Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced that the Florida Department of State will join the nation in recognizing the centennial anniversary of the United States’ entry into the First World War by providing online educational resources that tell the story of Florida’s participation in WWI through the state’s historical documents, images and artifacts.
“On April 6, 2017, as our nation observes the centennial of the First World War, the State of Florida joins in recognizing the extraordinary sacrifices of those who served overseas, and on the homefront in the ‘Great War’,” said Secretary Detzner. “The Florida Department of State has developed online resources that provide a foundation for understanding the history of Florida’s involvement in the war, and the lasting impact of the conflict on Florida citizens and the future of our state.”
Florida Memory, the digital outreach program of the State Library and Archives of Florida features a new online exhibit, Florida in WWI. Florida Memory provides free online access from the collections of the State of Florida to archival resources that illuminate the state’s history and culture.
In partnership with the United States World War One Centennial Commission (WW1CC), the Florida Division of Historical Resources has created a Florida website hosted on the Commission’s webpage along with over a dozen other online state websites. The WW1CC webpage is the online portal to the United States World War I Centennial Commission which is in charge of planning and coordinating national commemorations of the centennial of World War I. The Commission is also working to establish a National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C.
When the United States entered World War I (1914-1918) on April 6, 1917, Florida was a sparsely populated state, with fewer than 1 million inhabitants. But thousands of Floridians joined the millions of other Americans heeding President Woodrow Wilson’s call to make the world “safe for democracy.” Although the United States was involved in the global conflict for only 19 months, the war significantly affected the social, economic and environmental conditions of our state. Of the 4 million American men and women who joined the armed services between 1917 and 1918, over 42,000 were Floridians, serving in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.
On the homefront, countless others performed their patriotic duty by purchasing liberty bonds, volunteering with service organizations, and conserving food and raw materials. The state’s climate and abundance of land made it an ideal location for military training, technological development, and agricultural production.
About Florida Memory
Florida Memory provides free online access to significant photographs, films, sound recordings and original documents from the collections of the State Library and Archives of Florida. With over seven million visitors per month worldwide, Florida Memory chooses materials for digitization that illuminate significant events and individuals in the state’s history and help educate Floridians and millions of people around the world about Florida history and culture. Florida Memory is funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services. For more information, visit floridamemory.com.
About the Division of Library and Information Services
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services is the designated information resource provider for the Florida Legislature and all state agencies. The Division coordinates and helps fund activities of public libraries; provides a framework for statewide library initiatives; provides archival and records management services; and preserves, collects and makes available the published and unpublished documentary history of the state. Working in partnership with citizens, state employees, librarians, archivists and records managers, the Division seeks to ensure access to materials and information that benefit all of the people of Florida. For more information, visit info.florida.gov.
About The Division of Historical Resources
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is responsible for preserving and promoting Florida’s historical, archaeological, and folk culture resources. The Division Director’s office oversees a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites; coordinates outreach programs such as the State Historic Markers program and the Florida Folklife program which identifies and promotes the state’s traditional culture. DHR directs historic preservation efforts throughout the state in cooperation with state and federal agencies, local governments, private organizations, and individuals. The Division director serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is comprised of two Bureaus, archaeological research and historic preservation. For more information, visit flheritage.com.