Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Today -100: February 1, 1917: A benefit to mankind

Headline of the Day -100:

Germany announces that it will reverse the pledge it gave to the United States 9 months ago to limit its use of submarine warfare (not sinking commercial ships, especially those of neutral countries, not sinking ships without warning, attempting to rescue evacuees, etc), and resume unrestricted sub warfare starting at midnight, with the goal of stopping all shipping to Britain. One US ship a week will be allowed through a safe passage, if it is promised not to carry any contraband. Since Germany made that pledge last year in response to a US ultimatum to abide by international law or face a break in relations with the US, such a break now seems inevitable.

Germany presents its decision as a response to the perfidious British plot to starve Germany and the United States’s failure to get it to alter that plot, and as a measure to bring the war to a rapid conclusion: “Each day of the terrible struggle causes new destruction, new sufferings. Each day shortening the war will, on both sides, preserve the lives of thousands of brave soldiers and be a benefit to mankind.”

The Legal and Literary faculties of Stamboul University (Turkey) suggest the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to Kaiser Wilhelm, the “forefighter for the peace idea.”

Theodore Roosevelt thinks the US should respond by seizing every interned German ship and banning trade with Germany.

British Colonial Secretary Walter Long says Germany will never be given its colonies back.

In Britain, Alice Wheeldon, her two daughters Hettie and Winnie and her son-in-law are charged with a plot to assassinate Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Arthur Henderson, the Labour member of the War Council. With poison darts, no less. Wheeldon was a suffrage activist before the war and has been smuggling conscription resisters out of the country. In fact, they’ve been framed by an MI5 agent provocateur, a convicted blackmailer who had been twice committed for insanity. Which was not known at the trial, because the government refused to produce him.

The Senate passes a bill for prohibition in Alaska.

There’s a new Mexican constitution. Presidencies are one term only. 8-hour day, anti-trust laws, land reform, preference for Mexicans in acquiring lands and concessions (mining etc). The US is not happy about the last part. All clergy must be Mexican citizens and can’t teach in public schools or private elementary schools.

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