Eastern Illinois University Logo
Past Tracker |

World War I - Government

Pre-Statehood Era: 1700-1818

Early Statehood: 1818-1861

Civil War Era: 1861-1865

Late 19th Century: 1866-1900

Early 20th Century: 1900-1914

World War I: 1914-1918

Roaring Twenties: 1918-1929

Great Depression: 1930-1941

World War II: 1941-1945

Cold War Era: 1946-1991

Millennium: 1991-Present

Lesson Plans


Crime and Punishment

"Investigation Waits on Inquest Monday," April 6th, 1918

  • On April 4th, 1918, German immigrant Robert Prager was hanged by a mob in Collinsville, IL. The mob believed him disloyal to the American government. This article, published in the New York Times on April 6th, 1918, describes Prager's actual political beliefs.

  • Citation:"Investigation Waits on Inquest Monday" from the New York Times. April 6, 1918.

State and Local Government

Mattoon City Council Minutes, April 17th, 1917 

Mattoon City Council Minutes, June 4th, 1918

  • During the Influenza of 1918, cities in Illinois and across the United States took measures to combat the flu.These sets of minutes explore the ways that Mattoon city leaders dealt with the influenza pandemic.

  • Citation: Mattoon City Council Minutes. (n.d.). Unpublished typescript, University Archives, Eastern Illinois University.

War and Military

Singing Patriotic Songs in Schools, 1917

  • In the months leading up to the United States' entry into World War I, patriotism ran high. Governor Lowden promoted patriotism by designating a week in which students in Illinois public and private schools were to sing particular patriotic songs. He made this proclamation on February 9th, 1917.

  • Citation: Jenison, Marguerite Edith. War Documents and Addresses. Illinois in the World War: Vol. 6. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923. 4-5.

"Heading into Trouble with the Draft," May 30th, 1917

  • In May 1917, the United States passed the Selective Service Act, requiring young men ages twenty-one to thirty, (later expanded to men aged eighteen to forty-five), to register for the draft. There was relatively little resistance to the draft, but some anti-draft sentiment did exist. The author of this article, which appeared in the Chicago Tribune on May 30th, 1917, urged men to comply with the law, and the government to act swiftly to suppress resistance.

  • Citation: "Heading Into Trouble with the Draft" from the Chicago Tribune, May 30, 1917.

"Our 'Conscientious' Objectors," June 30th, 1917

  • Conscientious objectors were sometimes accused of harboring German sympathies. The author of this article, which appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 30th, 1917, railed against conscientious objectors who refused to fight on foreign soil.

  • Citation: "Our 'Conscientious' Objectors" from the Chicago Tribune, June 30, 1917.

"Students to Try Teacher Called Anti-American," November 26th,  1917

  • German culture and those of German descent were objects of hatred during World War I. This article, published in the Chicago Tribune on November 26th, 1917, tells the story of a German teacher (likely of German descent herself) in Winnetka. She was accused by students of being anti-American. She had allegedly remained her in seat while the Star-Spangled Banner was played at a school assembly.

  • Citation: "Students to Try Teacher Called Anti-American" from the Chicago Tribune, November 26, 1917.

"Full Suffrage Here Seen as Blow to Foe," February 8th, 1918

  • Before and during World War I, American women struggled to win the right to vote. Women's contributions to the war helped win public opinion in favor of women's suffrage. In addition, the "war for democracy" highlighted the disenfranchisement of half of the American population. This article describes a speech on this subject, made at a meeting of the National Women's Party in Chicago.

  • Citation: "Full suffrage Here Seen as Blow to Foe" from the Chicago Tribune, February 8, 1918.

"Investigation Waits on Inquest Monday," April 6th, 1918

  • See Crime and Punishment section

"Loyalty Meeting at Teutopolis" April 11th, 1918

  • A newspaper clipping from the Effingham Republican regarding an upcoming flag-raising service on April 14th of that year.

  • Citation: "Loyalty Meeting at Teutopolis" from the Effingham Republican, April 11, 1918.

"Patriotic Teutopolis" April 18th, 1918

  • A newspaper clipping from the Effingham Republican reporting on the ceremony on April 14th.

  • Citation: "Patriotic Teutopolis" from the Effingham Republican, April 18, 1918.

"A.P.L. Valuable Aid in Draft Roundup," September 24th, 1918

  • The American Protective League (A.P.L.) was a private, all-volunteer organization utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate possible spies and draft dodgers during World War I. Private citizens involved in the surveillance and enforcement of laws upon other citizens and immigrants sometimes used this power to win advantage in labor, political, economic, and personal disputes. This article describes the APL's work in rounding up "slackers" as part of a government-wide drive.

