Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo, the year he turns 24. He was sobered as an ambulance driver during World War I. Hemingway and his wife have been in Paris since December last year, in a small apartment with no running water. By chance in February he runs into the American poet Ezra Pound at a book store. Both believe in writing that is clear, precise and economical. They become friends. Hemingway writes an article for the Toronto Daily Star, published on March 25, about the "scum of Greenwich Village, New York" who hang out in Paris and condemn the work of artists who have gained any degree of recognition.
Jan The year begins with the British Empire at its greatest extent, covering one-fifth of the world's population.
Jan 7 The Anglo-Irish treaty, signed in December, is ratified by Ireland's parliament, 64 to 57 votes.
Jan 12 The British government releases the remaining Irish prisoners captured in the War of Independence.
Jan 26 Italian forces occupy Misrata in Libya, beginning a reconquest of Libya. With tanks and aerial bombardment, Italian forces will move deeper into Libya's interior, beginning an eight-year war.
Feb 6 The Washington Naval Treaty is signed by United States, Britain, Japan, France and Italy. Its purpose is to prevent a naval arms race. Japanese nationalist-imperialists are outraged. Japan's Chief of the Naval Board, Commander Kato Kanji, claims that a war between the US and Japan has begun. Among Japan's imperialists the view of Britain as a potential enemy is enhanced.
Feb 8 President of the United States Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio in the White House.
Feb 11 "April Showers" sung by Al Jolson leads in music popularity in the US.
Feb 28 Britain unilaterally declares Egypt a sovereign state. Egypt is no longer considered a British protectorate. Egypt's ruler, Anglo-friendly Sultan Faud, will declare himself "King" on March 15. The British are to continue controlling Egypt's foreign relations, communications and military matters and to continue control over the Sudan – considered a part of Egypt. British troops will continue to be stationed in Egypt.
Mar 3 Mussolini's fascists occupy Fiume (on the north eastern Adriatic coast and belonging to Hungary until the end of World War I). The occupation is an appeal to Italian patriotism and in the weeks ahead will be backed by regular Italian troops.
Mar 11 Mohandas Gandhi is arrested in Bombay for sedition because of two articles he has written in his paper "Young India" promoting boycotts and civil disobedience. He is to be given a six-year sentence on March 22.
Mar 14 In British ruled Kenya, Harry Thuku (1895–1970), an English speaking Kikuyu, former newspaper typesetter and telegrapher and pioneer of modern African nationalism, has been arrested and imprisoned. Two days later outside a police station, colonial police clash with as many as 8,000 of his followers. Twenty-one are reported killed. Thuku is exiled to today is Somalia.
Apr 3 Communist Party leadership chooses their comrade Joseph Stalin as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union's Communist Party, a position that Lenin wanted created, with the recommendation that it be filled by Stalin.
Apr 7 The United States Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall gives leases to drill at the Teapot Dome naval oil reserves in Wyoming to two of his friends, oilmen Harry F. Sinclair (Mammoth Oil Corporation) and Edward L. Doheny (Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company), without open bidding.
Apr 16 The Treaty of Rapallo marks a rapprochement between the Germany's Weimar Republic and Bolshevik Russia. Each renounces all territorial and financial claims against the other. They agree to normalise their diplomatic relations and to co-operate in meeting the economic needs of both countries.
May Hostility toward Jews has been on the rise in the United States. This month the President of Harvard University, A.L. Lowell, advocates restricting Jewish applicants to his university. If higher Jewish enrollment provokes greater prejudice against Jews, he asks, "How can we cause the Jews to feel and be regarded as an integral part of the student body?"
May 19 The 39-day conference at Geneva ends with the 34 participating countries failing to establish an agreement that would improve the economic catastrophe created by the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919.
May 26 Lenin suffers his first stroke.
Jun 28 In Northern Ireland, members of the Irish Republican Army have been responsible for numerous murders, bombings, shootings and incendiary fires. They oppose the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in December. They don't want a settlement that compromises the independence of a unified Ireland. Today Ireland's civil war begins in Ireland's capital, Dublin, when Ireland's government (which made the treaty with Britain) using artillery loaned by the British, begins to bombard the Irish Republican Army forces occupying government buildings. The fighting in Dublin will last until July 5. The civil war will extend well into 1923.
Jul This month, 563 German marks will buy one US dollar, almost double the 263 needed eight months ago and dwarfing the 12 marks in April 1929. The inflation had begun as a way to pay for the nation's war effort. British and French economic "experts" are claiming that Germany is destroying its economy with the purpose of avoiding reparations. Others find fault with inadequate German government intervention or German bankers and foreign investors finding wealth enhancing opportunities. In August it will take 1000 marks for one US dollar.
Jul 20 What had been German rule in Togoland (in West Africa) is divided into League of Nations mandates of French Togoland and British Togoland.
Jul 15 In Japan a small Communist Party sf founded. It's an underground (secret) organization. But the government is aware of it and outlaws it under its Peace Preservation Law. It would be the only political party in Japan to opposed Japan's involvement in World War II.
Jul 31 In Italy, an attempt at a show of force by the Socialist Party and Railwaymen's Union produces their call for a general strike. The strike will give the fascist leader Benito Mussolini renewed opportunity to posture as Italy's savior.
