“The Summer of 1918 (in 2017)”

This summer I spent a lot of time in 1918. It was a time when our nation had entered a war of global conflict, an ocean away. It was a time when U.S. men began being drafted into military service, training and traveling. It was when men from the U.S. took up arms in defense of civilization.

The United States had a small army and had to ramp up quickly to gather the needed troops. Private organizations became part of the war effort. People on the home front geared up to support the war by buying war bonds, wrapping bandages and conserving food. The U.S. entered the war with its own advanced technology, bringing telephone equipment and signal corps operators to manage it.

To do this, I immersed myself in some of the record sets from that year, books published during that time (or just after), books written later about the time, traveling to a museum about the time and even viewing a solar eclipse.

The record sets were Morning Reports and Rosters at the National Personnel Records Center, and the U.S. Army Transport Service lists that are available at NARA II at College Park and are on Ancestry.com. The museum was the WWI Museum in Kansas City, MO.

In upcoming posts, I will be sharing stories about the visits, the records sets, and the books that made this “The Summer of 1918” for me.