California State Council of Defense. California War History Committee. Records of Californians Who Served in World War I. (Set 1: World War I soldiers citations.) 18 boxes. California State Library, Sacramento, California.
This database is primarily a collection of newspaper clippings announcing awards and citations received by Californians serving in the military during World War I. They cover the years 1918–1922 and were taken from both local newspapers and clipping services. They list names, of course, but can also provide details such as hometowns, names of family members, and a description of the action the award was given for.
The United States mobilized more than 4.7 million men and women to serve during World War I. The country did not enter the war until 6 April 1917 but still lost 116,515 dead, many from disease, with over 200,000 wounded. California provided more than 150,000 who served during the conflict.
The California State Library provides the following description of these records:
In 1918, the California State Council of Defense (first created in 1916) formed the War History Committee for the purpose of assembling the records of the war and preserving all material of historical value relating to California's part in that War. The actual direction of the work of the Committee was given to the Historical Survey Commission (created in 1915) under the immediate supervision of Dr. Owen C. Coy. Under this director, a county war history committee was to be created in each of the 58 counties. Each committee was expected to prepare reports dealing with local war activities and to gather and compile statistical information on those activities. They were to collect newspaper clippings, war programs, war addresses, photographs, manuscripts, documents, posters, and other fleeting war history material.