Events continued to head towards American involvement in World War I.
With the publication of the Zimmerman note at the beginning of March and the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany, it seemed only a matter of time before the U.S. would join the British and French against the Germans.
On March 9, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General said that President Wilson did not need Congressional authority to arm merchant ships for protection against submarines and Wilson quickly indicated he would do so.
The Daily Banner’s March 10 story on the decision included this interesting statement: “Lacking the authority to establish general censorship, the administration appealed to the patriotism of the country’s newspapers and cable companies to suppress publication and transmission of information about the movement of American merchant craft, now to be armed against German submarines.”
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