Florida in World War I
When the United States entered World War I (1914-1918) on April 6, 1917, Florida was a sparsely populated state, with fewer than 1 million inhabitants. But thousands of Floridians joined the millions of other Americans heeding President Woodrow Wilson’s call to make the world “safe for democracy.” Although the United States was involved in the global conflict for only 19 months, the war significantly affected the social, economic and environmental conditions of our state. Of the 4 million American men and women who joined the armed services between 1917 and 1918, over 42,000 were Floridians, serving in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.
On the homefront, countless others performed their patriotic duty by purchasing liberty bonds, volunteering with service organizations, and conserving food and raw materials. The state’s climate and abundance of land made it an ideal location for military training, technological development, and agricultural production.