World War I: Missouri and the Great War
Today marks the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Within months of the April 6, 1917, declaration of war, U.S. troops began arriving in France, factories across the nation started producing war material, and support began pouring in from the home front. Our newest exhibit, World War I: Missouri and the Great War, commemorates this significant portion of our collective history by exploring the wartime roles of Missourians and St. Louisans at home and overseas. Topics such as the Missouri National Guard, the marines, the navy, and food conservation are brought to life by historic posters with raised features, creating an unexpected 3-D effect.
The exhibit also examines how St. Louis remembered those who served and gave their lives. It honors the fallen as well: Each of the 1,075 St. Louis soldiers, sailors, and nurses who made the ultimate sacrifice during the war are represented by a gold star on banners hanging overhead. The names of these men and women are also listed in the gallery.
In partnership with Missouri Over There, a statewide collaborative-digitization project to document Missouri’s role in World War I, the exhibit also features kiosks where you can access articles, artifacts, digitized photos and documents, and a searchable database of Missourians who died for their country in the Great War.
Highlighted in the final section of the exhibit is the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, originally built as a World War I memorial. Now undergoing revitalization under the management of the Missouri Historical Society, renderings of the memorial and the new galleries will be available to view. You’ll also have a chance to share your comments and thoughts about the ongoing project.
World War I: Missouri and the Great War will be open now through January 15, 2018, in the Missouri History Museum’s Atrium gallery.
—Patrick Allie, Military and Arms Curator