Monday, May 29, 2017

Today -100: May 29, 1917: I think it would be a good thing if all our young Quakers should go to jail


Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies votes 136-3 in favor of war on Germany, or to be more precise, to revoke the decree of neutrality. Brazil won’t actually declare war until October.

The Justice Department arrests 9 men in Texas, claiming that a co-op had been infiltrated by German spies, or something, and turned into an anti-conscription action group, or something, with weapons and a secret oath and everything. And some others in the “feud region” of Virginia (including a McCoy) are arrested for plotting to murder draft officials and declare a rebellion. And 10 Detroit socialists are arrested for distributing anti-conscription literature.

There have been a lot of wild tales lately about forthcoming miracle weapons. The latest: a Brooklynite, Dr. Dayve De Waltoff claims to have invented a vastly superior explosive which he has named... wait for it... Terrorall. A mere five (5) grains of Terrorall would suffice to blow up the Woolworth Building, if that’s your idea of a good time.

Race war in East St. Louis, Illinois, with white mobs determined to force out the blacks who have been arriving from Mississippi to work, including in munitions factories.

Some Quakers are annoyed that the government so readily exempted them from the draft, depriving them of “their much cherished privilege of suffering for their convictions.” Says Isaac Sharpnell, president of Haverford College, “I think it would be a good thing if all our young Quakers should go to jail.” It would certainly make running an all-male Quaker college easier, huh Ike? The Quakers (at least at a NYC meeting) won’t admit any new members who are military-age males (which is irrelevant to the Draft Act, since the exemption doesn’t apply to those who joined after conscription was announced).

Russian monks want the vote.

Arthur Balfour, who was touring the US with great fanfare, has moved on to Canada, where he tells the Canadian Parliament “No greater miracle has ever happened in the history of civilisation than the way in which the co-ordinated British democracies worked together with a uniform spirit of self-sacrifice in the cause in which they believed not merely their own individual security, but the safety of the empire and the progress of civilisation and liberty itself were at stake,” which might have been more convincing if not for the anti-conscription riots a few days ago in Quebec.


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