When an international conflict began in 1914, Sarasota, along with the rest of the nation, took notice. The local Sarasota-Times newspaper soon began posting a weekly column called “Today’s War News.” As the fighting abroad increased, the United States hoped it would stay out of the conflict. President Woodrow Wilson’s narrow 1916 reelection was largely due to the slogan, “He Kept Us Out of War.” After the discovery of the Zimmerman Telegram and Germany’s continued use of unrestricted submarine warfare, however, the President decided that the nation could no longer take a neutral stance; the United States officially declared war on Germany in early April 1917.1
The following sections illustrate how Sarasotans got involved in the war effort. Whether it was with their bodies or their wallets, citizens of the small Florida town eagerly participated in “the war to end all wars.”
Fig. 1. “Today’s War News,” Sarasota Times, October 8, 1914, courtesy of Sarasota County Historical Resources, Sarasota, Florida.