Aug This month, the presidents of Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador will meet on the USS. Tacoma in the Gulf of Fonseca (where these three countries meet). The United States has economic interests in the region, and the presidents will pledge to prevent their territories from being used to promote revolutions.
Aug This month The Chamber of Commerce in Sharon Connecticut is distributing leaflets urging property owners not to sell to Jews.
Aug 7 At the Waterville landing station in southwestern Ireland, the Irish Republican Army cuts the Atlantic cable link between the United States and Europe. This will serve nobody's interests.
Aug 22 Michael Collins, the hero of Ireland's war of independence, is killed in an ambush by an IRA force.
Aug 26 The last battle of the Greco-Turkish war begins, the Battle of Dumlupinar, to end September 9. The Turks are to suffer 2,318 killed, the Greeks nearly an equal number.
Aug 27 A large-scale attack by Turkish forces opens in mountainous Afyon Province, in central Turkey, which has been occupied by French, Italian and Greek forces since the end of World War I.
Aug 28 Diplomatic pressure by the United States and Great Britain on Japan, plus increasing domestic Japanese opposition due to the economic and human costs, results in the administration of Prime Minister Kato Tomosaburo agreeing to withdraw its troops from Siberia. Japanese casualties from its Siberian Expedition included some 5,000 dead from combat or illness and expenses in excess of 900 million yen.
Sep 9 Turkish forces pursuing withdrawing Greek troops enter the city of Izmir (Smyrna) on the Aegean coast, effectively ending Turkey war with Greece which began in 1919.
Sep 11 Britain's Mandate of Palestine is approved by the Council of the League of Nations. The mandate makes legal Britain's administration of territory, including Jerusalem, that had been a part of the Ottoman Empire.
Sep 14 Greece's army has been pushed bact to Smyrna. The Great Fire of Smyrna rages. The Greeks are forced to evacuate that city on Greek ships under the supervision of Allied destroyers.
Sep 18 Hungary, what is left of it after the Treaty of Trianon, joins the League of Nations.
Fascists marching to Rome with medals proudly displayed. Mussolini is second from the left, wearing a sash.
Marching toward Rome to put Italy right. The Fascists have adopted the mass movement tactics of the socialist left, where Benito (named after Mexico's Juarez) Mussolini identified himself before the "glory" of World War I.
Oct This month 3,000 German marks will equal one US dollar.
Oct 1 George Ivanovich Gurdjieff opens his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, at Fontainebleau in France. Gurdjieff is a mystic who endeavors to take humanity to a higher state of consciousness and achievement. He claims to have learned his wisdom while traveling and studying in Central Asia. Signs of success in harmony in societies in Central Asia did not exist. Nor would success in harmony be forthcoming in Europe. He will attract admirers, and his success will be in accumulating wealth.
Oct 18 The British Broadcasting Company is formed. It is owned by the British General Post Office and six telecommunications companies.
Oct 22 The fascist's seven-day march on Rome begins. It will be described as having fewer than 30,000 participants. It is led by bemedaled men expressing the machismo involvement in war.
Oct 28 Mussolini has the support of Italy's military, business class and rightists. Prime Minister Luigi Facta is prepared to stop the fascist insurrection and arrest its leaders. He has a state of emergency drawn up for this, but King Emmanual III (barely five feet tall) refuses to sign it. Instead he chooses Mussolini as Prime Minister. Mussolini will form a cabinet of fascists and rightwing nationalists.
Nov 1 In Turkey, the Ottoman Empire's Sultan Mehmed VI abdicates, clearing the way for the creation of Turkey as a republic. On the 17th he will leave for exile in Italy.
Nov 4 In the United States the Postmaster General orders all homes to have a mailbox. Those preferring not to take orders from the government are free not to have a mailbox, but they will have to relinquish delivery of mail.
Nov 19 His cousin Sultan Mehmed VI having abdicated, Abdul Mejid II, an avid collector of butterflies, carries on the tradition of rule be accident of birth. He becomes Islam's Commander of the Faithful on Earth (caliph).
Nov 24 Italy's parliament gives Mussolini dictatorial powers for one year.
Dec 6 The treaty creating the Irish Free State, signed in London on this day in 1921, becomes official.
Dec 7 Parliament for the six counties in north-east Ireland takes the option accorded them in the Treaty of London (signed on December 6, 1921) to remain associated with the United Kingdom, making them apart from the Irish Free State.
Dec 11 Independence for Poland, previously ruled by tsarist Russia, has been taking shape following World War I. Poles have been returning. Today one of them, Gabriel Narutowicz, a professor of hydroelectric engineering, who returned from Switzerland in 1920, takes the oath of office as Poland's first president.
Dec 16 In Poland, Eligiusz Niewiadomski, a fervent rightwing nationalist who had fought for Poland's independence, a modernist painter and art critic, assassinates President Gabriel Narutowicz with a handgun. Rightists were complaining that the president's election had come with the support of Reds (communists), Jews and Germans. The assassination accomplishes nothing for the rightists. The new president will be Stanislaw Wojciechowski, a scientist.
Dec 30 Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Transcaucasia come together to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It consists of peoples who had been within the tsarist empire. This includes the republics of Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. The Bolsheviks (Communists) ruling what was now the USSR are ideologically anti-empire, and they consider the republics equal participants in the union.
Copyright © 2006-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.