Thursday, September 03, 2015

Today -100: September 3, 1915: Of gigantic plots, bee farm locations, readiness, lynchings and grand juries

US District Attorney Charles Clyne of Chicago says he has uncovered “gigantic plots in violation of American neutrality” attempts by foreign nations to recruit soldiers in the US and using operatives to blow up arms factories. The countries he mentions as employing the recruiting agents are Britain and... Montenegro.

Another US district attorney, John Neely in Florida, has to release, due to insufficient evidence, a suspected spy for Germany, the magnificently named August Orbolph, who made sketches of lighthouses and military installations for two years while “on the pretense of hunting a location for a bee farm.”

The White House makes public letters Wilson sent his secretaries of war and the navy asking them to develop plans to strengthen the military. Republicans, not least Teddy R, are looking to make military readiness a major issue in 1916.

Cardinal Gibbons meets Woodrow Wilson, evidently bearing a message from the pope asking him to mediate between the warring powers. But Wilson won’t do that until he’s asked, and asked nicely.

The Cobb County, Georgia grand jury somehow fails to ascertain the identity of even a single member of the mob which lynched Leo Frank, although by golly they tried their very best.

In good lynching news, Speaker of the House Champ Clark talks an outraged mob out of lynching a negro in Missouri. Harry Rose is lucky the mob assembled near Clark’s house, sparing a grand jury the task of a pantomime investigation.

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