Crafting and Shellshock

    Not long after the fighting started, soldiers began showing symptoms of a strange new affliction. They became disoriented and confused. They developed tremors, limping, and paralysis that had no physical cause. At first, commands assumed that the men were trying to escape the fighting, and many were charged with cowardice or malingering and punished. Some…

June 5, 1917 : Great National Lottery Day

In spite of all the stratagems to convince men to voluntarily join the War effort, there were not enough new recruits to meet the demand. To solve this, Congress passed the Selective Service Act of 1917 on May 18, 1917. The act required that all men between the ages of 21-30 must register though later with…

Book Club: Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

One of the selections for April-June 2018 is “The Guns of August” by Barbara Tuchman. Tuchman, b. January 30, 1912 – d. February 6, 1989, won the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for this book which is considered a classic. Tuchman was born in New York City before WWI broke out, though the conflict would surely have…

Food and Morale

Food also, however, affected the morale of the soldiers on a day to day basis and helped them to remember home.  British army rations included tea and jam and the French soldiers maintained a daily allowance of red wine for much of the war (up to 3/4 of a liter per day in 1916). In…

Voluntary Rationing Today?

During WWI, Americans worked together to conserve food in order to help feed our allies, our own soldiers, and the population at home.  If a large scale war began during the current day and age, do you think Americans would again band together to help with the effort, or has the world changed too much?  What…

Win the War in the Kitchen

All across the nation, local food boards hosted cooking, gardening, and food preservation classes, handing out recipes that replaced wartime commodities with other ingredients.   An official cookbook was published by the State Department of Defense called Win the War in the Kitchen and demonstrations from the book were given at the Patriotic Food Show in…