Black and white photograph of First Battalion, Minnesota Motor Corps Band at Camp Lakeview, Lake City, Minnesota, September, 1918.

First Battalion, Minnesota Motor Corps Band

First Battalion, Minnesota Motor Corps Band at Camp Lakeview, Lake City, Minnesota, September, 1918. Photograph from Minnesota Historical Society Sound and Visual Collection II.4.

Minnesota Motor Corps

The Minnesota Motor Corps was the first militarized organization of its kind in the United States. Comprised of volunteers and their vehicles, the corps existed for the duration of World War I. It provided disaster relief, transported troops, and aided police. The Motor Corps’ services proved crucial, but many viewed it as a state-sponsored police force that infringed on the rights of citizens.

Color U.S. Food Administration promotion poster designed by William McKee, c.1918.

U.S. Food Administration poster (“The World Cry, ‘Food’”)

U.S. Food Administration promotion poster designed by William McKee, c.1918.

Color poster promoting food conservation printed by Forbes Lithographers in Boston, Massachusetts,c .1918.

U.S. Food Administration poster (“Food Will Win the War”)

Poster promoting food conservation printed by Forbes Lithographers in Boston, Massachusetts, c.1918.

Color poster produced for the National War Garden Commission, c.1918.

National War Garden Commission poster (“War Gardens Over the Top”)

Poster produced for the National War Garden Commission, c.1918.

Color poster promoting school gardening programs, c.1918.

“School Garden Army” poster

Poster promoting school gardening programs, c.1918.

Black and white photograph of a store display window in St. Paul promoting home gardening, c.1918.

St. Paul window display promoting gardening

A store display window in St. Paul promotes home gardening, c.1918.

Color poster produced for the National War Garden Commission, c.1918.

National War Garden Commission poster (“The Kaiser is Canned”)

Poster produced for the National War Garden Commission, c.1918.

Color poster produced for the National War Garden Commission. Designed by illustrator James Montgomery Flagg, c.1918.

National War Garden Commission poster (“Sow the Seeds of Victory”)

Poster produced for the National War Garden Commission. Designed by illustrator James Montgomery Flagg, c.1918.

Liberty Gardens, 1917–1919

On April 12, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson called upon Americans on the home front to help fight what would become known as World War I. In response, many Minnesotans turned to backyard gardening to increase their food supply. Homegrown vegetables filled pantries and stomachs and allowed “citizen soldiers” to conserve wheat, meat, sugar, and fats that were essential for U.S. troops and their European allies.

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