Signal corps, pigeon section, 1919

How Pigeons Helped Fight World War I

At ten weeks old, many of the birds headed to the trenches, carrying back messages over distances of about ten miles.

Poetry from the Trenches of WWI

Tragically killed in action during the Battle of Arras in 1917, Edward Thomas was on the verge of a breakthrough.
A Red Cross nurse wearing a face mask, c. 1918

The 1918 Parade That Spread Death in Philadelphia

In six weeks, 12,000 were dead of influenza.
A disabled war veteran in Berlin, 1923

When Germany Called its Soldiers Hysterical

After WWI, German psychiatrists diagnosed traumatized soldiers as having "hysteria," othering the men to somewhat disastrous effect.
The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles 1919, by William Orpen

The Fable of the Fourteen Points

Woodrow Wilson's legendary support for "self-determination" is indeed just a legend.
Plaster face casts by Anna Coleman Ladd

How Masks of Mutilated WWI Soldiers Haunted Postwar Culture

In the age before plastic surgery, masks were the best option for veterans with faces scarred by war. The end results, however, were somewhat uncanny.
Building Colonies for WW1 Veterans

Building Colonies for WWI Veterans

After World War I, policymakers seriously considered the idea of setting up farming colonies for returning veterans.
U.S. World War II anti-venereal disease poster

When America Incarcerated “Promiscuous” Women

From WWI to the 1950s, the "American Plan" rounded up sexually-active women and quarantined them, supposedly to protect soldiers from venereal disease.

The Camouflage That Dazzled

During WWI, artist and British naval officer Norman Wilkinson came up with an idea so crazy it just may have worked: Dazzle Camouflage.
Black Tom Explosion Diver

The Unlikely Spy Alliance Behind the 1916 Black Tom Explosion

German imperialists teamed up with Irish republicans and Indian nationalists during World War I; the resulting conspiracy trial ended in a courtroom assassination.