FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day February 4 and 5 2017

A bit shorter blog today, as I have to get to Bart’s house, a great friend of FOD, for the Super Bowl!  Thanks for hosting Bart.


While the battle for Bataan continued throughout the night of February 4 1942, the USS Trout (SS-202) rendezvoused with PT-34 off Corregidor and was escorted through its minefields to its South Dock.  Trout delivered 20 tons of ammunition to the besieged American forces on CorregidorTrout unloaded her ammunition cargo, refueled, loaded two torpedoes, and requested additional ballast. Since neither sandbags nor sacks of concrete were available, she was given 20 tons of gold bars and silver pesos to be evacuated from the Philippines. The specie came from twelve Philippine banks emptied of their assets, absent the paper money, all of which had been burned to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands. She also loaded securities, mail, and United States Department of State dispatches before submerging shortly before daybreak to wait at the bottom in Manila Bay until the return of darkness.  Trout is credited with sinking 12 enemy ships for 37,144 tons according to JANAC records. During her first ten war patrols she made 32 torpedo attacks, firing 85 torpedoes, including 34 hits, 5 confirmed premature detonations, 5 confirmed duds, and 25 suspected duds. She was also involved in six battle surface actions and was attacked with depth charges eight times.  She was reported overdue on 17 April 1944 and presumed lost on her eleventh war patrol.



Who is allowed to immigrate to the US is not just a topic for today, but has been the subject of friendly and unfriendly discourse since the beginning of our nation.  The first rules regarding immigration date back to the Naturalization Act of 1790.  This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were free white persons of good character. It thus excluded American Indians, indentured servantsslaves, free blacks, and later Asians. Through a series of laws and through varied political climates attitudes have changed and changed again.  On February 5, 1917, the Immigration Act of 1917 was passed by a two-thirds majority, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto the previous week.  It was the first bill aimed at restricting, as opposed to regulating, immigrants and marked a turn toward nativism. The law imposed literacy tests on immigrants, created new categories of inadmissible persons and barred immigration from the Asia-Pacific Zone. It’s interesting to note by looking at the enclosed Asiatic Barred Zone, that it included the majority of countries covered by President Trump’s travel ban, now on hold.  It governed immigration policy until amended by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 also known as the McCarran–Walter Act.  Native Americans were finally granted citizenship by the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, whether or not they belonged to a federally recognized tribe.  Almost immediately, the provisions of the law were challenged by Southwestern businesses. US entry into World War I, a few months after the law’s passage, prompted a waiver of the Act’s provisions on Mexican agricultural workers. It was soon extended to include Mexicans working in the mining and railroad industries and the exemptions continued through 1921.  The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943. The Luce-Celler Act of 1946 ended discrimination against Asian Indians and Filipinos, who were accorded the right to naturalization, and allowed a quota of 100 immigrants per year. The Immigration Act of 1917 was later altered formally by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, known as the McCarran-Walter Act. It extended the privilege of naturalization to Japanese, Koreans, and other Asians. The McCarran-Walter Act revised all previous laws and regulations regarding immigration, naturalization, and nationality, and collected into one comprehensive statute.  Legislation barring homosexuals as immigrants remained part of the immigration code until passage of the Immigration Act of 1990.  And the debate goes on.  Then there is the sonnet that American poet Emma Lazarus wrote in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.   In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level.


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!