1918 September 3

“Slacker Raids” in New York Round up 10,000

 

“Slacker Raids” during World War I were a series of mass round-ups of young men suspected of evading the draft. On this day, 10,000 young men were rounded up in New York City alone. (See the earlier “slacker raids” on July 3, 1917.) The raids were conducted by members of the American Protective League (APL) and were marked by a total lack of due process, as men were seized on the street on the basis of no evidence other than someone’s suspicion.

The APL was a private organization of citizens that had been given quasi-law enforcement powers by the Justice Department, with President Woodrow Wilson’s approval, on June 4, 1917. In addition to this quasi-official organization, private vigilantes acting on their own perpetrated innumerable attacks on anti-war activists or people suspected of being pro-German. See for example the kidnapping of Rev. Herbert Bigelow near Cincinnati on October 28, 1917.

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

Learn more; some American Protective League documents: http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/mss/biltmore_industries/05_political/bi_05_american_protective_league/default_protective_league.htm

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!