Committed: The Home Front in Oregon in WWI, 1914-1918

October 29, 2018 7PM

When most Americans think of World War I they imagine it to be an era of strong leaders, brave soldiers, bloody battles, and heroic generals. Instead, in this presentation, Mr. Stack will be focusing on the home front in Portland and Oregon during 1914 – 1918, and will show how the average Portlander, and Oregonian, was affected by the war in their lives.

During the presidential election of 1916, Woodrow Wilson campaigned on the theme of “He kept us out of war.” By April, 1917, however, the United States was embroiled in World War I. This presentation will show how Americans were affected by the Espionage and Sedition Acts that were passed in 1917 and 1918. People impacted by these laws nationally and locally were activists, immigrants, persons of color, political parties, and labor unions. In addition, public opinion was manipulated by the federal government in order to garner support for the war on the part of Americans. Moreover, this presentation will show how Portland and Oregon gained population during the war and the effect that World War I had on the shipbuilding and timber industries. Finally, Mr. Stack will offer a brief summary of the post-World War I era and the effects both nationally and locally during the 1920s of the “Red Scare” and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States.

William Stack is a seasoned educator and an independent local historian. He has taught at the middle school, high school, and college levels. In addition, he has written and had published Historic Photos of Oregon and articles on President John Adams, Astoria businessman George Flavel, and highway builder Glenn Jackson. He is currently at work on an article on World War I on the home front.