Administration Secrecy Gives Rise to Anxiety and False Reports (1913)

November 8th, 1913
November 8th, 1913

Interesting, and yet things never change. I don’t know if that makes you feel better or worse … but, here’s an article written in The Washington Post, exactly 100 years ago today. This article speaks to the same frustrations many express today.

If the State Department would issue each day, while the present widespread and very dangerous excitement over our relations with Mexico lasts, a simple and coherent statement of the status of affairs, much needless anxiety would be dispelled and the circulation of a great deal of falsehood would be checked. There is not the slightest indication that our relations with Huerta’s government have changed in the last 72 hours, but the rumors printed in that brief space of time have comprehended every possible disaster, including armed intervention and the open espousal of the cause of Carranza.

In regard to Mexico President Wilson has already cast aside most of the methods of old-fashioned diplomacy. Why should he not go a step further and discard its ancient tradition of absolute secrecy? Everybody knows now that a communication of some sort was lately sent to Huerta. Most of the excitement is based on the belief that that was an ultimatum and that war may follow. If the people knew the truth they would not be misled by rumors. There is no sign of war, but the administration is keeping up a needless and unprofitable show of mystery.

President Wilson and his Cabinet
President Wilson and his Cabinet

More from Ghosts of DC

Fisks' burial cases - 1853

1853 Ad for Air-Tight Burial Cases

Here’s a fascinating old advertisement sent in by a GoDCer. Nancy sent in an old ad for her great-great grandfather’s business. Source: GoDCer Nancy

Anti-Saloon League slogan

Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Not Touch Ours

December 10th, 1913 — Over 4,000 Temperance movement and Prohibition supporters marched in Washington, demanding a new constitutional amendment banning alcohol consumption in the United States. A

downtown Washington at F St. in 1942

D.C. Subway is Predicted in 1941

Here is a fascinating article we dug up in the Washington Post from April 8th, 1941. At the time, only Boston, New York and Philadelphia