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1920

Jan 3  Russia's civil war is winding down. The Bolsheviks secure an armistice with Estonia. The Russian anti-Bolshevik army leader, Yudenich, in Estonia, will be arrested in a couple of weeks as he tries to escape to western Europe.

Jan 16  In the United States, prohibition becomes law.

Jan 19  US Senators vote against joining the League of Nations. There was opposition especially to Article X of the League Covenant, which called on giving assistance to a member who is a victim of external aggression.

Jan 21  Independence from Britain is proclaimed in Ireland. The Irish Republican Army begins Ireland's War of Independence.

Jan 23  The Netherlands, ruled by the young and strong-willed Queen Wilhelmina, doesn't buy the exaggerations of the Allied nations of World War I and refuses to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm to them for prosecution.

Feb 2  A treaty between Bolshevik Russia and Estonia recognizes Estonia's independence.

Feb 7 The anti-Bolshevik military leader in central Siberia, Kolchak, has surrendered and is executed.

Feb 24  In Munich, Adolf Hitler presents a program to his tiny political party.

Mar 13-17  In Germany an attempted coup by anti-Marxists – the Kapp putsch – briefly ousts the Weimar Republic government from Berlin. The coup fails because of public resistance and a general strike.

Mar 25  A police force of former soldiers from England, to be known as the Black and Tans, arrives in Ireland. They are less than disciplined police professionals and are sent to assist the Irish government loyal to British rule to maintain that rule.

Apr 4  Violence erupts between Arab and Jewish residents in Jerusalem. Nine are killed and 216 injured.

Apr 12  In Germany's Ruhr, occupied by the French, the German government has French approval to combat a communist rebel army numbering around 6,000 men. After ten days of fighting, German government forces, including Freikorps paramilitary units, defeat the rebel army. The government force loses about 250 men, the rebels lose over a thousand.

Apr 20  In Mexico, President Carranza prefers civilian rule. The man he doesn't want as his successor, a former general on his left politically, Álvaro Obregón, announces that he intends to fight Carranza.

Apr 20  Summer Olympics Games open in Antwerp, Belgium.

Apr 23  The Grand National Assembly of Turkey is founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Ankara. It denounces the government of Sultan Mehmed VI and announces a temporary constitution.

Apl 24  The Bolsheviks are fighting to establish Soviet republics among the Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians, with help from communists among each ethnicity.

Apr 19-26  A seven-day conference at San Remo, in Italy, ends. in the name of League of Nation mandates, Italy, France, Britain and Japan agree to precise boundaries in the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.

May 2  In Indianapolis, the first game of Negro National League baseball is played.

May 7  In the ongoing war between Polish and Soviet troops, Polish troops occupy Kiev.

May 7  A Bolshevik coup has failed against a government of moderate socialists (Social Democrats) in Georgia. The Soviet government signs a treaty recognizing Georgia's independence.

May 19-20  Álvaro Obregón's army pushes into Mexico City. Carranza flees by train and is shot and killed.

May 24  Carranza is buried in Mexico City. His allies gathered at his funeral are arrested. Adolfo de la Huerta, an Obregón ally, is appointed provisional president by Mexico's congress.

Jun 4  Hungary signs a peace agreement with its World War I enemies: France, Britain, the US, Italy and Japan. The agreement establishes new borders for Hungary. Hungary loses 71 percent of its territory and 66 percent of its population. About one-third of the ethnic Hungarian population (3.4 of 10 million Hungarians) become minorities in neighboring countries. The new borders separate Hungary's industrial base from its sources of raw materials, and Hungary also loses its only sea port, at Fiume (today Rijeka).

Jun 15  A new border treaty between Germany and Denmark gives northern Schleswig to Denmark.

Jul 1 Scientists in 2014 will trace the AIDs virus to sometime in the 1920s in LĂ©opoldville (Kinshasa) in the Belgian Congo. Its spread is linked to urban growth and a rise in railway links during colonial rule.

Jul 12  Soviet Russia signs a peace treaty with Lithuania, recognizing Lithuanian independence In exchange for Lithuanian neutrality and permission to let Soviet Red Army forces pass through against hostile Polish forces.

Jul 24  The French are moving to impose what they believe to be their authority in Syria. At the Battle of Maysalun Pass, about 12 miles west of Damascus, a French army easily defeats a few hundred Arab soldiers and some hastily-summoned citizen volunteers.

Jul 28  Pancho Villa signs a surrender and retires.

Aug 3  The Irish War of Independence continues. Catholics in Belfast protest against the continuing presence of the British Army.

Aug 10  The Treaty of Sèvres ends the war between the Allies and Turkey. The treaty limits Turkey to a military force of 50,000. It gives Britain, France and Italy control over Turkey's financial affairs. It gives France and Italy zones of control and influence, and it grants autonomy to the Kurds. Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI's representatives sign the treaty confirming arrangements for partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. Turks in general refuse to recognize the treaty. A Greek army is advancing into Turkey from Smyrna

Aug 11  Soviet troops have been pushed out of Latvia. Soviet Russia recognizes Latvian independence.

Aug 13-25  An anti-Soviet Polish army decisively defeats and routes the Soviet Red Army in the Battle of Warsaw, to be remembered by Poles as the "Miracle on the Vistula." Stalin, age 41, was there as a political commissar and would resent the defeat for the rest of his life. (Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain, p 41)

Aug 26  Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution by the states guarantees women's suffrage.

Sep 16  A bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the JP Morgan building in New York City, killing 38 and injuring 400. It's to be known as the Wall Street bombing. A half-day of trading is lost. The capitalist system survives. The bombers are never found.

Oct 18  Thousands of unemployed demonstrate in London. Fifty are injured.

Oct 26  Álvaro Obregón is elected president of Mexico.

Nov 2  In the United States, people long for the "good old days" before the war. They elect Warren Harding as their president, who has campaigned against ratification of the peace treaty and for a return to "normalcy." Republicans gain ten seats in the Senate, extending their majority there to 59 of 96 seats. House Republicans gain 67 seats for 302 out of 433 seats. The Civil War is still within the country. The red and blue states are divided in presidential election results between the South and elsewhere, except for Tennessee, which went for the Republican, Harding.

Nov 21  It is Bloody Sunday. The Irish Republican Army, on the instructions of Michael Collins, kill fourteen British undercover agents in Dublin, most in their homes. In retaliation the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary open fire on a crowd at a Gaelic Athletic Association Football match in Croke Park, killing thirteen spectators and one player and wounding 60.

Dec 11  In Ireland, a British trooper is killed by a guerrilla ambush. British forces set fire to some 5 acres, including the city hall, in the center of the city of Cork.

Dec 1  Obregón becomes Mexico's 39th President.

Dec 15-22  The Brussels Conference establishes a timetable for German war reparations intended to extend for over 42 years.

Dec 16  in northwest China an 8.5-magnitude earthquake will within a few days kill an estimated 273,400 people.

Dec 23  Britain passes the Government of Ireland Act, providing for the partition of Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland with separate parliaments and granting a measure of home rule. 

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