Andy Huse


In early Febrnary 1917, two months before the U.S. entered World War I, local authorities in Tampa, Florida, required German aliens over age thirteen to register with the federal government. That same month, the city's German-American Club entered an extravagant float in the city's annual Gasparilla Fiesta parade. The float, one of only six that year, depicted a mighty waterfall. The Great War cast a long and dark shadow, unleashing a flood of fierce nationalism and suspicion across the U.S. home front. The conflict gave a new focus and urgency to anti-immigration fears across the nation, and the presence of so many influential German Americans in society took on sinister implications. The presence of the previously-popular German-American Club became an irritant to many ofTampa's most ardent patriots. Even German music allegedly became a tool of sabotage and sedition.

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