Monday, February 06, 2017

Today -100: February 6, 1917: When Johnny comes marching home

US pacifists (the term tends to be used interchangeably for both those opposed to this war and those opposed to all war) agree to coordinate.

Germany is indeed escalating its naval warfare, sinking, for example, the British steamer Eavestone and shelling its lifeboats. One American seaman is killed.

It’s almost like the Germans aren’t taking the threat of conflict with the United States seriously. Because they’re not. They think that well before the US could build up a real army and bring it into play, submarine warfare will have brought England to its knees.

Speaking of the US’s small army, the last of it just exited Mexico, with Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing at its head – on foot? on horseback? in a car? it doesn’t say. I’m guessing on a horse. No one seems to be making speeches declaring victory. Sure, there wasn’t any victory, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

The US government is refusing to tell shipowners whether they should avoid war zones. It also won’t provide convoys, because that would be admitting that Germany might do what it has said it will do and because an attack on a convoy that including ships of the US Navy would be an act of war. So shipowners are being told to just use their best judgement.

German and Austrian immigrants in the US are hurriedly taking out citizenship papers in large numbers.

Congress is working feverishly on legislation to provide real criminal penalties for spies.

The Senate follows the House in overriding Wilson’s veto of the immigration bill with its literacy clause. It’s Wilson’s first veto override.

Margaret Sanger is sentenced to 30 days for disseminating birth control information. There is an option of a fine, but only if she will stop doing what she does. She won’t hunger strike like her sister because she is not in great health.

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