America’s entry into WWI with Germany described

The Sheboygan County Historical Research Center continues its 2016-2017 season of Second Saturdays- Journeys into Local History speakers’ series on Saturday, April 8, with Michael Jacobs and America Declares War on Germany, 1917.

Jacobs, associate professor of history at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, will take us through America's entrance into The Great War. This presentation, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will be held at the Plymouth Arts Center, 520 E. Mill St., Plymouth. This presentation is open to the public, no reservations are necessary.

Conversation is encouraged, fun is expected. For further details, please contact the Research Center at 920.467.4667. This series is made possible by funding from the John and Hilda Holden Memorial Fund and Wisconsin Humanities Council.

In 1917, Germany, determined to win its war of attrition against the Allies, announced the resumption of unrestricted warfare in war-zone waters. Three days later, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Germany, and just hours after that the American liner Housatonic was sunk by a German U-boat. On Feb. 22, Congress passed a $250 million arms appropriations bill intended to make the United States ready for war. In late March, Germany sunk four more U.S. merchant ships, and on April 2 President Woodrow Wilson appeared before Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany.

Four days later, his request was granted.

On June 26, 1917, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops landed in France to begin training for combat. After four years of bloody stalemate along the western front, the entrance of America’s well-supplied forces into the conflict marked a major turning point in the war and helped the Allies to victory. When the war finally ended, on Nov. 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served on the battlefields of Western Europe, and some 50,000 of them had lost their lives.

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