20 March 1921: New airplane has wings like a bird, Spanish dancer famous in Germany commits suicide in front of merrymakers


Inventor Perfects Model After Exhaustive Study of Wild Goose and the Eagle.


Ninety-Six Miles an Hour With Eight Revolutions a Minute Claimed for New Machine — No Vacuum Requires and is Nonrigid.

Norfolk, Va. — An airplane with wings that flap like a bird has been patented by Thomas J. Bird, formerly of Johnson City, Tenn., now a resident of Hampton, Va. It can get up from the water as well as it can from land. It is different from the rigid winged airplane, which receives its impetus from a rapidly revolving propeller. In several tests the machine has proven that it can fly, and it is claimed by the inventor and government experts that it will probably prove a much better flyer than the present-day airplane.

Mr. Bird says his machine in the “take off” and flight through the air does not create or require a vacuum, as does the present-day airplane. Mr. Bird, who is a marine engineer, several years ago took a course in aviation at San Diego, Cal., and became a regular licensed aviator. His idea was to do away with the present propeller and construct a machine with moveable wings or planes that would flap like any winged creature of the air.

Studies Bird Flight.

To attain this end he made exhaustive studies of and observed the flights of wild fowls, especially the wild goose and the eagle. His observations of the sustained flight of the wild goose convinced him that fowl is one of the swiftest of all winged creatures.

He then built a machine that he flew successfully at Santa Monica, Cal.
The motive power necessary for the propulsion of the mechanism of this flying machine is a gasoline engine or engines. The most essential mechanism is, first, the universal joint bearing boxes, which connect the wings of the flying machine to the body, and wherewith the wings are caused to swing, flapping like those of a bird in the air; and second, the wing guiding disk that causes the wings to move downward and upward in an oblong circular movement similar to that of an oarsman rowing a boat. This eliminates all jerking motion in the wing.

It is the constant aim of mechanical engineers in the construction of gasoline engines in operation to hold down the speed revolutions to keep the heat produced by gas combustion and friction at a temperature that will prevent distortion of the engines. for the type of airplane now in use the propellers must revolve very rapidly, and consequently, the engines are speeded up very near the danger point, as where as speed of ninety-six miles an hour is maintained continuously for many hours, which speed is that of the wild goose with its wings and by muscular energy alone. In Mr. Bird’s flying machine, with wings likened to those of a wild goose, to attain this speed the wings will be propelled eight revolutions per minute, whereas the propeller airplane will require 1,400 per minute.

The wings or planes in this invention are formed from overlapping slats, and are so constructed as to automatically close on the downward and forward thrust of the wings and open as the wings rise or recover, thereby permitting the air or water, as the case may be, to pass through without retarding the movement of the wings.

The inventor claims that no difficulty will be experienced in developing an engine revolution of 160 to 200 per minute, and a speed of 175 to 200 miles per hour.

The aviation department of the United States government has signified its encouragement of the device by offering aid in the building of a machine this coming summer at its chief construction base at Cleveland, O.

Germany’s Most Daring Woman Commits Suicide in Crowded Cafe.

Meran, Italy. — In the suicide of the Spanish dancer, Malvina Vinian, Germany has lost its most daring woman gambler and Europe loses one of her most notorious and most artistic personalities, whose life was filled with tragic melodrama.

Madame Vivian’s last act was typical of her. Dissolving prussic acid in a glass of champagne, she toasted everyone in the gambling hall of the Casino in Meran, Italy. She drank the poisoned wine and then fell dead across a table, surrounded by merrymakers.

Malvina Vinian was a fisher girl whom a rich German bought for 1,000,000 pesos and took to Paris, where she was trained as a dancer. She later became the sensation of Berlin. Her rich German friends provided her with a palace, and she became the richest, most prosperous and one of the most successful artists in Germany. Gambling caused her downfall. Last spring she became involved in a burglary, having employed a professional thief in order to obtain jewels to pay off her gambling debts. Freed, but still suspected, she went to Meran, where she lost a fortune and all of her friends.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

23 February 1921: German indemnity, random stats

First the random facts and short pieces of news:

