An Alternate history

1928 as it should have been

Special to the Baltimore Sun

Kansas City Missouri

June 13, 1928

The second day of the great Republican Gab fest has begun on a comical note. The normal corralling of votes that usually proceeds like so many horned cattle being lead to abboitours of Chicago there has been startled by an open revolt of a kind more shocking than the removal of the late Czar of all the Russias eleven years ago. The The great Hoover Steamroller has hit a bump that it can't smooth over and seems unlikely to get over until tomorrow. Much to the delight of Senator Borah and Senator Norris the Afro American job holders are in open revolt and are seething with indignation over a speech the great Humanitarian gave to a group of Klansman welcoming them to the convention and promising to give an ear to their concerns. The speech went a bit beyond just a polite welcome and the promise of a polite ear and went so far as to promise to derail the anti lynching plank that has been routinely in the the Republican platform since the days of US Grant, among other promises likely to affront the Afro Americans attending the convention.

The Afro Americans have not yet thrown their support to any other candidate, but they have made clear that Hoover is Persona non Grata among them. This is a huge blow to the Hoover campaign, as they had spent immense time and effort to corral them over the spring. Without the African American job holders, the Hoover campaign is left with the remaining job holders, who are restive under the rule of the campaign whips. It is expected that tempers will cool and promises will be made and the job holders who stay on board will get rewards. But for now the natives are very restless.

It does not help the Hoover camp's attempts to salve the anger that the Afro American delegates are exiled to hotels far from the convention hall. Kansas City is under the rule of Jim Crow which only serves to exacerbate the sting.

Kansas City in enjoying a heat wave this week. And to make things all the more comforting for the delegates here the prohibition agents have landed in the area like the locusts from Genesis. Kansas City is dryer than Arabia. I have heard rumors that one can find quite nice bourbon or Champagne in Mecca or Medina. Here in Kansas City there is only a prodigious thirst. If you hear a rumor that this delegation or that delegation has some fine wine or brandy, the Prohibition agent has heard the rumor first.

It is not just the Afro American delegates who are in open revolt. All across the convention there is a seething frustration with the way things are organized. There is the bubbling anger and resentment. It was somewhat displayed in the introductory speeches, where the name of Senator Borah was cheered to the rafters, and the name of Hoover, nominally the man who has most of the delegates, was greeted by silence so icy that one nearly felt relief from the infernal heat of the hall.

Tomorrow promises to be easier with discussion of the platform. Unlike the unholy row four years ago in New York with the Democrats, this convention should have a very pianissimo debate that will be over in time for the delegates to find some refreshment.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Kansas City Missouri

June 14, 1928.

The Republican Convention here continues to effervesce like a fine Muncher lager. The Afro American delegates are still in full revolt, as are most of the Western delegates. There had been a move afoot by the Hoover people to have the government forgive the English War Debt. This went over like a cheese and bacon crab cake at a bar mitzvah. The Hoover people, shocked at the response tried to pull the proposal, but were not allowed to do so. There were so many who wanted to talk against it that the opposition speeches went on for nine hours, despite the rule of the chair that speeches on the topic could be no more than five minutes long after the first two hours. The Hoover people made a plea for the relief of our glorious allies. This went over very badly as the vast majority of delegates East, North, Midwest, South and West were of the opinion that we had been made cat's paws of the British Empire and appeals to patriotic affection for those with whom who had fought should to shoulder went down like large doses of castor oil. As I sit on the press stand I can see the faces of several correspondents from English and Canadian papers. The shock and dismay is almost universal.

Because of the rebellion over the war debt provision very little other business got done. There was great palaver between the campaigns of Borah, Lowden, Norris and the leaders of the rebellious African Americans. There was no real interest in the other campaigns. As one of the leaders explained, they were sure that whoever got their votes would sell them down the river soon or late.

One major result was the Anti Lynching provision of the platform was brought up next. The party leadership brought up the usual limp wristed version deploring the practice. There was ferocious debate led by Reverend King of Alabama over each word of the provision. The end result will send chills down the spine of Ku Kluxry all over. In addition to the promise that an anti lynching law will be passed, with severe provisions for its violation, but in addition there was a provision that the government would make sure that all cities that enforced Jim Crow laws on Separate but Equal accommodation would actually provide equal accommodation.

Most of the Platform remains to be settled. The party leadership has decided to start with the support of Prohibition plank as a way to settle the delegates down.

As for the condition of Prohibition in Kansas City, it is even fiercer than it was before. Yesterday some prohibition agents demonstrated their competence by publicly destroying 90 barrels of bourbon before the Convention hall and its 1100 thirsty delegates.

Enthusiasm was muted.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Kansas City Missouri

June 15, 1928

Today the Mercury in Kansas City passed 100 shortly after noon, when 1100 thirsty Republicans marched into the Convention hall to discuss Prohibition. The platform discussion began with a learned discourse by the head of the Missouri Anti Saloon League on the good work the local Prohibition enforcement agents had been doing since the first of June. N bottles of whiskey confiscated here, X bottles of gin confiscated there. How many barrels of beer had been poured into the sewer. How many casks of wine. The talk went on about the glories of law enforcement and how the demon alcohol was being defeated. It was a bravura performance, but it fell on stony ground. When he finished there was nearly dead silence, what little applause tried to rise quickly vanished in embarrassment.

Then the plank in support of the Volstead Amendment and Prohibition Law enforcement came up for debate. Very quickly it turned into a vast denunciation on the concept of prohibition and the actions of its officers There are 1100 very thirsty delegates who are all for dry, until they are parched. Again the Hoover machine tried to quell the rebellion, but it only got louder and more vociferous. Soon a tiny jewish college professor type got up and moved a motion to amend the plank. The Chairman tried to rule him out of order. Quickly the convention floor over ruled the chair. The tiny speaker yelled like a stuck elephant as he brought his motion to the floor. It was for the total complete repeal of prohibition, going so far as to forbid the states from interfering in interstate commerce of legal goods. Several times the chair tried to rule him out of order, but 1100 thirsty delegates cheered him on. The Hoover people tried to restore order. The effort was futile. Then they got the idea that the convention should recess till after dinner. That was voted down. After a very short debate the question was called and the new plank was voted in by acclimation. The Hoover people tried the parliamentary procedure of calling for a vote. There were only 40 dry votes left in the hall when all the votes were counted.

Plank after plank was amended and voted. The delegates insisted on amending all of them. The Hoover machine was in disarray.

The convention finally finished business at 2:30 AM. Tomorrow the nominations begin.



Special to the Baltimore Sun

Kansas City Missouri

June 16 1928

This morning the citizens of Kansas City woke to a torrential rain storm The mercury which had hidden over 100 for most of the week plummeted down to 70 as sheets of water cascaded from the sky. Trees, bushes, streets, lawns, gardens, fountains were all gloriously wet. It seems the treasury department pulled all the prohibition agents from the city as well. Kansas City is today gloriously wet. When the gavel came down on the start of business at the Convention hall there was a high degree of conviviality that had been missing before. Mostly it was due to the break in the monstrous heat. But the sudden influx of wet goods seems to have lightened the mood as well. The Hoover floor managers have put around the word that they are responsible for the improvement in conditions, but the delegates ignore them. They mill around the plaza before the hall and gossip about what they did yesterday. Some will go home to angry wives and angry neighbors. They will meet that problem when it comes.

Today they will nominate the candidate. Lord Hoover is still frantic that the Afro American delegates will not meet with him. They have washed their hands of him. Meanwhile Hoover floor managers try and whip in as many delegates as they can. Before the revolt, Hoover had a comfortable margin over all his opponents. He may have even been able to win on the first ballot. Informal head counts had him at 750 out of the 600 needed. With the Afro Americans off the reservation, he only has 350, and only a very few of those votes from strong primary states are solid.

