FYI March 20, 2018


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On This Day

1921 – The Upper Silesia plebiscite was a plebiscite mandated by the Versailles Treaty to determine a section of the border between Weimar Germany and Poland.
The Upper Silesia plebiscite was a plebiscite mandated by the Versailles Treaty and carried out on 20 March 1921 to determine a section of the border between Weimar Germany and Poland. The region was ethnically mixed with both Germans and Poles; according to prewar statistics, ethnic Poles formed 60 percent of the population.[1] Under the previous rule by the German Empire, Poles claimed they had faced discrimination, making them effectively second class citizens.[2][3][4] The period of the plebiscite campaign and inter-Allied occupation was marked by violence. There were three Polish uprisings, and German volunteer paramilitary units came to the region as well.

The area was policed by French, British, and Italian troops, and overseen by an Inter-Allied Commission. The Allies planned a partition of the region, but a Polish insurgency took control of over half the area. The Germans responded with volunteer paramilitary units from all over Germany[citation needed], which fought the Polish units. In the end, after renewed Allied military intervention, the final position of the opposing forces became, roughly, the new border. The decision was handed over to the League of Nations, which confirmed this border, and Poland received roughly one third of the plebiscite zone by area, including the greater part of the industrial region.

After the referendum, on 20 October 1921, an ambassadors conference in Paris decided to divide the region. Consequently, the German-Polish Accord on East Silesia (Geneva Convention), a minority treaty was concluded on 15 May 1922 which dealt with the constitutional and legal future of Upper Silesia which has partly became Polish territory.



Born On This Day

1888 – Amanda Clement, American baseball player, umpire, and educator (d. 1971)
Amanda E. Clement (March 20, 1888 – July 20, 1971) was the first woman paid to umpire a baseball game, and may have also been the first woman to referee a high school basketball game. Clement served as an umpire on a regular basis for six years, and served occasionally for several decades afterwards. An accomplished athlete in multiple disciplines, Clement competed in baseball, basketball, track, gymnastics, and tennis, and has been attributed world records in shot put, sprinting, hurdling, and baseball.

Early life and umpiring career

Amanda Clement was born in Hudson, South Dakota, then part of the Dakota Territory, on March 20, 1888 to Harriet Clement, one of the original settlers of Eden, South Dakota, and her husband, who died when Amanda was very young.[1][2][3][4] In 1904, Clement traveled to Hawarden, Iowa to watch her brother Hank pitch in a semi-professional game. The umpire for the amateur game taking place before Hank’s did not show, and Hank suggested that Amanda, who had played baseball with her brothers and was knowledgeable about the game, serve as the umpire. In so doing, Clement became the first woman paid to umpire a baseball game. Her performance was so well received that she was hired to umpire further semi-professional games.[4][5][note 1]

Clement’s umpiring career lasted six years, during which she officiated games in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Unlike in modern games, during Clement’s time games only had one umpire, who stood behind the pitcher and was responsible for calling strikes and balls, whether balls were fair or foul, and whether runners reached bases safely. Despite the danger umpires faced during this era Clement was treated respectfully by both players and fans, and became respected for her serious style and because she was insusceptible to bribery. Her popularity was so high that baseball marketers emphasized her officiating of games to bring in crowds.[1][2][3][5] In 1906 Clement wrote an editorial for the Cincinnati Enquirer arguing that women made better umpires than men because men would not speak abusively towards female umpires. She would repeat this idea in interviews with other newspapers.[1][6] Clement, a Congregationalist, refused to umpire on Sundays and stayed in the homes of clergymen while umpiring on the road.[2]

Clement earned between $15 to $25 per game, which she used to fund her college education, attending Yankton College for two years followed by two years at University of Nebraska.[7] While at Yankton, she refereed high school basketball games, possibly the first woman to do so, captained the college’s women’s basketball team, ran track, was a gymnast, and was by her own approximation the state’s best tennis player.[7][8][9][10]

A number of additional accomplishments in sports have been attributed to Clement, but cannot be confirmed because of poor record keeping at the time. These claims include winning tennis championships in Iowa and South Dakota and setting world records in shot put, sprinting, hurdling, and baseball, where it is claimed that Clement threw a baseball 275 feet.[2]

After umpiring
Although Clement spent only six years serving as an umpire on a regular basis, she continued to serve intermittently until her forties.[2] Following her time as a regularly serving umpire, Amanda Clement spent several years teaching physical education at the University of Wyoming, the Jamestown, North Dakota high school, and other schools in North Dakota and South Dakota.[11] Clement also managed several Y.W.C.A.s, including one in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Clement also served as the coach of Hudson Independent basketball team, organized tennis tournaments, and served as a newspaper reporter, police matron, typesetter, justice of the peace, and as the city assessor for the town of Hudson.[1][3][8] In 1929, Clement moved back to South Dakota to care for her mother, who was ill. Following her mother’s death in 1934, Clement moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she spent twenty-five years as a social worker before retiring in 1966.[1][7] Clement died in Sioux Falls on July 20, 1971.[3]

Now, if women were umpiring, none of this would happen. Do you suppose any ball player in the country would step up to a good-looking girl and say to her: ‘You color-blind, pickle-brained, cross-eyed idiot, if you don’t stop throwing the soup into me, I will distribute your feature all over this ground until the janitor will be compelled to soak you up with gasoline?’ Of course, he wouldn’t. Ball players aren’t a bad lot. In fact, my experience is that they have more than the usual allowance of chivalry. And I don’t believe there’s anybody in the country that would speak rudely to a woman umpire, even if he thought his drive was ‘safe by a mile’ instead of a foul.
Amanda Clement, interview with The Pittsburgh Press, 17 September 1906[




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