IT'S UNANIMOUS: US WILL GO TO WAR WITH GERMANY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 100 years ago today, March 30, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson and his cabinet unanimously decided "that there is no recourse but an appeal to arms to vindicate American rights denied by Germany..."
The decision, reported by Arthur Sears Henning in a front page story in the Chicago Daily Tribune, came after a two hour cabinet meeting during which a war program was adopted including a presidential message to a joint session of the Congress "setting forth the grievances of the United States against Germany."
In addition, Congress would be asked to authorize employment of the armed forces, to raise additional forces and grant generous credit for a 'vigorous prosecution of the war.' The President's message was predicted to come as soon as Monday afternoon, April 2nd.
Among the grievances to be discussed by President Wilson was the loss of 240 American lives at sea, millions of dollars in damage due to German plots in the United States, and the attempt to conspire with Mexico to attack the United States.
The President was also expected to say that a German victory in the World War would be a "menace" to peace in the world in general and in the United States in particular.
In his address on April 2, 1917, President Wilson said...
"It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace."
"Decision of Cabinet: WAR," by Arthur Sears Henning, The Chicago Daily Tribune, March 31, 1917, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/
"Wilson's War Message to Congress," www.wwi.lib.byu.edu/