National Archives Special Display Commemorates 100th Anniversary of the
U.S. entry into World War I
The United States declared war on April 6, 1917
Washington, DC – To commemorate the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry
into World War I, the National Archives presents a special display of
the Joint Resolution declaring war against the Imperial German
Government, April 6, 1917.
On display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives
Museum in Washington, DC, through May 3, 2017. Museum hours 10 a.m.
until 5:30 p.m. Free admission. Enter on Constitution Avenue at 9th
Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines,
Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.
FEATURED DOCUMENT DISPLAY
Making the World Safe for Democracy: The U.S. Enters World War I
President Woodrow Wilson signed this declaration of war on April 6,
1917, ending America’s neutral stance on the World War conflict and
formally declaring war against Germany.
World War I was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo on June 28,
1914. As war broke out across the European continent, the United States
sought to remain neutral in the conflict through a policy of
American neutrality in the conflict ended after Germany committed
several acts of aggression against the United States in early 1917.
Germany first announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare and
its U-boats began attacking American ships. The final straw came when
the secret Zimmermann Telegram—which Great Britain shared with the
United States after it had intercepted and decoded the
message—revealed that Germany had promised U.S. territory to Mexico in
return for attacking the U.S. if it entered the war.
On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson made a special address before
a joint session of Congress asking for a declaration of war against
Germany. Both houses overwhelmingly voted in favor of going to war, and
on April 6 President Wilson signed this formal war declaration, stating
“that a state of war exists between the Imperial German Government and
the Government and the people of the United States.”
The National Archives Museum’s “Featured Document” exhibit is made
possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the
generous support of Ford Motor Company Fund.
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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs
staff at 202-357-5300.
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