It’s August 1916. The second anniversary of the outbreak of the World War coincides with the beginning of the American presidential campaign. Charles Evans Hughes, the Republican nominee, spends the month of August touring the western United States. He is well-received in most states but encounters bitter intraparty infighting in California, where his attempt to avoid taking sides backfires. Former President Roosevelt, meanwhile, overcomes his disappointment at being denied the nomination and comes out strongly for Hughes. In the war, both sides suffer heavy losses on the Somme, an Italian battleship is destroyed by a mysterious explosion, and the Italian Army mounts another attack on the Isonzo. Over a year after declaring war on Austria-Hungary, Italy declares war on Germany. On the Eastern Front, the Brusilov Offensive makes gains in Galicia, and Romania enters the war on the side of the Allies. Pro-Allied Greeks in Salonika proclaim a provisional government. The Kaiser replaces his top army commander. Great Britain tightens its blockade of Germany and hangs Sir Roger Casement for treason. The United States agrees to buy the Danish West Indies (soon to be renamed the U.S. Virgin Islands) from Denmark. President Wilson, frustrated in his attempt to mediate a railroad labor dispute, asks Congress to resolve it by legislation.