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World War I 1914-1918

1917 - U. S. Declares War

April 6, 1917 - Germany continues to sink non-military, or civilian ships, some American. The U.S. can no longer stay out of the war. Over the next two years, more than one million U.S. troops will go to fight the war in Europe, and help its friends, or allies. The disputes of colonial times are long past, and the Americans join with Britain and France to become allies fighting against Germany.

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1918 - Auto Factory Expands

The Ford Motor Company in Charlotte produces 85 cars each day. The factory, which opened in 1915, will operate until the 1930s. There will also be a Ford repair shop in the 200 block of North College Street, operated by Doc Crowell and W.G. Frye.

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1918 - Chaplin Pushes Bonds

April 11, 1918 - Film star Charlie Chaplin visits Charlotte to promote the sale of bonds that raise money for the war effort. He speaks for 10 minutes and raises over $20,000. Chaplin also entertains troops at Camp Greene, on Charlotte's west side.

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1918 - Terrible Epidemic

November 1918Millions of people worldwide are dying from Spanish influenza, or flu. To keep the infection from spreading throughout the community, Charlotte officials close parks, churches, schools and other public buildings. Still, in the U.S. alone, the disease races through the population in an outbreak called an epidemic. More than 500,000 people will die.

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1918 - Peace

November 11, 1918 - In a railroad car outside Paris, France, German leaders sign a pledge to stop fighting, called an armistice. With the help of American troops, the war has been won by France, England and their supporters, called allies. More formal negotiations must follow, and the official end of the war will come next June with the Treaty of Versailles, France. Worldwide, 10 million servicemen have died and 20 have been million wounded. Among US troops, 116,000 have died in the war.

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