Okay, I actually mean the centennial of the U.S. entering World War I. The “Great War” started in August of 1914, but the U.S. entered the war April 6, 1917–99 years ago today.
Like a lot of people, I didn’t know much about World War I except trenches, the Spanish Flu, and Snoopy’s dogfights with the Red Baron. But, fellow author and USU history MA, Jeff Bateman, got me interested in the story of Utah during World War I, and we’ve co-authored a book about it called No Peace with the Dawn, coming out in November of this year in time for Veteran’s Day.
We’ve woven a lot of history into the book (along with adventure and romance), and I’m going to be sharing tidbits here as we count down to the centennial, as well as on a web site dedicated to information about the war (coming soon!). Though the book, and our research, was focused primarily on Utah in World War I, most of the information applies to the U.S. and World War I in general.
For today, I’ll start with this U.S. propaganda poster from the war. Women at this time were still fighting for the vote in most parts of the United States (they already had it in Utah). One of the arguments against letting women vote was that only those who might fight for their country should be allowed a say in how it was governed. Women played a huge part in the war effort at home and on the front (I’ll go into more detail in future posts). The government generally downplayed their role overseas, particularly with the suffrage movement going on, but I guess it couldn’t resist the urge to tie in Joan of Arc, another woman in a man’s world who served (and saved) her country, especially since most U.S. soldiers served on the Western Front in France.