The American Spirit

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The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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The American Spirit

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | May 16, 2018

Gold Star Roll file of Private Melvin Lane, who was born in Evansville, Minnesota. He sent his mother this postcard depicting The American Spirit on this day in 1918 just before he arrived overseas. He tells his mother about his trip, saying he was lucky to have not gotten sea sick and that he expects to arrive in Europe either that night or the following morning. Lane was killed in action in France on July 26, 1917.

May 16-1918
Dear Mother:
Will drop you a few lines to let you know we are just about across the pond so I guess we will get there O.K. Had a fine trip I was luckey [sic] enuff [sic] not to get sea sick we shore [sic] had fine weather. It is a little cold and ruff [sic] but not very bad. We expect to land tonight or in the morning. I will write you again as soon as we land.
Your son,
Melvin L.

Citation: "Lane, Melvin L." Minnesota Public Safety Commission. Gold Star Roll. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota 114.D.4.4F