Erected in 2006 by the German-American Studies Program, University of Cincinnati, and the Ohio Historical Society, this marker reads:
The United States’ declaration of war on Germany in April 1917 resulted in a tragic display of hysteria directed against everything and anything German. In Cincinnati, German teachers were dismissed from public schools, German professors were censored, German collections and publications were removed from circulation at the Public Library, businesses with German names had their names “Americanized" and, by police order, only English language public meetings could be held.
As a result of the anti-German hysteria during World War I, name changing became the rage. The Cincinnati City Council followed the trend by changing German street names on April 9, 1918. Among those changed were: German Street to English Street, Bismark Street to Montreal Street, Berlin Street to Woodrow Street, Breman Street to Republic Street, Brunswick Street to Edgecliff Point, Frankfort Street to Connecticut Avenue, Hamburg Street to Stonewall Street, Hanover Street to Yukon Street, Hapsburg Street to Merrimac Street, Schumann Street to Meredith Street, Vienna Street to Panama Street, and Humboldt Street to Taft Road.
In the first years of the twentieth century, Athens’ citizens formed a new National Guard company. The guardsmen initially held drill at the Campbell Block on Court Street, but soon the Athens Commercial Club began advocating for an armory from the Ohio National Guard. In 1912, the Armory Board approved the request. Plans were drawn up for the armory and the Guard purchased land from the Athens Brick Company at the foot of Shale Hill. Construction began in the spring of 1915 and the Armory opened in December. In March of 1917, the city held a dedication ceremony and parade. Before World War I, the Athens Armory housed Company L and the Machine Gun Company, both part of the 7th Infantry Regiment, Ohio National Guard. When the National Guard entered federal service in 1917, Company L and the Machine Gun Company became part of the 37th “Buckeye” Division. Although the Guardsmen were training and fighting overseas, Athens’ armory remained in use. The military inducted National Army draftees into service at the Armory and the Ladies Aid Society held benefits for the soldiers in the building. After World War I, the Ohio National Guard restructured its formations and the Armory became home to Battery C, 134th Field Artillery. Throughout the building’s history, civilians used it for community events such as dances, fundraisers, boxing matches, and even rummage sales. The last artillery battery left the Armory in 1992 and the Guard sold it to the City of Athens in 1997.
"1917 1919 134 D Artillery Memorial Bridge. Dedicated in honor of D-Battery, 134th Field Artillery, 37th Div. World War
Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. (July 1, 1877 - November 26, 1970), the nation's first African American general in the Regular Army, was born in Washington, D.C. Davis first served as a temporary first lieutenant of the 8th U.S. Volunteer Infantry during the Spanish-American War. Following that conflict, he enlisted as a private in the 9th U.S. Cavalry, serving in the Philippine Insurrection where he began to rise in rank. Davis was promoted to first lieutenant in 1905, captain in 1915, lieutenant colonel in 1920, colonel in 1930, and brigadier general in 1941. His military career took him around the world. In 1909, he was detailed as Military Attache to Monrovia, Liberia. During World War I, Davis was stationed in the Philippines.
Born in Chillicothe in 1872, Burton Stevenson's life was devoted to the written word as a prolific author and anthologist, and as a librarian. Following stints as a journalist while a student at Princeton University and then at newspapers in Chillicothe, Stevenson became the librarian of the city's public library in 1899. He founded a library at Camp Sherman (an army training camp north of the city), which became a model for others nationally. Stevenson then went to Paris as the European director of the Library War Service. After the Armistice in 1918, he established the American Library in Paris and directed it until 1920 and again from 1925 - 1930.
America's World War I "Ace of Aces," Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was born in Columbus.
"An American Legend"
"Charles Young was the third black graduate of the United States Military Academy, class of 1889. Young enjoyed a diverse military career as a lieutenant of a cavalry troop squadron, and regimental commander, acting superintendent of a national park, military attaché to Haiti and Liberia, professor at Wilberforce University and military advisor to the President of Liberia.
Colonel Young was a dedicated soldier and statesman. Young is an American legend, a model for youth and adults of all races to emulate. As a 'Buffalo Soldier' he was present on the early westward frontier. At Fort Huachuca, Major Young commanded the 2nd squadron cavalry regiment in the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa in Mexico, served in the Spanish American War, and the Philippine Insurrection. On June 22, 1917 Charles Young became the first African American to reach the rank of Colonel.
Young died and was buried in Lagos, Nigeria in 1922 while serving as Colonel in World War One. A year later his remains were returned to the United States and buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. On June 1, 1923 many Americans bade farewell to a distinguished soldier and statesman. " (Robert Ewell Green in Black Courage)
"The life of Charles Young was a triumph of tragedy. No one ever knew the truth about the Hell he went through at West Point. He seldom even mentioned it. The pain was too great. Few knew what faced him always in his army life. It was not enough for him to do well - he must always do better: and so much and so conspicuously better as to disarm the scoundrels that ever trailed him. He lived in the army surrounded by insult and intrigue and yet set his teeth and kept his soul serene and triumphed.
He was one of the few men I know who literally turned the other cheek with Jesus Christ. When officers of inferior rank refused to salute a black man, he saluted them. Seldom did he lose his temper, seldom complain.
Steadily, unswervingly he did his duty. And Duty to him as to few modern men, was spelled in capitals.
Now he is dead. But the heart of the Great Black Race, the Ancient of Days - the Undying and Eternal - rises and salutes his shining memory: Well done! Charles Young, Soldiers and Man and unswerving Friend." (W.E.B. DuBois in The Crisis, February 1992)
"AS soon as the school year was over, I rode on horseback from Wilberforce to Washingotn, walking on foot fifteen minutes in each hour, the distance of 497 miles to show, if possible, my physical fitness for command of troops. I there offered my services gladly at he risk of life, which has no value to me if I cannot give it for the great ends for which the United States is striving." (Colonel Charles Young, age 53, Historic Horseback Ride 1918)
The Cleveland Grays were organized by statute in 1837 as an independent volunteer militia company. The Grays were the first company to leave Cleveland for service during the Civil War. In April 1861, they were designated Company E, 1st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). They saw action at Vienna Station and First Manassas and also served in the 84th OVI and were on duty with the 150th OVI at Fort Stephens when Confederate General Jubal Early attacked Washington in the summer of 1864. During the Spanish-American War the Grays volunteered for service and were admitted to the National Guard as the 1st Battalion of Engineers, 10th OVI. In 1916, they joined General John J. Pershing's Punitive Expedition against Mexico. After service on the Mexican border, the Grays became part of the 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th "Buckeye" Division. Assigned to the Western Front, the Grays would see action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918. World War I was the last active service of the company. During subsequent conflicts from World War II through the Persian Gulf War, individual members have served in the armed forces. In 1893, the Grays constructed an armory at 1234 Bolivar Road in Cleveland. The armory became a center not only for the organization's military activities, but also for many of the city's social and cultural activities. The first concert of the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland's first automobile show, and performances by the Metropolitan Opera and John Philip Sousa and his band were held at Grays Armory. Still in existence as an historic and ceremonial organization, the mission of the Grays is to interpret the military heritage of Greater Cleveland and to preserve Grays Armory.
Spirit of the American Doughboy Statue by E. M. Viquesney in Crooksville, Ohio. Plaque reads "Our Honored Citizens, They Gave their Last Full Measure of Devotion "Boys of '61" "Boys of '98" "Boys of '17" "Greater Love hath No Man than this."