Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Today -100: April 19, 1917: Of loyal obedience and patriotic service, selective service, churches, and lenses
NY Mayor John Purroy Mitchel says any teacher who doesn’t sign a pledge to teach children the duty of “loyal obedience and patriotic service” should be fired.
The House Military Committee decides to merely “authorize” the president to implement conscription if he thinks a voluntary system of recruitment won’t work, which is of course Congress’s way of avoiding taking blame for a potentially unpopular decision. They know damned well Wilson has no intention of even trying a voluntary system.
Meanwhile, Theodore Roosevelt, realizing that the War Department has been stalling and evading his request to lead a division to France immediately if not sooner (Rough Riders II: This Time It’s Personal), has been secretly lobbying Congress to end-run the White House veto. TR has also been offered a commission in the New York National Guard. He says he might accept if the other thing falls through.
Congress passes a bill allowing Allied countries to recruit their citizens living in the United States. There is some push-back over fears that those countries would use coercion, including from new congresscritter Fiorello La Guardia, who is worried about Italians, pointing out that Italy doesn’t recognize the American naturalizations of Italian citizens.
Anti-German rioting in Brazil, with buildings burned in Porto Alegre.
Emperor Karl of Austria promises God that if He grants Austria an early peace, he will build a really nice church for Him.
Headline of the Day -100: