Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Momentous Day in 1917

Published in February of 1917 in the Daily Alaska Dispatch out of Juneau, Alaska.
MOMENTOUS DAY IN THE HISTORY OF UNITED STATES
The third day of February, 1917, is probably destined to go down in history as one of momentous consequence in the history of the United States if not of the world. It is a solemn occasion, and one fraught with possibilities of which we now may have no conception.
     War between two of the great advanced and most highly civilized nations is in itself a catastrophe but the  most calamitous result of a war between this nation and the German empire may not be the ordinary result of international hostilities so much as the internal troubles created her in this republic.
     As this is written the news that war has been declared has not arrived but the act which, it was said, would be regarded as a casus belli has been committed. The name of the steamer Housatonic may occupy a place in the page of history similar to that of Fort Sumter. After the warning had been issued and after the American ambassador had received his passports a German submarine committed the very act whose threatened commission had been the cause of the breach of diplomatic relations. It is quite possible that Germany may be able to show the act to be a mistake or not premediated. The commander of the submarine may have exceeded his instructions or may have blundered. There is still the hope that some way may be found to avoid taking the extreme step, but if it must be war let it be hoped that the Stars and Stripes will come out of it more than ever the emblem of honor, power and victory.