Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today -100: March 23, 1917: And we’ve been friends ever since

The US recognizes the new Russian government, the first country to do so.

Russia says it will end the death penalty “in the near future.” Also, there will be women’s suffrage.

A u-boat sinks an oil tanker owned by Standard of New Jersey, the Healdton, off the Netherlands, its destination. No warning given. 7 Americans dead.

New York City’s Boy Mayor John Purroy Mitchel accuses State Senate minority leader (and future US senator) Robert Wagner of “working in the interest of Germany.” Wagner – and yes that is a German name – is not best pleased. This is part of a fight over how much the US government will pay the Rockaway-Pacific Corp (a subsidiary of Southern Pacific Railroad) for land on Rockaway Point which it intends to fortify.

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seedyjay said...

It was actually 21 men killed on the SS Healdton, 19 from the sinking and 2 more of exposure due to being 12 hours in lifeboats, nearly naked, in freezing rain. Here is a site for the full story.

WIIIAI said...

But 7 Americans, which is the important thing in terms of discussions about "armed neutrality" in the lead-up to the declaration of war.

seedyjay said...

True. That was over half of the 13 Americans on board at the time. Not sure why they sank a ship going to Rotterdam, though, since a lot of black market goods were going to Germany via the Netherlands.