Mule Rearing African American Soldiers 1 doughboys with mules Riveters African American Officers pilots in dress uniforms gas masks The pilots

The Road to War and Beyond Timeline


  • June 1914
  • 06/28

    Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand


    Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife, Sophie the Duchess of Hohenburg, are assassinated in Sarajevo.

  • July 1914
  • 07/28

    War with Serbia


    Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, thus beginning World War 1.

  • August 1914
  • 08/29

    World War


    In one month, the world erupts into war.

  • February 1915
  • 02/02

    German Saboters in America


    Werner Horn, a German officer, is arrested in Maine for a bombing that damages the Saint Croix-Vanceboro Railway Bridge, which connects the U.S. and Canada.

  • 02/04

    Germany Threatens Submarine Warfare against Merchant Vessels


    Germany warns that neutral vessels in British waters “would be destroyed without it always being possible to warn the crews and passengers.”

  • May 1915
  • 05/07

    Sinking of the RMS Lusitania


    A German U-boat torpedoes and sinks the RMS Lusitania. Of the more than 1,900 passengers and crew members on board, more than 1,100 perished, including more than 120 Americans.

  • May 1916
  • 05/10

    Submarine Warfare is Suspended


    After the March 24 sinking of the passenger ship, Sussex, Woodrow Wilson again threatened breaking off relations with Germany. To avert the threat of America entering the war on the side of the Allies, the Germans call off their campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare.

  • November 1916
  • 11/07

    Wilson Reelected


    Woodrow Wilson is reelected under the campaign slogan “he kept us out of the war.”

  • January 1917
  • 01/31

    Unrestricted U-Boats


    Germans resume unrestricted U-Boat campaign.

  • February 1917
  • 02/03

    U.S. Severs Diplomatic Relations with Germany


    The United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany. President Wilson tells a joint session of Congress that Germany’s policy of unrestricted U-boat warfare poses an unacceptable threat to “freedom of the seas.”

  • March 1917
  • 03/01

    Zimmermann Telegram


    United States is alerted about the Zimmermann telegram, which reveals a German plot against America.

  • April 1917
  • 04/01

    U.S.S. Aztec Attacked


    German U-boat torpedoes the U.S.S. Aztec without warning as it enters British waters. Twenty-eight Americans drown.

  • 04/02

    Wilson's Message to Congress


    President Wilson delivers his war message to Congress.

  • 04/06

    U.S. Enters WW1


    The United States declares war on Germany.

  • June 1917
  • 06/25

    First American Troops Land in France


    The first 14,000 U.S. Infantry troops land in France at the port of Saint Nazaire.

  • July 1917
  • 07/20

    First American Draftees are Chosen by Lottery


    In Washington, D.C., a blindfolded Secretary of War Newton D. Baker draws the first capsules from a large fishbowl in a lottery for the first American draftees, as prescribed under the Selective Service Act.

  • August 1917
  • 08/28

    Suffragists are Arrested at the White House


    Ten suffragists are arrested at the White House for carrying placards demanding the right to vote for women. Four of the demonstrators are sentenced to prison.

  • October 1917
  • 10/21

    First American Combat Soldiers Killed


    Soldiers of the First Division enter combat on the Western Front under French command. It is less than two weeks later, on Nov. 1, when First American soldiers, members of the 1st Division, are killed in action: James Gresham, Merle D. Hay and Thomas F. Enright

  • January 1918
  • 01/08

    President Wilson Outlines his Fourteen Points


    The peace plan includes independence for Poland, restoration of Belgian independence, the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, an end to secret diplomacy, autonomy of subject nationalities and the formation of a League of Nations.

  • March 1918
  • 03/08

    First Report of Influenza at Camp Funston (Ft. Riley), Kansas


    The disease, known as the “Spanish flu,” spreads through contact or close proximity to infected persons. It is carried from the U.S. overseas on troop ships to the Western Front and then throughout the world. Over the next year, 550,000 Americans will die from the disease and more than 20 million worldwide.

  • 03/31

    The U.S. Begins Daylight Saving Time


    Clocks are set forward one hour. The Congressional Act for “saving” daylight accompanies food, fuel, and other conservation programs. Canada joins the U.S. in saving daylight on April 15.

