Spokane and the Great War

Spokane and the Great War

A century ago, more than 10,000 Spokane residents served in the military as soldiers, sailors, and marines in World War I. More than 180 of them didn’t come back.

Now, through the diligent work of State Archives graduate assistant Joshua Van Veldhuizen with the long-neglected public records in the Spokane War Committee cards, the experiences of Spokaneites before, during, and in the wake of the First World War have been chronicled at Spokane Goes To War. 

To convert the old records into vivid multimedia stories, Josh digitized the War Committee collection for the state’s Digital Archives, compiled metadata from each card’s handwritten information, and did additional research on many of the soldiers.

“There were hundreds of hours of going through old newspapers,” Josh said.

The effort, which Josh undertook as a project for his Master of the Arts in public history from Eastern Washington University, also launched him into assisting with research for an upcoming exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

One thought on “Spokane and the Great War

  1. Good Day!
    I just came back from a business trip over to Spokane, and there discussed some of Spokane’s history in national defense. The Washington Army National Guard (WAARNG) very much sees itself as a part of the community, and the relationship is something they want to cultivate.

    I briefly looked over the materials online, and the first thing I saw was a photo of “Guardsmen” training on machine gunning. Wondering if there is anyway we might be able to find such specific records in your research results. Is this something you would be willing and able to help us with? Perhaps WAARNG has Spokane-specific records that would be of interest to you….

    Please, email, or call: 253.255.8031 (cell).


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