Len's Summary: This is the story of an early 20th century conflict between the perceived demands of national security and the constitutional guarantee of free speech that led to the creation of the American Civil Liberties Union. Railway labor leader and five-time Socialist Party presidential candidate, Eugene Debs (1855-1926) is forgotten today, but won nearly a million popular votes in 1912 and 1920. Debs ran for President in 1920 from a jail cell convicted under the 1917 Espionage Act cell because of his outspoken opposition to American entry into WWI. He was pardoned in 1921 by President Warren G. Harding. The author teaches at the University of Tennessee.
The Centennial commemorations are over, but WW1 remains a relevant area of study because of its enormous impact on the 20th and 21st centuries: Many present-day geographic tensions come from the post-war peace and drawing of boundaries. More families than ever are seeking to understand the war’s impact on their ancestors. The war had a profound impact on all facets of society, including post-war re-building. At the time of this writing, the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 is again newsworthy.
In 2020 we are working to increase engagement and communication with the membership. This will include: regular publication of our Journal, World War One Illustrated, and our newsletter, Here and There; a more regular social media presence; and a refreshed website.