Saturday, July 4

Friday, June 23

A free day today. No major disasters or historic events. So today features a theme of people in groups. First is a wild looking pair having fun in France. I imagine there was drinking involved. Next we have a more sedate, but still enthusiastic looking bunch. A young mother and her... 4,5,6? children! This little family is on their way to Palestine- Jews in exile, but lucky ones with someplace to go and some way to get there. A bigger group now- a men's athletic club in Greece. They look ready for some hoops. What is it with Jews and basketball anyway? After the men, the women. This scene is at a banquet for a woman's civic organization, meeting in Oslo. Would it be sexist of me to say that it's amazing that they got that many women to stop talking long enough... why yes, it ...

Thursday, June 22

The so-called Scottsboro Boys had been on trial and in appeal since 1931. Of the 9 defendants originally charged with rape, 8 had quickly been sentenced to death. That case went to the Supreme Court, which found that the defendants had been denied proper consul, and sent the case back to the state. In the first retrial of the case, Heywood Patterson was again found guilty by a jury. Athens judge Horton suspended his sentence and ordered a new trial, finding that the testimony of his accuser was likely false. Horton was fortunate that he had a farm to retire to, because this ruling ended his judicial career. Meanwhile, a pitcher is knocking them out with the Crawford Colored Giants. It will be a couple of decades before he's playing in the Major leagues. Chicago gets hot this time ...

Wednesday, June 21

Higher up today- here's Chamberlain, named after the position of British King's fixer, captioned "The Prime Minister will make the speeches", because Chamberlain is Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose job it is to toddy up the budget or something. Neville, his dad and at least one brother were all hooked up in government service. He couldn't get the US to entirely cancel England's war debt, but he got the interest rate cut significantly. A decent manager. There's a bike race in France. Interesting to have a national sporting event that travels around the country and lasts about a month. Is there anything else like it? A vision of the future at the Fair, for real. This giant robotically controlled audio-visual show may have given old Walt some ideas- or it may have been a complete d...

Tuesday, June 20

It took years and it ended up being too narrow to be really useful, but Stalin had a new talking point when the White Sea Canal was completed. Meanwhile, back in the states, it took decades and helped cause several major floods and fish kills, but the Illinois Waterway was finally officially opened as well. The dream of linking the Gulf to the Great Lakes by water was a reality. Let it flow here.

Monday, June 19

The actions proposed by the Roosevelt administration were controversial, but they were actions. Farm subsidies were a form of state control, and while many opposed them on ideological grounds, they had no alternatives other than "let the market correct itself". This wasn't the answer, at least, the pain and suffering this proposal caused were intolerable under the American form of government. Public opinion was strongly in favor of action. Austrian Premier/Dictator Englebert Dollfuss was also exerting state control in his continuing efforts to maintain Austria's existence as a country. In many ways he mirrored the moves Hitler was making in Germany, but seriously, look at this guy waving hi to the crowd. His idea was to offer the hardliners a version of fascism lite, without the Jew...

Sunday, June 18

Assassinations and attempted assassinations were the normal mode of business in much of the world- in 1933. The threat of being killed for speaking out is certainly asymmetrical. The more brutal the regime, the more likely they are to use this particular tool of statecraft. I wonder if the Dali Llama ever put out a hit on someone? I find it interesting that a) someone knew enough and bothered to post a reference to Yang Xing Fo's death in WikiPedia, and that b) there is practically no other information about it online. This is why I've included the book excerpt- the circumstances surrounding his assassination were well known at the time, and widely denounced, but references to it and even photos of Yang Xing Fo seem to have disappeared into the memory hole. Of course, I have no evid...

Saturday, June 17

Hiding in plain sight. A local commissioner wondered (on Twitter) why anyone would consider it "OK" to vandalize a public statue. He assured the public that the red paint had already been removed from the bust of Columbus in Lancaster. I saw some click-bait for "Device Makes Dull Knives Sharp" with a picture of someone using a stone to sharpen a knife. And today's 1933 theme presented itself with the simultaneous publication of the June 17 Argosy magazine and the start of the annual Prayer of the Padre pageant in San Fernando. It made me consider something people under the sign of the crescent like to do on an annual basis. I know, it's too "on the nose" but sometimes things are like that. It's also a day when the unfortunately nicknamed "Pretty Boy" Floyd the outlaw and his gang k...

Friday, June 16

There's nothing like a good conspiracy theory, and the murder (or assassination) of the Head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency in Tel Aviv on this date is surrounded by at least three. (Chaim Arlosoroff is the nervous looking guy in the middle sitting in front of Nixon) No one alive knows the truth, but that didn't stop the leader of the "revisionists" from holding an investigation which absolutely, resolutely declared that the Revisionists had nothing to do with it. My favorite theory was that it was a jealous Joseph Goebbels what done him in (by proxy). Next, some of that bad art so prevalent in 1933. I like Miro a lot, but yeah, this one is pretty bad. Funny though- see if you can find the trap set by the dog to catch the mouse... Now, in Chicago, they know real a...

Thursday, June 15

OK, so you've invented some kind of what we now call a rail gun, which uses electromagnets to propel steel bullets. You're justly proud of your accomplishment, and Popular Mechanics wants to include a photo of your device in their June 1933 issue. So naturally you include your kid in the picture. Naturally. Hard to believe that this bill lasted as long as it did. But the minute you remove banking restrictions you get a lot of hanky-panky going on. What can you do? Bankers gonna bank. Marcus Garvey roared through the twenties, but he had overspent his budget and by 1933 he was promoting a "go fund me" to keep himself afloat. Here's an artist's conception of the guiding light of the Chicago World's Fair who looks suspiciously like a certain president of the United States. Who's ...

Wednesday, June 14

Here's another little remembered aviator, who in 1933 was making headlines as he "battled" Wiley Post for the solo 'round the world record. Jimmie Mattern had wealthy oilman backers, a plane painted to resemble an eagle and named the "Century of Progress" and plenty of brains and determination. What he didn't have was good luck at the time, crashing in Siberia on his second attempt. On the other hand, he was rescued from that inhospitable place and went on to a long and productive career. Wiley Post went on to crash in Alaska, taking Will Rogers with him. Meanwhile, there's a little bike race going on in France. Here's the official song of the World's Fair in Chicago. This illustration shows the official spirit of the fair, the "I Will" lady, with the bored goddess expression that...