The World War I draft rally held in New Ulm on July 25, 1917, was an exciting event; it featured a parade, music, a giant crowd, and compelling speakers. The speakers urged compliance with law, but challenged the justice of the war and the government’s authority to send draftees into combat overseas. In the end, people obeyed the draft law, while the state punished dissent. Three of the speakers lost their jobs; the fourth was charged with criminal sedition.
Bravery at the Battle of Tippecanoe and during the War of 1812 distinguished the military career of Colonel Josiah Snelling, but he is best known for commanding Fort Snelling in the 1820s. It was the first permanent U.S. government outpost in what would become the state of Minnesota.