June 28, 1918: The War Effort in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1918, Duluthians patriotically supported the allied war effort in Europe while some also participated in an activity many of us would find disturbing today: forced registration based on ethnic heritage. In a story headlined “389 sturdy soldiers of Duluth on to ‘Berlin or Bust,’” the Duluth News Tribune reported on new recruits mustering at the Shrine Auditorium (the former Duluth Armory) at Second Avenue West and First Street at 1:30 and then—accompanied by several bands, a drum corps, and their own harmonicas—parading to the Omaha Depot below Michigan Street, where they loaded the trains to head off to a fort in Illinois for training. Duluth’s streets were thick with well-wishers sending Duluth’s Doughboys off to war. The paper also reported on the War Stamp effort in Duluth, cleverly converting the $65,000 donated by Duluthians into the weapons of war, claiming the Zenith City “bought” 2,600 three-inch shells and 1,300 depth bombs. Following requirements set down by the federal Government, Duluth police that day registered 116 “German women aliens” living in the region, including five non-German women who had married men who had emigrated from Germany.

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