World War I: Looking Back 100 Years Later

Photograph postcard of a group of 8 soldiers of the American Expeditionary Forces. C. S. Criden is identified on the far right.


On April 6, 1917, the United States officially declared war on the German Empire and entered World War I. This remains America’s forgotten war, although more Americans gave their lives than in Korea and Vietnam combined. We commemorate the World War I Centennial to educate Hoosiers about the war’s causes and consequences – and to honor the sacrifice of Indiana men and women who served.

This video features scenes of Indianapolis during and after World War I, including: training at Fort Benjamin Harrison; the May 8, 1917 visit from French military leader Marshal Joffre; Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. selling war bonds; Indiana artists Otto Stark, William Forsyth, Carl Graf, and Clifton Wheeler painting a war chest poster in May 1918; Theodore Roosevelt's war savings campaign featuring Governor James P. Goodrich and Mayor Charles W. Jewett; the relatives and sweethearts parade; Armistice Day November 7, 1918; Welcome Home Day parade May 7, 1919; the erection of the Indiana War Memorial and General John J. Pershing laying the cornerstone July 4, 1927.


Do you have World War I correspondence, diaries, photographs or any other documentation highlighting the war abroad or the homefront? Consider donating them to the Indiana State Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division. Through our collective efforts, we can ensure history will be preserved for future generations. For more information, contact Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division Supervisor, at or 317-234-8621.

World War I Resources

Indiana State Library World War I Resources

Indiana State Library Digital Collections

Indiana World War I Centennial Commission

National World War I Centennial Commission

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