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The Stars and Stripes:  The American Soldiers' Newspaper of World War I, 1918-1919

From the Serial and Government Publications Division

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From February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919, by order of General John J. Pershing, the United States Army published a newspaper for its forces in France, The Stars and Stripes. This online collection, presented by the Serial and Government Publications Division of the Library of Congress, includes the complete seventy-one-week run of the newspaper's World War I edition.

When The Stars and Stripes began publication, American forces were dispersed throughout the Western Front, often mixed at the unit level with British, French, and Italian forces. The newspaper's mission was to provide these scattered troops with a sense of unity and an understanding of their part in the overall war effort. The eight-page weekly featured news from home, sports news, poetry, and cartoons, with a staff that included journalists Alexander Woollcott, Harold Ross, and Grantland Rice. Printing the paper on presses borrowed from Paris newspaper plants, the staff used a network of trains, automobiles, and a motorcycle to deliver the news to the doughboys (as the American soldiers were called). At the peak of its production, The Stars and Stripes had a circulation of 526,000 readers.

The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

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A Closer Look at The Stars and Stripes
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