paralyzed, and he is powerless to fight isolationists led by Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

1918. Literature

Cornhuskers. Carl Sandburg. American. 1918. Poetry. Collection of poems. "Cool Tombs." "Prairie." "Caboose Thoughts." "Chicago Poet." "Haunts."

Exiles. James Joyce. Irish. 1918. Play. Irish writer who has spent much of life abroad, estranged from Irish society. Artist's alienation.

My Antonia. Willa Cather. American. 1918. Novel. Bohemian immigrant settlers on frontier farmlands of Nebraska.

Tarr. Wyndham Lewis. British. 1918. Novel. Paris art students of various nationalities; attacks German romanticism, nihilism, militarism.

The Twelve. Aleksandr Blok. Russian. 1918. Poetry. The chaotic streets of St. Petersburg in the early years of the Russian Revolution.

Valmouth. Ronald Firbank. British. 1918. Novel. Fantastic English village with Eastern massage, cultured conversation; society ladies practice religion and pursue men.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

1918. Society (4)

1918. Nonfiction: Eminent Victorians by English writer Lytton Strachey, introduces a new genre of biography by injecting imagined conversations and taking other liberties while debunking the Victorian eminences of Florence Nightingale and such.

1918. Popular songs: "Till We Meet Again"; "K-K-K-Katy"; "After You're Gone"; "Somebody Stole My Gal."

1918. The Raggedy Ann Doll introduced by a New York firm is based on a doll produced to promote sales of the first book of Raggedy Ann Stories. Raggedy Ann doll will grow to become a $20 million-per-year business.

1918. Camel cigarettes are the favorite smoke among U.S. forces in France and enjoy a 40% share of the U.S. market.

1918. The Staatliches Bauhaus founded at Weimar by German Architect Walter Gropius combines two art schools in a revolutionary center that interrelates art, science, technology and humanism.

1918. Americans call sauerkraut "liberty cabbage"; "German toast" becomes "French toast."

Monday, May 26, 2008

1918. Society (3)

1918. The worst pandemic to afflict mankind since the Black Death of the mid-14th century, "Spanish" influenza," (which actually began in China) sweeps through Europe, America and the Orient killing 21.64 million--more than 1 percent of the world's population--while the European War ends after having killed some 10 million. Nearly 25% of Americans fall ill, some 500,000 die including 19,000 at New York, schools are closed, parades and Liberty Loan rallies banned, hospitals jammed,coffin supplies exhausted at Baltimore and Washington.

1918. Emergency tent hospitals go up throughout America as the Spanish influenza epidemic taxes regular hospital facilities.

1918. The International Church of the Four-Square Gospel is founded at Los Angeles by Canadian-American evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, 29, a divorcee who has arrived penniless but offers hope and salvation to Southern and Midwestern migrants newly arrived in Southern California. McPherson will build a large following that will provide funds to build the huge Angelus Temple from which her sermons will be broadcast on radio. Patriotic-religious music played by a 50-piece band will precede the sermons and the McPherson movement based largely on faith healing, adult baptism, and Fundamentalist spectacle, will attract thousands.

1918. "Believe It or Not!" is published for the first time by New York Globe sports cartoonist Robert Ripley, who sketches figures of men who have set records for such unlikely events as running backward and broad jumping on ice.

To be continued.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

1918. Society (2)

1918. Hailed as a U.S. war hero is Tennessee doughboy Alvin Cullum York, 30, whose draft board denied his petition for exemption as a conscientious objector. In the Battle of the Argonne Forest, October 8, Private York of the 82nd Infantry Division led an attack on a German machine gun nest that killed 25 of the enemy and he then almost single-handedly captured 132 prisoners and 35 machine guns.

1918. U.S. ace Frank Luke, 22, takes off in his Spad September 29 in defiance of his commanding officer who has grounded him. Luke has shot down 16 enemy planes. 10 German Fokkers have gone up expressly to seek him out. He downs two of the Fokkers before an antiaircraft shell fragment hits him in the shoulder. He goes down behind enemy lines, empties his pistol at approaching soldeirs, and is mortally wounded 16 days after he first went into combat.

1918. The Owen-Keating Child Labor Law of 1916 is an unconstitutional encroachment on states' rights, the Supreme Court rules June 3. Justice Holmes dissents.

