Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

President Woodrow Wilson Executive Order

Executive Order.

_________

     I hereby create, under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Public Information, heretofore established by Executive Order of April 14, 1917, (I) a Division of Pictures; (2) a Division of Films; (3) a Division of Publications; for the purpose of stimulating recruiting and patriotic interest in the war; to the end that the utmost cooperation of all citizens in the successful prosecution of the war be secured.

     The Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Navy are authorized each to detail an officer or officers to the work of the committee.1

Woodrow Wilson

THE WHITE HOUSE,

     25 September, 1917.

Source Note: Printed, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B, Document reference: ”[No. 2708.]”

Footnote 1: The Navy maintained a Publicity Bureau in New York for the purposes of recruitment. The officers serving there were Cmdr. Robert K. Crank, in command, Cmdr. Kenneth M. Bennet, and Lt. Albert M. Cohen. In addition, elements of the Naval Communication Service were assigned to serve alongside the Committee on Public Information. In the 1918 Annual report of the Secretary of the Navy, it was reported that:

Great assistance and helpful counsel have been furnished by Mr. George Creel, the trained and able chairman of the Committee on Public Information. The most intimate relationship between Mr. Creel and the Department has been productive of genuine cooperation in a service that was new in our country and not easy to carry out successfully. The spirit of the press, which patriotically responded to the appeal for voluntary censorship, can not be too highly commended. there was full freedom of the press with full recognition by the press of the Government’s desire to withhold no information that did not disclose military secrets. The press had an appreciation of this necessity and, though having knowledge of movements of ships and troops and other military operations, never violated confidence. On the other hand the press gave helpful suggestions which were invaluable to Mr. Creel and the Department. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1918 (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Officer, 1918), 23-24.

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