World War I at 100

Headline of 8/7/1914 edition of the Hermanner Volksblatt: "The beginning of international war"

“The beginning of international war” announces the front page of a German-language newspaper in Missouri on August 7, 1914 – Chronicling America

One hundred years ago today Britain declared war on Germany, starting the First World War. If this is your first time at Bethel at War, you might mark the occasion by reading a bit of what I’ve written about the impact of WWI on what was then Bethel Academy and Seminary, such as my recent post on the temperance movement during the war, my three-part series on what wartime nativism meant for Bethel’s largely Swedish-American population, and the stories of August Sundvall (the first Bethel alum to die in the war) and Olivia Johnson (the most famous Bethel alum to die of the influenza pandemic that accompanied the last year of the war).

Incidentally, the first reference to the war that I’ve found so far in Bethel records and publications is an allusion by Bethel Academy principal A.J. Wingblade, in the 1915 edition of the school’s yearbook, The Acorn:

We here are [one] hundred this year. We have wondered why it should be [an] even one hundred. Perhaps the number refers to the doxology. We are thankful for what God can make of all of them. It takes a good man to make a living in these war times, even if he devotes his full time to the task.

Photo of 1914-15 Bethel Academy students in The Acorn

Bethel Academy students and teachers from the 1914-1915 school year, with the school motto (“Trust in God, and Work”) – Bethel University Digital Library

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