Thursday, February 05, 2015

Today -100: February 5, 1915: Of watery war zones, Mexican presidents, sabotage, and literacy tests

Possibly in response to Winston Churchill crowing about Britannia ruling the waves, Germany announces it will consider all water around Britain a war zone. I believe this is the first time (of several) that Germany announced unlimited submarine warfare. American steamship companies think it’s a bluff – a word many of them use.

Pancho Villa says he only became military dictator “to preserve order and permit peaceful pursuits” and because he couldn’t find Provisional President of the Week Garza. He says he’ll totally retire when all this is over.

Carranza threatens to expel the Spanish ambassador if he doesn’t hand over a Spaniard hiding in the embassy who Carranza says has been working with Villa.

The US isn’t quite sure what to do about Canada/Britain’s request for the extradition of Werner Horn (the “von” in his name in earlier reports was either a mistake or self-aggrandizement) for his attempt to blow up the Vanceboro bridge. In a holding action, he is sentenced to 30 days in jail for the damage he caused on the US side of the border (the explosion blew out some windows). After the 30 days, he will be charged with transporting explosives on a passenger train (on the way to the bridge) and serve 18 months in US federal prison. After the war, he’ll be extradited to Canada and put in prison. In 1921 he’ll be adjudged insane and deported to Germany.

Germany is arresting the parents of young Belgian men who escape the country to join the army.

French socialists meet to condemn S├ębastian Faure’s peace campaign and to support continuing the war until victory and the crushing of German imperialism.

Congress fails, barely, to overturn Wilson’s veto of the immigration bill.

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