This morning I met with the star of the last two nights. His name is Hugo Schwienfresser, a lecturer in Physics at the University of Chicago. He is a jew born in these United States 37 summers ago, but his parents are from Austrian Poland. He is aware of the translation of his name, but his explanation is the man makes the name, rather than the name the man. He stands 58" tall in shoes that have a bit more heel than is fashionable. His hair is bushy, curly and red like a fire. His conversation is rapid fire like a browning rifle and he delights in bad puns and lightning changes in conversation. He is full of impish good humor and likes japes and light practical jokes. One of which got set off at 5:00 this evening when the nominations began. Reverend King of Alabama nominated him for President.

There were several other nominations. Hoover, Borah, Norris, Lowden, Curtis, Watson, Goff, Daws... The nomination for Hoover was done by a morose congressman from California. The seconding speech lasted but 5 minutes. Borah's nomination was proposed by a stemwinder from Kansas. It was a rousing speech and there was lots of polite applause. The seconding speech was 20 minutes and was even more enthusiastic. Norris's nomination speech was by a learned professor from a college in Western Pennsylvania. It and the seconding speech were mercifully short. So on down the list. Finally Reverend King stood up.

Ever since my nonage I have watched Afro American ministers wield their craft in the back alleys of Baltimore. Some whoop, others holler, some do both. Reverend King was something special in an Afro American minister. It was like listening to Beethoven's Appasianata done by a human voice. Loud and quiet by turns, but building to a heartfelt climax. When he was done there was that awed silence you see in the concert hall when you have witnessed a truly amazing performance. He stepped from the podium and down into the hall in awed silence, and when he reached the floor their was a thunderous ovation that shook the dust from the rafters. He was seconded by a small japanese gentleman from Washington, whose speech, like himself, was short, fussy and pointed.

By then it was nearly 7:00, and the nominations were closed. Then there was a break for dinner. The Hoover floor managers who three days ago were discussing this as in the bag and as easy as pie stood on the floor in a dejected circle. So very much had gone so very wrong so very fast.

The first ballot began at 8:30 sharp. Most of the southern delegations which are the source of much of the humor and confusion of any convention were quick with their totals. Usually a poll will take an hour. This one was done in 35 minutes. Hoover 310. Borah 118, Watson 40, Lowden 80, Curtis 96, Norris 87, Schweinfresser 358, the remainder scattered among various non entities.

Another ballot took place at 9:30. This one was full of the usual confusion. Hoover 265, Borah 125, Watson 39, Lowden 100, Curtis 112, Norris 87, Schweinfresser 372.

The third ballot took place at Midnight. Hoover 119, Borah 170, Curtis 119, Norris 90, Schweinfresser 602 and the nomination.

After the announcement of the totals, there was a stunned silence. The chair, a longtime Hoover associate then closed the proceedings till tomorrow at 10:30 and stalked off, while the delegates looked at each other in surprise, and then began a loud round of applause.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Kansas City Missouri

June 17, 1928

Today, for the Republican delegates here, was the morning after the night before. Western Union did a land office business in hot angry telegrams from the home folks. Western Union rented taxies to take angry telegrams to various hotels around town. There were too many of them to be transported by bicycle.

Among the delegates themselves, there was a feeling of having challenged the gods and won. There would be one incredible katzenjammer after all this, but there was a sense of satisfaction as well. The feeling that they were cattle being sent off a cliff, which was palpable when the convention opened on Tuesday was replaced by a feeling of naughty elation, much like when sailor walks down the gangplank from his ship with a month's pay in his pocket and a prodigious thirst. They know their will be consequences, but for now they are still off in the future. Now is the time to howl.

At 10:30 a motion was entertained by the chair to reconsider last night's vote. It was booed down by acclimation.

At 10:45 nominations for Vice President were made. Most of the speeches were very short and direct. By 11:30 the speeches were over and the polling could begin. The word had begun to drift around before the convention opened that Candidate Schweinfresser wanted Senator Hughes from Massachusetts, so the balloting was very rapid. At 12:30 the convention was dismissed so the delegates could check out from their hotel rooms before 2:00. Many of them headed directly to the train station, but many came back to hear the final speeches from the candidates. The convention was called to order for the last time at 3:00. Candidtate Schwienfresser was at a bit of a disadvantage because the chair of the convention stood 6'3" to his 58". Overnight a small platform had been built and was quickly wheeled into place and locked down.

Looking at the candidate in the cold light of day it is a wonder he managed to get the nomination. His very jewish features, thick glasses and his bushy red hair should be poison in American electoral politics. It is unlikely that his picture will be used in Republican advertisements. However, when he begins to speek, it is a different story. He understands that prose is still music, and his voice, while high reaches every corner of the room. He obviously spent a great deal of time and thought on his speech, and while the sentiments ranged from the banal to the infantile, the music of the words and the poetry of his metaphors got your attention and held on like limpets.

The sentiments of the speech were lower level Rotary. America as the light of freedom and our obligation to preserve freedom at every level was the theme. The vocabulary was quite simple, very different from his private conversation. However the meter and the pictures of his speech in addition to being homely and comforting were also easily comprehensible.

Of course, every so often he would do a bit of linguistic acrobatics that would please the more intellectual parts of his audience. And while there were no overt digs at the Democrats in the speech, if you were listening there were quite a few very strong hits in some very tender areas.

Senator Hughes also made a short speech along the same lines, more erudite, but also more direct.

By 4:30 the convention was over Sine Die and the Delegates were streaming on to chartered street cars to take them to the train station where the trains had been held for them.

The Republicans have set themselves up for electoral disaster in incredible style. Even after the votes are counted in November I doubt any of them will have any regrets.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Chicago Illinois

June 19, 1928

The Republican candidate for President met with the press today in the hall belonging to the largest Reform congregation here in Chicago. Five days ago that sentence would have been impossible. It still seems that way. He was affable and friendly and already a consummate politician giving answers that obscured more than they revealed. He was also very emphatic about some things however. He insisted a law on lynchings would be passed and that it would be enforced.

He made light of his family's origin, speaking in a mock german accent at times to make a joke or make a point. When asked about the Volstead act and the 18th Amendment he clicked his heels and said "Ze law off ze land iz zee law! We will fulfill our Constitutional Obligations to the exact letter. Especially when it comes to the Lynch law which we shall pass." Late on he noted "The Constitution is extremely hard to amend, which is both bad and good. From the history of the 18th amendment we see it is too easy to change. And as we go into the future, there is the reality it may also be too hard.

There were several questions from the English journalists about the issues of war debts and reparations. He was very adamant that the loans would be paid off. "Europe seems to feel that they can go and have an idiotic and expensive war and that we should pay for it. The primary goal of the Republican administrations for the last seven years has been that general european wars are a danger to civilization and should be prevented any possible way. " He went out his way to say that he believed that financing the payments could be very creative, and that was not the intention of the US to drive any European state to extremis. "The very bad example of Russia is a warning we need to pay close attention to." he added.

Throughout the meeting the candidate was witty, engaging and cultured. After two hours he excused himself and went to meet with his advisors, most of whom

were fellow academics. He has a long row to hoe. He must mend fences with the various political machines who were repudiated at the convention and somehow recover the damage that might arise from the wholesale repudiation of the 18th amendment.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Houston, Texas

July 1, 1928

In contrast to the rise of the Republican Soviets in Kansas City last month, last week's Democratic convention was the model of docility. This being a Democratic convention there seemed times they seemed determined to repeat the performance in New York in 1924. However the floor leaders were equally determined to prevent it, so while there were Italianate Operatic moments all through the convention, it managed to complete its business only two days late.

