|The coded Zimmermann Telegram.|
On February 28, Wilson gave Lansing permission to promulgate the Zimmermann telegram. The next morning, March 1, the message was the top story in many papers across the country; but such an act on Germany's part was inconceivable to much of the public. It was, cried the isolationists, simply a British attempt to deceive the U.S. into thinking the Kaiser wanted give Uncle Sam grief on the American continent.
As historian Martin Gilbert wrote in The First World War, "One more nail had been knocked into the coffin of American neutrality."