  • Citation: "A.P.L. Valuable Aid in Draft Roundup" from the Chicago Tribune, September 24, 1918.

"Anti-Draft Film to the Censor Again," September 27th, 1918

  • To promote patriotism, the federal government, as well as local and state governments, participated in censorship. This article describes the film "War Brides," which was criticized for its anti-draft and pro-German themes. Before it could be shown in Chicago, city and federal officials had to approve its content. The film was changed to be anti-German, but this article notes that was still anti-draft. Nazimova was a famous silent film actress of the time.

  • Citation: "Anti-Draft Film to the Censor Again" from the Chicago Tribune, September 27, 1918.

"Arrests Foil I.W.W. Slacker Plot in Mills," October 12th, 1918

  • Congress and President Wilson passed the Sedition Act in 1918, which criminalized written or spoken statements which could be construed as condemning the government or advocating interference with the war effort. This article describes the arrest of two men accused of leading the International Workers of the World, (an anarchist labor organization), in a plot to spread opposition of the war and support for German among the steel workers of Joliet.

  • Citation: "Arrests Foil I.W.W. Slacker Plot in Mills" from the Chicago Tribune, October 12, 1918.

"Debs' Sentence Confirmed by Supreme Court," March 11th, 1919

  • In 1917, Congress and President Wilson passed the Espionage Act, prohibiting spying, interfering with the draft, and making "false statements" that might impede military success. Eugene V. Debs, leader of the Socialist Party and five-time candidate for President in the early 20th century, was convicted under the Espionage Act for statements he made in June 1918, which allegedly obstructed recruitment and enlistment in the armed forces.

  • Citation: "Debs' Sentence Confirmed by Supreme Court" from the Chicago Tribune, March 11, 1919.

World War I: Dr. Gerry B. Dudley

Note: All resources in this section are from the collections of the Coles County Historical Society. For questions regarding publication rights of these items, please contact the organization directly at  http://www.coleshistory.net.

Photograph, Capt. Dudley in Uniform, n.d.

  • Captain Gerry B. Dudley was a respected doctor in his hometown of Charleston, IL, who was called to the Great War in 1917. He served in the 165th Infantry in France until February 1919.

Photograph, Dudley Family at Train Station, n.d.

  • Dr. Dudley is wearing his Army uniform in this photograph at a train station, likely as the family is saying their goodbyes. On the back, these words are written: "Home For Gerry Jane because she is almost [indecipherable] in IL." (Gerry Jane was one of Dr. Dudley's daughters.)

Photograph, Men near Barracks, n.d.

  • This photograph shows Capt. Dudley and some of his fellow soldiers at their barracks. On the back of the photo, these words are written: "Dudley, Kuhn, Jones D.D., Hollis (Mississippi), Rawles, Jacobs (sitting); The second window from door with bath towel hanging out is first above my cot. Dark space under doors our reading room. E. sided barrack room."

Photograph, Tent, n.d.

  • This photograph shows a less permanent form of housing during World War I, the tent.

Photograph, World War I Building, n.d.

  • This building is unidentified but is likely a hospital, as the photograph was included in Capt. Dudley's mementos of the Great War.

Hospital Photographs One & Two, n.d.

  • These two photographs graphically reveal of the horror of World War One. Note that some of the men have their limbs elevated or immobilized to help them heal properly.

  • Note: Images are graphic in nature, and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Letter, Capt. Dudley to Albert Cunningham, November 18th, 1917

  • Capt. Dudley wrote this letter to Mr. Cunningham while preparing to ship out to France. In it, he explains that he gave his wife power of attorney to take care of his business while gone. This trust of his wife in business is significant, especially in consideration that women had not been granted the right to vote in national elections at that time. From Dudley's comments, it seems Mr. Cunningham may have objected to dealing with Mrs. Dudley.

U. S. Army Field Message Book of Capt. Dudley, 1918 / Transcription, 3-4

  • This book was used by the Army to standardize field messages soldiers sent and keep carbon copies of them. A sample is included as an example for soldiers. These two messages reveal how Capt. Dudley needed proper medical facilities and sometimes dealt with conflicting orders. They also note that stretcher bearers have reported to Capt. Dudley.

Telegram From Charleston, IL, February 15th, 1919

  • This dire news from home prompted Capt. Dudley to apply for discharge from the Army.

Appeal for Discharge, February 23rd, 1919

  • Capt. Dudley applied to be discharged from the army upon receiving word that his family back in Charleston, Illinois had all suffered from Spanish influenza and were not well enough to manage without him.