  • Chemung county, N.Y., has 6,259 automobiles in use.
  • Five hundred U.S. ships are laid up and 20,000 seamen are idle.
  • The Lehigh Railroad has laid off 300 men from its shops at Sayre.
  • The typhus increase causes alarm. There have been more than 30 cases among immigrants in New York and several deaths from the disease.
  • At Altoona the Pennsylvania Railroad has laid off 875 men from the shops. At Jumata the force has shrunk about 2,000 men since November.
  • New York city reports the heaviest snowfall on Sunday in twenty years. Traffic was impeded and railroads handicapped by a 12 1/2-inch blanket. The storm cost the lives of five persons.
  • Chauncey M. Depew, at the age of 87, is still a joker. He said one day last week, “I’m looked after; Senator Harding has offered me and I have already accepted a post in his Cabinet. I am to be Secretary of the Exterior.”
  • Only about one-third the mines infesting the North and Baltic seas have been swept out. Germany engaged to do this work under the terms of the treaty, but she claims that it will require two more years because she is short of coal to work the shipping engaged in this work.
  • Five bandits held up a government mail truck on the platform of the Toledo postoffice, on Thursday, overpowered three men on the truck and got away with nine sacks of valuable mail. The robbers threw the sacks into a waiting automobile and escaped in broad daylight. The value of the registered mail stolen is estimated at from half to one million dollars. The police are baffled in obtaining any clues.
  • In an interview with the former Kaiser William, taken by Henrich Petermeyer, of Holland, the Kaiser is quoted as saying, “We would never have lost the war if my people had remained true to themselves. I always assert with Martin Luther that, if the world were full of devils who would swallow us up, we still would succeed if we did not fear for ourselves. We had already overcome hunger and need — despite the fact that America had joined hands with our eternal enemy, Britain. The betrayal of Germany signified her death sentence. And notice how God scourges the whole world — all evil revenges itself here on earth.”

Followed by a bit on German war repayments:


Germany holds that it cannot possibly pay the amount of the indemnity fixed by the recent council of the Allies. The German Ministry of Finance has concluded that the utmost it can pay is $35,730,000,000, which is considerably short of the sum demanded by the Allies, which was $53,833,300,000. The threat is made that Germany will hold the treaty void if force is used to collect the indemnity.
This reparation, Germany insists, must include all the cash and value of the goods she has so far returned to the Allies. And she proposes that she must have thirty years in which to make the settlement. There is an utter repudiation of the export tax proposal, and in case there can be no agreement reached, the United States is proposed as an arbitrator of the matter. This the United States government will probably refuse, and more likely will give its aid to the Allies to collect what is due from Germany. That is probably the sentiment of the majority of the American people.
It is expected that the London conference will be held about the middle of March, at which Germany hopes to have her counter proposal considered. It is possible that the Allies may modify their terms somewhat, but by no means will they accept the amount of scaling down suggested by Germany. It should not be forgotten what heavy terms Germany imposed on France in 1871, going to the limit of burdens and insisting on them at the point of a gun.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

22 January 1921: German Catholic bishops against vice, pouring alcohol down the drain, Gorky disgusted

From The Standard-Examiner:


BERLIN, Jan. 1 — (Correspondence) — The Catholic bishops of Germany have issued a pastoral letter asking all parishoners to unite in a campaign against vice, which it is charged, flourishes in many cities. The bishops call particular attention to the “immorality” of some theatres, moving picture houses and restaurants, where, it is alleged, vicious dancing prevails.

Women are asked to help do away with some of the “shameful modes” of women’s dresses and to guard their daughters against the dangers of “loose thinking and careless living.” The bishops say public immorality since the war has reached a point where it threatens to undermine family life and the morale of the people and urge the necessity of a sharp reaction and return to “older and better standards.”


From The Gettysburg Times:


130,000 Quarts

This will either make you mad or glad — it all depends. Prohibition agents accumulated 130,000 quarts of honest-to-goodness hard Liquor in several months raids in Wankegan, Ill. And here they are pouring it all down the sewer.



Maxim Gorky, the Russian writer who worked for the Bolshevik propaganda department for a time, is reported to have left Moscow announcing that he was “disgusted” with the Soviet regime.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 8:44 am  Comments (1)  

6 January 1921: The New Year’s Promise of Peace, USA and the Philippines, greedy moneylenders

Updates have been infrequent recently so today we’ll feature a relatively large number of articles. These are five short pieces looking towards the new year as 1921 has just begun and the aftereffects of the Great War are still on everybody’s mind.


The New Year’s Promise of Peace

From that dramatic day of November 11, 1918, marking the end of the great World War, until the present hour, the perspective of the world’s future has been greatly clouded. True perspective on the great events of the past year in regard to the possibility of a more peaceful and settled world during the present year may scatter somewhat that haze which hangs so ominously over the tangled condition of international affairs. The general trend of people, individually, nationally and internationally, since the conclusion of hostilities has been toward conservation and communism. But there are conditions that predict international unrest, turmoil, and, mayhap, disaster, to a greater or lesser degree before this old world settles down to a lasting and abiding peace.

Across Armenia’s prostrate body the Russians have joined hands with the Turkish nationalists and stand ready to send an army against the Japanese in Siberia. At the same time they retain strength enough to face their crisis with England.

France undertook the formation of a Catholic block in central Europe. It envolved an entente of Poland, Hungary, Austria, France, Belgium and the Catholic states of south Germany. Part of the plan was the restoration of kings in Austria, Hungary and Bavaria. To meet this movement the “little entente” was formed. It included Rumania, Jugo-Slavia and Czecho-Slovakia. All these states would be endangered by the return of the Hapsburgs to power. To this little entente Italy has added herself.

At the Geneva conference the smaller nations appeared as a block against the power of the larger nations to govern and control them. In this they forwarded the policy of the Monroe doctrine and of America. Whatever America’s internationalism it will never sanction the aggrandizement of smaller nations by the more powerful. Closer union of Latin-American nations, under the leadership of King Alfonso of Spain, has challenged this policy. Our answer is yet to be stated in definite and concrete terms.

The return of Constantine to Greece, the weakening of Japan by internal revolution,s and the subsequent strengthening of China, the climax yet to come between Britain and Russia and the straining tension between Japan and England and England and Ireland, all these mark an era of trial and possible conflict, which may be settled in two years, or possibly not in five. The year of 1921, at the present outlook, appears negligible as a factor in the world’s peace.

Legislaturers Soon to Tackle Problems

Tax reform and new methods of raising revenue will be the first problems tackled by the various state legislatures, now about to convene. Next comes the problems of abolition of needless state departments, with questions of public improvement, utility corporations and public welfare ranging close behind.

Dry enforcement and anti-blue laws are to be threshed out on the floors of nine state legislatures.

In our own state the soldier bonus bill comes up. Eleven states have now or are about to grant a bonus to their soldiers. These are Maine, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Washington and South Dakota and Massachusetts. Three others, besides Iowa will consider it at this time. These are Delaware, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Tax reform and labor legislation are two other problems that will come before the Iowa legislature at the session which convenes January 10th.

Let us hope that the present legislature will find some means of diminishing the present cumbersome tax.

New Class of Profiteers at Work

It is an old saying that every dog has his day and this seems to be true of this year of 1921. During the war men with money at interest made loud and bitter complaint that they were getting no more than they did before the war. Now the change has come to them in the scarcity of money and they are making the most of it. Every obligation that is due is put at a higher rate of interest and then [whatever] they are not satisfied with they rake-off and they demand and get big commission for loaning their money. They exact this as their pound of flesh. In some cases they will keep a man until some interest on a note is a few days overdue and then they demand under the note that the entire amount is due and proceed to collect their pound of flesh. In some cases where it is not practically stated that the interest is to be paid annually they declare that the interest is payable semi-annually and when this is a few days overdue they demand the payment of the entire amount. This old world of ours is surely after the dollars and for the past few yeas it has been a fast and furious race to see who could get the most.


While we are looking upon England with a feeling of resentment for what she is doing in Ireland, it would be well if we cast our eyes toward the Philippine Island and see what the people there think of our management of the Brown Brothers. It is said that there was recently and uprising in the Philippine Island against the United States power, and that several lives were lost on both sides. The people demand the right of self determination and want their independence. It seems that it would be well for the Philippines to have their independence. Not that we believe that it would ever result in anything but disaster to the Islands, but that it would be getting rid of something that we do not want and something that never do us any good. In relinquishing the oars of the ship of state to the Philippines it will be well for Uncle Sam to get clear out of the boat. We do not care to ride while others guide. Let the brown brother go and when Japan gobbles him up it will be no affair of ours. — Humboldt Republican.