The Democrats arrived here in high spirits due to the perceived weakness of the Republican platform favoring repeal and the anti Klan language. There was also a great deal of delight at the fact that the translation of schwienfresser has made its way into the vernacular. Every time his name was spoken during the convention, usually with drawn out sibilants and vowels, there was a great deal of oinking coming from the convention floor.

This could not be a Democratic Convention without Grand Gugnol battles. The first sigs of restiveness were with the candidate Al Smith pushing for a platform as wet as the Republicans. That went no where. Then there were the usual credential fights which kept the convention in an uproar for two whole days. The credential fights ended in huge losses for Governor Smith, but ultimately proved pointless. Governor Smith, while he had the votes to win the nomination he did not have the votes to control the platform. Instead of mildly damp, which he would have settled for before the Republican convention, or the wholly wet, which he wanted, he was obliged to settle for a relatively arid prohibition platform.

Then there was the revolt of the Ku Kluxers. The fact that the Republicans had gone for a Jewish candidate meant they were determined not to have a Catholic one. One gets the feeling that neither candidate would cry if the Ku Kluxers decided to sit this one out. They are, however, determined to have a man they can control in the White House. In dealing with them Governor Smith was both conciliatory and firm. Their choice would be jew who was determined to undo them, or a Catholic who would be willing to engage in a concordat of mutual toleration and loathing, much along the lines of the deal Mussoline has arranged in Rome.

The Choice of Mississippi Senator Bilbo as the Vice presidential candidate seems a desperate effort to stitch together some sort of modus vivendi. I don't see it producing a positive result, but since the Democrats depend on southern votes so completely, this kind of bargain is the best the Democrats can hope for. Doctor Faust learned the mistake of tying to make this kind of bargain. Governor Smith may have made a worse one.

Despite the relatively peaceful end to the convention it looks like the Republicans are relatively united in their race to the cliff. The Democrats look poised to win, despite the constant bickering, infighting and the fact that a large minority of Democrats fear and despise their candidate, and their candidate hates his platform. Such is the nature of the Democratic party in the 130th year of the Republic.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

New York City

August 1, 1928

Governor Smith's agents scattered from San Ysidro to Bangor, from Miami to Port Townshend are bringing back reports both encouraging and disturbing. The encouraging reports are the absolute repudiation of the candidate by Republicans all over the country. The Anti Saloon league fulminates against him from pulpits in every Civilized state and Mississippi. However, there is also vast disquietude. While the Republican leadership dithers about their candidate, he is drawing vast crowds when he makes speeches in the hinterland.

Governor Smith, no mean orator himself, has also been drawing large crowds. As ever, his speeches bring forth roars of enthusiasm. His bargain with the devil in the deep south seems to be bearing fruit. He also seems to be making gains in the mid west and far west with his message. His agents seem to believe they have a lock on California already. One thing that does cause a bit of anxiety is the fact that the anti Saloon league is so obviously favoring him. This seems to be peeling away some of his support in the large cities.

While Governor Smith is not yet counting his chickens yet, he does have a very good idea of the number of eggs that are out there. He seems to feel confident that when the hens come home to roost, most of them will do so in his coop.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

September 7, 1928

For one so new to Elctoral politics, the good Professor Scwienfresser has made a very good student of its mysteries. He has surrounded himself with a collation of very effective acolytes and seems to delight in the rough and tumble of Republican politics. He has honed his stump speech and has learned to conduct the audience. What he must have been like in the quiet groves of Academia must be very different than his highly electric and intense performances on the podium.

Like most politicians of some experience he has a standard speech, but he varies it according to the taste of his audience. Here in Pittsburgh where he visited various sons of the Austrian Nations: Poles, Magyars, Czechs, Austrians he greeted each nation in their own language as well as gave his preroration in it as well. Last week in New York he gave a short talk to the Needleworker's union entirely in Yiddish. This of course is unheard of in a Republican candidate.

For one of such academic attainments he manages the down to earth style of the wise man at the end of the bar who knows the batting averages of all the teams of the American league. He has a vast memory for faces, facts and general information. His verbal felicities cause roars of laughter in every audience. He has the Shakespearian genius for squeezing every conceivable meaning out of every pun much to the expense of the Democratic platform. I have been following the candidate from Chicago to here and every performance has been a delight.

As for the content, that remains a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing. He has taken the dross of every Rotary and Kiwanis and Elks speech and transmuted it into something shiny. He has found the grifter's diamond ring and as he spins his tale you can almost believe he truly believes what he has is real.

In the train as we wend from stop to stop he is very approachable and affable. He instinctively gears the conversation to a vocabulary that is comfortable to the auditor. He knows how to play to the vanity of the journalists as well as the crowds. Anyone who has written a book, and many of us have, gets a civil discussion of his ovure. He has managed to keep a level of good relations between the press and the campaign that is legendary, especially when the train rolls along in the heat of the day.

This particular trip has been very successful, despite going through areas that are supposedly very hostile. He went through the valleys of Ohio where the Anti Saloon League is all powerful to large and enthusiastic audiences. While he has an uphill climb, he is making tremendous success every step of the way.

While this campaign probably has no more than a chinaman's snowball's chance in hell, he is making remarkable progress


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Pasadena California

September 19, 1928

Back in June most of the wise old men of politics had already counted Professor Schwienfresser out of the race. Republicans all over had thrown in the towel, and were just trying to do their best to make sure the down ticket candidates didn't suffer the same fate as the presidential candidate. The ship might sink but they had already secured a seat on a life boat. Two men who didn't count him out of the race were the good professor himself and his agent Thomas Bendix. Bendix, who used to work for Robert La Follett in Wisconsin, has made immense strides in getting his candidate before the country and presenting his ideas in a palatable fashion. As the campaign has advanced, so has the good professor. It helps that in the major issues he is so unequivocal. Governor Smith is suffering badly the fact that he has to endorse the party platform which he so obviously loathes. The mutual antipathy between the Governor and Ku Kluxers who he has to depend on in order to win is causing massive heartburn in Albany. The professor is sure that Prohibition is dead as Jacob Marley. The professional politicians around him are not. But they are being carried along behind him as he makes his speeches across the country.

As with his acceptance speech, his stump speech is an interesting ragout of platitude, inanity, vacuous patriotism and the very pronounced feeling that he is a great deal better than his material. He makes no comments about the Democrats and the issue of Governor Smith's religion. However there is no doubt that when he is in very anti catholic country that he loves the Holy Father even less than they do. His language manages to have the floral extravagance of a greenhouse full of orchids, but at the same time there is an earthiness that betrays the nutrients that makes the orchids grow so well.

Having followed the Professor on this part of the tour from Seattle southwards you can see the connection he has with the people he speaks to. Very quickly he charms them with his earthiness, his platitudes and and the same time they revel in the perfume of his more poetical fancies. He has the very rare skill of charming the mind and holding on to the gut at the same time. Most Successful politicians pretty much demand that turn your mind off when you come to listen. He does not work that way. Instead of turning the mind off, he subverts it. He is like the Lorelei of American politics.

He has an interesting end to his stump speech. To those who are educated it is both amusing and slightly scary. To the average listener it is merely the ending theatric. His peroration is on the importance of liberty to the American Citizen. As he nears the end, he will grab a sprig of hops from the podium and shake them from at the crowd as he yells "The basis of America is Freedom, dignity, liberty. If we have no freedom we have nothing. Vote for Liberty, Vote Republican." The parallel with Cato and his figs is too obvious, but as with Cato, it is effective.



Special to the Baltimore Sun

Nashville Tennessee

October 17, 1928

In much of the South there are poll taxes. In Tennessee they are but $2, small enough. Also, like much of the South, it is permitted to pay Poll Taxes by proxy. However something unusual has been happening with the process. Ordinarily proxy poll taxes are paid in small numbers and are a benefit of Klan membership. This year proxy poll tax collections are in the thousands. And they are being paid by Afro American churches all over the state. Democratic party officials are worried by the huge numbers of poll taxes paid this year. If all those Afro American poll taxes vote republican, Tennessee may go to the Republican column this year.

