The year was 1917. It was a point in time when everything changed. The world became smaller. The United States would soon be drawn into the vortex of the early 20th century. Our country would eventually become a citizen and influential leader of the world.
In January, Austrian-Hungarian troops conquer Forlani, Italy. Later, that month Germany notifies the U.S. that U-boats will attack neutral merchant ships.
An ammunitions ship explodes in Archangelsk Harbour, about 1,500 die.
The British ship Mendi sinks off Isle of Wight, 627 die. The German Navy torpedoes seven Dutch ships.
In February the revolution begins in Russia. Nicholas II, last Russian tsar, eventually abdicates. Pravda their official news agency, calls for killing all capitalists, priests and officers.
Germans plan to get Mexican help in WW I is exposed. It is referred to as the Zimmerman Telegram. AP, the Associated Press, reports that Mexico and Japan will allie with Germany if the U.S. enters WW I.
Over in the Middle East British troops occupy Baghdad. In Israel, the
Jews are expelled from Tel Aviv and Jaffa by Turkish authorities. T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) captures Port of Agaba from Turkey.
The Battle of Arras begins. Vimy Ridge in France is stormed by Canadian troops. Atlantic ships get destroyer escorts to stop German attacks.
Here at home, America remembered May 7, 1915. The Lusitania was near the coast of Ireland. The German submarine U 20 slammed a torpedo in into her side. A mysterious second explosion ripped the liner apart. Within 18 minutes the passenger ship went down. 1,119 of the 1,924 aboard died. 114 were Americans.
On April 6, 1917, the U.S. declares war on Germany, and enters World War I. Ten million U.S. men began registering for draft. A race riot in East St. Louis Illinois erupts, one black man is killed. Another race riot breaks in Houston Texas. Two blacks and eleven and whites are killed. Ten suffragists are arrested as they picket the White House.
General Pershing and his headquarters staff arrive in Paris. Germany starts bombing London. Over one hundred are killed in East-London. The British warship “Vanguard” explodes at Scapa Flow, killing 804. British bomb German lines at Ypres, using 4,250,000 grenades. Other British troops attack canal of Ypres in Boesinghe Belgium. China declares war on Germany and Austria. Italy declares war on Germany and Turkey. It is the beginning of night bombings of London by German fighter planes. German troops over run Riga Latvia. British began an assault on Polygon-forest, France.
British assault on Menin-Street, and in Broodseinde, France.
The British began the bombing of Germany. The 1st Infantry division, known as the “Big Red One” shoots their first shot of WW I. The Battle at Caporetto takes place and German and Austria smash the Italian army.
All of this, and more eventually came home to Oxnard.