SENATE SUPPORTS PRESIDENT'S SEVERING OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH GERMANY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago this afternoon, February 7, 1917, the United States Senate passed a resolution endorsing President Woodrow Wilson's action taken on February 3rd severing diplomatic relations with the Imperial German Government.
The step, which the New York Times described as "the most important action (WW) has undertaken" as President of the United States, had been announced when Mr. Wilson addressed a joint session of Congress. The Times reported that the "floor and galleries were packed when the President entered the chamber."
While in his address, President Wilson said..."we do not desire (war) with the German Government," the Times reported that "preparations for war were underway."
The Nation's Capital seemed to be on war footing as people were being stopped at entrances to government buildings and required to furnish evidence that they were employees of the government attending engagements with officials. Also, the grounds of the White House were closed to the public.
The Senate resolution, issued a century ago, stipulates...
"Whereas the President has...severed diplomatic relations with the Imperial German Government by the recall of the American Ambassador at Berlin and by handing his passport to the German Ambassador at Washington and...
Whereas the President said...if...further action (be required) he would submit the matter to Congress and ask for authority...to use such means as he might deem necessary for the protection of America...
Therefore be it resolved that the Senate approve the action taken by the President."
"Relations with Germany Broken Off," The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/
"Senate Resolution of February 7, 1917 endorsing President Wilson's Action in Severing Diplomatic Relations with Germany," Congressional Record, February 7, 1917, www.lib.byu.edu/