“Throughout the history of Sam Houston Normal she has been an institution of service-never has she failed to take part in any worthy movement or fallen down in any great undertaking.” From the The Alcalde, 1918. World War I was no different from 1917-1919 Sam Houston sent 200 of the finest young men “over there”; to Europe to fight for the great struggle of Democracy.
At home, the Sam Houston Normal Institute established a unit of the SATC, Students Army Training Course, where students could enlist as privates and continue their education. These soldiers/students bunked in the Austin Hall Building; sleep on mattresses bought from the Texas Penitentiary, and did drills and exercises as if they were in boot camp.
The above photographs shows the SATC on campus. Note the bottom right photograph of the campus. In front on the left is the Manual Training/Agriculture Building. In the middle with three floors is Austin Hall. In the back photograph, there are the spires of the Old Main Building. The top middle photograph shows the back of Austin Hall before the new columns and extra door, were added later as the college grew to the south.
To see more WWI materials in the archives come visit us in the Newton Gresham Library, room 400.
This art supplement from The Galveston Daily News, September 29, 1918 is a newspaper edition of an original poster by Joseph Pennell Del. called, “That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth – Buy Liberty Bonds, Fourth Liberty Loan.” The image on the poster shows the Statue of Liberty in ruins, and the New York City skyline burning.
The image and words were meant to invoke patriotism so that Americans would buy $6 billion in Fourth Liberty Loan bonds. These bonds would pay for supplies for the soldiers that were still fighting in Europe. In less than two months on November 11, 1918, the Armistice would be signed and the War to End All Wars would be over.
Sam Houston Normal Institute sent many students to become soldiers and fight in WWI. When the fighting was over and the students came back the tradition of observing Armistice Day was begun. In 1954 Armistice Day was renamed to Veterans Day. This Veterans Day celebration is still observed today.
To see more about Sam Houston State University’s history of honoring the Armed Forces come visit the Special Collection, Thomason Room (named for John W. Thomason, artist, Marine, SHNI graduate) and the University Archives.
This WWI poster comes from the collection of John Warren Smith. Smith’s uncle Boyce O. Smith was a solider in WWI and served in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and took part in the St. Michael Offensive and Meuse-Argonne Offensive as part of the 5th regiment. He received this citation for his service. After being discharged, he returned to Huntsville and worked as a teacher until his death in 1933.
The poster reads :
Citation in the Order of the Army
5th Regiment of the Marines, American (Under the orders of Colonel Logan Feland)
“This regiment took a glorious part in the operations engaged in by the 4th (French) Army in Champagne, in October 1918. On October 3, 1918, it participated in the attack on the strongly intrenched German positions between Blanc Mont and the Medeah Farm, and pushing forward as far as St. Etienne-a-Arnes, made an advance of 6 kilometers. It took several thousand prisoners, captured cannon, machine guns and important war material. This attack combined with that of the French Divisions resulted in the evacuation of both banks of the Suippe, and of the Massif(high ground) of Notre-Dame-des-champs.”
Order No. 14.712 “D”-March 21, 1919
At General Headquarters
Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the East
View more of the John Warren Smith Papers, 1836-2009 : here
View Finding Aid for the John Warren Smith Papers, 1836-2009 : here
Picture of 143rd. Infantry Co.F 36th. Div. Huntsville Texas
The World War I artifact collection (1909-2005; 75 items) consists of materials and ephemera collected and on display relating to Texas and the United States during World War I. The items in the World War I collection include soldier sketches by John W. Thomason, photographs and certificates owned by Walker County residents, United States bonds and recruitment advertisements, and souvenir postcards. Many items in the display relate to the numerous World War I books belonging to the Thomason Room’s main collection.
View a detailed finding aid of this collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see an item level listing of these materials.
On November 11, 1918, at 11am, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Armistice was signed which ended the first World War.
Sam Houston Normal Institute and Sam Houston State Teachers College honored this historic day starting with the 1919 Armistice Day Program which changed in 1954 to the Veterans Day Program. This ninety-four year old celebration is still carried on here at Sam Houston State University.
To see this entire program and addition programs for Armistice Day or Veterans Day or to learn the history of this honored tradition at Sam Houston State visit the University Archives.