Friday, August 12, 2011


I have never been too knowledgeable about the first world war, not having any ancestors who fought in it or anyone in my family talk about it. And having grown up in California, our world history classes never went very deeply into the latter wars. So when I read the following in a most interesting book, I just had to share it with you, in case you also need to be enlightened.

The army would require as well at least one hundred thousand officers. The Student Army Training Corps was to provide many of that number: it would admit “men by voluntary induction…placing them on active duty immediately”

In May 1981 Secretary of War Newton Baker wrote the presidents of all institutions “of Collegiate Grade,” from Harvard…to North Pacific College of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon. He stated Military instructions under offices and NCO’s of the Army will be provided in every institution of college grade which enroll 100 or more male students…All students over the age of 18 will be encouraged to enlist….

In August 1918 an underling followed Baker’s letter with a memo to college administrators, stating that the war would likely necessitate “the mobilization of all physically-fit registrants unde 21, within 10 months from this date. The student, by voluntary induction, becomes a soldier in the United States Army, uniformed, subject to military discipline and with the pay of a private on full active duty.” Moreover, “In view of the comparatively short time during which most of the student-soldiers will remain in college and the exacting military duties awaiting them, academic instruction must necessarily be modified along the lines of direct military value.”

“Therefore, the teaching of academic courses was to end, to be replaced by military training. Military officers were to take virtual command of each college in the country. High schools were ‘urged to intensify their instruction so that young men 17 and 18 years old may be qualified to enter college as quickly as possible’!

How's that for government control!

The well-researched and well-documented book is "The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History" written by John M Barry. It's very, very interesting, and I haven't even gotten to the "flu" yet!

1 comment:

Olga said...

I got that book for my husband and he has passed it on to his sister. Their paternal grandfather died in the flu epidemic and my husband is a non-fiction reader. He found it a very interesting read.