CREEL ADMITS TO REWRITING REPORT OF U-BOAT ATTACK FOR 4TH OF JULY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) As we all know, President Donald Trump is often heard complaining about "fake news." If there is such a thing today, it is neither new nor limited to the press.
100 years ago today, July 5, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson's Chief of the Bureau of Public Information, George Creel, admitted that he rewrote "a dry report" on a battle between German U-Boats and American transports bound for France.
Mr. Creel, who based his announcement of the 4th of July 1917 on an original report by Admiral Albert Gleaves*, said he wanted "to make...Independence Day a more joyous occasion."
The bureau chief, however, was not in a joyous mood when asked by the press for his version of the affair. An angry George Creel responded...
"I am going over to the Navy Department and advise Secretary (Josephus) Daniels** to pay no attention...to these nasty reports."
The Chicago Daily Tribune reported that Mr. Daniels, the sponsor of the Creel announcement, "appeared to be hurt greatly" when he learned that the report had been exaggerated.
*Albert Gleaves (1858-1937) was born in Nashville, TN & graduated from the USNA in 1877. AG served in the Spanish-American War and commanded the U.S. Asiatic Fleet in 1919.
**Josephus Daniels (1862-1948) was born in Washington, NC & educated at Wilson Collegiate Institute & Trinity College (Duke). He served as 41st Secretary of the Navy 1913-1921.
"Creel Admits He 'Made' U-Boat Attack Story," The Chicago Daily Tribune, July 6, 1917.