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By 1915, Americans began debating the need for military and economic preparations for war. Strong opposition to “preparedness” came from isolationists, socialists, pacifists, many Protestant ministers, German Americans, and Irish Americans (who were hostile to Britain). One of the hit songs of 1915, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a…

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Item Type: Music/Song
Date: 1915

Reproduced below are the lyrics to America's best-known World War I song, "Over There." Written by George M. Cohan, the song was widely performed by various artists (initially by Charles King) from its publication in 1917. Cohan later recalled that the words and music to the song came to him while traveling by train from New Rochelle to New York…

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Item Type: Music/Song
Date: 1917

"True Sons of Freedom," by Charles Gustrine, is a poster depicting African-American soldiers fighting against the German army. Three hundred and fifty thousand African Americans participated in the segregated U.S. army during WWI, but they were often limited to being support troops. Many units found combat fighting alongside the French, and some…

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Item Type: Poster/Print
Date: 1918

During World War I, the U.S. government needed to raise money to pay for the soldiers, tanks, airplanes, and other equipment it needed to fight the war. To do this, it sold war bonds, which citizens could buy and then be paid back after the war. This poster tried to convince Americans that it was their patriotic duty to buy war bonds by listing…

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Item Type: Poster/Print
Date: Circa 1919