The Eve of War

Photo: University Archives

The National Defense Act in 1916 established the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps on college campuses around the country.  Soon after the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Stanford’s ROTC cadets gathered in the Inner Quad. The university’s enrollment plummeted 28 percent in 1917-18 when hundreds of male students, including most of those in the senior class, enlisted. The first Stanford-related WWI veterans to die in action were honored on campus plaques. 

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