Top of page

Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Anna Howard Shaw, Chairman, Woman's Committee, Council of National Defense to the State Chairman, August 7, 1917. Charlotte E. Hopkins Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (065.00.00)
Ben Black. "Over Here." San Francisco: Daniels & Wilson, Inc., 1918. Music Division, Library of Congress (063.00.00)

Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense

Though she would later express bitterness over the lack of influence women had over policies during the war, chairman of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense Anna Howard Shaw embraced the food conservation program of the U.S. Food Administration, headed by Herbert Hoover. The Woman's Committee connected with state and municipal women's groups whose members believed that women served a unique role in food conservation. Through three separate drives in the summers of 1917 and 1918, nearly 500,000 clubwomen issued Hoover Pledge Cards promising to conserve food and secured approximately fourteen million householders' signatures on those cards. The comical song "Over Here," sung to the famous tune of "Over There," extols the virtues of meatless and wheatless days in the name of patriotic food conservation.