PRESIDENT WANTS CONGRESS TO DECLARE STATE OF WAR
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 100 years ago today, March 26, 1917, Secretary of State Robert Lansing* conferred with Democratic house leaders on the form of a prospective resolution "declaring a state of war with Germany, on the early enactment of espionage legislation, and on the creation of a great secret service to guard against the operation of German plotters."
According to a special bulletin in the Chicago Daily Tribune of March 27, 1917, the Secretary of State told the house leaders that the President wanted Congress to declare a state of war, as opposed to making a "straight out" declaration of war, to place the responsibility for aggression upon the Germans.
The Tribune's special bulletin stated that the congressmen approved President Wilson's request.
President Wilson finally asked Congress to declare war on Germany on April 2, 1917. The US Senate did so on April 4 followed by the US House of Representatives on April 6, 1917.
*Robert Lansing (1864-1928) was born in Watertown, NY & educated at Amherst College. RL was legal adviser to the State Department at the outbreak of WWI & served as President Wilson's Secretary of State from 1915 to 1920.
"Draw War Resolution," Special Bulletin, The Chicago Daily Tribune, March 27, 1917, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/
"US Entry into World War I, 1917," Office of the Historian, www.history.state.gov/