America First

America First Vintage Book Cover & Patriotic ImageAmerica First is the title of this vintage patriotic drawing and the book it adorned. The book was published in 1916 by the United States Bureau of Education.

The book has a bit of it’s own history. It was written the year after President Woodrow Wilson made the following challenge to Americans, “all citizens should make it plain whether their sympathies for foreign countries come before their love of the United States, or whether they are for America first, last, and all the time.” Keep in mind, Wilson’s speech was made in October of 1915. By that time, much of the world was in the middle of World War I. The Germans had sunk the RMS Lusitania with 128 Americans on board. Yet, the Wilson administration was claiming that “America is too proud to fight.”

His efforts to keep the United States out of the war ended when the US Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917; after they had sunk 7 US merchant ships.

America First would also become the rallying cry of the isolationist faction determined to prevent the United States from entering World War II. The organization would grow to 800,000 members. Oddly enough, (insert sarcastic tone), their efforts and their organization died shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

History lesson aside, this patriotic cover image is in the public domain in the United States and could be used during your Fourth of July celebrations or on any other holiday that celebrates our country. It has an American flag with an eagle finial on the end of the flag pole. Three men are holding the flag. Considering we weren’t yet at war when it was drawn, I think all three men were civilians. You could edit off the America First title and the solid blue line and have a drawing that looks like a parade image.

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