World War One was a watershed in American history. The United States' decision to join the battle in 1917 "to make the world safe for democracy" proved pivotal in securing allied victory — a victory that would usher in the American Century.
During the war's duration, places all across the nation had various roles in the prosecution of the war effort. After the war, memorials—from simple honor rolls, to Doughboy sculptures, to grandiose architectural ensembles—were erected throughout the US. Places and structures were named in honor of men, women, organizations, and even animals who served with distinction during the war. Libraries and museums were established to house the artifacts and documents related to the great war. Many of the facilities and structures that were important during the war have faded into obscurity, or are gone, but many remain.
Each of these places has a story to tell about the nation's struggle during World War One. This nationwide inventory during the Centennial Commemoration of the Great War seeks to identify, document, and preserve the knowledge of all these places.
You can submit information on a place that played a role during the war, or plays a role now in preserving the history of the nation's war effort. Click here to submit information about significant places that are not in the database, or to correct information about a place already recorded.
See here for more information on the country's World War One memorials and monuments, and efforts intended to raise public awareness of the presence, and in many cases, sadly, the plight of these historic monuments and memorials, or to submit a Monument or Memorial to the database.
2 Halls Cross Roads, Aberdeen, MD 21001
Aberdeen Proving Ground was established in 1917 as an answer to an immediate need for national defense. The United States Army was not fully prepared to meet its new obligations as a consequence of America's declaration of war on the Central Powers in April 1917. One of the urgent issues was to obtain facilities for testing war munitions.
Due to its proximity to New York’s populated suburbs and busy harbor, the then-Sandy Hook Proving Ground at Fort Hancock, N.J., was unable to expand to test all incoming war materiel. As demands for munitions to fight the war in Europe increased, the Ordnance Department's need to obtain test facilities for munitions and equipment became urgent. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker commissioned Sandy Hook’s commanding officer, Col. Colden L. Ruggles, to find a new site for the Army's ordnance testing.
The qualifications for the new site were specific. It had to be near the nation's industrial and manufacturing centers, yet far enough away from population centers so year-round testing would cause neither community disturbance nor public hazard. Ruggles' search took him to the Chesapeake Bay area.
Influenced by Maj. Edward V. Stockham, who lived in Perryman, Ruggles then shifted his attention to an area along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay near the city of Aberdeen. The site was fertile farming area, partly located along the Chesapeake Bay and the lower Susquehanna River, which had been explored and mapped by Captain John Smith and company from the Jamestown settlement in Virginia in 1608. The entire area was included in a land grant that King Charles I of England gave to Lord Baltimore in 1632.
Tomatoes, wheat, and a sugar corn called "shoepeg," which could not be cultivated successfully anywhere else in the country, were the area's specialties. The canning industry produced more than 300,000 cases of shoepeg corn and tomatoes worth $1.5 million annually; the area's fishing industry had an estimated yield of approximately $700,000. Understandably, the farmers were reluctant to part with their farms, many of which—Poverty Island, Planter's Delight, Shandy Hall, and Swamp Quarter—had belonged to their families for generations.
It took an act of Congress and two presidential proclamations to persuade the farmers to leave their property. The Congressional act provided financial compensation for the 35,000 acres of upland and 34,000 acres of swamp and tidal lands which President Wilson's proclamation claimed for the U.S. government. The farmers received approximately $200 an acre for their land and were assisted in resettling in other parts of Maryland. Approximately 3,000 people, 12,000 horses, mules, sheep, cows, and swine evacuated. Even the family graveyards were moved.
The government took formal possession of the land at Aberdeen on Oct. 20, 1917, and immediately began building testing facilities. The new proving ground at Aberdeen would be used for proof-testing field artillery weapons, ammunition, trench mortars, air defense guns and railway artillery. The mission was later expanded to include operation of an Ordnance training school and developmental testing of small arms.
On Jan. 2, 1918, during a blinding snowstorm, Edward V. Stockham fired the first gun at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Despite the snow, within two hours, the regular work of ammunition acceptance testing was underway. The assigned workload increased very quickly and on March 28, 1918, the Ordnance Department reorganized the proving ground. Four departments were set up to facilitate testing: Proof, Service, Administration and Military. However, just as the newly reorganized APG was effectively performing its wartime testing missions, the war came to an end on Nov. 11, 1918.
The administration building, or post headquarters Bldg. 310, was designed as APG's primary administration building during the fall of 1917. The high-style classical revival south wing of the building, with its imposing portico, came to symbolize APG's importance to the U.S. Army. Bldg. 310 served as post headquarters from its completion in 1918 until 1995, as APG evolved from a proving ground to one of the Army's major ordnance research and development centers to meet military needs during the 20th century.
APG's peacetime mission emphasized research and development of munitions. Much of the work done during this period by the military and civilian personnel was in developmental testing of powders, projectiles and bombs, and the study of interior and exterior ballistics. Some construction continued in the years immediately after the war, but it was limited to facilities that were necessary for conducting tests.
