The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917 with a declaration of war from President Woodrow Wilson. Even before this the likelihood of American involvement was beginning to increase, and the State of Maine began to take action. The National Guard was actively recruiting, and after President Wilson’s address to Congress on April 2, 1917 many Mainers enlisted. By summer, the Maine National Guard was called into Federal service. The Governor and Legislature also took action, with the Legislature passing laws that benefitted those who had enlisted and later establishing aid to those soldiers.

Listed below are the types of documents the Archives holds which can assist in researching World War I.

  • Adjutant General’s Correspondence
  • Personnel Records: Maine National Guard muster rolls, enlistment papers, and discharges.
  • Legislature: The Legislature was not in session while Maine was involved in the war, but it was just finishing up a session in April of 1917 when President Wilson declared war. There were several laws and resolves passed during this time related to the war effort and the Maine people who were undoubtedly going to be involved in the war.
  • Executive: The Archives does not hold the records of Governor Carl Milliken, who served as governor during World War I. However, several records related to the Executive Branch do still survive in the Archives. These include the records of the Executive Council, who acted as the Governor’s advisors. The Governor’s proclamations also are held by the Archives, and there are several related to World War I.
  • Other records: Lists of people who died, applications for the Victory Medal, and draft registration cards.
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    Browse the World War I Collections:

    Halifax Explosion



    World War I Proclamations