1918. British women over age 30 gain the right to vote under terms of the Fourth Franchise Bill which also grants suffrage to all men over age 21. Emmeline Pankhurst has favorably influenced masculine opinion by persuading women to do war work and has helped obtain passage of the bill.

1918. A head-on collision between two trains on the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway in Tennessee, June 22, kills 99 and injures 171, an all-time high for U.S. railroad mismanagement.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1918. Society (1)

1918. The Fourteen Points for a just and generous peace outlined by President Wilson, January 8, in a message to Congress are intended to counter the Russian Bolsheviks,who have released secret agreements revealing Allied plans to carve up the German Empire. Wilson calls for "open covenants openly arrived at" and for self-determination of government by Europe's peoples, asks for the creation of a League of Nations to preserve the peace, but has failed to obtain advance Allied agreement to his proposals.

1918. The tide of war has turned with the entry of U.S. troops.

1918. German air ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen, 26. leads the "Flying Circus" that downs dozens of Allied aircraft but is shot down himself April 21. The Red Baron is credited with 80 kills and the Allies bury him with full military honors.

1918. Eddie Rickenbacker engages seven German planes in a dogfight, September 25; he will win the Congressional Medal of Honor for his performance in the encounter.

1918. Russia's royal Romanov family is shot to death July 16 at Yekaterinburg by order of the Bolsheviks.

1918. Germany's Wilhelm II abdicates November 8 and hostilities on the western front end November 11 in an armistice signed by Germany and the Allies at Compiegne outside Paris.

1918. The Great War has killed 1.8 million Germans, 1.7 million Russians, 1.4 million French, 1.2 million Austrians and Hungarians, between 750,000 and 950,000 British, 460,000 Italians, 325,000 Turks and 115,000 Americans. Some 20 million have been blinded, maimed, mutilated, crippled, permanently shell-shocked, or otherwise disabled.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

1917. Literature.

Fortunes of Richard Mahoney. Henry Handel Richardson. Australian. 1917. Novel. 19th-century misfit. Mahoney fits in nowhere and dies insane.

La Jeune Parque. Palul Valery. French. 1917. Poetry. Dramatic monologue. Female fearful and fascinated by desire awakening in her.

Portrait of a Lady. T.S. Eliot. American/British. 1917. Poetry. Lack of communication between woman, man trapped by conventions of dying social order. Conscious of isolation but can't escape it. Her life is determined by empty forms, devitalized by social rituals. He seeks solace in humdrum habits and conventions.

The Shadow Line. Joseph Conrad. British. 1917. Novel. Captain matures as he takes sailing ship through a difficult calm.

A Son of the Middle Border. Hamlin Garland. American. 1917. Autobiography. Boyhood in the Middle West. Grandeur of the prairie. Bleakness, hardship of farm life; fruitless quest from frontier to frontier.

South Wind. Norman Douglas. British. 1917. Novel. Capri-like island. Exotic, odd, and learned characters. Skeptical discussion. Topics: ethics, religion, art, food, etc. The author's satirical essays on the island.

Gas. Georg Kaiser. German. 1917/20. Plays. Trilogy. Indictment of over mechanization of modern society.

Cantos. Ezra Pound. American. 1917. Poetry. Epic poem. Vast, disjointed panorama of the growth of civilization.

Monday, May 19, 2008

1917 Society (4)

1917. Halifax, Nova Scotia, is destroyed December 6 by an explosion that levels two square miles, kills 1,654 and blinds, maims or disfigures 1,028. The Norwegian relief ship Imo loaded with supplies for war-torn Europe has plowed into the French munitions ship Mont Blanc loaded with 4,000 tons of TNT. A tidal wave created by the explosion washes the city's remains out to sea.

1917. Drought begins on the Western plains.

1917. Britain's House of Commons is stunned by news that 2 million tons of shipping have been lost to German U-boats and that the country has only 3 to 4 weeks' supply of food in stock.

1917. Nathan Handwerker counters rumors spread by his Coney Island rivals who say that 5-cent hot dogs cannot be of the best quality. He hires college students to stand at his counters wearing white jackets with stethoscopes hanging out of their pockets and word spreads that doctors from Coney Island Hospital are eating Nathan's hot dogs.

