Idlewild Prepares to Celebrate it's Centennial in 2012, part II

It is important to our children and our grandchildren and the world to know the sacrifices that were made so that African Americans could be at ease and have a resort they could own and be proud of. It was not easy to be 49 years out of slavery.

Late in the fall of 1915, an excursion from Detroit, Chicago and other cities came to Idlewild to look it over after which the lots were offered for sale. It should be remembered that this was a very critical time to launch a project of this magnitude, as the war (World War I) was then going on in Europe.

On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war the United States must enter the war, he said, because “the world must be safe for democracy.” Building an army and supplying it in a hurry was a huge task. Wilson set up Government Boards to oversee wartime production and transportation. To raise the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to fight in Europe, Congress passed the Selective Service Act Draft Law in 1917. Wilson named General John Pershing to command the AEF.

The first Americans reached the Western Front in October 1917, just as the Germans launched a tremendous attack near Paris. Allied lines held and the war was settled into a stalemate. Then in mid-September, 1918 American and French forces began to push the Germans back. On Nov. 11, 1918, the Germans gave up the hopeless fight. The Great War had ended.