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U.S. Enters the Great War

Lyrics from “Don’t Take My Darling Boy Away,” written by Will Dillon (music by Albert von Tilzer) in 1915, recorded by J. Phillips and Helen Clark in 1917:

Don't take my darling boy away from me,
Don't send him off to war
You took his father and brothers three,
Now you've come back for more

[Recording from firstworldwar.com]

On April 6, 1917, the U.S. officially entered WWI. To mark this anniversary, check out this vintage audio from 1917 on www.firstworldwar.com. There you’ll find both speeches and music from the year Americans went “Over there.” You can find similar audio for the other war years, but for today we're sticking with 1917.

ww_ustroops_rest_01.jpg For the first three years of the war, which began in 1914, the U.S. remained neutral. U.S. businesses and banks sold supplies and granted loans to the allied countries, but the government didn't send troops. Americans at the time had little interest in joining that “European conflict” and were content to stay on their side of the Atlantic. The lyrics posted above were written almost as an anti-war protest song two years before the U.S. entered. But once the U.S. became engaged, the song sort of got pushed aside for more pro-war pieces such as “I Don’t Know Where I’m Going But I’m On My Way.”

This is definitely one of the best sites out there for historical information and resources for those looking to learn more about “The War to End All Wars.” It does a good job of presenting the political, military, social, and cultural aspects of the War.

For a basic synopsis of the First World War, turn to page 127 in the 2007 World Almanac. For casualty figures from all U.S. wars, skip over to page 135.

Photo: U.S. troops resting on the road to the Front lines in France from www.firstworldwar.com.
Original source: Liberty's Victorious Conflict: A Photographic History of the World War, (Woman's Weekly, Chicago, 1918)


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