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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Great Lakes in Lake County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

World War I / Between the Wars

 
 
World War I Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 4, 2010
1. World War I Marker
Inscription.
World War I
On April 6, 1917, less than six years after Great Lakes was opened, the U.S. declared war on the Central Powers. By August, the number of trainees grew from 618 to 50,000. Vast tent cities sprang up to house the flood of volunteers. Captain Moffett, Commanding Officer of Great Lakes at the time, organized the huge, influx into “Regiments.” Each Regiment of 1,726 men was a self-contained unit incorporating its own administration building, galley, mess halls, dispensary, barracks, and training facilities.

During the war, Great Lakes became the largest training station in the U.S., graduating 126,000 men, over 25% of the U.S. Navy total. During this time, football and the marching band at Great Lakes received national prominence. The 1919 football team won the Rose Bowl led in part by George Halas (later “Papa Bear” of the Chicago Bears) and the renowned marching band conducted by John Philip Sousa, the “March King” performed across the world.
Between the Wars
After the signing of the Armistice, the United States entered a period of uncertainty followed by an economic recession in 1920 and 1921. A cutback program at Great Lakes began. Most temporary buildings were torn down, rented lands relinquished, and most training was discontinued.
Between the Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
2. Between the Wars Marker
In 1933, a spirited local campaign was organized by the Union League Club demanding Congress restore the Station to at least its pre-war status. The petition was successful and a period of minor growth followed. However, in 1922, in the depth of the Great Depression, Great Lakes Naval Training Station closed its doors, being reduced to a maintenance status. Once again, the local community rallied with a vigorous campaign, and on July 1, 1935 the Station was reopened.
 
Erected by Naval Station Great Lakes.
 
Location. 42° 18.75′ N, 87° 50.411′ W. Marker is in Great Lakes, Illinois, in Lake County. Marker is on Farragut Avenue near Sampson Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in the Historic District of Naval Station Great Lakes. Marker is in this post office area: Great Lakes IL 60088, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The First Recruit / Original Historic Structures (here, next to this marker); Black and White (a few steps from this marker); Origins of the Base / Construction (a few steps from this marker); The Golden Thirteen (a few steps from this marker); Building Five
Photo on World War I Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 4, 2010
3. Photo on World War I Marker
[Caption reads] The President and Commandants during World War I
(within shouting distance of this marker); Original Architectural Design (within shouting distance of this marker); World War II (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Great Lakes Athletics (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Great Lakes.
 
Also see . . .
1. Great Lakes Naval Museum. (Submitted on November 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Great Lakes Naval Training Station. (Submitted on November 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Great Lakes Naval Training Station: A History. by Frank Buzzell, 1919. (Submitted on November 16, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 
 
Categories. EducationMilitarySportsWar, World I
 
Photo on World War I Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 4, 2010
4. Photo on World War I Marker
[Caption reads] Sham Battle on Ross Field
Photo on World War I Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 4, 2010
5. Photo on World War I Marker
[Caption reads] Tented city on Parade Grounds
Photo on World War I Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 4, 2010
6. Photo on World War I Marker
[Caption reads] Human Picture composed of Blue Jackies on Ross Field
Photo on Between the Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
7. Photo on Between the Wars Marker
[Caption reads] Rear Admiral Downes at Graduation Ceremony
Photo on Between the Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
8. Photo on Between the Wars Marker
[Caption reads] Sea Bag Inspection
Photo on Between the Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
9. Photo on Between the Wars Marker
[Caption reads] Sham Battle
Photo on Between the Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
10. Photo on Between the Wars Marker
[Caption reads in part] 1A-2 U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Ill., Sept. 21, 1937. Relief Work, Administration Bldg. 1, Painting Window Sash, Frames and Screens...
Color Guard Photo on Between the Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
11. Color Guard Photo on Between the Wars Marker
World War I Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 4, 2010
12. World War I Marker
Looking northeast
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 671 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on November 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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