Donald R. McClarey

October 20, 1918: Germany Responds to Wilson’s Second Note

On October 20, 1918 the German government, through the Swiss, sent out a response to President Wilson’s Second Note:     In accepting the proposal for an evacuation of the occupied territories the German Government has started from the assumption

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Donald R. McClarey

Peace Feelers

  On October 3, 1918 the Imperial German government sent the following note through the Swiss to President Wilson: The German Government requests the President of the United States of America to take steps for the restoration of peace, to

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Donald R. McClarey

1918 Decoration Day Proclamation of President Wilson

The American-born boys and the Greeks, Irish, Poles, Jews, and Italians who were in my platoon in the World War. A heap of them couldn’t speaker write the American language until they larned it in the Army. Over here in

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Donald R. McClarey

State of the Union: 1917

    Woodrow Wilson began the modern custom of Presidents delivering their annual messages on the State of the Union personally to Congress in speech form.  His December 4, 1917 State of the Union speech was necessarily dominated by American

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Donald R. McClarey

January 8, 1918: Wilson’s Fourteen Points Speech

Without a doubt the most consequential speech he ever delivered, Wilson’s Fourteen Point Speech has been carefully analyzed and debated since it was given a century ago.  Delivered to a joint session of Congress, the speech clearly laid out the

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Donald R. McClarey

1917 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America A ProclamationIt has long been the honored custom of our people to turn in the fruitful autumn of the year in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His many blessings

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Donald R. McClarey

August 14, 1917: Food Administration Grain Corporation

  One of the frequently overlooked aspects of American involvement in World War I, is the massive shipments of food from the United States to the Allies that kept them from experiencing the type of dearth of food that afflicted

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August 1, 1917: The Pope’s Peace Plan

    On August 1, 1917 Pope Benedict addressed a peace plan to the heads of the belligerent nations.  The plan had not a prayer of success, as both the Central and Allied Powers had reasons to believe that a

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The Big Red One Goes to France

  President Wilson realized it would be many months before the US ground forces could be trained, equipped and shipped across the Atlantic in numbers sufficient to make a difference on the battlefields of France.  However, he also knew that

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May 18, 1917: Wilson Signs Selective Service Act of 1917

  The first draft imposed since the Civil War, the Selective Service Act of 1917, passed by overwhelming majorities in Congress, was signed by President Wilson a century ago.  The Act provided for the enlistment, at the discretion of the

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Fearless Freddie Dies

All but forgotten today, Major General Frederick Funston would almost certainly would have led the American Expeditionary Force in World War I if he had not died at age 51 of a heart attack on February 19, 1917.  Nicknamed “Fearless

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April 2, 1917: Wilson Asks Congress to Declare War on Germany

Gentlemen of the Congress: I have called the Congress into extraordinary session because there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the

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March 20, 1917: Lansing Memorandum

On March 17, 1917, President Wilson met with his Cabinet to consider the question of whether the US should enter the Great War.  Fortunately for historians of this period, Secretary of State Robert Lansing drafted a detailed memorandum of the

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March 8, 1917: Senate Introduces Cloture

Woodrow Wilson was no fan of Senate filibusters: “The Senate of the United States is the only legislative body in the world which cannot act when its majority is ready for action. A little group of willful men, representing no

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March 1, 1917: The Zimmerman Telegram Story Breaks

On February 20, 1917 British intelligence revealed to the US ambassador to Great Britain the contents of the Zimmerman telegram, go here to read about the telegram.  The Brits disclosed to the Americans the code breaking that they engaged in

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February 8, 1915: Birth of a Nation Debuts in Los Angeles

  The film Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith’s masterpiece, was  controversial at its release and remains so.  At three hours the film was a pioneering effort using then cutting age technology to produce a movie that stunned viewers with its cinematic

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Theodore Roosevelt and The Curse of Meroz

    Theodore Roosevelt had long been a harsh critic of the neutrality policy of the Wilson administration.  On January 29, 1917 he gave a memorable response to the January 22, 1917 speech to the Senate of President Wilson in

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January 22, 1917: Peace Without Victory

The United States was two months from entering the Great War when President Wilson addressed the Senate a century ago, calling for Peace Without Victory and laying out the beginnings of what would eventually be his Fourteen Points as the

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A Hard Fought Presidential Election

One hundred years ago the United States went through a presidential election that was hard fought and narrowly decided.  Woodrow Wilson, the only Democrat elected President since the Civil War, except for the two terms of Grover Cleveland, largely owed

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June 14, 1916-June 14, 2016

        And he began with the simple things that everybody’s known and felt–the freshness of a fine morning when you’re young, and the taste of food when you’re hungry, and the new day that’s every day when

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Art Imitating Life and Life Imitating Art

I finished watching Ken Burns, The Roosevelts:  An Intimate History.  A fair amount of liberal hagiography for FDR and, especially, Eleanor, but on the whole I liked it, and I will review it in a future post.  However, I was struck

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Wilson Speaks

An audio recording of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 taking advantage of the division in Republican ranks that would lead Theodore Roosevelt to bolt the party and run as the standard bearer of the Bull Moose party that he created.  Wilson’s

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