Credit: Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000/

Historical Insights The Green Corn Rebellion

As crop failures drove Oklahoma farmers off their land and into tenancy, many simply couldn’t afford to leave the fields to fight. They hoped the Green Corn Rebellion would bring an end to the draft. About 1915, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Credit: Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000/

The Green Corn Rebellion

Hundreds of Oklahoma farmers—of all races and nationalities—assembled in Sasakwa on August 2, 1917 to begin their march to Washington, D.C., in protest of the World War I draft. “Rich man’s war. Poor man’s fight,” they chanted, eating the readily available green corn along the way and burning bridges and telegraph wires in their path. But the next day, an informant among them tipped off their location to a well-armed crew of vigilantes, who shot three of the rebels and arrested 400 more, hastily suppressing the insurrection.