Woodrow Wilson photo

Remarks at the Palazzo Civico in Turin, Italy

January 06, 1919


Both on the streets of this interesting city and here you have made me feel at home. I feel almost as if it were the greeting of a people of whom I was indeed a fellow citizen. I am very much honored that this great city, playing so important a role in the life and in the industrial endeavor of Italy, should have conferred this high distinction upon me, and I take the liberty of interpreting your action, sir, not merely as a personal compliment to myself, to whom you ascribe virtues and powers which I feel I do not possess, but as a tribute to the people whom I represent.

The people of the United States were reluctant to take part in the war, not because they doubted the justice of the cause, but because it was the tradition of the American Republic to play no part in the politics of other continents, but as the struggle grew from stage to stage they were more and more moved by the conviction that it was not a European struggle; that it was a struggle for the freedom of the world and the liberation of humanity, and with that conviction it was impossible that they should withhold their hand. Their hearts had been with you from the first, and then when the time of their conviction came they threw every resource of men and money and enthusiasm into the struggle. It has been a very happy circumstance that America should be thus associated with Italy. Our ties had been many and intimate before the war, and now they constitute a pledge of friendship and of permanent association of purpose which must delight both people.

May I not, therefore, again thank you for the honor you have conferred upon me, and take the privilege of greeting you affectionately as my fellow citizens?

APP Note: The President referred to Turin Mayor Secondo Frola.

Woodrow Wilson, Remarks at the Palazzo Civico in Turin, Italy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317757

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