Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) by executive order on April 13, 1917. CPI is popularly referred to as the Creel Committee after George Creel, Wilson's friend and confidant--a muckraking journalist and editor of the Rocky Mountain News--who served as the committee's chairman. Creel weilded an enormous power over the committee, largely overshadowing other members which included: Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan; Secretary of War, Lindley M. Garrison; and Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels.

Walter Lippmann, a founding father of public opinion social science research and Edward Bernays, a founding father of public relations played key advisory roles to Creel.

In the months before Wilson formally asked Congress to enter the war, the Committee mailed out thousands of pamphlets, cartoons, magazines, movies, and prowar paraphernalia warning of the dangers of the "Terrible Hun." World War I historians popularly credit this campaign with turning the tide of American public opinion in favor of entering the war (Sharrett 2004: 4).


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