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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

"President Proclaims War; Warns Alien Enemies Here; 91 German Ships Seized and Spies Put Under Arrest; Navy Mobilized at Once; Cuba and Brazil May Join Us." New York Times, April 7, 1917. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (022.01.00)

U.S. Enters the War

On April 7, 1917, newspapers across the country announced that a state of war existed between the United States and Germany. Many, including the New York Times, printed President Wilson's proclamation in full, including its declaration of war and twelve points focused on “Alien Enemies.” Following the president's April 2 speech asking Congress to pass a war declaration, only fifty-six members of Congress voted against the measure, which the president signed on April 6. By that time, public opinion had also swung heavily in favor of American belligerence, moved by Germany's recent renewal of unrestricted submarine warfare and publication of the "Zimmerman telegram."