Chicago and the Great War

Use the dropdown menu to the left to explore student exhibits on World War I, an interactive map of Chicago during wartime, and additional resources.

While the histories found on this site are local stories, they represent nationwide changes in American landscape and culture brought on by World War I. Although Chicago did not suffer the physical destruction seen in European cities, the city was still greatly affected by World War I.

New modern military training was underway at area military bases Fort Sheridan and Great Lakes Naval Station. Veterans returning home to Chicago found renewed social service efforts to aid them.

Civilian life in Chicago was also affected. African-Americans moving North during the Great Migration found work during wartime, and discrimination after, heightened by the Red Scare. Black soldiers were not immune from this treatment. Immigrants in the Windy City sought out ways to support their homelands abroad, or in some cases, hide their background amid wartime tensions. Even popular culture saw a revolution, visible in Chicago's bustling jazz and movie scenes.

This site was created by undergraduate students from Loyola University Chicago's History Department as part of HIST 366A. More information about the project can be found on the Student Research page.