This April marked 100 years since the United States declared war on Germany and officially entered into World War I. But before the United States officially entered the war, the country was preparing heavily for involvement. An exhibit at the St. Louis County Parks’ Jefferson Barracks Historic Site highlights those efforts and what eventually drew the country to war.
It is called “Over Here: World War I From Jefferson Barracks,” and the exhibit runs through December. It will be followed by a companion exhibit, “Over There,” opening in February, which will highlight actions of St. Louisans, Missourians and Americans during the final year of the war.
On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Mike Venso, the curator of the exhibit, and St. Louis County Historian Daniel Gonzales, joined host Don Marsh to discuss the contributions of Jefferson Barracks and St. Louis to the war effort before and after the official entry of the United States.
“Missourians played significant roles throughout the war,” Venso said, listing examples such as Laclede-born General of Armies, John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force on the Western front during World War I, and Edinburg-born Major General Enoch Crowder, who implemented and administered the United States Selective Service Act of 1917, creating the draft.
Listen as Venso and Gonzales discuss the way the United States came to be involved in World War I and the history of Jefferson Barracks that’s entwined in the “war to end all wars:”
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.