“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, June 28, 1920, Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California

For the opening of the Democratic National Convention, Prohibition appears to have been repealed. Each delegate is welcomed upon arrival in San Francisco by an attractive young woman proffering a bottle of illegal alcohol, courtesy of the mayor.

The front runner for the presidential nomination, at 2 to 1 odds, is Ohio Governor James. M. Cox, 50, who is still dodging questions about his divorce of nine years ago—just to clarify, he had been charged with cruelty, not infidelity.

Incumbent President Woodrow Wilson, 63, almost on his deathbed in Washington, DC, and former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, 60, whose political career is on its deathbed after three unsuccessful runs for high office, are each still unrealistically hopeful of getting the nomination.

Today, at the opening ceremony, as the New York Tribune’s Heywood Broun, 31, reports:

A huge American flag fluttered from the ceiling…The flag was cheered. By and by the flag was raised and there nestling behind it was a large picture of President Wilson. It was not a very good picture, rather red faced and staring and frightened, but it served as a symbol of the man in the White House, and the cheering burst out, or if it didn’t burst at any rate, it began…[The 21-minute pro-Wilson ovation was not] animated by sincerity.”

1920 Dem conv

The 1920 Democratic National Convention

In his keynote address, Democrat National Committee Chairman, twice-divorced Homer Cummings, 50, eulogizes Wilson and compares his tribulations to those of Christ on the cross. In Broun’s opinion,

It did not seem a great speech…although there were elements of excellence in the first hour and a half.”

Matthew Heywood Broun

Heywood Broun

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

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