The trouble in the Philippines is to let go. America has put millions there and will never get a cent out. We doubt very much if many people in the Philippines really want this country to let go. The politicians here and there have started a talk in independence just because they wanted a  job. The people of the Philippines will be far worse off out from under the care of this nation than they are under it. Freedom, to them, will mean to have them burdened with heavy taxation and a very few politicians reap the benefits. What they term their freedom is like the cry of the Children of Isreal (sic) for a kind. It may be that will be the end of the matter. If this nation pulls out from the Philippines it should shake the dust of the Island from off its feet and let the little brown fellows paddle their own canoe.


Haughty pride and asinine obstinacy often makes ambiguous fools of us all. For more than four years ENgland sent her young men, and especially the young men of her principal provinces, viz, Canada, Ireland and Australia, to battle with the Hun to the death. And to what purpose? To avenge Belgium? To thresh the “uber alles” idea out of Kaiser Wilhelm’s head? To demonstrate that liberty and justice are the foundations of brotherly love and peace between nations, or to preserve peace by whipping the creator of war?

At that time we would have answered yes. But now — now when the war is over, now when tiny new nations are created from the lions of the old and are given liberty and self government, now when the men who fought England’s own battles for her return to their homes — what about England’s policy? Is she demonstrating her good faith to the sons of “Old Erin?” Here is a nation, intelligent, capable of self government and self-determination, and she is denied the privilege she earned, by her very life blood, for the new born nation of Poland, Rumania, Jugo-Slavia and Czecho Slavokia (sic) — the right of self government. While England has sought with greedy fingers to add 10,000,000 square miles to her domain she has denied common justice and equality to a nation that furnishes more than her share of the world’s statesmen.

America stands for justice to small nations, and just so sure as England persists in her conquest of human liberty, America and England will lock horns to “make the world safe for small nations” and to destroy the slogan of “England over all.”

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 6:40 am  Leave a Comment  

19 December 1920: First assembly session of the League of Nations


British Representatives Will Oppose Any Mandate Declarations by Assembly
GENEVA, Dec. 18. — The first meeting of the league of nations assembly closed this evening in a burst of eloquence in a rather agitated debate.
In farewell speeches Paul Hymans, president of the assembly, and Dr. Guiseppi Moita, president of Switzerland, declared the first assembly had proved the league was a living organization and a success. The opinion expressed by many of the delegates is that the assembly has done all that could be expected of it, if not more.
Several pet projects have met with disaster; yet there are few, if any, delegates who remained for the entire assembly that will leave dissatisfied with the work.
The final day was marked by another encounter between the English delegates and those of the British dominions. Lord Robert Cecil, acting for South Africa, and C. J. Doherty, for Canada, provoked an aggressive and significant declaration by A. J. Balfour to the effect that if the assembly adopted any recommendations concerning mandates he and his successor on the league council would pay no attention to them.
Lord Robert Cecil and Mr. Doherty criticized the council for holding back information about mandates and supported the recommendations of the mandates committee, the most important of which were that the assembly express the opinion that the resources of the territories under mandate should not be exploited by the mandatories for their own profit or for the profit of th eallies, and that the recruiting of troops should not be allowed in such territories.
The recommendations were adopted unanimously, Mr. Balfour contenting himself by saying they would have no effect, instead of voting against them. Esperanto fell a victim to a sharp assault by Gabriel Hanotaux (unclear)…the committee reported in favor of an expression by the assembly with the object of encouraging the teaching of Esperanto in the public schools with a view of making it eventually an international language and the language of the league. After a debate the assembly voted against the proposal.
M. Hymans, in his closing speech, dwelt on the fact that the session of the assembly demonstrated to all the value of the league.
“The league has developed a consciousness,” he said, “and now resolves to live, and will live. Through th esetting up of an international court of justice the assembly has established a house of rights and a palace of peace.”
The activities of the assembly respecting typhus, he declared to be a magnificent demonstration of human solidarity. When the assembly spoke of disarmament, M. Hymans said, the members displayed keen anxiety to lift the weight of armaments from the world, but at the same time realized that in the present unsettled condition of Europe nothing better could be done than had been.
He referred to the fraternal spirit shown by the assembly, the members of which were separated only by shades of opinion, not by principles. He appealed to the youth, the men of tomorrow, those who fought in the great war to construct a moral world indispensable to the future of mankind, and concluded:
“Let us continue our ascending march toward the stars.”

Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 7:39 am  Leave a Comment  

1 December 1920: The President-Elect of the United States

A bit of a strange editorial today from the Appleton Post-Crescent a month after the election and before the inauguration, where President-elect Senator Harding is being praised for some quite vague reasons – mostly for not giving his opinion on much of anything.


Although honored with the presidency by the largest vote in the history of the country,  Senator Harding has been gaining strength ever since the election. His modesty in accepting the result and the good taste which he has displayed toward the high responsibilities of the office have set well with the people. Mr. Harding has shown no disposition to take things in his own hands, or to so conduct himself as to impress the people with his greatness or importance. On the contrary, he has borne himself with simple dignity and with democratic address.

His discussion of public questions has been carefully considered and with an open-mindedness which indicates that he proposes to study questions of policy before undertaking to define them. He gives the appearance of a man who is deeply sensible of his great duties to the nation and the people, and of one who is anxious to serve them faithfully and conscientiously. His evident desire to hear all sides of a proposition and not to pass judgment until he is fully advised and has taken counsel is well calculated to enlist public confidence.

His refusal to be dragged into a premature and ill-considered expression of Mexican policy, or to negotiate with Mexican leaders while on his trip south, notwithstanding pressure was brought to influence him in this direction, shows balance and good judgment. His comments upon the Panama canal and administrative and political problems of the Canal Zone have been essentially constructive. Likewise his growing reticence about discussing foreign relations and the precise questions of peace and the Versailles treaty and league indicate a frame of mind which is favorable to their proper solution. Preconceived notions which he may have had on these subjects are very likely to undergo modification when he comes in direct and official contact with them. On the whole Senator Harding has given a most excellent account of himself since the election. The people like him and their esteem is growing. He is gaining their respect and confidence without appearing to make the effort, which is not merely an asset of immeasurable value to him but a testimonial of real ability — perhaps greater ability than he has been credited with.

Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 7:51 am  Leave a Comment  

7 November 1920: Bavarian government declares war on Bolsheviki, European cities have cleaner streets than in the US

90 years ago was just one year after the Bavarian Socialist Republic was declared and existed for almost a month, and so Bavaria took the threat of Bolshevism very seriously. You may recognize the president Von Kahr, who was later on one of the three ministers forced to go along with Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, at least until they slipped away and said that their cooperation had been forced. The putsch won’t happen here in 90 Years Ago Today land for another three years.



Captain Escherich, in uniform cap, and President Herr Von Kahr saluting the guard after the president’s address.

Thirty thousand Bavarian guardsmen, recently organized under the command of Captain Escherisch, have pledged their loyalty to their country to drive out the Bolsheviks and maintain law and order. They took the oath in the presence of President Von Kahr and other high officials.


Next is a short article on the cleanliness of Europe’s streets vs. those in the US, and looks rather like something that could easily be written today (air quality, high-speed rail, and any number of other areas where editorials in the US lament their lack in their own country).



More Litter in One New York Block Than in Paris or London.

New York, Nov. 3. – The large cities of Europe in the point of cleanliness and tidiness of streets are far ahead of New York, Chicago, Cincinnati and many cities in America, says Clyde A. Copson, manage of the Anti-Litter Bureau of the Merchant’s Association, who has just returned from a trip of observation in Europe.

“In some sections of New York,” he said, “I can see more street litter in one square block than in any one city I visited abroad. Paris and London are models of cleanliness and comparatively free of street litter of any description. This is due to the fact that the people abroad are more tidy than we who live in America.

“The city of New York countenances conditions that none of the cities which I visited would tolerate for a moment.”

Mr. Copson said that London has the best organized Street Cleaning Department in Europe, Glasgow, the poorest, and Paris has the best garbage disposal system.

referring to taxi-cab drivers and all chauffeurs abroad, Mr. Copson’s statement said that they “seem to know their business and when in trouble or about to run down a pedestrian, they apply the brakes instead of tooting horns. The chauffeurs in New York do just the opposite, hence the greater number of accidents and noises.

