This post is coauthored by Jim Martin, senior legal information analyst, and Robert Brammer, senior legal information specialist.
The Law Library of Congress would like to take the opportunity to remember the sacrifices of our brave veterans who proudly served the cause of freedom over a century ago in World War I.
Largest Old Glory placed on U.S. Capitol for flag exercises. An unusual view of the largest American flag in the world as it was displayed across the front of the United States Capitol where flag exercises were conducted by the United States Flag Association. The flag is 160 feet in length and 90 feet wide. Photograph by Harris & Ewing. (Created in 1929). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.35407
The Law Library invites you to explore the history of World War I with a collection of declarations of war from around the world, including some from empires that no longer exist. The Law Library’s collections contain these materials because we collect legal materials, not just from the United States, but from around the world, in order to fulfill our mission to serve Congress.
In addition to exploring the international impact of the war, you can also explore the war’s domestic impact, from the sinking of the Lusitania, to the effect the United States’ entry into the War had on civil liberties in the United States. Today, we commemorate Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day, remembering the day, one-hundred years ago, when the guns fell silent on the Western Front at 11am on November 11th, 1918.
You can also delve into a wealth of materials related to World War I through the Library of Congress World War I exhibit.
World War I brought great changes to American society. American volunteers served in the armed forces of warring nations prior to 1917. For the first time women served in the nation’s armed forces, although in a limited role. Women also worked in jobs outside their traditional spheres in teaching and domestic labor. African American soldiers served in segregated units, some of which played crucial roles in the campaign of 1918. The federal government was given new powers to regulate the nation’s economy, including in the areas of transportation and communications, agriculture and industrial production. President Wilson played a critical part in formulating Allied War aims. After the signing of the Armistice there was extensive debate on the future position of the country in the world affairs.
On Thursday, June 8, the Manuscripts Division in association with the Law Library sponsored a symposium examining the effects of World War I on civil liberties in the United States. Mary Dudziak, of Emory University, provided a historical overview of how Woodrow Wilson went from being reelected as the peace candidate- to in April 1917, requesting a […]
The following is a guest post by Ryan Reft, a historian in the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good […]
The Law Library of Congress is excited to bring you a collection of World War I declarations of war from around the world. If you’re not familiar with our collections, you might wonder how we came to acquire these century-old foreign legal materials. The reason is that, as the United States assumed a greater role in international affairs, the Law Library of Congress […]
The following is a tale of World War I legal history with a literary twist. (Working at the world’s largest library, with books on every subject, I could hardly leave the literary aspect out, could I?) I have previously written about New Zealand’s involvement in World War I, particularly in the Gallipoli campaign, and related […]
This is a guest blog by Jennifer Proctor, a metadata technician. Jennifer is working on the U.S. Reports project with Julie McVey and Quinn Smith. She is also working on the Statutes at Large project. You’ve probably heard of the Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen) – the most famous German fighter pilot in history – but it […]
During a vacation in New Zealand in September, I was able to visit a new exhibition at Te Papa (New Zealand’s national museum) called Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War. The exhibition, which opened in April, provides insight into this particular aspect of World War I by telling the stories of eight New Zealanders involved […]
On May 1, 1915, the RMS Lusitania set sail from New York City to Liverpool, England, carrying 1,959 passengers. On May 7, 1915, the ship was sailing off the Irish coast when a German U-Boat, U-20, fired a torpedo that sank the Lusitania within twenty minutes, killing 1,198 passengers, including 128 Americans. The sinking of […]
April 25, 2015, marks 100 years since the first landing of Australian and New Zealand troops (known as the ANZACs, for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) at the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in Turkish) in Turkey during World War I. A few years ago I wrote about the significance of April 25th, ANZAC Day, which […]
This is a guest post by Jim Martin, senior legal information analyst at the Law Library of Congress. Jim has written some of our most popular posts over the years including The Articles of Confederation. On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Hapsburg presumptive heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his […]