December 7. After eight centuries of bloodshed, an uprising
in 1916 and months of haggling, the British Government and Irish
leaders finally signed the treaty setting up the Irish Free State.
It was a treaty which caused bitter divisions among those who
had fought Britain for a free and united Ireland. For it did not
deliver the whole island. The six counties in the north, where
the majority population is Protestant, remained outside the Free
Although the pro-treaty party had the support of most people,
hardliners formed a breakaway army and Ireland was soon plunged
into a vicious civil war.
March 6. The police chief in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, orders
that skirts must be no shorter than four inches below the knee.
Short skirts were causing alarm throughout the West. In America,
the state of Utah threatened to jail women who were "inappropriately
dressed." Hemlines had been rising since the end of the war as
Britain's women, liberated by the pay and equality that war work
brought, became more assertive.
September 5. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, one of the funniest
stars of the silent cinema, was charged with rape and murder.
The victim was a Hollywood actress, Virginia Rappe, who was found
in a hotel after what police described as an orgy. She told rescuers:
"I'm dying. Roscoe did it." The actress died of peritonitis a
few days later. Although Arbuckle was eventually cleared of manslaughter,
his career was effectively over.
February 16. Post-war unemployment topped one million.
Every street corner seemed to have its clutch of once-proud soldiers,
reduced to selling matches with their medal ribbons on display.
They had been promised a land fit for heroes but the promise had
August 1. The 50th anniversary of the first bank holiday
saw record-breaking crowds heading for the holiday resorts. Blackpool
was a popular destination as thousands of Britons downed tools.
"Town full" notices were posted on the approaches to Blackpool.
Wolverhampton Council agreed a 16,500 scheme to widen the
road from the town to Codsall, partly to provide work for
Wolverhampton Hippodrome, formerly the Empire, was reopened.
Wolverhampton Wanderers lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in the
FA Cup final. King George watched the match at Stamford Bridge.
A coroner warned of the dangers of coal picking after 15-year-old
George Bateman of Heath Town, Wolverhampton, died in an
earth fall at Moseley Village. "There are more deaths than
when the miners are working underground," said coroner J
One Dudley woman was fined 2.50, the other jailed for 14
days after being convicted of pretending to tell fortunes.