Thursday, April 06, 2017

Today -100: April 6, 1917: It’s War!

At 3:12 a.m. today, Congress voted 373 to 50 to declare war on Germany (“that a state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared”). The war formally begins at the more civilized hour of noon. (Update: wait, no, it only goes to the Senate at noon.)

Jeanette Rankin (R-Montana) utters the first words spoken in Congress by a female member: “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war. I vote no.”

The no votes largely came from the Midwest, with its many ethnic Germans. 9 of the 50 are from Wisconsin. And 4 from Mississippi for some reason. 32 were Republican, 16 Democrat, 1 Socialist and 1 independent.

Clarence Miller (R-Minnesota), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, claims during the debate that there is a paragraph of the Zimmermann Telegram, not previously made public, in which Germany offers to establish a submarine base in Mexico, and supply Mexico with unlimited weaponry and German reservists from the US. He even reads it out, ending with “Arrange to attack all along the border.” This is a lie, and is immediately contradicted by Secretary of State Lansing. Miller refuses to accept that, saying he “got it from a man who is in a position to know.”

Headline of the Day -100:

Headline of the Day -100:

Funny thing is, that headline is not wrong.

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