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November 7-17, 2018

THE FIRST WORLD WAR ended officially at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, 100 years ago.

On this 100th anniversary year of the Great War, the Library will host a community observance with a series of programs November 7-17 about Missouri's and the U.S. role in the war. The traveling exhibit Missouri and the Great War returns to the concourse for the anniversary observance. And don't miss the November 11 Armistice Day program, when members of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra perform a moving tribute honoring the history of World War I.

The traveling exhibition was developed by the Missouri Humanities Council and the Springfield-Greene County Library District, with funding provided by the Missouri Humanities Council, Friends of Springfield-Greene County Library District, and the RDW Family and Community Fund.


World War I: The American Soldier Experience

Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 7 p.m.

Examine WWI from the Doughboy's perspective as Dr. Jennifer Keene, history professor at Chapman University, explores the complexities of what it meant for Americans to "go to war," homing in on how America raised its forces during WWI and the expectations of those who served. Keene will explore the racial and cultural differences among American soldiers, exemplified by groups such as the Harlem Hellfighters, and the rocky return of many veterans once the war was won.

Mighty Men of War: The Soldiers of Carthage in World War I

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7 p.m.

In 1918, a company of soldiers from Jasper County took part in one of the bloodiest battles of the "Great War." Local author Jeff Patrick will examine the experiences of Capt. Ward Schrantz and his men from their training camp in Oklahoma to France's Argonne Forest.

Constructing Loyalty and Identity: The German-American Experience in Missouri During World War I

Saturday, November 10, 2018, 2 p.m.

For generations, German immigrants were welcomed in Missouri, prospered as farmers and businessmen, and adjusted to the American way of life while keeping their culture. Few Missourians noticed German-language newspapers or worried when hearing German spoken in the streets. Everything changed when WWI broke out, and German was the tongue of the enemy. Dr. Petra DeWitt, assistant professor of history at Missouri S&T, will explore how government rhetoric and insistent Americanism fed an "us versus them" mindset and forced German-American families to give up their culture or practice it in secret.

World War I in Music & Letters

Sunday, November 11, 2018, 10:55 a.m.

The First World War ended officially at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918. On this 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, members of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra will perform a moving tribute honoring the history of World War I, including readings of correspondence between Missouri soldiers and their families during the war. The performance will begin at 11 a.m. with a moment of silence to commemorate both the victims and survivors of the Great War. Sponsored by Friends of the Library and The Library Foundation.

Missouri and the Great War Exhibit Viewing and Reception

Sunday, November 11, 2018, noon-1:30 p.m.

Explore the traveling exhibit, Missouri and the Great War, and visit with Local History staff about the exhibit while enjoying refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library.

Memory & Legacy: Missouri in the Great War

Sunday, November 11, 2018, 1:30 p.m.

More than 156,000 Missourians served in the First World War. How the state has remembered their service and sacrifice has changed greatly since the 1920s. Brian Grubbs, Local History & Genealogy Department Manager, will discuss the legacy of the war in Missouri and the state's efforts for commemoration in the digital age.

The Great War in Springfield

Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 7 p.m.

Local History Associate Michael Price will discuss life in Springfield during World War I, 1914-1918. Learn how Springfield residents supported the war effort while Greene County men went to France and fought in the trenches.

The U.S. Coast Guard in the First World War: "To sink the foe or save the maimed"

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 7 p.m.

World War I was the first combat operations of the newly formed U.S. Coast Guard, having been created in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson. Todd Wilkinson, public affairs officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band, will discuss the Coast Guard's dual mission in the Great War, including its unfortunate distinction of the highest American naval combat casualty loss of the war. A World War I event.

Path to War: The Road to U.S. Entry into the First World War, 1914-1917

Saturday, November 17, 2018, 2 p.m.

American entry into the Great War resulted from lengthy debate and soul-searching about national identity and the nation's role on the world stage. Michael Neiberg, chair of War Studies and professor of history in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College, will track American responses to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, the debates about military preparedness in 1916 and how American sentiment changed by April 1917 to see war as the only remaining option. He'll also explain how the nation joining the war is fundamental to American history and America's relationship to the world in the century since.