1917. A U.S. immigration bill enacted January 29 over a second veto by President Wilson requires that immigrants pass a literacy test in any language. To relieve the distress of Russian Jews it exempts refugees from religious persecution. The U.S. population passes 100 million.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

1917. Society (3)

1917. The United States has more than 40,000 millionaires, up from 4,000 in 1892.

1917. U.S. trolley car ridership reaches 11 billion, with 80,000 electric streetcars plying 45,--- miles of track.

1917. The worst train wreck in world history occurs December 12 at Modane, France, where a passenger train jumps the tracks killing 543, injuring hundreds more. Three U.S. train wrecks in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Kentucky kill 20, 30 and 46 respectively.

1917. "I Want You," says Uncle Sam in a recruitment poster painted by New York illustrator James Montgomery Flagg, who has used his own face as a model for the stern-visaged Uncle Sam.

1917. The term "surrealism" coined by French man of letters Guillaume Apollinaire denotes anti-establishment art.

1917. Popular songs: "Over There," by George M. Cohan; "You're in the Army Now"; "Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here"; "Back Home in Indiana"; "For Me and My Gal"; "Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny."

1917. The National Hockey League (NHL) is organized November 22 at Montreal with teams from Montreal (the Canadiens and the Wanderers), Quebec, Ottawa and Toronto. The first U.S. team to join will be the Boston Bruins in 1924, followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates (later Penguins) in 1925, and the New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later Redwings) in 1926, but the U.S. teams will be comprised almost entirely of Canadian-born players.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

1917. Society (2)

1917. French dancer Mata Hari (Gertrud Margarete Zelle), 41, is convicted of having spied for the Germans and is executed October 15 at St. Lazare.

1917. The Balfour Declaration issued November 2 by Foreign Secretary Arthur J. Balfour, says, "The British government favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of that object, its being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." British troops have invaded Palestine and taken it from the Ottoman Turks who have held it since 1516. Jerusalem falls to the British December 9.

1917. A Bolshevik revolution begins at Petrograd the night of November 6 (October 24 by the Julian calendar still used in Russia).

1917. The Kerenski government falls and a new government headed by Lenin takes office November 7 under the name Council of People's Commissars.

1917. Russian peasants seize landlords' fields as the Bolsheviks initiate plans to make Moscow the nation's capital.

1917. New York adopts constitutional amendment November 6, granting equal voting rights to women.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

1917. Society (1)

1917. The German High Command resumes unrestricted U-boat attacks despite the probability that such attacks will bring the U.S. into the European war.

1917. Berlin notifies Washington January 31 that unrestricted submarine warfare will begin the next day.

1917. Eleven U.S. senators conduct a filibuster to block arming of U.S. merchant ships running the gauntlet of German U-boats.

1917. V.I. Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders arrive at Petrograd in April. The German high command has sent them by sealed railroad carriage from Switzerland across Germany in a calculated move to undermine the pro-Ally Russian provisional government.

1917. The United States declares war on Germany April 6.

1917. The Jones Act passed by Congress March 2 makes Puerto Rico a U.S. territory and Puerto Ricans U.S. citizens.

1917. The Danish West Indies which include the Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John with 26,000 inhabitants become a U.S. territory March 31 upon Senate ratification of a treaty giving Denmark $25 million for the 132 square miles of land involved.

To be continued.

Monday, May 12, 2008

1916. Literature.

"Birches." Robert Frost. American. 1916. Poem. Trees bent to ground by ice storms. Imagines bent by boy swinging. Longs to swing again.

The Brook Kerith. George Moore. Irish. 1916. Novel. Alternative view of Christ's fate. Lives by the Brook Kerith. Renounces his earlier message as blasphemous.

From Morn Till Midnight. Georg Kaiser. German. 1916. Play. Embezzles money to escape his circumscribed existence. Disappointment. Betrayed. Suicide.

Lustra. Ezra Pound. American. 1916. Poetry. Title, from Latin, refers to offerings made by Roman censors "for the sins of the people."

The Man Against the Sky. Edwin Arlington Robinson. American. 1916. Poetry. Man symbolized as lonely figure against sunset, i.e., death. WWI and world of science.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. James Joyce. Irish. 1916. Novel. Growing self-awareness as artist leads to rejection of world in which he was brought up. Severs family ties, nationalism and Catholic religion. Not straight narrative. Revolves around experiences crucial to Stephen's development as artist. First version, written in 1904, more conventional in form.

Seventeen. Booth Tarkington. American. 1916. Novel. Adolescent in the throes of his first love affair: Billy, Lola and Flopit.

The Underdogs (Los de abajo). Mariano Azuela. Mexican. 1916. Novel. Mexican Revolution. Blind, futile struggle by nameless masses who took up arms for a cause they did not understand. Swept along by turbulence; continued fighting because they did not know how to stop.

You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters. Ring Lardner. American. 1916. Stories. Letters from half-literate baseball rookie. Captures vernacular speech, tone, outlook. Combination of humor and misanthropy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

1916. Society (3)

1916. The Dada artistic and literary movement launched at Zurich will lead to surrealism next year. Hugo Ball, Hans Arp, and Tristan Tzara and their adherents believe that Western culture has betrayed itself by its easy acceptance of the world war. They protest against all bourgeois notions of meaning and order with chaotic experiments in form and language.

1916. Popular songs: "Roses of Picardy"; "la Cucaracha" ("The Cockroach").

1916. The first Rose Bowl football game January 1 pits Washington State against Brown in a huge new stadium that seats 101,385.

1916. Lucky Strike cigarettes are introduced by American Tobacco Co.

1916. Double-shell enameled bathtubs go into mass production in the United States to replace the cast-iron tubs with roll rims and claw feet that have been standard for decades.

1916. British fuel shortages motivate Parliament to pass a "summer time" act and most European governments do the same, advancing clocks one hour to make the most of available light.

1916. A German potato blight contributes to starvation that kills 700,000 and weakens morale in the army.

1916. Planters Nut and Chocolate introduces "Mr. Peanut."

1916. Coca-Cola adopts the distinctive bottle shape that will identify it for years.

1916. The Piggly-Wiggly opened at Memphis, Tenn., by food merchant Clarence Saunders begins the first supermarket chain.

1916. Nathan's Famous frankfurters have their beginning in a Coney Island, NY, hot dog stand at the corner of Stillwell and Surf Avenues.

1916. The first birth control clinic outside Holland opens at 46 Amboy Street, Brooklyn. Margaret Sanger distributes circulars to announce the opening, is arrested and jailed for 30 days.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

1916. Society (2)

1916. President Wilson wins reelection on a platform that includes the slogan "He kept us out of war," but he believes he has lost until late returns from California give him 23 more electoral votes than his Republican opponent Justice Charles Evans Hughes of the Supreme Court.

1916. The Owens-Keating Act passed by Congress September 1 forbids shipment in interstate commerce of goods on which children under 14 have worked or on which children from 14 to 16 have worked more than 8 hours per day.

1916. A Workmen's Compensation Act passed by Congress September 7 brings 500,000 Federal employees under a program to protect them from disability losses.

1916. The first U.S. Congresswoman is elected by Montana voters. She is Jeanette Rankin, 36.

1916. The first mechanically operated windshield wipers are introduced in the U.S. Electric windshield wipers will not be produced until 1923.

1916. A U.S. poliomyelitis epidemic strikes 28, 767 in mid-summer and fall. Some 6,000 die, 2,000 of them in New York, and thousands more are crippled.

1916. The Measurement of Intelligence by Stanford University psychologist Lewis Madison Terman introduces the term IQ (intelligence quotient) and presents the first test for measuring intelligence that will be widely used, the Stanford-Binet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

1916. Society (1)

1916. The Great War in Europe takes a heavy toll, the United States remains neutral while chasing Mexican bandit Pancho Villa, the Irish rise against the British in a great Easter rebellion.

1916. Pancho Villa has raided Columbus, N. Mex., March 9, killing 17 Americans, and a U.S. punitive expedition has moved into Mexico under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing, who is unable to catch him.

1916. Ireland's Easter rebellion beginning April 24 lasts a week but has little popular support. Some 2,000 rebels rise at Dublin, police arrest the rebel leaders. People hiss them but they become martyrs when convicted of treason and hanged August 3.

1916. The Battle of the Somme from July to mid-November is the bloodiest battle in history and follows the largest artillery barrage in history. 1,437 British guns rain 1.5 million shells on the enemy along an 18-mile front. The Allied armies lose 794,000 men, the Central Powers lose 538,888. The Allies drive the Germans back no more than 7 miles at any point, and the Germans will regain most of the lost ground in 1918.

1916. Commander-in-chief of British forces Gen. Douglas Haig is found to have said at a War Council April 14 of last year, "The machine gun is a much overrated weapon; two per battalion is more than sufficient." Like other top officers, Haig does not visit the front liens, saying he considers it his duty not to let the sight of wounded men affect his judgment.

