On April 6, 1917, the United States Congress responded to President Woodrow Wilson’s request and officially declared the country in a state of war. Many people had expected it. Two and a half years earlier, Europe erupted in battle, but the U.S. kept itself neutral. German maritime transgressions, a sense of U.S. responsibility to freedom and democracy, and finally a sense of the country’s vulnerability, led Wilson to make his request. Chautauqua Institution followed.
The 1917 Season would be Chautauqua’s 44th Assembly. As the June 29 edition of The Chautauquan Daily said, it would be a “War-time Chautauqua.”
Ida Tarbell, a former Chautauquan Daily writer and editor, and later muckracker and activist against corporate monopoly, spoke two times that summer, once about “Doing Our Bit” and a second about “Fear of Efficiency.” The Daily reported that the “Famous writer believes that people of the country are doing well in preparation for the coming struggle.”Read more