Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare campaign begins
In January 1917, Germany renewed its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. The policy had been abandoned in 1915 after the sinking of the Lusitania, which had caused an international outcry. This was a particular concern since the ship had sailed from New York with hundreds of American citizens onboard, which threatened to drag the US into the war.
On 1 February 1917 German renewed its submarine campaign and all ships trading with Britain, including those of neutral countries such as the United States, would be targets. Ships would be sunk without warning.
On the Home Front in February 1917, to keep the local economy from collapsing and to help local people, Richmond Chamber of Commerce proposed that volunteers should stand in for sole proprietors who hade been called up for military service.