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5, August 2017

The Missouri National Guard Prepares for War

When the United States entered World War I, it had a standing army of fewer than 130,000 troops, with an additional 70,000 troops in the reserves. To put that in perspective, at the start of the war in 1914, Germany had a combined standing army and reserve force of 4.5 million. Read more »

29, May 2017

Commemorating the Spirit of Sacrifice in War

Since it opened on Memorial Day 1938, Soldiers Memorial Military Museum has been—and continues to be—a place of remembrance. At its dedication as a World War I memorial two years earlier, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said: Read more »

6, April 2017

World War I: Missouri and the Great War

Today marks the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Within months of the April 6, 1917, declaration of war, U.S. troops began arriving in France, factories across the nation started producing war material, and support began pouring in from the home front. Our newest exhibit, World War I: Missouri and the Great War, commemorates this significant portion of our collective history by exploring the wartime roles of Missourians and St. Louisans at home and overseas.  Read more »

29, July 2016

Leading the Way in War Work

Several women's organizations in St. Louis played pivotal roles in leading war-work efforts on the home front during World War I. Without these groups' backing, troops connected to the St. Louis region may not have retained the strength and morale needed to achieve success in the war. Read more »

9, November 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Mother Goose in Wartime

Perhaps one of the more unique World War I artifacts in the Museum’s collection is a small booklet in the Library and Research Center titled Mother Goose in Wartime. The collection of wartime-themed nursery rhymes was illustrated by Gladys M. Wheat (the first female faculty member of the University of Missouri’s art department) and other University of Missouri art students. The content was written by George F. Nardin, also of the University of Missouri. Read more »

26, October 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Joseph Garneau Weld

In the early years of the war many Missourians went overseas as drivers for the fleet of ambulances operating across France to carry the wounded from the front lines to hospitals. Among famous World War I ambulance drivers—including Walt Disney and Ernest Hemingway—was St. Louisan Joseph Garneau Weld. Weld, who went by “Garneau,” was born in Baltimore in 1897 and grew up in St. Louis. He joined the American Field Service, an American volunteer ambulance corps under the French Army, in October 1916. Read more »

21, September 2015

World War I Artifacts and Memories: The Preparedness Movement

As war broke out across Europe in August 1914, America was a country split. U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, a leader of the Progressive Movement, adopted a stance of strict neutrality for the United States, stating to Congress on August 19, 1914: Read more »

19, August 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: “Chow” Time

William H. Danforth was born in Mississippi County, Missouri, in 1870. An ambitious man, in 1894 he founded the Purina Mills Company at age 24. A significant producer of animal feed, Purina Mills later expanded into breakfast cereals. After its cereals received an endorsement from Webster Edgerly, founder of the pseudo-health and social movement known as Ralstonism, Purina Mills renamed itself Ralston-Purina. The company experienced great success in the early 1900s, in large part due to World War I. Read more »

30, June 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Branch Rickey

Best known as the man who broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey spent much of his baseball career in St. Louis—as a player, a manager, and in the front office for the St. Louis Browns and later the St. Louis Cardinals. Rickey played with the St. Louis Browns (1905 and 1906) and the New York Highlanders (1907). After putting up atrocious numbers, he decided to return to college to pursue a law degree. Rickey attended the University of Michigan, where he managed the school’s baseball team. Read more »

5, June 2015

World War I Artifacts and Memories: Charles Chouteau Johnson and the Lafayette Escadrille

As war raged across Europe between 1914 and 1917, the American military sat on the sidelines while the U.S. government sustained its policy of neutrality. However, a number of Americans volunteered for service in foreign armies. Among them was St. Louisan Charles Chouteau Johnson. He served in the famous Lafayette Escadrille, named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the American Revolution. Read more »