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Soldiers await passage at a train station in Bellows Falls, Vermont, April 2, 1918. Photo courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society, used under a Creative Commons non-commercial, no-derivative, share-alike license.
The First World War was also known as "The Great War" and "The War to End All Wars." This was the first worldwide military conflict that took place between 1914 and 1918 and included the nations that made up the Allied powers and the Central powers.
The primary causes of the conflict were entrenched in the European history of the previous century, particularly with the appearance of Germany as a great world power. The main catalyst for European hostilities was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist.
Other incidents leading up to the involvement by the United States in this war were a secret letter sent to Mexico from Germany asking them to join the war as German allies and the sinking of several American merchant ships, including Titanic's sister ship, the Lusitania, by German U-boats. The United States officially declared war against the Central powers on April 6, 1917.
Such things as Big Bertha, tanks, submarines and huge Battleships were used for the first time in this War. Another major change in the way wars would be fought in the future was the use of aircraft.
Hostilities between the Allied and Central Powers continued until the signing of the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. Armistice Day is a national holiday in France, with British Commonwealth nations observing the day as Remembrance Day and the U.S. observing it as Veterans Day.
We have been able to collect a large selection of memorabilia from WWI which we would like to present here. It is not possible to detail our whole collection on this site so please stop by to see the complete displays. The links below will take you to other pages in our site that deal extensively with our WWI collection.