Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today -100: April 20, 1917: It is a marvel you were not lynched

Congressional Democrats will block consideration of prohibition (for the duration of the war) in the extra session, unless Wilson declares it a war measure.

Woodrow Wilson explains to Congress the need for selective service: there are all sorts of patriotic service, and the military “was by no means the only part, and perhaps, all things considered, not the most vital part.” If people are allowed to volunteer for the military, they may be taking themselves away from other tasks which the country needs.

Meanwhile, reserve officers and officer candidates are expected to train – for three months – without pay.

Those men who hurriedly got married to avoid the draft will be drafted anyway if they married after the declaration of war, the War Department says.

Since the US declared war, the NYT has been full of stories, possibly true but not very well sourced, about how Germans are all starving and the German army, or at the very least its morale, is close to collapse.

The NYT is now spelling Lenin “Lenine.” In a reprint from the London Daily Chronicle which says Russians are indignant at his accepting passage from Germany (the famous closed carriage) on his trip from Switzerland to Russia. It says he has no supporters, even among Social Democrats.

The New York Yacht Club drops Kaiser Wilhelm and his brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia as honorary members.

This may not be his actual birth-name, but someone who wrote an anti-war pamphlet entitled “War At Any Price - A Sacrifice of Greed” and signs himself “Shiloh the Theocrat – One With Infinite Authority and Power,” is arrested for distributing that pamphlet at a patriotic parade in New York and sentenced to 6 months for disorderly conduct, which conduct seems to consist entirely of handing out his pamphlet. The magistrate tells him “It is a marvel you were not lynched. And if you had been you would have been receiving your just deserts.”

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