In 1923, two major construction projects were completed. A new hospital, Bldg. 45 on the small golf course, was erected. At the same time an airfield, hangar and quarters for an aviation squadron were created. The airfield was used by aircraft that supported the creation of bombing tables. The techniques these tables provided improved the adequacy of aerial bombing. Phillips Army Air Field was named in memory of 1st Lt. Wendell K. Phillips, who was killed in an aircraft accident at Aberdeen. The original airfield is now a portion of the industrial area.
This memorial lists all of the local veterans who served in World War I and is located at the Wester Maryland Railway Station.
The museum recounts the 20th century stories of the citizen-soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines - the men and women of the Commonwealth who served in defense of their state and nation. The story of modern warfare unfolds in the gallery exhibits which highlights the museum's excellent vehicle and weapons collections. The 65-acre park surrounding the museum includes the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine memorializing the service of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
99 Wanamaker Ave
The 1799 Lazaretto is located on the site of the 1st permanent European settlement in Pennsylvania. Its roles as a quarantine station sixth oldest in the world, 19th century river side resort, religious center, very early civilian 20th century seaplane aviation training center, Chandler Field was a WW 1 US Army Signal Corps base, and 20th century civilian seaplane base and marina arguably makes it one of the most unique Cultural Landscapes in the world.
2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230-5393
Fort McHenry’s most active time period in its long and varied history was not the War of 1812, but World War I.
It is hard to believe now, but at one time, the Fort was a very busy military base. A 3,000-bed receiving hospital was constructed around the old Star Fort. It was a facility through which more than 20,000 wounded and sick soldiers from World War I would pass for treatment on their way back to duty or civilian life. Some patients stayed two weeks, others two years.
Construction started on what became known as U. S. Army General Hospital No. 2 in 1917 and by the time it was through over 100 structures had been built on the 40 plus acres – covering virtually every foot of ground. It was the largest receiving hospital in the country.
To take care of the soldier-patients was a staff which included some 200 doctors, 300 nurses, 300 medical corpsmen, and 100 civilian hospital aides.
In 1973, with the permission of Major General Edwin Warfield III, the Adjutant General of Maryland, a group of dedicated Guardsmen, headed by Colonel Edmund G. Beacham, formed the Maryland National Guard Memorial Library Committee. The committee’s purpose was to keep alive the deeds, memories, and memorabilia of the Maryland National Guard so that future generations would have available to them the history of the Maryland Guard and the people who created it. The group met periodically in The Adjutant General’s Conference Room at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore, although the number of members and degree of participation varied.
With the establishment of a permanent museum, G eneral Hodges requested that the library committee continue to function and recommended that it become the Maryland National Guard Military Historical Society and take over management of the Pikesville Military Reservation Museum as well. In response to this recommendation, the Maryland National Guard Military Historical Society was incorporated as a non -profit organization to oversee museum operations, with Colonel (USA Ret) Bernard Feingold serving as Museum Director.
Over the years, the museum grew and prospered, eventually expanding to occupy all the former offices of the 175th Infantry Regiment. In addition, beginning in 2001, the museum began expanding into several adjacent spaces. When renovations were complete, these became the museum art gallery and the Hancock Memorial Library.
On May 13, 2003, Major General Bruce F. Tuxill, The Adjutant General, instituted new policies governing the operation of the Maryland National Guard Museum. To bring the museum into compliance with Army regulations, the Maryland National Guard Military Historical Society agreed to transfer all artifacts to state ownership and the State of Maryland Military Department historian was designated as custodian for the museum’s collection of artifacts, items, and documents.
In April 2005, to better align the Maryland Military Historical Society and The Adjutant General’s vision for the museum’s future, the museum was renamed the Maryland Museum of Military History and it’s mandate was broadened to include not just Maryland’s National Guard and militia forces, but all of Maryland’s soldiers and airmen. In addition, the Maryland Center for Military History was established under Maryland Law to incorporate the museum, the research center, and the society within a single consolidated structure.
The Maryland Military Historical Research Center includes the finest collection of archival material in the United States devoted to a single U.S. Army division, the 29th Division. Scholars from all over the world regularly pay visits to the center to uncover archival documents related to the rich history of the 29th, including its participation in the Omaha Beach invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Archival holdings also include many significant documents from the long and rich history of the Maryland National Guard. The center is open to the public by appointment.
In keeping with its new direction the Maryland Museum of Military History seeks to portray the experiences of past and present members, activities and facilities of the organized militia forces of Maryland, significant military operations within Maryland, the military service of citizens of Maryland, and state and national military installations within Maryland.
The mission of the Veterans Museum at Patriot Park is to recognize and honor all U.S. Military Veterans.
In January of 2002, the County Commissioners of Charles County established a Charles County Veterans Memorial Committee to develop a plan for locating, designing, funding, and constructing a permanent memorial to honor the County's Veterans. This concept was amended in January of 2008 to include all Veterans.
The Commissioners authorized leasing of the Glasva Elementary School site for the Museum. The site has a total of 7.7 acres located on the northbound side of Route 301. The location is approximately 8 miles south of La Plata and 5 miles north of the Maryland Visitors Center.
The property is also bounded on the south side by the Glasva Road which is a paved county road. The Center is accessible from the Route 301 North lane. This site also overlooks one of the most scenic natural views in the county, Allens Fresh.
As the State of Maryland’s official museum of African American heritage, the Banneker-Douglass Museum serves to document, to interpret, and to promote African American history and culture (particularly in Maryland) through exhibitions, programs, and projects in order to improve the understanding and appreciating of America’s rich cultural diversity for all.
The Banneker-Douglass Museum is a component of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, which is a unit of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives — an executive-department agency, whose mandate to coordinate outreach efforts to communities, organizations, and local governments across Maryland serves as a unifying principle for all its departments.
Welcome to The Jewish Museum of Maryland, America’s leading museum of regional Jewish history, culture and community, located in downtown Baltimore, blocks from the Inner Harbor. Here at the JMM, visitors can uncover the roots of Jewish history in our landmark historic sites – the Lloyd Street Synagogue, built in 1845, now the nation’s third oldest surviving synagogue and B’nai Israel Synagogue, built in 1876 and still home to a vibrant congregation. Our Museum Campus includes three exhibition galleries featuring fascinating and diverse exhibitions that explore in depth, the Jewish American experience. The Museum offers a wide range of programs and special events for children, adults, and families as well as a research library and family history center. We invite students of all ages to experience the rich vitality of Jewish culture and heritage on and off-site through our education programs.
1 Davis Avenue
Located on Mitchel field, a former military airfield founded in 1917. the museum interprets the history of aviation and spaceflight as it relates to Long Island, NY, people, places, events and corporations. To this end it has assembled a collection of 65 aircraft and spacecraft, most of them locally produced. It's World War One Gallery houses several original and reproduction aircraft as well as numerous objects.
During the period from April 1920 through July 1921, the remains of many servicemen buried in Europe during World War I were disinterred. These remains were either reinterred in selected cemeteries in Europe or returned to the United States. Of these, the remains of about 2100 were reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery, specifically, in Section 18. Through the efforts of the Argonne Unit American Womens Legion, the Argonne Cross was erected to their memory and in their honor. It is situated in the southwest corner of Section 18 and faces east. A grove of 19 pine trees are on 3 sides of the Cross (North, West and South). These trees are symbolic of the Argonne Forest where many of the men fought. At the juncture of the arm and stem of the cross is carved, in low relief, an eagle and wreath.
The inscription on the east side of the base reads:
In memory of our men in France
The inscription on the west side of the base reads:
Erected through the efforts of the Argonne Unit American Womens Legion
Century Tower is one of the most identifiable features of the University of Florida campus. The dream of building a tower began in 1953, when alumni sought funds to construct a monument in memory of students killed in World War I and World War II. The tower also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the University of Florida in 1853. The fund drive resulted in the construction of the 157-foot-tall tower, completed in 1956.
2750 North Lakeview Avenue
July 14, 1926
The Elks Veterans Memorial is a tribute to the bravery, loyalty and dedication of the thousands of Elks who have fought and died for our country. It has been described as one of the most magnificent war memorials in the world, but with its monumental architecture and priceless art, the Memorial is more a symbol of peace and of the patriotism of the members of the Elks fraternity.
105 South Market
The Brenham Heritage Museum is the museum for Washington County, TX. We cover topics from geology and prehistory to the Civil War, the Victorian Age, and World War I.
Allen Memorial Medical Library, 11000 Euclid Avenue
The Dittrick Medical History Center explores the history of medicine through museum artifacts, archives, rare books collections, and images. The Dittrick is an interdisciplinary study center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, but we are open to the general public and charge no admission.
The Dittrick holds a large collection of photographs and records documenting the history of the Lakeside Unit, the first U.S. medical unit to go overseas in 1915. The museum has created a website about the Lakeside Unit. In Spring 2016 the Museum will mount an exhibit about the Unit's "mock" mobilization in Philadelphia (this is featured on the website) in conjunction with a lecture entitled "Feeding War: Gender, Health, and the Mobilized Kitchen in WWI Germany". In Spring 2017 an exhibit will be mounted about the Unit's mobilization to Rouen, France (Base Hosp. 4) after the US entered the war.
This monument honors Private Herman Davis, who grew up hunting near Manila and became a U.S. Army scout and sharpshooter in World War I. He was on General John J. Pershing’s list of World War I’s 100 great heroric stories. Davis received the Distinguished Service Cross, Croix de Guere, and Medaille Militaire awards from the American and French governments.
950 Soldiers Dr
Includes exhibits from the First World War, along with other U.S. wars. Entrance is on Army Heritage Dr.
Visitor and Education Center:
371 Airport Road
In Berks County at Grimes Airport
Refer to the museum's event calendar on the web
5301 Tacony St
The Frankford Arsenal stood at the southeast corner of Bridge & Tacony Sts. Closed in 1970s. Walls & gate are still there.