The Goldenbird story tales place on the exact dates of June 19th-23rd. The story this far has reached June 21st. What happened in the world during those three days? The New York Times free archive gives us some funny and thought-provoking headlines of the summer of 1920.
1920, June 19th
Goldenbird: The gang gathers in the politically disputed, Italian/Slavic resort Ginestra. Falco is scheming, Mayann is busy with her rehearsals and swimming lessons, and Andy and Lou paint the town red in the evening.
Meanwhile, in the real world:
D'ANNUNZIO STATES TERMS. Tells Giolitti He Won't Yield Fiume Till Independence Is Granted. - We all should know d'Annunzio and his Fiume escapades by now...
ITALIAN PRISONERS KILLED. Albanian Attacks Follow Assassination of Essad Pasha. - Some Albanian forces blamed the assassination on "Italian intrigue" and took out their anger on 330 POW's.
AIRCRAFT BUILDERS' TASK; To Convince People Planes Are Safe "... The next generation will know more about airplanes and flying than we do today of the automobile..." - Modern technology revolutionized communications, but Lindbergh's cross of the Atlantic was still far in the future.
ROOSTER FOR DEMOCRATS. Illinois Woman Declares Mule Isn't the Right Party Emblem. - I thought it was a donkey? Certainly wouldn't improve the quality of dirty political puns.
SEAMEN RESENT GERMANS. British Delegate at Conference Clashes with Teuton. - The International Seamen's Conference in Genoa, Italy, was disturbed by quarrels between the former enemies. NYT was slightly biased as well: "... a German delegate, with red upstanding hair and red pointed beard, rose with an arrogant air and delivered his speech in loud tones."
ITALY ASKS ABOUT SUICIDE. Government Wants Facts from Palmer About Red's Imprisonment. - This famous case involved the alleged suicide of anarchist Andrea Salsedo. As a worker for the political newspaper Cronaca Sovversiva he had been taken in for interrogations without arrest or warrant by the Bureau of Investigations in February 25. There, he was urged to reveal names and details about his comrades. His widow claimed that he had been tortured before he threw himself from the 14th floor on May 3. His case inspired anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti to organize protests, which would incriminate them further in the famous "trial of the century" 1920-1927.
1920, June 20th
Goldenbird: Falco is chased by mountain warrior monks in the Slavic hinterland, while Mayann continues her flirt with the swimming teacher, and Lou realizes her and Andy's adventures have had serious consequences.
Meanwhile in the real world:
WARNS OF FUTURE SHORTAGE OF OIL; Director of Geological Survey Declares That Consumption Has Overtaken Output. - 80 years ahead of his time!
HARDING THE HARMONIZER, GENEROUS AND LIKABLE; Republican Presidential Nominee Began as Poor Boy, Became an Editor, Has Ideal Home Life, Is a Baptist and Believes in Good Causes, But Plays Draw Poker - Warren G. Harding would become the next (and for some time, reputedly the worst) US president soon.
NEW IMMIGRANT TYPE EXCELS PREDECESSOR; Ellis Island Finds Proof in Decreasing Numbers of Undesirable Arrivals. - Didn't stop the US authorities from enforcing racially discriminatory immigration laws for the next few decades.
HARLEM LIBRARIES DRAW THE CHILDREN; Two Branches Crowded with Eager Throngs of Enthusiastic Subscribers. SOME ATTRACTIVE EXHIBITS Clubs and a Large Variety of Books for Youthful Readers Lure Young of Many Races. - Happy news from a part of New York City that would soon be the cradle of a great Africa-American cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance.
GERMANS DEPRESSED OVER THEIR FUTURE; Looking Forward with Anxiety to the Outcome of the Spa Conference. PRICES STILL MOUNTING Workers Like the Republic, but Business Circles See Only Hope in a Dictator. Deny Planning Revenge. Sans Souci Beauty Unimpaired. Labor Likes New Republic. Big Crowds at Theatres. - Germans may have been gloomy, but many of the Allies still thought they were recovering a bit too fast, and were maybe even enjoying themselves secretly!
ALAND EXCITEMENT GROWS. - Sweden and Finland were having an argument about the Åland islands, which eventually became the first international dispute that the League of Nations managed to solve peacefully.
SIBERIAN PARLEYS BROKEN OFF; New State and Japanese at Odds Over Scope of Negotiations. - The "new state", the Far Eastern Republic, ended as a Soviet puppet state.
LITTLE THINGS FOR SUMMER; Collars, Guimpes, Scarfs and Bags Become Important Adjuncts to the Wardrobe Belts and Sashes. "... FEMININE wardrobes acknowledge no limit in accessories. And this season, perhaps more than ever before, has contributed beautiful and truly artistic "little things" as parts of the prevailing styles. What can add more freshness or charm to the general appearance of a costume than a crisp new collar or a sash?" - What is a "guimpe"? This? As an accessory lover, I am intrigued.
1920, June 21st
Goldenbird: Falco is back in town. After a skirmish with a pointy-eared Russian anarchist and Dr Shapiro, he is ready to face the greatest challenge of them all: Mayann the red-hot jazz baby.
Meanwhile in the real world:
OVERALL PARADE IN PARIS. Poets and Actresses Devote the Day to the Wearing of Blue Jeans. - They didn't have the vote yet, but they had the threads...
COLLEGE MEN URGED TO LEAD; Dartmouth Students Told of America's Mission In the World. - While Wilson's plans for an active US foreign policy were torpedoed by a widespread isolationist opinion, the theoretical idea of a universal mission takes hold - "a mission given by God for the sake of humanity".
OIL PRODUCERS SAY PRICES MUST RISE; Further Advances Are Needed if Healthy Competition Is to Remain. DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY. - It has returned to haunt us...
WELCOMED MEXICAN INVASION; Thousands of Families Crossing the Border to Till the Soil and Otherwise Build Up the Southwest 100,000 in the Northward Movement. Replacing the Drift to Cities. Entering the Sugar Beet Field. Qualities to Be Reckoned With Bilingual New Mexico. - More happy news, but we cannot escape the sad:
2 DEAD, MANY HURT IN CHICAGO RIOT; Sailor and White Civilian Killed and Colored Policeman Wounded by Negroes. AMERICAN FLAGS BURNED Police Reserves and Rifle Squad at Scene of Trouble Started by Parading Abyssinians. In the shadow of the horrific Red Summer of 1919, race riots continued to flare up locally in America. The mysterious "Abyssinians" of the article were a "return to Africa" movement inspired by Marcus Garvey, possibly "The Star Order of Ethiopia".