“Well, Bill, it has come at last. God help us all!”
-Franklin Roosevelt to Ambassador William Bullitt, 2:50 a.m., September 1, 1939
At 2:50 a.m. on September 1, 1939 the President was asleep at the White House when the phone by his bedside rang. William Bullitt, America’s Ambassador to France, was calling from Paris with grim news. The German army was invading Poland. World War II had begun.
Two days later, Great Britain and France, who had pledged to defend Poland if Germany attacked, entered the swiftly widening conflict. The war—the most destructive in human history—would transform America and the world.