WWI Bandage Girls (1918)

By David R. Schleper

World War I bandage girls, ca. 1918After the United States entered World War I in 1917, Minnesota women, like Americans across the nation, were called to contribute to the war effort. Though some went to Europe and served as nurses, drivers, and aid workers on the battlefields, many more participated on the home front. They took on new jobs, conserved vital resources, and joined volunteer organizations.

Women joined, led, and donated their time and money to groups that provided soldiers with food, shelter, and supplies. They joined YWCA sewing and knitting circles to craft items for soldiers and civilians. They rolled bandages and collected funds for the American Red Cross. In 1918, these Shakopee women, called Bandage Girls, stood on the east side of Lewis Street in Shakopee, between First and Second avenues.

Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 finally granted them, and women across the nation, suffrage (the right to vote).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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