Saturday, October 07, 2017

Today -100: October 7, 1917: God pity the man who would paralyze the arm of the American people in this conflict

Robert La Follette defends himself in a two-hour speech in the Senate, which had put aside plans to consider expelling him and then for some reason put it back on the table. Senator Bob makes a case for free speech and the right to criticize the president before the sceptical members. Sen. Joseph Robinson (D-Arkansas), for one, disagrees, saying La Follette should “apply to the kaiser for a seat in the German Bundesrat.”

And the House censures Rep. “Cotton Tom” Heflin (D-Alabama) for saying that fellow congresscritters had been bought off by Germany.

Edsel Ford’s application for exemption from the draft on the grounds that he is too busy helping his father run the Ford Motor Company is rejected. The decision will later be reversed. The controversy over this was probably the cause of his father’s narrow defeat when he ran for the Senate in 1918.

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