32¢ U.S. Enters World War I
Celebrate the Century – 1910s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Often called “the Great War” and “the war to end all wars,” World War I was named for its widespread destruction and the many countries it involved. The war began in 1914 as a conflict with the Allied Powers of Britain, France, and Russia opposing the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey. Even as other countries took sides in this conflict, President Wilson upheld the sentiment of most Americans to remain neutral.
Continued trade with opposing countries, however, led to U.S. involvement in the war. Merchant and passenger ships sunk under the torpedo attacks of Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare. Angered by the loss of innocent lives, including Americans, and alarmed by news of a secret agreement between Germany and Mexico, the U.S. joined forces with the Allies on April 6, 1917.
During the next two years, American food, money, and manpower helped turn the tide in Europe. The U.S. greatly reinforced the Allied Powers’ efforts, and the Central Powers surrendered – with Germany signing the Armistice on November 11, 1918. The end of the war brought about new international peacekeeping efforts, including the establishment of the League of Nations. As Winston Churchill later wrote, “The American giant had arisen in the West.”