REPRESENTATIVE MANN DENOUNCES SPY HYSTERIA RAMPANT IN AMERICA
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, July 10, 1917, minority leader Representative James R. Mann* denounced the "spy hysteria" sweeping across the United States as "ridiculousness gone mad."
The Congressman said, in a speech on the House floor...
"The departments of the government have gone crazy in reference to these matters. They see a German spy on every housetop and on every street corner..."
Mr. Mann went on to argue that Americas had no reason to "get scared to death at home."
The speech was on the Trading With the Enemy Act** which when it became law restricted trade with countries hostile to the U.S. and gave the president the power to oversee or restrict any and all trade between the U.S. and its enemies in times of war.
*James Robert Mann (1856-1922) was born near Bloomington, IL & graduated from the University of Illinois in 1876. He earned his law degree from Union College of Law in 1881.
JRM served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1897 to 1922. He was Minority Leader 1911-1919 and served on the Interstate & Foreign Commerce Committee as well as the Committee on Women's Suffrage.
"Government is Crazy on Spies, Mann Declares," The Chicago Daily Tribune, July 11, 1917.
"Mann, James Robert," History, Art and Archives, United States House of Representatives, www.history.house.gov/