(US) 100th Anniversary of US Entry Into World War l #general
Jan Meisels Allen
The United States declared War on April 6, 1917-the 100th anniversary of the
US entering World War 1 is this week. According to an article in Moment
Magazine, "How The First World War Changed Jewish History", there were a
million and a half Jews who fought in World War I for their respective
countries, of which 250,000 were Jewish soldiers >from the United States.
World War 1 is a turning point in Jewish history--without that war some
scholars say there would not have been the Holocaust or the State of Israel.
The following special commemorations by US National Archives and Library of
Congress may have records on your Jewish ancestors who fought in the "war to
end all wars".
To commemorate the centennial occasion, the (US) National Archives is
presenting a special display of the Joint Resolution declaring war against
the Imperial German Government through May 3, 2017 at the National Archives
Museum in Washington DC. For more information see:
The National Archives World War l Centennial Events and Exhibits has a
portal page for the largest repository of American World War l records:
[or http://tinyurl.com/mkxbw9h --Mod.]
Click on the box "Genealogy Resources" and look for the World War l Draft
Registration Cards, Military Service Records, Deaths and Veterans Homes to
find your Jewish-American ancestors who served in World War 1.
World War l resulted in the U.S. Congress passing the Selective Service Act
shortly after war was declared to provide the necessary troops to fight.
About 24 million men registered for the Selective Service Act and 4.8
million served in the war and 2.8 million of them were drafted. These
included Jewish men who signed up to fight in the war. World War 1 also is
"credited" with revolutionizing medicine-one of the notable effects was the
start of motor-ambulance corps, another was to transport soldiers to
hospitals where their wounds could be disinfected and repaired rather than
amputated on the battlefield. World War l is known for the three "A's":
ambulances, antiseptic and anesthesia. See
[or http://tinyurl.com/l5bdx9k --Mod.]
America had remained neutral for three years in the conflict that began
with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian
nationalist in June 1914 and the ensuing conflict across Europe. US
neutrality ceased after Germany committed acts of aggression against the
United States in 1917.
To read more see: https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/wwi-100
The US Library of Congress opened a major exhibit on April 4, "Echoes of
the Great War: American Experiences of World War l". The exhibit tells the
stories of Americans in the War through correspondence, music, film,
recorded sound, diaries, photographs, medals, maps and more. The exhibit
will be available through January 2019. For more information see:
In addition the Library of Congress has scheduled events to commemorate the
centennial of World War 1 See: https://www.loc.gov/topics/world-war-i/
The Library of Congress holds the largest multi-format collection of
materials on the American experience in the Great War.
The National World War 1 Museum and Memorial is located in Kansas City, MO
and its website is: https://www.theworldwar.org/ where one can find their
commemorative activities. For information on their online database see:
https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/online-collections-database . They are
adding to their digitized collection daily and have many more records
available in the Museum.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee