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Detroit History: World War I Invades The Motor City

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American soldiers on the Piave front hurling a shower of hand grenades into the Austrian trenches. Photo by Sgt. A. Marcioni (Public domain)

American soldiers on the Piave front hurling a shower of hand grenades into the Austrian trenches. Photo by Sgt. A. Marcioni (Public domain)

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  autos arrows plug v2 Detroit History: World War I Invades The Motor City

Ninety-five years ago, in April 1917, the USA declared war on Germany and the auto industry militarized for victory. Soon guns, bombs, airplane engines, boats, and even an early cruise missile were coming off the lines.

Though a German-born architect played a vital role, some of his countrymen here became the targets of scorn and even personal attacks. Schools displayed patriotism by canceling German language classes and taking sauerkraut off the lunch menu.

Hear the whole story in this episode of Joe Donovan’s Detroit History:

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