Poll taxes vary state by state. They are $7 in Georgia. This means that there are relatively few voters in that state. However poll tax collections in Georgia are way up as well. It is not just the Afro American Churches. It is also the unions getting involved. Governor Smith's effort to play both sides against the middle with the Klan and with the issue of Prohibition is hurting him badly everywhere. He is too decent a man to disown the thing, but not decent enough to have avoided it. Two months ago the Faustian Bargain Governor Smith made for the nomination seemed to be bearing fruit, but the fruit now seems poisonous.

The question has arisen about just where the churches are getting the money for the poll taxes. The $2 does represent a full 10 hour day's labor for each member. The Democratic officials here speak darkly of brewers and distillers trying to buy off the churches. That seems not to be the case, but there are large wealthy Republican donors in the north who are seeing a chance to make inroads in the south. The sudden obvious turn of the electorate to Professor Schwienfresser all over the country is heartening to the Republican powers that be.

They are also, of course, glad to have the cross of the Anti Saloon League off their backs. In the last three weeks there have been several instances of leading Republican politicians glad to stick the knife in the back of the organization that has been riding them so hard over the last 20 years. The great ceremonial hand washing of Republican politicians is welcome, but way overdue.

Meanwhile it appears that in much of the South, white voters will be in the minority. The consequences of this may be earth shattering. Republicans all over the south are mounting write in campaigns. This may fall flat. The Democratic machines have run the poll tax system for generations. They are not going to let it go away that easily.



Special to the Baltimore Sun

Dearborn Michigan

October 24, 1928

Of all the remarkable features of this campaign year the apotheosis of Henry Ford as a Democrat is among the more remarkable. Henry Ford was a close personal friend of Warren Harding and had been a large donor to Republicans over the years.

This year he is whooping up Governor Smith in a big and unfortunately disturbing way. Those who have read his autobiography of last year are familiar with his distaste for the Israelites that is as passionate as his desire to sell every more flivvers at ever lower prices.

The support of a large money donor is almost always welcomed by every campaign. Mr Ford's assistance is not bringing much gratitude in the camp of Governor Smith. Mr. Ford's advertising all across the fruited plain is causing very bad cases of neuralgia in Albany. Not only does it bring up the issue of Mr Smith's catholicism, which has been simmering in the lands of the Klan, but it also hurts Mr Smith among the members of the tribe.

Partisans of Mr. Smith have been attempting to portray Mr Ford's emanations as a Republican prank, but there is no doubt that Mr Ford is sincere in his hatred for the Republican nominee and trying every means fair, foul or even fouler to do him harm. Governor Smith is the one getting damaged by it.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

New York City

November 1, 1928

In all the annals of politics, there has never been a worse farce than what transpired over the NBC network last night at 9:30. The Democrats in a last ditch effort to rescue the election on Tuesday put a live joint broadcast of Governor Smith and Senator Bilbo. As comedy it was tremendous. As politics it was a disaster. The two of them were supposed to convince the nation to vote for them as a team. Within five minutes it had gone from joint declaration to a debate, and soon after that it degenerated into a slanging match more suited to a primary school yard than something expected from two men who seek the highest offices open to the American Republic.

Success has many fathers. A failure like this is an orphan, so we will never know who had the bright idea to do this broadcast. Suffice to say he will never work in politics again. At least if has any shame at all. Which is doubtful.

It would have worked a great deal better if it had not been obvious from the very first words that here were two men who loathed each other, and each resented being yoked with the other. Further it was a mistake for them to discuss prohibition, where each of them had violently opposed their party's platform from the other side and disliked what they felt was a cowardly compromise.

Some merciful soul at NBC pulled the plug on them and replaced them with recordings of a series of Strauss Waltzes. We don't know how badly it degenerated, but it was getting bad enough at the end.

The Republicans will have Senator Hughes on Friday night. Professor Schwienfresser never makes speeches Friday nights.

In the war of the billboards the Schweinfresser campaign began putting up a simple billboard all over most metropolitan areas. It is just a picture of the preamble to the constitution with an ear of barley on one side and some hop flowers on the other. This seems to have been a billboard that Schweinfresser has wanted up for ages, but has finally convinced his team to put up. There is a great deal of angst that they may have kicked away the election with this.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Maryland

November 7, 1928

One of the chief regrets to being a professional newspaper reporter is that there is a record of every word of yours that gets printed. As the returns began to come in last night some wag on the editorial staff for this paper dug up the following article which I submitted back on June 17.

" The Republicans have set themselves up for electoral disaster in incredible style. Even after the votes are counted in November I doubt any of them will have any regrets. "

And then also this from July 1

"Despite the relatively peaceful end to the convention it looks like the Republicans are relatively united in their race to the cliff. The Democrats look poised to win, despite the constant bickering, infighting and the fact that a large minority of Democrats fear and despise their candidate, and their candidate hates his platform."

It brings forth a sense of humility that a writer can sound so wise and be so very spectacularly wrong.

The Republicans found a message and stuck to it. The Democrats bickered and quarreled and tried to be all things to all people and have had the worst electoral disaster in a generation. It is a truism in politics that you can't beat something with nothing. The Democrats made themselves nothing and lost everything.

The Republicans were able to make deep inroads into the south, and many Afro American Republicans won seats on city councils, in County Commissions, in legislatures all through the region. They are still very much a minority in government. But given the point of departure, this counts as dizzy success.

This level of success came about despite a level of election violence that hasn't been seen in generations. Over 600 lynchings took place across Dixie last night, including four here in Maryland. This disastrous and humiliating and barbaric behavior has been broadcast around the world and brought deep shame to the country. It is to be hoped that the perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted. Despite the fact that never happens.

Because of this, it is to be hoped that the new congress which meets in January will follow through on the promise of the platform to pass an anti lynching law and will enforce it with vigor. The vast number and horror of the lynchings in Dixie is a disgrace and it must be eradicated.

The leaders of the current congress, having read the election returns, have already said that proposals to re submit the 18th Amendment to the states will be initiated when congress returns to work on Monday.

The president elect released a statement last night (see back page) that was interesting both for its conciliatory nature, which is normal for these things, but also for its forceful delineation of the agenda. On the issue of lynching, he said he was most anxious to sign legislation banning it. It would be better if President Coolidge were to sign the legislation, which should have been passed back in the days of president Roosevelt for that matter. But it is clear that the next president intends to follow through on his promises. That is in itself a sign of good things to come.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Washington DC

December 21, 1928

As the last congress finishes its work and prepares to head home it is remarkable how much they accomplished in the six weeks since the election. The Anti Lynching Bill passed and went into law without the President's signature. The fact that Cal couldn't sign such an important bill should cause him a little shame as he heads back to the granite hills of Vermont.

Despite the shrill cries from the Anti Saloon league the Amendment to repeal the 18th Amendment passed both houses and is headed to the states. Reports from state Capitals across the country indicate it will be the first piece of business in most of them, including Annapolis.

The president elect has been talking to party leaders about various appointments. It was feared he would be mostly choosing academics, but he is in reality choosing respected politicians. He may have run on a very naive platform, but his choices for most posts reflect a machiavellian pragmatism that might be worrisome.

One very welcome new law is on the reapportionment issue, which has been hanging fire since 1920. The new law expands the house to 465 seats and apportions all seats to a set formula that causes howls of hatred on both sides publicly, but is seen as fair by both sides in private. One excellent feature is that the house will add two seats at every census, so this will expand it so as to accommodate future expansion of the population.

Allies of the president elect tried to introduce a new immigration act. It failed to move out of committee, but they will try again next session. It will alleviate some of the more difficult problems of the current law. It may just have been with so much on their plate they couldn't give it enough time.

The earth has moved a long way on its course around the sun since June. Every election season seems to be the most important, but this is the one that may have the most profound impact on history.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Lexington Park Maryland

January 9, 1929

Sheriff's deputies here arrested Clem Johnson, Will Sykes, Guy Burges and Thomas McClain for murder in the lynching death of Andrew Rice last November 6 after he cast a ballot in last November's election. They were arraigned this morning on charges of first degree murder and conspiracy to interfere with an election. Because of security concerns the four of them have been transfered to Baltimore City Jail pending trial.

On the way from the court house to the the secure car at the railroad station they appeared jovial and very pleased with themselves. Will Sykes, when asked about what his plans were said they would just take it easy till they got bailed out. "Then" he said "We got a bunch more rope for some of the ones we missed."


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Annapolis Maryland

January 11, 1929

The bright sunshine made the cold of Annapolis that more intense, but despite the six degrees of frost the intrepid legislators none the less held a pair of open air meetings in the plaza before the capitol. The issue was the new amendment sent to the states at the end of the last congressional session. The official notice arrived at the capital monday, with the Maryland Secretary of State meeting the steamer from Washington at the train station and receiving the letter from the Secretary of State there.

There was a parade from the train station to the capitol. Despite the bitter cold it was led by a brass band and a drill team from the Navel College. At the capitol the parade was met by the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates on the front steps. They both gave enthusiastic but short speeches, and then went inside to escape the bitter biting cold.

The General assembly then commenced work. The first order of business was of course the first reading of the resolution supporting the new Amendment, where it was sent to Committee. Tuesday it was reported out of committee by acclimation, and of course on Wednesday it was taken up for a second reading and debate. Where things bogged down badly. It is warm in the chamber and it is full of those who love their own voice. The vote on the second reading could not take place until the wee hours of Thursday morning.

A similar scene took place in the senate, but they had the decency to take their vote late Wednesday. However, due to constitutional niceties final approval had to wait till today.

The cold air inspired speed and dispatch as both chambers, meeting in the open, voted approval on passage by large margins. The huge crowd surronding the capital gave wild cheers as the Secretary of State attested to the votes of both chambers on the capitol steps and then passed the letter of attestation to the Annapolis postmaster, who lead another grand parade to the train station where a waiting train was there to take it on its way to Washington.

Maryland thus became the first state to approve the new Amendment, but not by much. Shortly after the mail from Union Station arrived at the State Department, there was an altercation in the hallway as aviators from Albany, Providence, Springfield Illinois and Ann Arbor Michigan jostled for position to be next in line with their states approvals.

The Amending process seems to be going at a rapid pace. The state Legislatures of Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Nebraska and Mississippi have already voted it down. The Amendment was the first order of business in 25 states, so we should have a good idea of how well the amendment will fare soon. The other 23 states have pushed it to the back of the calendar, as the issue is so contentious it might paralyze business in those states. Among these are Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Lexington Park Maryland

January 14, 1929

The Maryland Special Prosecutor for Election Violence, Thomas Eisnesthal, today unsealed true bill indictments against Will Sykes, Guy Burgess, Clem Johnson, Ed Snopes and Thomas McClain for Capital murder and Conspiracy in the murders of Andrew Rice, Stephen Fletcher, Mary Connely, Placenta Myers, Helga Schmidt and Ed Jones on November 6 last year. The four are being held in Baltimore County Jail pending trial. Attorneys said the trial should take place as early as February 1.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Washington DC

February 17, 1929

President Elect Schweinfresser met with President Coolidge and the leadership of the House and the Senate today. There were intense discussions over the President Elect's legislative proposals, many of which are meeting with resistance among Republican legislators. Chief among them were proposals to replace the Chinese Exclusion act with a law permitting Chinese scientists entry into the US along with their wives and children. Also under debate were proposals to separate out the applications for immigration of those with University degrees and approve them with an expedited process.

Secretary of State Franklin Kellogg also met with the President Elect and afterwards announced that he would send invitations to the Prime Ministers of France, Germany, England, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Finland for a general conference on war debts and reparations for March 25th of this year.

The President Elect's visit to Washington also included visits to the Smithsonian Institution and Howard University where he delivered a speech.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Chicago Illinois

February 27, 1929

Chicago University today announced the replacement as Physics professor Schweinfresser. The new full professor is Lise Mintner, a professor at the Max Plank university in Berlin. Joining Miss Mintner are associates Otto Frisch, Leo Salizard and Otto Hahn. Miss Mintner is a winer of the Karl Liebnitz medal for Chemistry as well as the Leiben prize for science.. Miss Mintner said the focus of their work would be on proving or disproving the existence of a sub atomic particle called the Neutron, which as been the focus of scientific curiosity since the work of Ernest Rutherford in 1912. Miss Mintner explained that the openness of the University of Chicago to the idea of a woman full professor was what drew her to Chicago.

Also joining the University of Chicago as professor of Chemistry is Enrico Fermi of Rome and his assistants Edoardo Amaldi and Bruno Pontecorvo. Mr Fermi decided to leave Rome after some letters of his critical of Senior Mussolini became public.

President Elect Schweinfresser gave a spirited speech of welcome professors Fermi and Mintner and their assistants. He also announced the formation of the Atomic Structure Studies Group under professor Fermi with Professor Mintner as vice chairman. The president elect spoke of the enormous potential of Atomic structure studies and the hope that the further understanding of the atom would lead to a golden age of peace and prosperity. He also touched on the famous theories of Professor Einstein and the vast movement of the frontiers of knowledge his work had produced.



Special to the Baltimore Sun

Washington DC

March 4, 1929

365 Days ago, Lord Hoover viewed the alignment of the planets as good for his further attempt on the imperial purple. He had corralled large numbers of jobholders all across the fruited plain and he was sure that such minutiae as conventions and elections were as thoroughly in the bag as his last paycheck. He left town last night for Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee and points west his dreams as badly shattered as the crockery at a Greek wedding.

Today instead there is a new heir to the mantle of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, James K Polk and Chester Arthur. He burst upon the scene with the suddenness of one of those storms that arise in the late summer afternoons in the vast Midwest. No California earthquake has changed the landscape so much.

The most remarkable change has been the re submission of Prohibition to the states. 365 days ago it looked as if the noble experiment would last forever. Now that 27 states have passed repeal the Anti Saloon League looks as a shadow of itself.

The Anti lynching law that was passed in the last session was anther major surprise. It has been promised and promised for forty years. Its passage was suddenly as easy as grease through a goose. What is even more remarkable has been the surprisingly vigorous enforcement by the Coolidge administration. There have been a rash of prosecutions for the violence that marked the last election using the special prosecutors created by the law. What is even more astounding is the number of convictions achieved. Forty five felons now face the same rope they so gleefully held for others.

There have been rumblings of discontent among the lions of the Republican party. The new President's program is both ambitious and novel. The President's academic advisors are full of novel ideas and alternative solutions. Some of which haven't been heard of in The Republican party since the days of John C Fremont. Most of the time the new President sounds as sound a Rotarian as Harding, but there is the always the flavor of revolution in everything. Most ideas going back to the American revolution and Jefferson and Adams. A few going back to Thomas Paine. And there are some of them that have flavor as distinctly Russian as cabbage and Beet stew with sour cream.

One idea that causes much heartburn in the breasts of the editors of the Saturday Evening Post and the Atlantic is for a Soviet of Economists, mostly academics but including a few retired bankers and an industrialist for spice. The proposal for the Soviet has been approved by the house, but languishes in Committee in the Senate.

His proposals for immigration are also very controversial. The repeal of the Chinese exclusion act especially so. The president has expended a great deal of capital fighting for it, but it seems he will get no where.

The novel Agricultural support act is creating a lot of pother. It is amazing that it is out of committee in both houses, but that is partly due to his presumed appointees to his economic soviet have been lobbying hard for it. It seems it has very much to say for it. Instead of supporting incompetent farmers, it proposes to buy them out under a Soil Conservation Scheme. One of the more controversial clauses with the farm committee is that lands where topsoil has withered to less than an inch should be bought out under eminent domain. The proposal has unusual support from the National Bankers Association, but it is to be assumed that they want the taxpayer to be lumbered with the loans that will go south before they actually do.

The American people have put a great deal of faith in the new administration. Every administration since the days of Washington has started with great hopes and usually ended with great disappointments. The Republic somehow marches on. Four years from now it will be interesting to see what fate has in store, and what was actually achieved.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Lexington Park Maryland

March 7, 1929.

Convictions for first degree murder and conspiracy were handed down for Will Sykes, Guy Burgess, Clem Johnson, Ed Snopes and Thomas McClain in the murders of Andrew Rice, Stephen Fletcher, Mary Connely, Placenta Myers, Helga Schmidt and Ed Jones on November 6 last year. The surprise verdict after only 3 hours of deliberation shocked everyone. Even the prosecutor seemed shocked at the speed and nature of the verdict. The judge passed immediate sentence of death on all five convicts, and they were hustled to the train station under special guard. They will be housed in the Baltimore House of Correction till their sentences are carried out. The next available date for execution is in September.

The convicts who has spent most of the trial relaxing at their table, shelling peanuts and joking with friends in the audience looked incredulous as sentence was passed and chains were attached to their wrists and ankles.

Interviews with the jurors showed the prisoners' relaxed attitude didn't go over well. In addition, the prisoners were long known as bad uns, and was with relief the whole town watched them loaded into the special iron car to take them to Baltimore.

The prisoner's attorney announced he would seek an immediate appeal, but was shocked when the judge asked on what basis. The attorney had made not a single exception during the whole process. After reflection, he said "Their lawyer was ___ ____ incompetent."

The convictions in Maryland follow a string of successes for the new Special Prosecutors instituted by the anti lynching law passed in the last congress. For the 654 lynchings last november, there have been 128 trials. 1,325 persons have been indicted, 254 acquitted, 409 convicted and 362 have been sentenced to death. Winter is a slow time for lynchings during any year, but even so the 30 lynchings this year are far fewer than the pace of 309 set in early March last year. And what is even more amazing, those 30 lynchings have resulted in 84 arrests. It seems that the federal government is getting a handle on lynch law finally. Which is none too soon.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Washington DC

March 26, 1929

Usually it quite hard to pin the date or period when a president becomes a lame duck, of no more use or interest in the activities of Washington than one o the ducks floating along the Potomac river. This president is is unique in this as every other thing he has done. With his radio broadcast on the CBS network last night he moved into the twilight zone of forgotten presidents like Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, Benjamin Harrison and John Quincy Adams.

As usual his proposal was composed of equal parts of academic enthusiasm, naiveté, boldness and a certain Machiavellian finesse. That he can pass it in any form with this or any other congress shares likelihood of the sun rising over California tomorrow.

The Boldness arises from his recognition of intractable reality and trying to work it to his favor. The first reality is that none of the Major European states can pay the debts that arose from their futile and unnecessary war. They can collect no taxes from all those corpses who should be living, loving and paying excises on beer and Tobacco so that the political classes can oppress them more effectively. The German economy is a ruin and there is no more blood to be found in any turnips from the Vistula to the Rhine, from the Danube to the Baltic. The whole dynamic over the last 10 years has been to loan money to the Germans to pay the French and English who then use the funds from Germany to pay us. There are not enough German funds to pay the English and French Debt. American Banks are accumulating a huge pile of German debt that is riskier as year chases year. Maybe some day soon some politician will be brave enough to repudiate it entirely, leaving US depositors holding the bag for French and English cupidity.

The Naiveté arises from his feeling the it is possible to recognize reality within the American political system. Americans want the loans repaid in total with interest. When reality and public opinion conflict in this republic, reality must give way.

The proposal is simple. They can not pay us cash, we will take it out in other ways. The German railroads are to be privatized into 12 new companies based on usual loads. The new companies will be sold on the New York Curb exchange and will be regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, which will have two permanent observers from Prussia and Bavaria to watch for German interests. This provision is because the German Railroads were part of the Prussian war machine All German, French, Finnish, Austrian, English and Italian debt will be converted into US bonds. These bonds will go to pay for subsidies to American firms who sell abroad. The European countries will be obliged to accept all non contraband US goods duty free until July 4, 1976. In addition, Germany must accept all French goods duty Free until September 1, 1939.

In addition, the various european states are prohibited from having income taxes that affect more than 40% of the population, and have a rate higher than 45%. The English must reduce their inheritance tax by half. All these provisions will oblige all the european states to keep their militaries to the absolute minimum for social control. The goal here is they will have enough to stop invasion or riot, but not enough to cause trouble with each other. Poland will also be obliged to take US goods duty free, as well as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. However Poland, Finland, and the Baltic stats will not have the revenues for their armies restricted, given the fact they have a dangerous neighbor.

In addition, the president had further tax and tariff proposals. Tax rates would be reduced by 30%, but the incomes at which they become effective would be reduced by more than half. Thousand more American will be subject to income taxes, but the taxes will not be as onerous. In addition, tariffs between the US and Canada would be eliminated.

The German representatives were resigned and irritated. Surrendering the Rail Roads which had been nationalized under Moltke and Bismarck will be a sticking point back home. As will the elimination of protective tariffs. However, they were enthusiastic about relaxing the iron grip of the German tax collector on their people. The level of German US trade being relatively small, they did not see the total opening of the German market to US goods to be that big an issue.

The French and English representatives also seemed positive about the elimination of the debt and its replacement by imported US goods. The European representatives all made promises that the would follow through on the suggestion, if the US congress first passed the enabling legislation. A nice and well stamped treaty was signed by all, and the European representatives went on home to laugh at the babe in the woods who we have made President.

Special to Baltimore Sun

Washington DC

April 5, 1929

The President continues to have problems in congress with his ambitious program. Currently the area of his greatest focus is the so called "Audit Bill." When it came to its second reading on the senate floor the entire collection of Southern senators began a relay of filibusters on it.

The Audit Bill seeks to have cities, counties and states that maintain "Separate but Equal" Jim Crow laws give an annual accounting of funds spent on white and black accommodations to prove that the "But equal" portion of that rule was complied with.

The President wound up a short tour of US colleges where he was speaking to large but unhappy crowds about his proposal on dealing with international war debts. It is a tribute to his skills that he has been charming belligerent and sullen crowds with his odd combinations of appeals to patriotism and cynicism. He has been pointing out that collecting the debts is problematic at best, so the best result it is to get as much benefit from the debt as possible. He has also been pointing out that the beneficiaries of the debt are mostly large banks, whereas the beneficiaries of the reduction in tariffs will be US workers of companies that sell to Europe.

While the opposition to the proposals is huge and diffuse, there are large numbers of supporters for the measures. Major industrial firms are hopeful that they can expand their sales in europe under the new proposals. Banks feel that they would be better off holding on to US debt rather than the debts of the European governments.

Chances of passage remain dim, but the President promises to continue campaigning for the measure.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Starke Florida

April 13, 1929

The First executions under the new anti lynching law passed by Congress in late December last year took place here today in response to the beating deaths last November 6 of Joseph Frank, Aaron Braunstein, Jacob Williams, Edna Brown, Verna Sickles, Harriet Arron, Jacob Rice and Wilma Flint. In the largest parade to Old Sparky in US history Eric Sanders, Will Thoms, John Thoms, Frank Thoms, Samuel Z Carbondale, Harry Melfort and Zale Meeks all got jolts in the pants in succession from 1:00 AM until the job was done at 3:25.

