Zimmermann Telegram: Topics in Chronicling America
In 1917, newspapers publish the Zimmerman Telegram leading to tense diplomatic relations and Declaration of War. This guide provides access to material related to "Zimmerman Telegraph" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
A threat on our border—a German plot to align itself with Mexico and Japan against the US is made public. The famed Zimmermann telegram mobilizes public opinion against Germany and accelerates America’s involvement in World War I. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
January 19, 1917
The Zimmermann telegram, proposing alliance between Mexico, Japan, and Germany against the US, is sent. British Intelligence intercept and decode the message.
February 3, 1917
Formal diplomatic relations between the US and Germany end. Wilson was aware of the Zimmermann Telegram.
March 1, 1917
Zimmermann Telegram is published in American newspapers.
March 3, 1917
Zimmermann acknowledges the plot, but argues that it was not hostile because it was contingent on a US declaration of war against Germany.
April 2, 1917
President Wilson appeals to a joint session of Congress for a Declaration of War against Germany.