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U.S. House of Representatives tally sheet for the Declaration of War on Germany, April 6, 1917

This House tally sheet lists the names of members and whether they voted “yea” or “nay” to declare war on Germany in 1917. After vigorous debate, the House adopted the resolution by a vote of 373–50 at 3:12 a.m. on April 6, 1917. Among the opponents were House Majority Leader Claude Kitchin of North Carolina and Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, the first woman elected to Congress.         

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

U.S. House of Representatives tally sheet for the Declaration of War on Germany

World War I: Declaring War on Germany

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked a joint session of Congress to declare war on Germany. The president cited Germany’s repeated submarine attacks on passenger and merchant ships and its attempt to entice Mexico into an alliance against the United States as his reasons for Congress to declare war. On April 4, 1917, the Senate voted in support of the measure, and the House concurred two days later. The United States later declared war on German ally Austria-Hungary on December 7, 1917.

We are going to war . . . to vindicate our honor and to maintain our independence as a great nation. We are going to war . . . in defense of humanity.

Senator Gilbert Hitchcock of Nebraska, Speech to the U.S. Senate, April 4, 1917