Author Archives: Chase M

Promoting Preparedness and Company Through Adverstising

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The Bell Telephone advertisement showed America’s need to be prepared for the war. Paul Revere shown in the bottom left hand corner was the telephone of his time and informed the public about the invading British soldiers on their way to Lexington and Concord. At the beginning of WWI, Bell is the emerging telephone company, and their add showcases the dominance of their growing company and promotes the political agenda of the preparedness movement in 1916. 

The Bell Telephone advertisement also shows how reliable the telephone is by utilizing the respectability of a US soldier using it. Soldiers were seen as heroes during this time, so when they are shown using this product, citizens will be that much more inclined to use something that their role models use.

The advertisement subtly showed that Bell had complete control over the United States telephone system. The map in the top right hand corner shows the telephone company’s vast network covering the United States. It suggests their dominance by showing the company’s name over the United States.

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Stopping the Elusive Germans On the Homefront

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Secret Service agents walking aside President Woodrow Wilson

I continue to explore the role of federal agencies in stopping pro-German attacks against the United States during the war. The Secret Service was crucial in stopping German spies from roaming around the United States and collecting information. In one case, a Secret Service agent was tailing a known German spy, and the spy had a left a briefcase on a bus. This briefcase was opened and contained many documents showing Germany’s efforts to stop America’s support to the Allies. The Secret Service played a vital role in finding German spies and foiling their plans against the United States.

The Bureau of Investigations (later known as the FBI) worked on many aspects including citizens antiwar sentiments. During the start of the war, they were told to keep their investigations into Germans limited because of the federal laws at the time. This changed through the years of 1914-1917 as the U.S. was getting ready to enter the war. They were involved in a few German cases including one in 1914 where there was a ring that was trying to obtain passports for German reservists that were in the U.S. when the war started. There was another case in 1915 where there was a plot to blow up the Welland Canal, which was a critical shipping point between Lake Erie and Ontario. The Bureau was able to break up this plot and arrested several people connected to the plot. They were also able to connect one of the men to the earlier documents from the Secret Service case with the briefcase. During the early years of the war, there were many sabotage attempts against British-owned firms and factories that supplied ammunition to Britain and Russia that were broken up by the Bureau of Investigations.  In 1916, the Bureau of Investigations officially began a counterintelligence policy.

These early efforts that the Secret Service and Bureau of Investigations unfolded showed Germany’s plots against the U.S. and was a contributing factor in convincing the United States to enter the War. Now that the United States has entered the war, I am going to dig deeper to see what the Secret Service and Bureau of Investigations did inside of the United States during the war. My plan will be to contact the FBI to find more information on their role during WWI.

Sources:

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/the-bureaus-role-during-early-world-war-i-years

This source comes directly from the FBI, which means it is a reliable source for information on the early years of the FBI during World War I.

 

https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/6-12th-grade/operation-history/history-of-american-intelligence.html#catching-up-over-there

This source comes from the CIA talking about the early years of spying and the impact that different federal agencies had on World War I inside of the United States.

 

Keeping Southwest in the Air

interview-herb-kelleher-slide500Guy Raz sits down to talk to the creator of Southwest Airlines. Herb shows how he had to persevere through tough times at the beginning of the now billion dollar company. He maintained a high level of belief in his idea of this company and that pushed him to keep the company afloat. Many of the traits and tools that Herb showed in this podcast can be useful in a PBL classroom, like our own.

How I Built This: Southwest Airlines

https://one.npr.org/?sharedMediaId=502344848:502624633

Where did the idea of Southwest come from? How quickly did Herb move on this idea? What does this quick move show?

While battling in court and the board wanting to give up the fight, what did Herb do? What did this show? What was his motivation?

How did Herb and Southwest persuade some customers to fly with them? What was the interesting fact that came up as a result of this?

What was something different that Southwest did that others airlines thought they had to have. In other words, how could Southwest bring their prices to be so low?

What was unique about how Southwest bought their air fleet?

Why does Herb think that Southwest thrived while other airlines failed?

Boycotting the War

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.14.05 PMTowards the start of World War I, there were many different reactions to the news of the United States entering the war. Some supported the war efforts, whereas there were others who were dead against the war. Some made their views public, and others simply kept their views to themselves. While researching the war around Suffield, CT, I was able to find some FBI files from the beginning of the war that track these public displays of antiwar sentiment. There are even some files of residents of Suffield and West Suffield who strongly disagreed with the war. One man from West Suffield strongly opposed the war and encouraged the people around him to boycott the second Liberty Loan since there was no use. In this FBI file form October 30, 1917, it stated that he felt that the Germans would soon control the U.S., so there was no point for him and his neighbors to buy into the loans. He was also seen on occasion in meetings in Springfield, MA, where he would not stand for the Star-Spangled Banner. In another FBI file from March 5, 1918, there was a German man who the FBI had been watching over. They concluded that the man was breaking the law for leaving West Suffield, CT, and moving throughout New York without permits. Through this I learned of the close eye that federal agencies kept on Germans leaving in the United States, since the U.S. was now at war with Germany. As I continue to look through more FBI files, I will most likely find more stories like the ones here and that will help to shape a vision of how the public felt about the war.

Source: This information comes from actual FBI files on these subjects provided by Fold3.com.

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