On April, 6, 1917, the United States officially became a nation at war.
Four days after President Woodrow Wilson addressed a joint session of Congress to declare a state of war, Congress ratified the resolution and the United States entered World War I.
Wilson said in his address: "With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the imperial German government to be in fact nothing less than war against the government and the people of the United States."
The Buffalo Evening News had been covering the war for years, but in preceding months, The News took a closer look at what war would mean to Buffalo. The local Red Cross was making preparations for a new hospital with more beds, a campaign was urging people to start growing their own food in their backyards to free up railroads for war munitions and local regiments were recruiting and training to prepare for war. Buffalo's three congressman – Reps. Dempsey, Smith and Waldow – voted for the war resolution.
On the front page on April 6, the screaming headline – "U.S. NOW AT WAR WITH GERMANY" – was followed by a number of international and local articles illustrating the patriotism and uncertainty felt by Americans entering into a world war.
The article reads:
War between the United States and Germany becomes an actuality today immediately upon President Wilson's approval of the war resolution, adopted by a vote of 373 to 50, by the House a few minutes after 3 o'clock this morning.
This action will set in motion the government's newly planned machinery for mustering military, naval and economic forces into an aggressive war against Germany.
The resolution passed the House in the same form as adopted by the Senate Wednesday night. It declares that a state of war exists and directs the President to employ all the naval and military forces of the United States, and resources of the government to carry on war to a successful conclusion.
Read the front page of the Buffalo Evening News from April 6, 1917, in full:
Story topics: front pages