top of page

World War I

The Great War

Up until 1939, World War I was referred to as the World War or the Great War. It was like nothing the world had ever seen. While estimates vary, approximately 20 million died and 21 million were wounded; half of these casualties were civilians. In addition to bullets and bombs, famine and disease in war-torn areas took many of these lives. While the war was fought abroad, Americans at home were lucky to be shielded from the violence and horrors of war, but experienced changes as well. Our men went overseas and many lost their lives, creating hardship and heartbreak. Women entered the factories to stand in and contribute what they could to the war effort. German Americans became suspected sympathizers and targets, and all things German were denounced...


These documents give an interesting glimpse into the world of the Great War. Learn about a private spy organization 250,000 strong, the horrors of mustard gas, and the 1918 Spanish Flu.