Strange Interlude Historical Context

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The United States entered World War I in April, 1917. Conscription was introduced, and the first U.S. troops arrived in Europe in June. By July, 1918, over one million American troops were in Europe. The war ended in November, 1918. The United States suffered a total of 320,710 casualties, including 116,708 dead. The fictional Gordon Shaw in Strange Interlude was based on the real-life soldier, Hobart Amory Hare Baker (1892—1918). Like Gordon, Baker was an outstanding college athlete, playing baseball, football and hockey at Princeton University. He enlisted in the army and departed for Europe in August 1917, and by April 1918 he was serving with the Lafayette Escadrille (103rd Aero Squadron). Just as in the play, in which Gordon Shaw is killed in an airplane accident, on December 21, 1918, Baker was killed when the plane he was flying crashed.

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This section contains 466 words
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Strange Interlude from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.