Primary Sources Blog

My first primary source I found is a song which took place in 1917 World War 1. This is about the time America is entering the war to join the front lines. This song was set in America directed to those who need to help the war effort.  The main objective of this song to go along with the author intention and the cover photo you see above is  propaganda. The message is to parents to raise their boys to go across the pound for the war effort fight for America and Uncle Sam against Germany and the enemy. Do not raise your kid to be lazy or to be a slacker either by not fighting or being a bad soldier What you see here is a young boy holding a gun that he has been groomed to fight in the war effort. What you find out from this document compared to others that this  certain song. that were perhaps influenced to be created by the government as America needed good soldiers to go fight in the trenches. I learned that even songs can even be primary sources. I did not know a certain song like this could account for propaganda and this is the first time I have ever seen this. It also shows how important a song it was because it shows up Library of Congress website. I learned something knew to check for songs as primary sources in the future. I also learned that you can find songs for primary sources under websites such as Library of Congress.


Baker, Theodore. I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Slacker. [, monographic. G. Schirmer,, New York, 1917] Notated Music. – Picture/Song 1 link


This 2nd primary source is a classic Uncle Sam propaganda recruiting photo or war poster which takes place in 1917 World War 1 about the time America was preparing to enter the war and fight the enemy. The objective of why this  photo was taken used is to get more troops to enter the war and fight for America. The other objective of this photo is to get people to go to recruiting centers to join the military to fight  The photo caption is I want you for the US Army which is also the significant words along with recruiting  center with the symbolic propaganda character himself Uncle Sam on the cover of the photo. What you see the photo is Uncle Sam trying to inspire citizens to join the military make a difference for their country.  It is a patriotic photo with America everywhere with American colors. James Montgomery is the creator of this image which was most likely sponsored by the US government. I really learned how much effort the US put into getting soldiers to join the US military using the tool of propaganda. I also learned how much classic photos like these are under the Library of Congress for you to type in and just go look at. You only learn about certain aspects of World War 1 in education a simple goggle search into the Library of Congress can change that for many.


Flagg, James Montgomery, Artist. I want you for U.S. Army: nearest recruiting station / James Montgomery Flagg. United States, ca. 1917. Photograph. Link to picture 2 for source 2




This 3rd primary source is a newspaper from the Topeka State Journal which takes place in 1915 World War 1 at the time of America being pressured to enter the war. The objective of this newspaper is to show off the reaction to a historic development of the Lusitania sinking. One visual in this photo is the grim reaper or death grabbing the Lusitania which signal of the death of those on board. This also shows visuals how war can be frightful and take away innocent lives for war agenda and to send messages to the United States. The message of the newspaper was used to show what Washington reaction was and show how freighting the Germans and war can be. I learned from this source how images can scare people into seeing how war can take away lives quickly because up to World War 1 US has not been in a war since Spanish American War. So I could imagine how this newspaper only reinforce the ongoing fear of the German war machine.



“The Topeka State Journal. (Topeka, Kan.) 1892-1980, November 26, 1915, HOME EDITION, Page 6, Image 6.” News about Chronicling America RSS. June 10, 1918. Accessed September 24, 2018.




This 4th Primary Source I looked into was a photo distributed by the United States Food Administration around 1915 before the US enter World War 1. The message of this image is for families to not waste food and donate it to US allies. The visuals of the photo show hungry civilians  looking horrible and who are In need of food need US families help. The caption of the photo reads don’t waste food while others starve. What I learned from this source was how America try to use propaganda and photos to help others their war effort despite America being out of it at the time.


Clinker, L. C., Dwyer, M. J.. Don’t Waste Food While Others Starve!. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, (Accessed September 23, 2018.)  

Picture 4 2nd  link above ^


The final 5th Primary source I found was a newspaper towards the end of World War 1 June 1918. This newspaper was from the Tacoma Times which is based in Tacoma, Washington. The caption or title of the article is telling “Win the War first of all then insist on a labor deal. The message behind the meaning of this newspaper headline is win the war first overseas before worrying about labor union wars here. If they do not win the war, there is nothing to negotiate first place so that be the focus of the newspaper headline. There is one section in bold saying favor Wilson plan and throughout the page you see multiple key words that tell you it’s both labor issue and a world crisis issue.  What I did learned from this source was how even at home despite the push for labor action some just wanted to focus on the war instead. I also learned about how newspaper have so many key words hidden in it. This newspaper had all the words bolded that were key terms so I got the importance down really quick.


“The Tacoma Times. (Tacoma, Wash.) 1903-1949, June 08, 1918, Image 1.” News about Chronicling America RSS. June 8, 1918. Accessed September 24, 2018.

<>  Link to picture 5 source 5

In general what I learned a lot of things about searching and finding primary sources on the internet. The first thing I learned was the amount of information on the databases regarding my topic. There is a lot of songs, pictures, letters and many more things on the Library of Congress and certain databases. I also learned really how picky you have to be when finding primary sources. You want to be find the right one you ca analyze correctly that usually takes time to do. I also learned to make sure you use accurate websites when looking for sources usually a database. Overall this activity really help me learn a lot more about primary sources and I enjoy analyzing the content I search, found and chose.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *