October 4, 1914

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

1914 was an even numbered year, it is October, and that means elections are in the offing. In 1914 the major issue before voters was prohibition. Advertisements for and against, and letters to the editor argued the case from every perspective. The issue would be important for Marion County agriculture as hops were a major crop in the region. A short article on the front page of the Statesman illustrate that partisan issues are contentious, regardless of the period:

DR. TALBOT BRINGS SUIT AGAINST TWO WET CAMPAIGNERS

A damage suit asking $10,000 was filed yesterday in Portland by Dr. Cora C. Talbot against A. M. Epstein and O. D. Forte. The defendants are connected with the Portland headquarters of the “wet” campaign forces.

Dr. Talbot makes a number of allegations in her complaint, among them that her name has been misused in sending out letters soliciting funds to carry on the anti-prohibition work in this state; that an attempt was made to get her drunk in a Portland hotel; that false stories concerning her character were circulated; that an attempt was made to have her perform an illegal operation in order to have a club to hold over her head.

A column written by W. H. Alburn, describes the use of the submarine:

THE TRIUMPH OF THE SUBMARINE

The submarine is established as monarch of the sea.

Not since the famous battle of the turreted Monitor and the steel-sheathed Merrimack in Hampton Roads, which made wooden warships obsolete, has there been so significant a naval victory as that won the other day by one of the little diving fighters of the German fleet. In twenty minutes the submarine U-9 sank three great British cruisers and scurried away in safety. The members of that crew now wear the kaiser’s Iron Cross.

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Certainly Admiral Jellicoe’s great British fleet that holds the gateway of the North Sea and hems in the German warships at Heligoland and Wilhelmhaven, cannot rest secure at any moment of the day or night after what has happened. The nerves of every British sailor – if British sailors have nerves – must be constantly on edge.

It is the new peril of the deep. In vain the armored and turreted battleship sweeps the sea with glasses by day and powerful searchlights at night. The enemy, diving ten or twenty miles away draws near without a ripple of the surface and launches a torpedo from one of her many tubes. There is no suspicion until suddenly the ship lifts with a roar, staggers and breaks asunder, and the waves swallow guns and men.

The periscope, the “eye” of the submarine, may emerge for a moment to see the havoc she has wrought, the that vanishes and there is no sign left of the tragedy.

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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