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The blindfolded US Secretary of War draws draft numbers in the lottery for the first American draftees, 20 July 1917. Image courtesy US War Department.

  • US Secretary of War, Newton D Baker, blindfolded, draws the first number in the lottery for the first American draftees, as prescribed under the Selective Service Act 1917.
  • The Leader publishes the latest casualty list. The list includes Narromine brothers Charles Henry Whiteley and Richard James Whiteley
  • Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky succeeds Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov as Prime Minister of Russia
  • Record heat is recorded at Baghdad as the temperature exceeds 50.5 degrees Celsius
  • The Leader publishes The Kaiser’s Revised Prayer

Mine Gott will you be mine partner,
You don’t know who I am
I am de German Kaiser,
De Emperor Will-I-Yam.

You know I whipped dem Belgians
Und mitt bullets filled Russia full;
Und I’ll whip France and Italy
Und blow up Johnny Bull.

Now all dem other nations,
I don’t give a dam;
If you’ll but be my partner
Und whip dot Uncle Sam.

You know I got dem submarines,
All Europe knows that well;
But dot Edison got a patent now
Vot blows dem all to hell.

Now Gott, if you do this,
Den you I will always love,
Und I will be emperor of de earth.
Und you emperor above.

But Gott if you refuse me dis,
To-morrow night at ‘leven,
I’ll call my Zeppelins out
Und declare war on heaven.

I wouldn’t ask this from you,
But it can be plainly seen,
Dot when Edison pushes dot button,
I got no submarine.