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World War I

"Books for Soldiers" Campaign

“Books Wanted for Soldiers” was the Kalamazoo Public Library’s (K.P.L.) request to the public in August 1917. Through its membership in the American Library Association (A.L.A.), which was named an…

Joseph B. Westnedge

Barbed wire. Mustard gas. Machine-gun fire. No man's land. Colonel Joseph Burchnall Westnedge faced these deadly challenges daily as he defended our country in the first World War.

Kalamazoo Collects “Smokes for Sammies”

On 14 August 1917, Kalamazoo said good bye to Colonel Joseph Westnedge and the 32nd Michigan Regiment with a parade, kisses from mother, and a packet of cigarettes. The city, family and…

Kalamazoo Gazette's Vote on the Military

As World War I entered its fourth month of horrendous fighting, the U.S. Congress began to look at the state of its own military. While politicians discussed the issue in Washington, the Kalamazoo Gazette put forth editorials questioning whether...

Kalamazoo's Aid to Belgium

The little country of Belgium played no part in the causes that led to World War I. On the grounds of neutrality, the Belgian government denied the German’s request to march through their country. Vital to their military plans, the German army...

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