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AC Gilbert: The Man Who Saved ChristmasA.C. Gilbert: The Man Who Saved Christmas

There were many casualties during the Great War, both in lives lost on the battlefield and in sacrifices made on the home front. Civilians grew accustomed to doing without the finer things in life, but in 1918 the U.S. government asked for too much: they attempted to requisition Christmas. Read more…

 

 

Article, BairnsfatherBruce Bairnsfather, The Cartoonist in the Trenches

Englishmen from all walks of life answered the call of service during the Great War. Not surprisingly, vestiges of their peacetime lives and occupations followed them into the trenches. For Bruce Bairnsfather, the horrors of war could not overcome his sense of humor or his insuppressible urge to draw. Read more…

 

 

Oh Boy That's the GirlThe Origin of the Doughboy

During the Great War, Americans knew their soldiers as “doughboys.” This informal label was a universal nickname for all American troops of all branches entering the European theatre, replacing the previously used “Yanks” and “Sammies” labels. Read more…

 

 

Edith CavellEdith Cavell: England’s Nurse and Hero

Edith Cavell was born on December 4, 1865 in Swardeston, Norfolk, Great Britain, the eldest of four children. Her father, the Reverend Frederick Cavell raised her to believe that sacrifice, sharing with those less fortunate, duty to others and loyalty to Britain were lifelong obligations…Read more…

 

 

kitchentableThe Battle of the Kitchen Table

In 1917, the United States was in the midst of a food crisis. American farmers had seen poor harvests in 1916 and again in 1917. In addition, the war had created a huge demand for food exports to Britain and France, creating shortages and rapidly increasing prices.
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castleHMHS Llandovery Castle

The most feared ship in the German fleet was the shadowy U-Boat. The Germans used submarines to great effect during the Great War, striking warships and supply vessels alike. Allied propagandists sometimes drew on the fear of these vessels, shining a light on the most infamous attacks…Read more…

 

 

FlaggPhotoUncle Sam’s Father: James Montgomery Flagg

Allied propagandists produced many iconic images during the Great War, but none compares to the singular creation of James Montgomery Flagg. His image of the defiant-faced Uncle Sam character along with the simple phrase “I Want YOU” rose above the realm of mere propaganda…Read more…

 

 

fightingfourthNorman Rockwell (1894-1978)

Though better known for his work during World War II, as a young man Norman Rockwell contributed to the artistic canon of the Great War. These early works were emblematic of the deep patriotism that would characterize Rockwell through his entire career Read more…

 

 

PMBoxA Christmas Gift from the Princess

Princess Mary, daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, was only seventeen when the Great War began in August 1914. Her older brothers, the future King Edward VIII and George VI, were away in the military. This troubled Mary. She had a nightmare that George VI had been killed in battle. Read more…

 

 

shiptThe First U.S. Shot of the War

Millions of bullets were fired on the battlefields of Europe during the Great War, but few Americans realize that the very first bullets fired by their troops were shot on a small island deep in the Pacific. The German merchant raider SMS Cormoran II began its career as the Rjasan. Read more…

 

 

firstthreeThe First Three

Propaganda campaigns need heroes. Sadly, after America entered the Great War, it did not take long for it to receive its first martyrs. General John J. Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, sailed to St. Nazaire, France with the 1st Division in June 1917.Read more…

 

 

PropagandaSelling the War: Propaganda in Advertising

Not all propaganda was issued by the government. During the Great War, independent companies attached their names to images praising the war effort. One famous example of this was produced by the Hercules Powder Company. The Hercules Powder Co. was a chemical manufacturing company…Read more…

 

 

HunThe “Hun” and the First World War

Just as Allied propagandists gravitated towards comforting nicknames for their troops (i.e. American “Doughboys” and British “Tommies), they needed a terrifying moniker for their enemy. Rapidly the term “Hun” became synonymous for German in the Allied press…Read more…

 

 

LusitaniaThe Tragedy of the Lusitania

Over 15 million people died during the Great War. As is always the case, the deaths of some resonated with the public more than others. In May 7, 1915, the sinking of the Lusitania would underscore just how brutal the conflict was and galvanize the Allied public to win it. Read more…

 

 

I Want YOU - 1917

I Want YOU – 1917

The Origin of Uncle Sam

The image of a tall man with a white beard, top hat, and striped pants is now universally recognized as Uncle Sam— the nickname and symbol of the United States. But where did this icon come from? The name Uncle Sam is connected to a meat packer from Troy, New York named Samuel Wilson. Read more…

Arts of the Great War Collection