Sunday, April 16, 2017

Today -100: April 16, 1917: We must all speak, act, and serve together


Woodrow Wilson issues a proclamation about what he expects everyone to do to win “the grim and terrible war for democracy and human rights” (hey, the war finally has a name!) He continues to portray this as some sort of violent social work: “There is not a single selfish element, so far as I can see, in the cause we are fighting for.” He says “we must devote ourselves to the service without regard to profit or material advantage”. Spoiler Alert: US manufacturing is going to get a buttload of profit and material advantage out of the war.

He issues marching orders to every segment of society: “Upon the farmers of this country, therefore, in large measure rests the fate of the war and the fate of the nations.” “there shall be no unwarranted manipulation of the nation's food supply by those who handle it on its way to the consumer.” He asks middlemen to make no “unusual profits” and “suggests” to merchants the motto “small profits and quick service.” He asks housewives to practice strict economy. “This is the time for America to correct her unpardonable fault of wastefulness and extravagance.”

He concludes, “We must all speak, act, and serve together.”

Carranza, speaking  at the opening of the first Mexican Congress in 3 years, says that Mexico won’t abandon its neutrality.

Ludwig Zamenhof, creator of the alt-language Esperanto, dies. Zamenhof was a Polish Jew who thought a universal language would end war so, um, yeah. Ripozu en paco, Dr. Zamenhof.


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