January 16. At one minute past midnight, the sale of alcohol
was banned throughout the United States. Prohibition had arrived.
It was to last for 14 years. Prohibition was the result of endless
lobbying by American temperance societies whose campaign against
"the demon drink" dated back to the earliest days of Puritanism.
Preachers said it would reduce sin. Judges hoped it would cut
crime. Bosses expected the booze-ban to reduce absenteeism and
increase industrial production.
no-one foresaw was that America's appetite for illegal "bootleg"
alcohol would actually lead to an increase in consumption. It
became the era of hip flasks and speakeasies, of protection rackets,
organised crime and corruption at every level of American society.
Gang leaders like the notorious Al "Scarface" Capone not only
controlled the liquor and prostitution on their patch but had
police chiefs and politicians on their payroll.
November 21. The Irish crisis went from bad to worse in
a horrifying day of tit-for-tat killings in Dublin. The murders
began early in the day when IRA men broke into the secret homes
of 14 British spies, killing them all. In retaliation, British
police turned a machine-gun on a football crowd, claiming they
had come under small-arms fire. Fourteen died either by British
bullets or trampled in the panic that followed.
November 30. Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock
Holmes and a respected figure, shocked London society by admitting
that he believed in fairies. Two Yorkshire schoolgirls, Elsie
Wright and Frances Griffiths, claimed to have photographed the
fairies in their village of Cottingley three years earlier. Their
snaps were later "authenticated" by experts and Doyle had no hesitation
in rushing into print. Years later, long after Conan Doyle was
dead, Elsie and Frances admitted they had hoaxed the world by
cutting out pictures of fairies and photographing them.
November 10. The body of the Unknown Warrior, chosen
at random from the war dead in France, arrived in London to be
buried at Westminster Abbey.
June 15. Home Sweet Home crackled out of primitive wireless
sets all over Britain and the legendary Nellie Melba was £1,000
better off. That was the diva's fee for becoming the first professional
singer to perform live on the radio.
After two months of heavy rain, coal pits at Old Hill are
threatened with closure as a result of flooding.
Tettenhall war memorial was unveiled. The Rev A R Harrison
said it stood "on soil which the patriotism of heroes made
safe from alien outrage."
Wolverhampton Council considered buying a number of electric-powered
vehicles "although a certain number of horse-drawn vehicles
would always be required".
Aston Villa beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 to win the FA Cup
final. West Bromwich Albion won the first division championship
for the only time in the club's history.
A double celebration for Wolverhampton as two riders, Cyril
Williams, on an AJS, and and T C De la Hay, on a Sunbeam,
won their class in the TT Races at the Isle of Man.