America Enters the War, 1917–1918
In the early months of 1917, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare and the Zimmerman Telegram, proposing an alliance between Germany and Mexico, was intercepted.
On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked a joint session of Congress to declare war on Germany. That evening, 1,500 people attended a rally in the Geneva armory. A band played patriotic songs and speeches were given by District Attorney N. D. Latham, Jacob Schurman, president of Cornell, and President Powell. According the the Geneva Daily Times, "At various points in the addresses of the evening the men and women leaped to their feet, the women waving flags or handkerchiefs and the men throwing their hats into the air, cheering lustily."
President Powell proclaimed, "Hobart and William Smith Colleges may be small colleges but whatever we can do, we will do under God and for our country."
The United States officially joined the war on April 6, 1917.