Wake Up America!

Wake Up America!, 1916

Jack Glogau, 1886-1953 (Composer); George Graff, 1886-1973 (Lyricist); Rosenbaum Studios, New York, NY (Illustrator); Leo Feist, Inc., New York, NY (Publisher)

Song Sheet, lithograph on paper

On loan from the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina

Throughout 1916, and in early 1917, many Americans clung to neutrality. However, the “preparedness” movement was making inroads toward wider acceptance. Anthems such as Wake Up America! helped turn public opinion in favor of supporting America’s entry in the Great War. Recorded in February of 1916, the song calls upon its listeners to remember previous wars, and “the peace that fighting brought.” On the cover, Uncle Sam is shown launching a ship into the sea as he is surrounded by soldiers preparing to make the voyage across the Atlantic. This imagery illustrates the position of the preparedness movement – that America should have a full army stocked with tanks and airplanes ready to depart for Europe.

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