100th Anniversary Of WWI: African-Americans Who Served

Mar 8, 2017

World War I began in Europe on July 28, 1914, but the United States did not enter the war until April 6, 1917. More than 17 million military personnel and civilians died, and another 20 million were wounded, in what was once known as "the war to end all wars." American deaths totaled more than 116,000.

WVXU's Howard Wilkinson is doing a series of reports to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America's entry into the war.

This afternoon, Howard Wilkinson, local historian and Ohio WWI Centennial Commission member Paul LaRue, and Carl Westmoreland, senior historian at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, join us to discuss African-Americans who served during WWI. African-Americans made up 13 percent of the wartime military, almost 400,000 men, including many from Greater Cincinnati. 

To read Howard Wilkinson's story on African-Americans who served in the military during WWI, click here. 

Paul LaRue has created two online lesson plans to help teachers and students learn more about WWI: Searching for Homer Lawson: African-American World War I Combat Troops, and African American Soldiers Labor for Victory.

The German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati will present a symposium sponsored by the Indiana German Heritage Society​: German-Americans and World War I, March 17 - 18. For information, contact Dr. Giles Hoyt at ghoyt@iupui.edu.