Special prosecutor Francis Zachiarelli noted that the incidence of lynching is way down this year from the pace set last year, which was the worst in a decade. "It is the goal of the Justice department to permanently remove this stain from US jurisprudence and that Lynching be relegated to no more than historical significance."


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Salt Lake City

April 23, 1929

Today, on the last scheduled day of Session for the Utah Senate the Senate took up the issue of approving the 20th Amendment. Most of the day was spent in parliamentary wrangling, but finally, at 6:02PM the question was called and the vote taken. Most watchers were assuming a failure to pass here in Utah, but if Utah did pass it, Prohibition would be repealed. There was a huge press presence in the gallery as the votes were cast. The first five votes were all ney, but then there were 4 Ayes, then they ayes and nays were pretty evenly matched, till the roll call reached Zebulon Yaxley, a notorious dry and the vote was 14-14. Newspapermen put away their notebooks and began to shuffle their way out the back when a load voice in the back of the chamber, old Zebulon himself, said "Aye."

There was a pause at the door, and a hush in the room as the Senate president asked "Come again Mr Yaxley?"

Again, the voice of liberty called out "Aye!"

There was instant pandemonium and the president of the Senate banged the gavel ineffectually for 10 minutes till the noise settled. Several of the pages on the Senate floor had begun a foot race to the secretary of states office, and the man himself appeared on the rostrum just as the noise began to die down.

The President of the Senate then read out the results of the vote. In Favor, 15, Opposed 14. The Secretary of State took the certified results and stamped them as filed. Then he took a paper out of his pocket and ostentatiously wrote the totals onto the paper and passed it to the Senate President who then made an announcement. "I have here the letter our secretary of State is sending to the Secretary of State in in Washington DC to the following affect:

Sir: This is to inform you that Amendment to the Constitution proposed in January, 1929 to Amend the US Constitution to repeal the 18th Amendment has been approved by both the Utah House of Representatives by a vote of 40 Aye to 35 Nay and in the Utah Senate by a vote of 15 Aye and 14 Nay.

Sincerely yours,

Utah Secretary of State."

The Secretary then began the quick march down the center aisle where he was met by a police escort and a motorized parade to the airport.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Washington DC

April 24th, 1929

At 11:09 am this morning, graced by a high overcast but high winds blowing from the capital down the Mall a small plane landed in front of the Smithsonain institution on the Mall. The pilot, Lawrence Tresch of Provo Utah hopped out of the machine once the propellor stopped and ran briskly toward the front entrance of the Smithsonian, where he delivered a letter to Secretary of State Kellog. Also standing at the podium with the Secretary were the Secretary of the Treasury, The President, the Speaker of the house, The vice President, the Speaker pro Tem of the Senate and Post master general, who accepted the signature of the Secretary of State on the Special Delivery form.

The Secretary of State opened the letter, read it and stamped it Filed. Then he announced into the microphones which carried his voice on all radio networks to the remotest parts of the thirsty country "I have here the attestation from the Utah Secretary of State that on April 23, 1929 The Utah Legislature, meeting in Regular session has passed resolutions in both houses signifying approval of the 20th Amendment, which repeals the 18th Amendment.

36 States Having now approved the 20th Amendment according to the procedures set forth in Article 5 of the constitution the 20th Amendment is now in force as of 11:21AM Washington DC time and that the 18th Amendment and all legislation pertaining to it is hear by repealed."

The Secretary then pulled a jeraboam of Champagne from under the podium, along with a cork screw and some glasses began passing the glasses along to the assembled dignitaries. Plunging in the corkscrew, the Secretary of the Treasury pulled out the cork, and began pouring the wine.

A large audience had been let up to the podium and the popping of corks was heard all through the mall.

It being a chilly day, the celebration broke up quickly. By 12:30 the air plane was back in the air. Other celebrations began soon after and continue.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Washington DC

April 25, 1929

The Treasury department announced today that under the language of the 20th Amendment repealing Prohibition it also meant that the repeal of alcohol taxes was also repealed. Taxes will continue at pre prohibition rates.

The administration sent legislation to Capital hill today to regularize the tax situation. The legislation would result in taxes on beer being reduced by 1/2, taxes on wine reduced by 1/3, taxes on incomes under 30,000 being reduced by 60% and total repeal of taxes on Canadian goods if Canada does likewise within 90 days of the passage of the new tax bill.

In addition the tax on long distance telephone and telegraph service would be eliminated.

Tariffs to England, France, Italy, Finland, Poland, Japan, Yugoslavia and Greece are to be reduced by 15%, tariffs to all neutral powers in the great war are to be reduced by 7%, while tariffs to Germany, Austria, Hungary and Turkey are reduced by 5%. Trade to Russia would remain unchanged.

Effective July 1 wages to all active duty military personal would be raised by 20%

The treasury department noted that prior to the imposition of the income tax the tax on alcohol was the second largest source of revenue to the treasury and is worth over a billion dollars a year, based on 1916 consumption rates.

The administration noted that the new tax proposals were based on rates of consumption that anecdotally seem a great deal lower than current rates of consumption. If by July 30 there seems to be an excess of money flowing into the treasury, income taxes on income below 15,000 per year would be cut even further, as would taxes on beer and wine.

Special to the Baltimore Sun

Chicago Illinois

May 6, 1929

Prices for Summer wheat collapsed for the third strait day today. The collapse in prices was general for most raw commodities including beet sugar, cotton, raw steel and coal. The exceptions were for commodities like Orange Juice and Pork Bellies which do not have any international competition.

Traders say the huge sales of Russian Grain and other commodities in overseas markets have depressed demands for US exports. Russian Grain sales over the coming months are supposed to be extremely heavy, but Russian sales of all raw commodities are going to be very heavy heading into November. While not a factor in this years markets, Russian economic planners have announced plans to increase sales worldwide by 1/3 by 1935.

The administration announced plans to seek congressional approval to increase land purchases under the soil conservation scheme substantially if agricultural prices remain depressed.

Interest rates continued to fall. Finance companies report that Americans are paying off loans at a record rate and are not making new ones. Banks have also noticed an increase in deposits since the end of April.

International Harvester and Caterpillar tractor have both announced that orders for new equipment have declined precipitously due to the continued collapse in commodity prices.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

June 19, 1929

President Schweinfresser met with Canadian Prime Minister McKenzie King in order to promote his concept of freer trade between the US and Canada. The President met with an arctic cold reception for his proposals.

Canada, more resource export dependent than the US is suffering a huge crisis from the dumping of Russian wheat, barley and other feedstocks is suffering badly from the collapse of raw materials prices. Given the current climate in Canada it appears he came here on a fool's errant, but the President said he believes he made progress in presenting his ideas for fostering better relations between the US and Canada.

Much of the President's economic plan still hangs fire. Mostly due to the continuous filibuster of the President's Audit bill by southern Senators opposed to revealing the disparity in funds for White vs funds for Black in public accommodations.

The reductions in Tariffs with former allies and neutrals have all passed. Reductions in tariff's with Germany and Austria died in committee.


Special to the Baltimore Sun

Chicago Illinois

June 21, 1929

The President today helped out in the Groundbreaking ceremonies for a new Center for the Studies of Atomic Structure at West 59th Street and Wells near the University of Chicago. The Center, funded by an amazing 5 million dollar grant passed by congress in secret session last week is expected to hire a large contingent of technicians and scientists in a closed campus.

After the ground breaking for the new center, the President attended a conference headed by the assistant director Lise Mintner on the possibilities of transmutation of actinide metals by Neutron enhancement. The conference had high hopes in this realm of study. Preliminary studies had been using Uranium, but due to the chemical's high cost, the fact it is only available in Czechoslovakia, and extreme toxicity they will be doing most of their studies with a metal called thorium which is mostly non toxic and is relatively abundant here in the US.

