Matt Taibbi in his Substack Newsletter:
100 years ago yesterday — on July 29, 1921 — Adolph Hitler was elected leader of the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ Party, later known as the Nazi Party. The combustible Army corporal succeeded the party’s original leader, Anton Drexler, whom Hitler originally been sent to spy on, but whose ideas he came to admire (he may even have shaved his mustache to emulate his predecessor). The 533-1 delegate vote set in motion a series of events that would dominate the next two and a half decades of world history.
A young Jewish Internet commentator named Manny Marotta wanted to call attention to the date, for educational purposes. Marotta has been maintaining popular accounts on both Twitter and Instagram called 100 Years Ago Live. His simple, clever, and enlightening mission is to describe history as an actual contemporary might have, in the language of modern social media tools. It’s popular, earning 26,000 followers on Twitter.
Marotta’s accounts remind us that the past was once news, that stories we now remember as ossified, fixed narratives captured in black and white were once fresh, suspenseful events, that filled contemporaries with excitement, and uncertainty.