Largely forgotten, but it has been one hundred years since we formally entered the Great War.
Between April 2nd and April 7th 1917 the United States Government went through the process of formally declaring war on the Imperial German Empire and it's allies.
Doughboys still armed with Krags and Spanish/American War type canteens
(understood these may be railroad troops)
US troops still armed with Krags 1917.jpg
Below is the Zimmerman telegram, which apparently was the straw that broke the camels back in President Wilson's case. I had never actually read it. Very interesting
Text of the telegram sent by German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Ambassador to Mexico, January 19, 1917:
STRICTLY SECRET. DECODE YOURSELF.
The Coded Telegram
WE INTEND TO BEGIN UNRESTRICTED U-BOAT WARFARE ON FEBRUARY FIRST. EFFORT WILL BE MADE NOTWITHSTANDING THIS TO KEEP THE UNITED STATES NEUTRAL.
IN THE EVENT THAT WE SHOULD NOT BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS, WE PROPOSE ALLIANCE TO MEXICO UPON THE FOLLOWING BASIS: TO MAKE WAR TOGETHER; MAKE PEACE TOGETHER; GENEROUS FINANCIAL SUPPORT; AND AGREEMENT ON OUR PART THAT MEXICO SHALL RECONQUER THE FORMERLY LOST TERRITORY IN TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA.
ARRANGEMENT OF DETAILS TO BE LEFT TO YOUR HONOR. YOU SHOULD DISCLOSE THE FOREGOING TO THE PRESIDENT [OF MEXICO] IN STRICT SECRECY AS SOON AS OUTBREAK OF WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES IS CERTAIN AND ADD THE PROPOSAL [THAT HE SHALL) INVITE JAPAN TO IMMEDIATE SPONTANEOUS CONCURRENT EFFORT AND AT THE SAME TIME USE HIS GOOD OFFICES BETWEEN US AND JAPAN.
PLEASE CALL THE PRESIDENT'S ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE RUTHLESS EMPLOYMENT OF OUR U-BOATS OFFERS THE PROSPECT OF FORCING ENGLAND IN A FEW MONTHS TO [MAKE] PEACE.
The President said a declaration of war would mean that Germany would be beaten and so badly beaten that there would be a dictated peace, a victorious peace.