1916. The first tanks to be used in warfare go into action September 15 in the Battle of the Somme. British writer and Boer War veteran Ernest Dunlap Swinton has invented the machines.

To be continued.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

1915 Literature

The 'Genius.' Theodore Dreiser. American. 1915. Novel. Midwestern artist. Many love affairs. Success. Marries. Wife dies in childbirth. Breakdown. Recovery.

"The Road Not Taken." Robert Frost. American. 1915. Poem. Narrator at fork in road decides on road less traveled.

The Good Soldier. Ford Maddox Ford. British. 1915. Novel. Learns his wife is the mistress of his best friend, a "good soldier." Conventional appearances vs. bitter truth.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. TS Eliot. American/British. 1915. Poem. Paralyzed by social habit, sense of futility; can't escape; identified with his surroundings. Explores death in life. Suggests spiritual decay in society. Sterility of the world. Longs to make a significant gesture. Lacks resources. Puts off in introspection. Ends on a note of hopelessness.

"The Metamorphosis." Franz Kafka. German. 1915. Story. Man awakens one morning to find himself changed into a huge insect; effects on his life; death.

Of Human Bondage. Somerset W Maugham. British. 1915. Novel. Struggle for independence and intellectual development. Attempts to become an artist. Obsessive love affair. Then marries nice girl, settles down as a country doctor.

The Rainbow. DH Lawrence. British. 1915. Novel. Emotional lives and loves of three generations of a family of farmers and craftsmen.

The Song of the Lark. Willa Cather. American. 1915. Novel. Daughter of a Colorado clergyman eventually becomes a soprano at the Metropolitan in NYC.

Spoon River Anthology. Edgar Lee Masters. American. 1915. Poetry. Characters narrate their own biographies from the cemetery where they lie buried. Realistic. Cynical. Free verse. Contradict the pious epitaphs on gravestones.

The Thirty-Nine Steps. John Buchan. Canadian. 1915. Suspense. Uncovers spy ring and forestalls an invasion of Britain.

Victory. Joseph Conrad. British. 1915. Novel. Man has avoided all ties and commitments; self-exiled wanderer. Helps unhappy Lena. She tries to save him from ruthless men and dies. His victory is his recognition of love and purpose in life through Lena's death.

Friday, May 2, 2008

1915. Society (3)

1915. The Fruehauf tractor trailer has its beginnings at Detroit where local blacksmith-wagon maker August Fruehauf and his associate Otto Neumann create the first trailer for the Model T Ford.

1915. The one millionth Ford rolls off the assembly line.

1915. Long-distance telephone service between New York and San Francisco begins January 25. The call takes 23 minutes to go through, and it costs $20.70.

1915. Film: D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation has such cinematic innovations as the close-up, pan shot, flashback and use of a moving camera.

1915. Popular songs: "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag"; "Paper Doll"; "Nola."

1915. The cancer-causing properties of coal tar are demonstrated by Japanese chemists who paint rabbits' ears with coal tar in the first experiments that produce cancer in animals.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

1915. Society (2)

1915. A firing squad executes IWW organizer Joe Hill despite pleas by the Swedish government, AF of L president Samuel Gompers and President Wilson. On the eve of his execution, Hill has wired "Big Bill" Haywood, "Don't waste any time on mourning. Organize." The message will help make Joe Hill a legend among working men.

1915. D. W. Griffith's full-length motion picture The Birth of a Nation heightens U.S. racial tensions.

1915. Prize fighter Jess Willard takes away Jack Johnson's heavyweight title. He is widely called the "great white hope" because Johnson has inflamed prejudice by marrying a white woman and by his lavish life style.

1915. A new Ku Klux Klan inaugurated Thanksgiving night on Stone Mountain near Atlanta will incite bigotry. It will attract a membership of nearly 100,000 throughout the country within 6 years.Dedicated to "white supremacy,"the protection of Southern womanhood, and "Americanism." Employs terrorist tactics against blacks, Jews and Roman Catholics, especially in the South and Midwest.

1915. The state of Delaware begins revising its corporation laws which will soon make Delaware the leading state in creating charters for the largest industrial corporations.

1915. The worst train wreck in British history kills 227 and injures 246. A Scottish regiment of 500 men is reduced to 72.