Director Enrico Fermi admitted that there has, as yet, been no transmutation of these metals, but he said that given our understanding of these metals such transmutations were a distinct possibility.

In response to questions about the Transmutation of Gold, Iron and Lead, he the professor said that these metals were not good subjects for the study.

"Maybe in 200 years or so" he said hopefully.


June 28, 1929

Washington DC

After months of wrangling over the President's economics proposals, Congress adjourned today after approving most of the package with major changes. The president was abandoned by much of the Republicans in Congress over the Tariff proposals, and both sides defied him in terms of farm relief, but after all the battles were over, he got much of what he wanted.

the first proposal was the passage of the Military Highways Act. It imposes a gasoline tax of 9 cents a gallon to be used to build Six military highways. First a highway from Chicago to Seattle, Second a highway from St Louis to Salt Lake City. Third a highway from Salt Lake City to Portland OR. Fourth a Highway from Salt Lake City to San Francisco. Fifth a Highway from New Orleans to Los Angeles via Dallas Texas. Sixth, a Highway from Dallas to Salt Lake City. Other Highways running from Charleston, Richmond and Pittsburgh to St Louis are planned for future years if the tax raises enough revenue.

The new Gasoline tax is seen as a "take that" to Ford and the other major motor manufacturers who spent a lot of effort supporting Al Smith.

Re negotiations of the treaties with the European governments regarding war debts extended the tariff provisions to August 1961 in the cases of the Allied powers and August 1974 in the case of Germany, plus a requirement that Germany buy 16 tons of US Sugar per year at 28 cents per kilo helped sweeten the deal for Senators from Louisiana, California, Alabama and Mississippi. US Banks put tremendous pressure on congress to approve the deal. However, the Treasury is assuming German indebtedness with discounts of 20%, French and Italian bonds with a discount of 11% and English Bonds with a discount of 8%. All other bonds are assumed with discounts of between 12% and 16% depending on that country's payment history.

In a major victory for Mining interests and the Bryanist wing of the Democratic party, the US mint will coin silver with only a 1.3% fee, rather than the usual 5%. Gold will continue to be coined with a 5% fee. Further, the US treasury will take raw silver in payment, which has not been the case since the Civil War.

Alcohol taxes have been reduced by only 10% on distilled liquors and only 25% on beer and wine. Residual prohibitionist sentiment is credited for keeping taxes on alcohol high. Tariffs however have been reduced greatly for most countries, except the former Russian Empire. Tariffis on Irish goods have been cut by 40%, English and French goods by 30%, Italian goods by 25%, German and Turkish goods by 18% and Polish, Finnish, Austrian, Yugoslavian and Scandinavian goods by 22%.

There will be no reduction in tariffs on Canadian goods because Canada has raised tariffs on US goods in their last Parliamentary session.

Income taxes have been reduced by 50% and flattened to where there are only three rates.

The Administration also managed to secure increases in the permitted levels of immigration and an end to the asian exclusion acts. However, there will extra hurdles for new immigrants in the form of a examination in Algebra and English, where immigrants will be obliged to pass a test of 70 questions in mathematics using story problems in english of at least high school complexity.

The major stumbling block to a deal on the tax package has been the precipitous decline in farm prices this year due to huge amounts of Russian grain on world markets this year. Congress and the Administration came to a deal whereby US Farmers can sell grain to the Government if grain prices are reduced by 8% from year ago prices at prices 4% lower than last years price for a given week. The government can sell grain back into markets if prices rise by more than 9% over last years prices.

The Administration also secured an increase in the size of the Army to 80,000, and a rise of $3 per month in enlisted pay. The navy was also authorized a new Naval Aviation Platform ship, to be called the USS Cowpens. All future Naval Aviation Platform ships (Referred to in the Navy as Carrier Vessels) will bear the names of Revolutionary war battles.

One final measure to reach approval was a new Mexican treaty dealing with the end of their mild civil war there with the clericalist party arranged by Ambassador Morrow, the father in law of the famous Aviator, Charles Lindbergh. The treaty specifies that different parts of the Mexican constitution will be held in abeyance. The anti clerical parts will become a dead letter, and the part referring to the nationalization of the Mexican Oil industry will be delayed until 1945, provided that tariffs on Mexican goods are reduced to 10% and the US maintains a Royalty level on Mexican oil at certain high levels adjusted higher every year until 1945. The Mexicans also promised to nationalize by purchase rather than expropriation after 1945. It is hoped that the end of the anti clerical disturbances in Mexico will lead to reduced violence in the border regions.

An attempt by Prohibition forces to force a tax on recreational smoking of hemp was turned back. The tax was seen as idiotic as no rational person smokes hemp, and taxing its use would be prohibitively expensive.

An attempt to re introduce the Harrison Narcotics act, which was inadvertently repealed by the 20th Amendment remained bottled in committee. The Administration has proposed instead tougher standards and regulation under the Safe Foods and Drugs act.

Congress heads home for the long summer session and is not due back until October.

July 22 1929

Tuskegee AL

The US Army and the US department of Agriculture announced programs today to purchase several million tons of cotton seed and Peanuts over the next three years. The cotton seed would be purchased this year only.

The US army will be testing designs for the new Mark II tank to be deployed in 1934. Designs from Chrysler, General Motors and Ford will be using Diesel powered tanks using vegetable oils. Designs from DeSoto and Plymouth will be powered by Gasoline engines.

Lt Col. George Smith Patton Jr. announced that the designs will be tested in Minnesota during the winter, in Tennessee during the fall and spring and in New Mexico during the summer. It is assumed by the US army that the new tanks will need to be in service in areas with no roads, very muddy or snowy conditions or areas of drifting sand. It is further assumed that any bridges will be slightly larger than 107" inches across. There is very little petroleum in Europe, so it is to be assumed that the tanks will have to be run off of vegetable oils.

The US army plans on purchasing 200 - 250 tanks, depending on how they perform on tests.

Chicago Illinois.

August 23rd 1929

Prices for grains have stabilized since the passage of the latest agriculture bill in Congress. However prices for other commodities have continued declines with cotton prices the latest to collapse under pressure of Russian dumping of agricultural products on world markets.

Prices stabilized when Administration officials annoyed a new Civil defense initiative that would result in the US Army purchasing tents for 140,000 people in case of earthquake, hurricane or other calamity.

The Agriculture department also announced plans to step up the purchase of depleted farm lands under the soil conservation scheme.

Commodities traders have been surprised at the huge quantities of Russian commodities exports over the last year. Prior to 1925 the amounts of Russian exports were very small. Changes in Russian Farm Policy since the end of the Civil war have resulted in large gains in Russian exports since 1925. However Russian Agricultural policy changed again last year. It was not expected that there would be such a huge amount of exports this year under the new policy.

Trader Seamus McGinnus among others have been wondering if the russians are selling everything and are going to go hungry this year to make all the sales this year. Mr McGinnus pointed out that the Russian government has a huge capital goods purchase program for this year in order to increase industrial production. The Russian government has a poor financial reputation and has to purchase all its capital goods almost exclusively with barter.

New York New York

September 20, 1929

Stock prices continued to drift lower in sympathy with lower commodity prices in the agricultural sector. Banking stocks have been especially hard hit, as well as retailers such as Sears and Montgomery Ward with large agricultural customer bases, and manufacturers of Farm products such as Deer, International Harvester and Caterpillar Tractor. Capital purchases in the agricultural sector are down 10% from last year levels, and there are signs that September will be especially poor for agricultural capital spending.

The Administration announced new legislation to be proposed when Congress comes into session to permit the Treasury department to keep failed banks open with multi branch national banks in case of crisis. Congressional leaders were skeptical about the bill however.

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