Oregon Secretary of State

State Council of Defense for Oregon

Four images symbolizing the Defense Council
Clockwise from top left: The U.S. flag was prominent in patriotic campaigns promoted by the council; State Historian Cornelia Marvin worked to save Oregon's war history; the Oregon flag represented the state's control of life on the home front during the war; Francis Coon of Corvallis (naval aviation) is one of tens of thousands documented in the Defense Council personal military service histories.
World War I presented challenges state agencies were not well equipped to meet. Certainly, the Oregon National Guard played a central role in the state's response to war. But there were legal and practical limits to its powers. Oregon needed the ability to address home front issues with speed and flexibility, unencumbered by the status quo and engrained institutional barriers.

The defense council existed for only a short time during the war but took on the vital job of coordinating efforts on the home front. And it left a legacy of personal military service histories that provide an invaluable window into the experiences of nearly 36,000 Oregonians who went to war.

Rising to the Times