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Keywords

History; Liberty; Nevada; Patriotism; Propaganda; World War (1914-1918

Abstract

From the early 1860s, first as a territory then as a state, Nevada has been identified as a part of the western frontier mythology. The harsh environment invited an even harsher incursion of outlaws, bandits, and outcasts from the East. Other arrivals included diverse immigrant groups, entrepreneurs, and religious sects ready to embrace the freedom promised by westward migration. Having achieved statehood in the midst of the Civil War, the Battle Born state has not only encouraged but also prospered from its errant image. Equally evident is the unconventional, rebellious, and anti-government reputation associated with Nevadans who, regardless of their location, have proven themselves proud and fiercely loyal to their state. Indeed, from 1937 to 1950, the state legislature approved of a state slogan designed to appear on all official stationery and advertising publications: “Nevada, one state without an income tax, a corporation tax, an inheritance tax, a gift tax, a sales tax. With cheap power, and liberal mining, corporation, taxation, and other laws. Welcome to Nevada.” Yet despite the self-imposed isolation and intra-state devotion, as the United States entered World War I, Nevada was among the first states in the country to demonstrate a thorough allegiance to President Woodrow Wilson’s campaign for 100 percent Americanism, whole-heartedly implementing his policies that called for the repression of civil liberties in support of the war effort.