1919 March 1

National Civil Liberties Bureau Issues Comprehensive Report on WW I Rights Violations

 

A 55-page report by the National Civil Liberties Bureau, “War-Time Prosecutions and Mob Violence,” was arguably the most comprehensive summary of violations of civil liberties during World War I.The report documented incidents of mob violence against alleged dissenters or people who seemed insufficiently loyal to the U.S.; criminal prosecution of anti-war activists under the Espionage Act; denial of the right of freedom of assembly to anti-war groups; violations of protection against unreasonable search and seizure in raids on radical groups; and the mistreatment of conscientious objectors in jails and military prisons.

Despite the end of the war, the infamous Palmer Raids, which also involved serious abuses of due process rights of foreign-born workers and alleged radicals, were still in the future (see November 7, 1919; January 2, 1920).

The National Civil Liberties Bureau was established during World War I to assist conscientious objectors and fight violations of freedom of speech and press, as well as due process rights (July 4, 1917; November 1, 1917). On January 19, 1920, the leaders of the NCLB reorganized into the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), with Roger Baldwin as its Executive Director.

Read the 55-page report: http://libcudl.colorado.edu/wwi/pdf/i73549228.pdf

Learn more: Paul Murphy, World War I and the Origins of Civil Liberties in the United States (1979)

Learn about the ACLU during times of national crisis: https://www.aclu.org/aclu-history-defending-liberty-times-national-crisis

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!