On September 6, 1916, the anniversary of Lafayette’s birth was celebrated in a series of Lafayette Day commemorations throughout America, as a testament of solidarity with France. Statues of Lafayette were unveiled in New Orleans and Fall River (MA), and organizers made certain to connect the date with the Allied victory at the Battle of the Marne, fought at the same time in September 1914, which stopped the German advance on Paris.
The Lafayette Fund was established by Americans in 1914 to supply comfort kits to French soldiers. For $2.00, contributors could equip a kit with a poncho, a pair of socks, a combination knife and a spoon, a can of Cretol ointment, a soap and a pipe.
Lafayette’s birthplace, the Chateau Chavaniac, in the Auvergne region of France (shown below), was purchased in 1917 by John Moffat, an American, to serve as a memorial to Lafayette and to the allied war dead. The estate was also used as a home and school for war orphans, and a “Preventorium” was set up nearby for children in danger of contracting tuberculosis.