  • May 1918
  • 05/28

    Americans Prevail in Battle of Cantigny


    The U.S. 1st Division’s 28th Infantry Regiment mounts an assault on the German observation strongpoint in broad daylight. Within thirty-five minutes, the Doughboys have the village. The next day, desperate German counterattacks fail to dislodge the Americans.

  • June 1918
  • 06/06

    U.S. Marines Launch Attack on Belleau Wood


    At Belleau Wood, U.S. Marines launch an attack against German storm troopers. Two battalions of Marines, along with army engineers and infantry, confront German storm troopers in a seesaw battle that continues through the month of June.

  • 06/08

    U.S. Navy Begins Laying Mines in the North Sea Mine Barrage


    By war’s end, the U.S. Navy places a total of 56,570 sea mines, helping to create a 300-mile barrier against Germany, stretching from Scotland to Norway. At least five U-Boats were sunk by the barrage and many others forced to waste valuable time avoiding the mines.

  • 06/28

    U.S. War Department Authorizes Chemical Warfare Service


    The CWS coordinates all aspects of chemical warfare including administration, research, gas defense, gas offensive, development, and medical training.

  • July 1918
  • 07/15

    Bolsheviks Murder the Czar of Russia


    Czar Nicholas II, his wife and children are shot by Bolsheviks at Ekaterinburg.

  • October 1918
  • 10/06

    Germany Requests Armistice - Allies Refuse


    Through the neutral Swiss government, German Chancellor Prince Maximillian sends a note to President Wilson requesting him to restore peace through an immediate armistice with terms. The request is rejected.

  • November 1918
  • 11/11



    Germany signs Armistice.

  • January 1919
  • 01/04

    Peace Conference Convenes in Paris with Preliminary Meetings


    Diplomats from most of the Allied nations meet in Paris to discuss terms.

  • February 1919
  • 02/14

    Proposed Constitution for the League of Nations is Announced


    The Preamble states that the League will exist to promote international cooperation and to achieve international peace and security through specific rules of conduct among the world’s governments.

  • March 1919
  • 03/15

    President Wilson Presented with Final Draft of Peace Treaty


    He knows that the treaty has flaws but believes the League of Nations can address unresolved issues and help avoid the horrors of another world war.

  • June 1919
  • 06/28

    Germany and Allies Sign the Peace Treaty


    Representatives of Germany and the Allied and Associated Powers sign the Treaty of Versailles. The Chinese delegates refuse to sign in protest against the Shantung settlement that turns over German mines railroads and telegraph cables in China to the Japanese.

  • July 1919
  • 07/09

    Germany Ratifies Treaty of Versailles


    Among many of the treaty measures, Germany cedes Alsace-Lorraine to France, recognizes Belgian sovereignty, disarms the military, and agrees to pay war reparations.

  • 07/10

    Treaty of Peace with Germany is Submitted to U.S. Senate


    President Wilson submits the Versailles Treaty to the Senate and the great debate ensues.

  • August 1919
  • 08/01

    Women Win the Right to Vote


    Women’s suffrage amendment passes U.S. Congress in June 1919 and is ratified in August, 1920, giving American women the right to vote.

  • September 1919
  • 09/04

    President Wilson Campaigns for Support of Treaty


    The President embarks on an 8,000-mile journey, giving 40 speeches in 29 cities in 22 days to build support for the Treaty of Versailles. He collapses from exhaustion and is rushed back to the White House. The following month he suffers a stroke.

  • November 1919
  • 11/19

    U.S. Senate Refuses to Ratify the Treaty of Versailles


    Led by the “Irreconcilables,” 14 Republicans and one Democrat who have always opposed the League of Nations, and Henry Cabot Lodge who draws up reservations to add to the treaty, the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles is soundly defeated.

  • November 1921
  • 11/01

    Liberty Memorial Groundbreaking


    In attendance at the Liberty Memorial groundbreaking ceremony in Kansas City, MO, were 200,000 people, including then-Vice President Calvin Coolidge, Lieutenant General Baron Jacques of Belgium, Admiral Earl Beatty of Great Britain, General Armando Diaz of Italy, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, and General John Pershing of the United States, along with sixty thousand members of the American Legion.


  WW1 Centennial Commemoration
April 6th, 2017

World War 1 Centennial Commission
hosts “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I”
at the National WW1 Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO.

"Pershing" Donors

$5 Million +

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo

Starr Foundation Logo

The Lilly Endowment