“Newsboys and vendors in London,” he added, “do not shout their wares, but instead carry signs on which is printed in large letters the important news headlines. The system helps considerable in lessening the general noise. The subways, or “tubes” as they are called in London, are more comfortable than ours and scrupulously clean.”

Published in: on November 7, 2010 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  

27 October 1920: An appeal for the United States to join the League of Nations

90 years ago on Page 7 of the Cumberland Evening Times appeared an appeal for the United States to join the League of Nations (which it never did). After the general appeal it goes into a huge amount of detail on what the League is and does, and due to the massive size I have only typed out the first part.


Its Purposes and Plans In Plain Terms
We have got to choose between military preparedness for future wars and political preparedness for future peace.
Vital international problems should be THOUGHT out, not FOUGHT out.
Another war would not only be diabolical; it would be unendurable.
It is a question of saving the mothers of future generations from sending their sons into war.
There is only one League and it is a going concern today, with budget, officers, and rapidly expanding functions.
81,000 REASONS
There are 81,000 reasons why the women of America will vote for a League of Nations to preserve Peace: They are your 81,000 sons and brothers and husbands who died in France and Flanders to end war.
Americans are not quitters. It is time to stop playing football with the Peace Treaty and the League Covenant. It is time to give short shrift to the false prophets who have been preaching a Gospel of Repudiation.
We are at the crossroads of our history. We have got to make up our minds whether we shall advance or retreat. One thing is certain: Unless we get busy and “consolidate our gains” pretty soon we stand to lose all we won in the war.
The peace of the world will once more be in jeopardy if the League of Nations is permitted to fall apart because of our failure to enter it and fulfill our pledges. We have made pledges we are not living up to — pledges to our allies, pledges to our dead, pledges to our children. During the war we announced repeatedly that we were fighting “a war to end war.” We promised again and again that when the war was won we would sign the death warrant of all future wars. We joined the Allies in defense of democracy — to make and keep the world safe.
It is not a question of pleasing our partners in the war. It is a question of saving the mothers of future generations from sending their sons to war. Thousands of our sons, sleeping tonight on the fields of France and Flanders, must not be robbed of their hard-won victory.
Today the League has become an imperative necessity no matter how much a dream it may have been a century ago. It became an immediate necessity when we had to meet the menace of German militarism. It is no less imperative as an instrument for insuring the fulfilment of the terms of the Treaty. And now the menace of Sovietism threatens the world. Trotzky propehies that “in one year all Europe will be Bolshevist.” No nation is immune from this fatal infection.
We have got to choose between military preparedness for future wars and political preparedness for future peace. Our choice will be made in November at the ballot box. If we vote to turn our backs on the League of Nations, the recent war will prove to have been but a drum-fire(?) preparing the way for the next great war.
And if, through our failure to assume our share of the burden of peace, another war of the nations be allowed to come a decade or two hence, nothing can save civilization from collapse. War today is very different from war as it was conducted in the days when a minimum percentage of the population constituted the fighting forces — today practically the only non-combatants are the conscientious objectors, and they must keep books or make maps in the War Office. The vastly extended application of chemistry, physics and electricity to the winning of another war would not only be diabolical: it would be unendurable. Civilization would be crushed and humanity blown to bits.
It is beside the point that for many centuries teh path of progress has been paved with cannon balls for cobble stones. We have turned a corner in history. We have come to the conclusion that vital international problems should be thought out and not fought out. No doubt there was a time when world peace was an academic problem for pale scholars. But times have changed and today a League of Nations to lessen the likelihood of war has become the most pressing problem of practical politics.
There is no alternative. Every other method for preserving peace has been weighed and found wanting. Unaided by such international machinery as the League provides, diplomacy, business, education, labor, voluntary courts of arbitration, even religion have proved unequal to the task of preventing war. The diplomatic expedient of a “balance of power,” with counter alliances forever competing in an armament race, has wretchedly failed. We cannot select between a League and some other way. Nor can we take our pick among a large assortment of leagues. There is only one League, and that is a going concern today, with budget, officers and rapidly expanding functions. Thirty-seven nations, including all the major nations except the United States, have ratified the Treaty and joined that League.
We cannot afford to remain ignorant of the character and constitution of the League. The following pages make sun-clear to any reader both the purpose of the League and the meaning of the Covenant.

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

14 October 1920: Armistice between Polish and Soviet troops signed in Riga

90 years ago the armistice was finally signed between Poland and the Soviet Union, though final details took a while longer to work out and there was sporadic fighting for a while after. I’ve only typed up about half of the related info here as there is quite a bit, but the articles are quite legible.



Preliminary Peace Treaty Is Signed at Riga on Night of 12th.
Terms Recognize Independence of Ukraine and White Russia.
London, Oct. 11. — That the Poles are pushing well into Russia is shown by yesterday’s Bolshevik communique, which reports stubborn fighting with alternating success in the region of7 Olevsk (about eight miles North East of Rovno) on the Southern front. The Commnique says the Poles have crossed to the right bank of the Dnieper River, while there is stubborn fighting in the Alexandrovsk Region.
Riga, Oct. 11. — The Russo-Polish Armistice and preliminary Peace Treaty were not signed to-night. It was accounced that a delay until Tuesday afternoon was made necessary because of the impossibility of getting the Ukrainian text prepared.
There are many unverified rumours of late disagreements in the delegation. It is known that Secretary Lorenz of the Bolsheviki delegation telephoned to the Poles shortly before nine o’clock tonight and apologized for inability to complete the Ukrainian text for signature to-night. He explained that it would be ready on Tuesday afternoon.
Under the Armistice terms both armies will remain in the positions held by them until the moment of ceasing operations providing the Russian Ukrainian troops are not nearer than 15 kilometres from the determined Polish frontier lines. A strip of 15 kilometres between the two fronts will constitute a neutral zone in the military sense, which will remain under the administration of the side to which the territory goes under the preliminary peace terms. Troops movements necessary to execute the armistice conditions must be executed at not less than 20 kilometres daily and must begin not lter than midnight of October 18.
The Treaty will be executed under the direction of mixed Commissions. The taking of hostages and the evacuation of civil prisoners will not be permitted during the withdrawal of the troops. Compulsory sale of all goods and requisitions are forbidden.
Riga, October 11. — Polish and Bolshevik delegates engaged in negotiations here will sign an armistice at Blackhead House at 7 o’clock to-night. Hostilities will cease six days after signing the Convention. The Armistice will run for 25 days, and 48 hours notice will be necessary before either side can legally break it. If it is not broken for the period of 25 days, it will continue automatically in effect for an indefinite period, with a provision that it may be broken on ten days notice. An agreement was reached as to the boundary-line between Poland and White Russia and Ukrainia. It runs roughly from Drissi on the Dvinsk River, East of the city of Dvinsk, southward, passing near Baranovitchi. It passes west of Rovno and reacher the Dniester River, west of Kamenetz Podolsk. The settlement in liquidation of Polish monetary claims was not included in the Armistice agreement, but will be taken up in the Treaty of Peace, according to Polish Officials. The Armistice contains 19 sections. The Armistice in the course of determining the boundary line, recognizes the independence of the Ukrain and White Russia.
Riga, Oct. 12. — A preliminary Peace Treaty and Armistice was signed by the Polish and Russian Soviet Peace Delegates here at 7.10 o’clock to-night. The armistice actually becomes effective at midnight October 18th — that is, 144 hours from midnight to-night. M. Joffe, the head of the Soviet Delegation described the Riga Peace as “a peace without victory and without vanquished” in a brief address before the signature of the Treaty. That describes the Riga Agreement accurately as it appeared to disinterested onlookers. It was a Peace of give and take which those who have followed the course of events fear will not be very popular, either with the Bolsheviki or the Poles. The Riga Armistice will put the Bolsheviki at peace with all their Baltic neighbours within 144 hours from midnight to-night, and leave the Wrangel movements as the only great Military operations against the Soviet.

Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment  

5 October 1920: Science and technology shorts on the age of petroleum, life on Venus, others

Here is the science and technology news from the Racine Journal-News 90 years ago. Some of the science here is still valid, other parts are woefully out of date. Note the muffin recipe in the image on the right as well.


There are records of the use of tin by the ancients, but is rare that any implements of this metal are found by archaeologists. This is said to be due to the circumstance that a sort of decay does attack it, producing a change in its crystalline structure, the nature of which does not seem to be clearly understood. This ends in reducing the tin to a fine gray powder. The process proceeds much more rapidly at certain times than it does at others, and seems to be transmitted from one piece of tin to another.

