Monday, November 11, 2013

A Newpaper for the Doughboys: The Stars and Stripes 1918-1919

Monday, November 11, 2013
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Loretta reports:

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. (a video here) and Remembrance Day elsewhere.  As Downton Abbey aficionados and others will know, the signing of an armistice on 11 November 1918 marked the end of the Great War.  11 November became the commemoration day, known for many years as Armistice Day.

Looking for a social history angle (we Nerdy History Girls generally leave politics and war to others) I ended up at one of my favorite sites, the Library of Congress, where I came upon the newspaper created for the U.S. Army during WWI.  Intended to unify the U.S. forces, which were spread over Europe and mixed with troops of other countries, The Stars and Stripes ran from 8 February 1918 to 13 June 1919.

I discovered that soldiers created a significant amount of its material, and the original staff included enlisted men Alexander Woollcott (later of of The New Yorker and Algonquin Round Table fame) and Harold W. Ross, (a co-founder of The New Yorker).

If you’d like to see what the soldiers were reading, you can take a closer look at individual issues on this list.  Downloading the PDF-Entire Issue offers the easiest viewing of whole pages, but you will probably want to zoom in quite a bit.
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Here’s what a U.S. soldier found in its first issue. It includes illustrations by Charles Dana Gibson, along with satire and satirical prints and a fascinating array of advertisements for U.S., British, and French companies and products.

Posters courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA


Sassy Countess said...

This is great stuff. I am just finishing a section in my Women's History class about women in war time propaganda posters. You have included another one that I hadn't known about. LOVE IT.

Mantelli said...

Is this a different paper than the Stars and Stripes that operates today? The very first paper by that name was put together by Union troops during the Civil War.

LorettaChase said...

I hadn't seen the poster before, either, Sassy. Love that LOC. Mantelli, from what I can determine, the Stars & Stripes appeared sporadically, and didn't become continuous until WW2. The Civil War edition looks like a short term thing, as was the WWI version. This needs deeper research, so if you learn more, please let us know.

bubblegum casting said...

very cool!

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