Apr 27, 2023

The Missouri Home Guard: Protecting the Home Front during the Great War

Join us as author Petra DeWitt discusses her new book, "The Missouri Home Guard: Protecting the Home Front during the Great War." Missouri was one of many states that established a defense organization to take over the duties of the National Guard that had been federalized for military service when the United States declared war on Germany in 1917. Service in the Home Guard was a way to show loyalty to one’s country, particularly for German Americans, who were frequently under suspicion as untrustworthy. Men too old or exempt from the draft for other reasons found meaning in helping with the war effort through the Home Guard while also garnering respect from the community. For similar reasons, women attempted to join the organization as did African Americans, some of whom formed units of a “Negro Home Guard.” DeWitt’s study of this organization examines the fluctuating definition of patriotism and the very real question of who did and who did not have the privilege of citizenship and acceptance in society.

Time: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Location: Missouri State Archives, 600 W. Main St.

Cost: Free

Contact: For more information, contacct the Missouri State Archives at or 573.526.1981

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