War, Flu and Fear: World War I and Clay County Exhibit Tells the Stories of Locals Who Served
More than 115,000 American Soldiers died during World War I, and 64 of them were from Clay County
MOORHEAD, Minn.– Memorial Day is about remembering the men and women who lost their lives while serving.
More than 115,000 American Soldiers died during World War I, and 64 of them were from Clay County.
The exhibit War, Flu and Fear: World War I and Clay County, is dedicated to preserving and sharing the stories of hardship endured by the people of Clay County during and after the war.
“I like digging up stories of truth that lots of people just don’t know or don’t remember or don’t have access to,” says the communication manager for HCSCC, Davin Wait.
Those stories lie in the heart of our community; the soldiers’ experiences overseas as well as the farmers and civilians who helped keep the U.S. from having to ration food during the war.
Once soldiers were drafted, farmers were left with a small workforce and had trouble harvesting their products.
Our troops were struggling to get enough food to fight.
Soon, ‘Food will win the war’ became the slogan for a campaign to encourage voluntary food conservation.
This led people eating less corn, meat and vegetables, and pushed for farmers to be producing as much as they possibly could.
With the help of these farmers and people limiting their food waste, American troops were able to stay well fed for battle, and even helped out starving European allies.
The WWI exhibit showcases stories of the people of Clay County who served.
“I like when people come through here and you sometimes see the reaction ‘oh this is someone I know or it’s the grandfather of someone I know’,” added Wait. “It’s rewarding to see the connections being made when people realize that these events, World War I WWII etc., they didn’t just happen in movies or textbooks. These are things that are lived by local(s), and history is always local”.
The World War I exhibit will be available at the Hjemkomst Center until 2021.