The “Wake up America day – April 19th 1917” poster was published in the U.S. during World War 1. It was used to recruit young men to join the U.S. first world war effort.
The U.S.A had stayed out of the war until the 6th of April 1917, as increasing numbers of U.S. cargo ships were destroyed by the Germans the then president Woodrow Wilson had no choice, but for the U.S. to join the war. He announced the U.S. entrance into the war on the 6th of April. In his address to congress he wanted to commit a total of 500,000 men to join the war effort, this would require a large recruitment drive.
In order to meet his target amount of 500,000 he set up the “Wake up America day” to drive recruitment. The “wake up” refers to how American citizens were being killed by Germans who were sinking cargo ships. He asked the men of America to wake up and join the U.S. forces to avenge these deaths.
The poster was designed by James Montgomery Flag who is well known for his “I want you for the U.S. Army” poster. He designed posters in both world war 1 and world war 2. Some of his other posters include the “Be a U.S. marine poster” and the “travel?adventure? answer join the marines!” poster.