Description: William B. Wilson, the first U.S. Secretary of Labor, began union organizing at age 12. He went on to serve in Congress before leading the department he helped create to aid the interests of workers. Bill and Rachel discuss.
It’s Armistice Day once again. In 1920 General John H. Sherburne of Brookline MA testified to Congress that US commanders had refused to cancel orders sending thousands of men to die on November 11 1918, hours before the 11 AM ceasefire was agreed to begin
The Nov 11 1918 Armistice terms imposed on Germany, which was less able to maintain troops in the field by the hour as revolution swept through the cities and the ranks, allowed the Allies to occupy territory from the front line to the Rhine River, distances of often over 200 miles. Yet Allied commanders pushed that day to take as much territory as possible under fire instead of waiting to take it bloodlessly.
The Armistice that concluded WWI should remind us each year not to wage wars for billionaires, aristocrats, or the nationalist henchmen of either. Peace comes from their removal from power & from worldwide solidarity among all who do not profit idly on the backs of others’ work.
Description: Bill, Kelley, and Rachel look back at four things from a hundred years ago, including the Senate failure of the Treaty of Versailles, the launch of the radio broadcast industry, the 19th amendment, and a small postal reform.
it’s armistice day, which ended the central fighting but splintered off years of further war across the globe. the first world war should never have been fought and the US intervention is one of the greatest tragedies in world history.
US forces had >3,500 casualties on the day of the Armistice, many of them in offensive actions launched that morning though commanders knew an end to fighting had already been set for 11 am. One was the 92nd Division: black soldiers led by white officers.
“I think in those last days of the war it was much like a child who has been given a toy that he is very much interested in and that he knows within a day or two is going to be taken away from him and he wants to use that toy up to the handle while he has it.” – US Gen. Sherburne of Brookline MA during Congressional testimony on the 11/11/1918 offensives
Sherburne…was active in civil rights causes after the war. He spoke at…the first national conference on lynching in New York in 1919 and at meetings of the NAACP…resigned his membership in…the American Legion over a clause in its constitution that barred black veterans
[General] Sherburne had been the [white] commander of the 167th Field Artillery, a part of the 92nd Division and the first African-American artillery brigade in U.S. Army history.
"We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were we at war."
-Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, December 29, 1940