Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Today -100: March 22, 1917: Taking a man’s part

Woodrow Wilson calls Congress into an extra session for April 2nd, earlier than he’d previously announced, presumably to ask it to declare war on Germany.

It is expected that the US will not just independently start fighting Germany, but will operate in conjunction with the Entente nations, perhaps in a formal alliance, perhaps not. Okay, that may sound obvious, now, but the US hadn’t made a military alliance with another country since the War of Independence, and not getting into “entangling alliances” or interfering in Europe was kind of important to the US’s national self-image, the Monroe Doctrine and all that.

They’re talking about not being able to field an army for a year or so (although Theodore Roosevelt, naturally, wants to send an expeditionary force of whatever size as soon as possible), without anyone suggesting that the war might be over by then.

Henry Stimson, Taft’s secretary of war, demands that the US take “a man’s part” in the European war.

Lots of men, not just those in the military, are practicing military drilling, and would like the government to provide them with some rifles to play with. 600 had been drilling on Governors Island (Manhattan) with broomsticks, but have recently upgraded to wooden rifles.

Czar Nicholas and Mrs. Czar are under arrest.

New French Prime Minister Alexandre Ribot says “We are resolved to wage with the utmost vigor and to a victorious end the terrible war into which we were drawn by inexcusable aggression.” He will do so, he says, by giving a totally free hand to Gen. Robert Nivelle. This should go well.

Headline of the Day -100: 

I believe you mean “differently abled.”

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