Montana gov. to grant pardons for World War I seditionBreaking News
In a ceremony Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the grandson of German-Russian immigrants, planned to sign posthumous pardons for 78 men and women convicted in 1918 and 1919 for criticizing the U.S. government or its war effort.
Relatives of some of those being pardoned were expected to attend.
Montana's Sedition Act, passed in 1918 but since repealed, was one of the harshest in the country and a basis for a national sedition law passed the same year.
Of those convicted, more than 40 were sent to state prison, said Clem Work, a University of Montana journalism professor whose book inspired the pardon effort.
UM law students spent months combing old court records and archives across the state to clear those convicted.
In one case, a 38-year-old traveling liquor salesman was arrested after he called wartime food regulations in the United States a "big joke" while talking with a Montana hotel owner in 1918. Less than a month later, he was in prison.
Another was a German immigrant who ended up serving two years in prison for suggesting that Americans "would have hard times" if Germany's kaiser "didn't get over here and rule this country."
In a letter to Schweitzer in late March, more than three dozen professors, lawyers and historians nationwide urged him to grant the pardons "to affirm Montana's commitment to free expression and to bring a measure of justice and redemption to these people and their living descendants."
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Holds Wide Lead in South Carolina
- An All-or-Nothing Fight for the Supreme Court
- Did Trump Really Lose the Debate?
- Scalia’s Death Sets Off Epic Battle
- Democrats See Gift in GOP Blocking Court Nominee
- Quote of the Day
- The Nastiest GOP Debate
- Reaction to the Republican Debate
- The GOP Presidential Debate
- How Clinton Could Respond on Supreme Court Vacancy
- Trump and Clinton Way Ahead in South Carolina
- McConnell Says Senate Will Wait to Replace Scalia
- Antonin Scalia Is Dead
- Clinton Says Sanders Would Be Threat to Obama Legacy
- Internal Tracker Shows Trump Leading in South Carolina
- Ben Carson used an apparently fake Joseph Stalin quote — and the Internet loved it
- Rubio exaggerates in saying it's been 80 years since a 'lame duck' made a Supreme Court nomination
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges