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Color image of a World War I-era poster, 1917.

Women! Help America’s Sons Win the War

World War I-era poster, 1917.

Black and white photograph of Red Cross workers making bandages, c.1916.

Red Cross workers

Red Cross workers making bandages, c.1916.

Color image of a World War I-era Red Cross poster, c.1917.

Join (the Red Cross)

World War I-era Red Cross poster, c.1917.

Women on the World War I Home Front

After the United States entered World War I in 1917, Minnesota women, like Americans across the nation, were called to contribute to the war effort. Though some went to Europe and served as nurses, drivers, and aid workers on the battlefields, many more participated on the home front. They took on new jobs, conserved vital resources, and joined volunteer organizations. At the same time, they struggled to come to terms with conflicting ideals of patriotism, loyalty, and what it meant to be an American.

Color image of Virginia and Bobby Piper, c.1980.

Virginia and Bobby Piper

Virginia and Bobby Piper, c.1980. Used with the permission of David Piper.

Black and white photograph of Virginia Piper in Jay Cooke State Park after her rescue by the FBI. Photographed by the FBI on July 29, 1972. Used with the permission of Harry Piper III.

Virginia Piper

Virginia Piper in Jay Cooke State Park after her rescue by the FBI. Photographed by the FBI on July 29, 1972. Used with the permission of Harry Piper III.

Kidnapping of Virginia Piper

On July 27, 1972, two armed, masked men walked into the Orono home of Virginia Lewis Piper and walked out with the forty-nine-year-old woman handcuffed and blindfolded. The next day, her husband, Harry C. Piper Jr., a prominent Twin Cities investment banker, personally delivered a $1 million ransom to the unidentified kidnappers. Four decades later, no one has served a day of prison time for the crime. Except for about four thousand dollars in scattered twenty-dollar bills, the Pipers’ million-dollar ransom has not been recovered.

Black and white photograph of Minnesota Motor Corps encampment, Camp Lakeview, Lake City, c.1918.

Minnesota Motor Corps encampment

Minnesota Motor Corps encampment, Camp Lakeview, Lake City, c.1918.

Black and white photograph of Major Thomas Warham, c.1918. Warham was commander of the Medical Corps, Motor Corps Division.

Major Thomas Warham

Major Thomas Warham, c.1918. Warham was commander of the Medical Corps, Motor Corps Division.

Black and white photograph of Captain John P. Ernster, c.1918. Ernster commanded the Aero Division of the Minnesota Motor Corps.

Captain John P. Ernster

Captain John P. Ernster, c.1918. Ernster commanded the Aero Division of the Minnesota Motor Corps.

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