We love questions like these...
A medal - an old one - was located in a collection of keepsakes belonging to a long-time Sacramentan. The fellow had passed away and a family member wanted to get the story on this curious artifact.
"PRESENTED BY THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO, CAL. DEC. 21st, 1918."
"TO A MOTHER OF DEFENDERS OF LIBERTY."
The story behind the story was found in the library's copy of the Sacramento Bee for dates December 21st and 22nd, 1918. Sacramento lost over 100 of its own in the Great War. On December 21, 1918, the city of Sacramento honored over 1,300 mothers and the sacrifices endured by their sons and daughters at the city's Native Sons' Hall on Eleventh and "J." Two of the mothers received a medal with five stars (indicating the number of sons that they had sent overseas), but most were of the one star variety.
Also present were many area luminaries; D.W. Carmichael, the founder of present-day Carmichael and Governor William Stephens. It was cool on that day in Sacramento and the setting was...
"And when we present you with this little token, we do so, realizing that during the years to come it may, in some degree tarnish and grow old, but with its age may we assure you will grow the thoughts of kindness, the thoughts of appreciation, the thoughts of love and esteem which we, the people of Sacramento, the donors of this badge, bear to you, to whom we give -- the mothers of the defenders of liberty."
In the same issue of the Bee, there was also talk of a new auditorium to be built in honor of those who had served and died in Europe.
We hold a run of the Bee that goes back to 1857. That said, the paper is a great way to better understand the events of the day and the story behind that which could have been easily pulled from a time capsule.
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To view a short movie, remembering the lives of seven Sacramentans who died in the Great War, click on the image below: