(DANGER!!! To Pro Germans, Loyal Americans Welcome to Edison Park)
As the United States entered WWI, anything to do with Germany, or being German, suddenly became a hazard. German-sounding streets, cities and even last names were changed in order to sound more American. The German language was prohibited from being spoken in many places. In Iowa, where HOPE AT DAWN takes place, this included schools, churches, public places and on the telephone.
German-Americans were often viewed as spies for the "enemy" and threatened with violence if they didn't prove their loyalties. Some were jailed, sentenced to prison, or tarred and feathered. Others struggled to make ends meet when people refused to frequent German-owned establishments.
In the midst of this anti-German movement, Livy and Friedrick meet and fall in love in HOPE AT DAWN. Their story gives a glimpse into the private struggles of German-Americans during the Great War.