Thursday, May 22, 2008

1918. Society (2)

1918. Hailed as a U.S. war hero is Tennessee doughboy Alvin Cullum York, 30, whose draft board denied his petition for exemption as a conscientious objector. In the Battle of the Argonne Forest, October 8, Private York of the 82nd Infantry Division led an attack on a German machine gun nest that killed 25 of the enemy and he then almost single-handedly captured 132 prisoners and 35 machine guns.

1918. U.S. ace Frank Luke, 22, takes off in his Spad September 29 in defiance of his commanding officer who has grounded him. Luke has shot down 16 enemy planes. 10 German Fokkers have gone up expressly to seek him out. He downs two of the Fokkers before an antiaircraft shell fragment hits him in the shoulder. He goes down behind enemy lines, empties his pistol at approaching soldeirs, and is mortally wounded 16 days after he first went into combat.

1918. The Owen-Keating Child Labor Law of 1916 is an unconstitutional encroachment on states' rights, the Supreme Court rules June 3. Justice Holmes dissents.

1918. British women over age 30 gain the right to vote under terms of the Fourth Franchise Bill which also grants suffrage to all men over age 21. Emmeline Pankhurst has favorably influenced masculine opinion by persuading women to do war work and has helped obtain passage of the bill.

1918. A head-on collision between two trains on the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway in Tennessee, June 22, kills 99 and injures 171, an all-time high for U.S. railroad mismanagement.

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