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

Which Bridge Do You Want? National Industrial Conservation Movement, 1917. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (054.00.00)

Hyphenated Americans

In 1917 one in every three Americans had either been born abroad or had at least one foreign-born parent, a phenomenon captured in the term "hyphenated Americans." The hyphen could be characterized as a bridge between two cultures or a measure of divided loyalties. This poster issued by the National Industrial Conservation Movement, asks "Which Bridge Do You Want? American Labor can either build a bridge of ships to help Pershing's army or it can permit enemy agitators to stretch the hyphen of disloyalty as a bridge to aid our enemies."