When looking at British history in the twentieth century strong Anglo-American ties appear to be something you can take for granted. Iconic images of Thatcher and Reagan standing shoulder to shoulder pad, or Churchill and Roosevelt sharing a joke have come to symbolise something described simply as ‘the special relationship’. If, however, we wind the clock back 100 years the picture looks rather different.
Recently at The National Archives we have completed a project to digitise the FO 1111 card index. These cards provide the best way to find something within our treasure trove of Foreign Office correspondence between 1906 and 1920. These index cards have now been made available to download for free from our website. Whilst going through some of these cards one entry caught my eye. It was discussing a plan to celebrate the Anglo-American Peace Centenary in 1914. The intention was to commemorate the remarkable fact that Britain and America had managed to avoid going to war with each other for the preceding 100 years.