Congress created the National Park Service in 1916, just a few months before the United States entered World War I. Many places that are now national parks are part of the story of World War I, whether it was the people who served, the places where events happened, or the ideals we hold up as a nation.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, here are 11 connections between our national parks and World War I!
How could the United States fight for liberty abroad, when half its citizenry was denied the right to vote? Women organized and, in a first for the nation, picketed the White House throughout the World War I, calling for a Constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage. National parks including Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument and Women's Rights National Historical Park help tell the story of the different strategies suffragists used to gain women the vote.
Most immigrants at the time arrived through Ellis Island, including Irving Berlin, who arrived in America as a child before he wrote "God Bless America" while serving in the Army.
Herbert Hoover founded and chaired the Commission for Relief in Belgium, sourcing food globally and feeding 11 million starving people in Belgium and France. After the war, Hoover continued to help feed starving people overseas in Poland and the Soviet Union. Some called him “The Great Humanitarian.”
Want more?There's more on the National Parks and World War I site!
Last updated: July 15, 2020