From the Archives

Local writer Sarah St. John pulls from the Journal-World archives to compile reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence decades ago.

Local Vietnam veterans reflect on war experiences, attitudes

Vietnam veteran John Musgrave went to war with a learned hatred of the enemy and no knowledge of what the conflict was about beyond that of Cold War rhetoric.But over the years, those feelings ultimately gave way to an understanding of and empathy toward those men he fought a half-century ago. ...

World War I in Lawrence: Budget cuts hit Lawrence schools

State budget cuts, whether war-related or not, were affecting students at the elementary and high school levels in Lawrence in 1917.According to a Journal-World article from early September, the usual reserve in the Board of Education budget had been cut by two-thirds, while war conditions had ...

World War I in Lawrence: Women encouraged to register for war service

Following the compulsory military draft of young men nationwide, the state of Kansas attempted a voluntary registration of women for war service. As explained in a Lawrence Journal-World article in early August, “There is nothing compulsory about the registration of women…. They are merely ...

World War I in Lawrence: 10 Journal-World employees report for duty

The Lawrence Journal-World was to face challenges in the coming year, as several of its staff had enlisted in the military. Even considering the inconvenience that this would entail, the company appeared proud that so many of its men were to serve, either as volunteers or after having been ...

World War I in Lawrence: KU allows ‘military passes’ for patriotism

Today’s story comes “from somewhere in France with the American troops,” where a recent KU student was worried about the state of his grades. Having left school in the spring of 1917, volunteering for the army months before the first draft, the young man wrote a letter back home to try to ...

World War I in Lawrence: Soldiers report to Robinson Gymnasium for drills

Several National Guard units were camping in Lawrence this month to undergo federal examination and mustering in. The process started in Robinson Gymnasium on the KU campus, where soldiers filled out all the necessary forms and received the first of their typhoid and smallpox vaccinations. ...

World War I in Lawrence: Crops, gardens on residents’ minds

With food conservation as a main concern, Douglas County residents were paying even more attention than usual to the condition of crops and garden produce. As always, the weather was on everyone’s mind. “There is but one topic of conversation in the rural districts of Douglas County,” ...

Family explores ties to Wakarusa Valley during museum visit

The nearly 40 people making a Saturday morning visit to the Wakarusa Valley Heritage Museum nodded or raised a hand as Martha Parker read through a list of names.The names Parker read were those of black families who settled in the Wakarusa Valley west of Lawrence during or soon after the Civil ...

World War I in Lawrence: Willing to knit, but in need of yarn

Popularity of first aid instruction from the Red Cross increased this summer to the extent that an additional class was formed to meet the demand in Lawrence. While this organization continued its meetings and activities here and in surrounding communities, other, more informal groups also ...

World War I in Lawrence: National Guard officers ordered to mobilize

Formal orders were received on August 1 for mobilization of National Guard officers of Lawrence units. Any officers not already training at Fort Riley or elsewhere were required to report to the armory Sunday morning at 9 o’clock. An article in the Journal-World noted, “Company commanders ...

World War I in Lawrence: Draft begins, but Douglas County not immediately affected

The first national draft began at 9:49 a.m., July 20, in Washington, D.C.’s Senate building. Under the watchful eye of the press, blindfolded war department officials and several Senators and Representatives drew numbers from a large glass bowl. The numbers, which were then written on a large ...

World War I in Lawrence: 64-year-old veteran volunteers to serve again

At an age when many local men were content to retire from work, a Lawrence veteran wished to respond to a call for artillery men. “Although sixty-four years old, William R. Smith of this city wants to see active military service,” the Journal-World reported. “He is one of the latest ...

World War I in Lawrence: A visit from a special war baby

A Lawrence couple enjoyed a visit this month from a special war baby. “John Kilpatrick Justus, who is visiting his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. U. L. Taylor, in Lawrence, will be having a ‘birthday’ Sunday. On that day he will be just two months old. Despite his tender age, John Kilpatrick ...

World War I in Lawrence: Drain of engineers takes toll on local projects

Earlier in July, the Journal-World reported that 46 University of Kansas men, enlisted in Company A Engineers, were to be sent to Fort Riley “for intensive training following a two-weeks encampment on the Washburn College grounds in Topeka.” The Engineers had “lost their designation as a ...