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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

United States Enters the War

"Wilson Has Signed Declaration of WAR," The Atlanta Journal, Special War Extra, April 6, 1917. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (022.00.00)

United States Enters the War

Readers of the Atlanta Journal could not miss the momentous news of April 6, 1917, when the United States formally declared war on Germany. The coverage expresses the predominantly pro-war sentiment of the American press at the time, yet favorably features Republican Jeannette Rankin—the first woman elected to the House of Representatives, who served three years before women nationwide gained the right to vote. Representative Rankin opposed U.S. entry into the war: "I want to stand by my country, but I can't vote for war." Even though the article's headline focuses on "Lady of Montana, in Tears," its conclusion asserts: "Thunderous, hysterical applause from pacifist and pro-war sides of the house alike greeted this frank admission—woman's first official voice in the house."

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