I like trying to encourage local historical societies, museums, and libraries to create World War I exhibits, based on the effect the war had on their own community.  I’d be surprised if these organizations do not have items that speak to not just what was happening on the national level, but the state and local levels as well.  Usually they have collections that are very effective in telling how the community did during the war and the effects the war had on the community in the long run.

The example that will be posted here is from New Jersey.  This should not surprise you too much, as I’ve done this before.  No, it is not my native state, but I do have a brother that lives there, and he keeps sending me things about how some places in the Garden State are marking the Centennial.

This exhibit is, for the time being at the Morristown and Morris Township Library.  I post both a link and the text in case the information should be taken down from their site:


Exhibit – Called to Serve: Morristown & Morris Township in WWI

Exhibit - Called to Serve: Morristown & Morris Township in WWI

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, The North Jersey History & Genealogy Center presents an exhibit from our library’s collections. The exhibit will be on display from April 5 – August 14, 2017 in the F.M. Kirby Gallery on the second floor of the library.On April 6, 1917, the United States formally entered WWI by declaring war on Germany.  German U-Boat attacks against unarmed vessels carrying American citizens and evidence of a German plot to ally with Mexico against the United States rendered American neutrality unsustainable, and so the United States joined in the conflict that had raged for two and a half years.

By the summer of 1917, communities around the country were mobilizing human and financial resources in support of the Allied war effort.

The photos and stories told here in newspaper headlines, obituaries, photos, ephemera and letters provide a small glimpse into one such community.

A pilot’s diary, correspondence of fire fighters to their friends back at the fire station, a letter of a mother who lost her son, and first hand battle descriptions by African American soldiers  reveal the personal and human side of a community that was deeply affected by the war.

Don’t miss the library’s WWI programs:
New Jersey at Home and in the Trenches During World War I, Sunday, May 21, 2 PM

New Jersey at Home and in the Trenches During World War I

Sunday May 21, 2017
2:00 PM
Joseph Bilby, a New Jersey native and Vietnam veteran, will talk about the state’s role in World War I, including the election of Woodrow Wilson, the Black Tom Island and Kingsland Explosions, war production in the state, home front support, training and mobilization camps in New Jersey, submarines along the coast and New Jersey soldiers in France.

Bilby, is the author of numerous New Jersey history books, including A Hidden History of New Jersey at War, A History of Submarine Warfare along the Jersey Shore, and most recently, New Jersey: A Military History.

This program supported by the Friends of the Library.

Sea Girt B Company


New Jersey’s Major WWI Monuments, Sunday, June 4, 2 PM

New Jersey’s Major WWI Monuments

Sunday June 4, 2017
2:00 PM
The library welcomes historian and preservation advocate, Erik L. Burro, who will talk about New Jersey’s major World War I monuments. Mr. Burro recently completed a photographic survey of all of New Jersey’s major WWI Memorials, a collection representing many of the most highly regarded sculptors of the post-War years.

These public works range from doughboy soldiers to allegorical figures placed in a variety of settings, all dedicated to local veterans of America’s Forgotten War. Combined, they express loss, honor, gratitude, patriotism and remembrance. Some are a glimpse of war and our military, others represent the ideals and aspirations of the Nation.

Mr. Burro’s research has discovered some surprises and even a mystery or two. New Jersey, a small state, has an enviable number of these major works. Some have been neglected, vandalized, or forgotten. Mr. Burro’s revelations of our Garden State legacy during America’s WWI Centennial years (2017-2019) promises to increase appreciation of our past and encourage restoration efforts that assure their importance to future generations.

This program supported by the Friends of the Library.

Learn more about the Great War by visiting MacCulloch Hall’s exhibit on the Women’s Land Army and Acorn Hall’s exhibit on Morris County and World War I.

Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.