Monday, April 2, 2012

Learn Our History Today: April 2

Learn Our History Today:  On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war when he requested that U.S. troops be sent into battle against Germany in World War I.  His request came after two months of increased attacks by Germany against neutral shipping in the Atlantic and offers to Mexico to regain Arizona, Texas and New Mexico if Mexico would join Germany in a war against the United States.  Public outcry toward Germany persuaded President Wilson to ask Congress to forfeit America’s neutrality and declare war.

On the same day, April 2, 1917, Jeannette Pickering Rankin—a representative from Montana—entered Congress, making her the first woman ever to be elected to Congress. A social worker in both Montana and Washington, Rankin became involved in the women’s suffrage movement in 1910, campaigning for the women’s vote on a national level.  In 1914, she played a key role in the passage of suffrage legislation in Montana.  During her campaign, she stood for total women’s suffrage, child protection laws and U.S. neutrality in the European war.  In her first day in office, as President Wilson asked Congress for approval to go to war against Germany, Rankin was one of the only 50 representatives who voted against taking America to war.

Also on this day in 2005, Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope since the 16th century, died at home in the vatican.

No comments:

Post a Comment