Shortly after the United States entered the European War in April 1917, Wisconsin became known as America’s “Traitor State.” Its large proportion of German citizens, active Socialist party, and anti-war Senator, Robert La Follette, helped create this perception. Some Wisconsinites sought to prove their loyalty and patriotism through sacrifice and hard work; others resorted to vigilantism.
Leslie Bellais, former Curator of Social History at the Wisconsin Historical Society, will discuss the ways a variety of Wisconsin citizens experienced the state’s tension-filled atmosphere during the 18 months America participated in World War I.
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