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Lest we forget

For The Madera Tribune

Many students from Madera High School left their classes to join the Army in World War I.


World War I. Slowly but surely, the United States was drawn into it with each act of aggression by the Central Powers, and a growing patriotism was the response. Overnight, the Germania Life Insurance Building in St. Paul became the Guardian Building. School boards across the land banned teaching of the German language. Sauerkraut was renamed “liberty cabbage,” and in Madera, the name of the Munich School was changed to Dixieland.

In the meantime, Maderans of all persuasions supported the entry of the United States into this first truly worldwide conflagration. Within three days after the declaration of war, Maderans made preparations to do their duty by forming an unauthorized para-military unit called the “Home Guard.” On April 9, 1917, it was announced that the first meeting would be held in the Lincoln Grammar School.

“We are in for a war, and we intend showing the world that Americans can raise an army,” one spokesperson stated. The Madera Tribune reported that “patriotic feeling was running high.” It was hoped the creation of the Home Guard would provide the rudiments of military training for young and old alike, since Maderans could be expected at anytime to be called upon to “protect their firesides.”


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