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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Rally denounces Congressman C.C. Dill for his vote against declaration of war against Germany

As Congress declared war on Germany, a “patriotically frenzied” throng – the second in two weeks – jammed the Spokane Armory for a mass meeting, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 6, 1917. They were angry at Congressman C.C. Dill, who voted against declaring war against Germany. (Spokesman-Review archives)
As Congress declared war on Germany, a “patriotically frenzied” throng – the second in two weeks – jammed the Spokane Armory for a mass meeting, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 6, 1917. They were angry at Congressman C.C. Dill, who voted against declaring war against Germany. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A “patriotically frenzied” throng – the second in two weeks – jammed the Spokane Armory for a mass meeting.

On the day that the U.S. formally declared war, the crowd angrily denounced Germany. However, the crowd reserved some of its angriest denunciations for someone closer to home: C.C. Dill, U.S. representative from their own district.

The crowd passed a resolution accusing Dill of failing and refusing to “vindicate the honor of the nation and … has turned servilely as a supporter of his nation’s foes, giving them comfort and encouragement.”

It resolved further that “he has failed to execute with honor the public trust lodged in him, and his action calls for condemnation of every citizen loyal to the country’s flag.”

Meeting chairman N.W. Durham asked those in favor of the anti-Dill resolution to stand. “The vast audience arose in a mass … while another cheer rent the air.”

When they asked those opposed to stand, “less than a half dozen stood up, and jeers and calls came from all parts of the armory.”

Dill raised their ire by being one of 50 representatives to vote against the declaration of war, compared to 373 in favor. Dill took to the House floor to say, “If we go into this war, make no mistake, we begin it.”

A new group called the Spokane Patriotic League for Service was formed during the meeting, and 1,500 people immediately signed up.

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