From Cowboy to DoughBoy - North Texas in WWI: Mobilization for the “Great War”
07/09/2017 THROUGH 10/20/2017
North Texas Soldiers Making Bread to Feed an Army
Pre-war and Mexico Texas Border Conflicts
German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann sent a top-secret telegram to the President of Mexico in January 1917.
The message proposed that if Mexico were to ally with Germany, attack the United States, and invite Japan into the war, “lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona” would be regained by Mexico.
The Army and Camp Bowie
Camp Bowie coming to Fort Worth was a much needed economic boom and helped further the development of the entire westside of Fort Worth. The camp covered 2,186 acres and had a machine gun and rifle firing range as well as 10 miles of trenches used for field training.
36th Division Panel - The 36th Division was organized for the first time at Camp Bowie and was made up of men in National Guard Units from both Texas and Oklahoma. A division consisted of about 29,000 men and they used horses and wagons to transport most everything.
Multicultural Aspects of WWI and North Texas
When the US declared war against Germany in 1917, Native Americans, African Americans and Hispanics became Army soldiers training at Camp Bowie and at other camps in Texas.
However, segregation and discrimination affected how these three categories of men were treated in the military.
During World War I, Americans spent their leisure time seeing movies, going to vaudeville shows, dancing in dance halls to popular music, and reading books.
The war affected the popular culture just as much as it did all other aspects of life and was important in reflecting and influencing popular opinion.
Aviation, Army Air Service & Royal Flying Corps airfields
Fort Worth and North Texas began its important role in American aviation during WWI. The establishment of military aviation fields, a depot, and other facilities set the foundation for a new era of technological progress that continues to this day.
Aviation was first employed extensively during World War I. The technology expanded rapidly from the intense interest and use. Many people learned how to build, maintain, and fly airplanes during the war.
The airplane’s importance role was recognized as key to winning a war, because of its ability to control the air, strike the ground, perform reconnaissance, and be mobile. North Texas became an key region for aviation because of the number of airfields and facilities established by the army here.
WWI was a global phenomenon that had a profound effect on nations from Asia to the Americas and Europe. This conflict had several push-pull factors that had brought the world to war.
There was not one single reason that each nation, or territory, chose to enter armed conflict. Each one did so in order to preserve what its leaders felt was in the best interest of the nation.
Reenactors dressed in period attire will be on hand to demonstrate to the public the uniforms and gear that a soldier during WWI would have had, as well as what life was like for the men and women who served during the war.
World War I was an engine of change in Fort Worth as it brought a large Army camp with 30,000 men and three air fields to the area. The people of Fort Worth worked to accommodate Camp Bowie and its soldiers while they responded to the needs of a country at war.
Remember Me! The legacy of the Great War
11/10/2018 THROUGH 02/23/2019
Wall displaying list of North Texas enlisted 5,000+ KIA into occupation and Veterans.
As well as, individuals born, residents, or those buried here 7,000+.
During the turmoil of the Great War our region’s culture changed in a variety of ways.
Such as, labor issues, new oil/coal/energy work available, Wichita Falls hiring, farming and ranching increasing, cattlemen’s association creation, railroads built by African Americans (before military), and more.
Mayor William Davis – Local politics
Ben E. Keith - Community leader and food merchant
Russell Pearson – Airline founder – TC Archives-artifacts
Joseph Pelisch – Aviator & Architect
Holman Taylor - Red Cross, Camp Bowie survey
Anthelm Bidault – French farmer near Grapevine who hosted French military visitors
William McDonald – African American, banker, politician, Mason, millionaire
Events and activities which molded women during the Great War in North Texas:
Federation of Women’s Club
93 Club – Literary club
Wednesday Women’s Club
Fundraising for war bonds
Hospitality at camps
American Library Association
Encouraging volunteerism with organizations
Minorities participation in the Great War.
As well as, other ethnic impacts. Such as, reverse migration.
Influenza swept through North Texas much like the globe:
Genealogy Society shows flue victims
Mental Health and aftermath
Red Cross assistance
Examles of culture changes during WWI:
Vernon Castle - Dancer, aviator
Art – Vitrines and glass cases
Transition of camp and airfields in North Texas to slowly shut down and convert into non military areas:
36th & 90th
Airfields and Squadrons
Barron Field (Camp Taliaferro Field #2)
77th, 106th, 207th, 273rd
Hicks Field (Camp Taliaferro Field #1)
78th, 79th, 82nd, 206th, 275th
Benbrook Field (Camp Taliaferro Field #3) Carruthers Field
208th, 209th, 229th, 274th, 379th
10 RFC Squadrons went to Europe
WWI north texas Timeline
July 5, 1916
U.S. Army ordered 13,950 horses, and mules through the Fort Worth Stockyards. Foreign powers were purchasing through the Stockyards for at least a year prior.
June 18, 1917
Cadet W.K. Carruthers is killed in an airplane accident at Mineola, Texas. It was recommended to rename the field named in his honor.
November 11, 1918
A parade held on Armistice Day in downtown Fort Worth.
World War I has ended.
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