Minnesota Historical Society Gets the Go-Ahead for Traveling World War I Exhibition

Source: Wikipedia/ Public Domain
Source: Wikipedia/ Public Domain

The Minnesota Historical Society has been waiting on a federal grant so they may open a traveling exhibit about the United States during World War I. They finally received the grant of $600,000 and will now start getting the construction underway.

The exhibit will be called “World War I America” and will open in April of 2017 at the Minnesota History Center. Its three-year national tour will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the United State’s entry into the war.

The World War I specialist for the society, Randal Dietrich, explains that the exhibit will focus on the domestic life that was “a crucible” for important societal issues such as women’s suffrage, race relations, and labor rights.

Dietrich says the more he studies the era, “the more I’m thinking that a lot of the world that we live in today is the result of that World War I.” He also stated that “the war was always in the background as all these really traumatic and dramatic events unfolded.”

The exhibit will be 6,000-square-feet and will feature multimedia exhibits, voices, music, and artifacts like chairs from the Lusitania – the British ocean liner that sunk in 1915. Its sinking is what nudged the United States into the war.

The National Endowment for the Humanities will be the one giving the grant, the largest grant ever awarded by the organization. The Oakland Museum of California, The National Constitution Center, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, and the National World War I Museum are also collaborating on the exhibit. A preview will be held on September 9th, by the Historical Society and it will focus on the prominent local ties to the war.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE