At the meeting of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution that “these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution forbidding the manufacture, sale, transportation, import, and export of “intoxicating liquors” was ratified, instituting Prohibition nationwide. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933.
Wilson released a decoded telegram from German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to Mexico. Zimmermann proposed that, if the US entered the war, Mexico go to war with the US as a German ally. Zimmermann promised that if Mexico allied with Germany, Germany would provide “financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.”