Ruffled grouse, born in captivity, seem to crave human companionship.


If all electric energy in the United States were suddenly withdrawn, the loss to industry would run into the billions. Practically all of the 275,791 manufacturing plants of the nation, representing $22,790,980,000 in invested capital, use electric power in one way or another.

The Christening of a ship with a bottle of champagne is said to be a survival of the old blood sacrifice.

Venus, slightly smaller than earth and nearer to the sun, is enveloped by a cloud canopy such as that which covered our own world during the coal-forming period. If that planet is inhabited there must be a great demand for umbrellas.

A man’s head, particularly if he is a thinking man, according to one authority, continues to increase in size until he is forty or fifty years of age.

A report from Japan states that a trackless electric car company has recently been organized at Osaka, for purpose of providing trackless car service in various parts of the country. This is the first project of the kind in Japan.

Taking the 18 provinces of China as a whole, there are about 460 square miles of territory and 107,000 population per mile of railway. These figures with 40 square miles and 8,000 population for India, and 12 square miles with 3,800 population for the United States. Owing to the extent of waterways in China these average figures always will be higher there than in other countries.

The possible oil production of Mexico is estimated at nearly 2,000,000 barrels a day, though less than 9 per cent of this amount is exported at the present time, and but a fraction of Mexico’s oil territory has been prospected. In the brief sixteen years of its development it has climbed to the place of second producer of the world, and its wells are without a peer — indeed so far ahead of the other as hardly to admit of comparison.

There are more than three hundred separate products made from petroleum. High explosives are distilled from it, medicines, dyes, and even artificial flavorings — and yet we have but begun to understand this modern wonder-worker.

Statistics collected by the Bureau of Crop Estimates of the United States Department of Agriculture show that farm plow lands throughout the country increased in value per acre by nearly one-half in the last four years. Four years ago plow lands in the United States had the average value of $58.33; in 1917, the average was $62.17; in 1918, $68.38; in 1919, $74.31 and in the last week in March of the present year it was $90.01.

To harness up the chained water power of America would result in a saving of coal of upwards of 126,000,000 tons per year.

A reinforced concrete building 16 stories high is to be built in the leather district of New York city, just below Brooklyn Bridge. This is a record height for such a structure on Manhattan Island, where concrete has been used sparingly and only for lofts and factories.

The estimated production of bituminous coal in 1919 is 458,063,000 short tons. The amount of coal used by electric public utility plants during 1919 was 7.6 per cent, of the total produced.

While the cats are doing thir best to kill off rats and mice, five hundred experienced hunters are campaigning against the larger predatory animals. It has been estimated that over half a billion dollar’s worth of property in this country is destroyed each year by these animals.

The Swedish government’s order for more than 310 miles of long distance telephone cable is the first step in hooking up the extremities of the country via the telephone. This particular line contains a great number of circuits and will extend from Stockholm to Goteborg.

The age of petroleum is here. From an [sic] humble beginning in 1859 it has now reached a point where it is consumed in ever increasing quantities until the problem of its production has become one of the most absorbing of international questions — to that country.

Experiments, which have been said to have a satisfactory result, have been carried out in the laboratory of the Siemens works in Berlin, with a view to converting lignite tar oils into fatty acids by the action of ozone. Similar experiments carried out on a large scale by a process introduced by the city of Wiesbaden have led to equally satisfactory results.

Inscriptions in Egyptian tombs often contain directions by which the soul is to find its way to another world.


Gambling with dice and cards has prevailed from the earliest times. We do not read of gambling houses in the classic literature of Greece, but there can be no doubt that the vice was very widely practiced in private houses. In Rome, under the emperors, gambling prevailed very extensively. Augustus and most of the succeeding sovereign were passionately fond of the dice, and the Emperor Claidius wrote a book on the subject. A Roman would transport to a gambling resort his whole fortune — coins, papers, and chattels — and, after losing all, would even seize the cloks of his slaves to stake on a change of luck.

The modern kingdom of Saxony has no connection with the ancient tribe who settled in England. Its inhabitants are not Saxons.

Published in: on October 5, 2010 at 7:33 am  Leave a Comment