Missouri and the Great War Travels Statewide

7, July 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’ve visited the Missouri History Museum’s World War I: Missouri and the Great War exhibit and want to see additional stories about the Show-Me state’s role in the conflict, consider tracking down the traveling exhibit we helped put together as part of a statewide archival project. Guest author Brian Grubbs, of the Springfield-Greene County Library District, shares the details below.

Color photo of opening panel for Missouri and the Great War traveling exhibitApril 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the First World War. Missourians actively contributed to various aspects of the war effort, even before the United States joined the hostilities.

Missouri supplied horses and mules that played a critical role in the war despite the military adopting new technologies such as motorized vehicles. Industries within the state also fulfilled military contracts to supply munitions and other goods to Allied armies. More than 156,000 Missourians served in the war, including future president Harry S. Truman, cartoonist and businessman Walt Disney, and generals John J. Pershing and Enoch Crowder. Thousands participated on the home front as well, including many Missouri women.

To tell these stories, the Springfield-Greene County Library District and the Missouri History Museum collaborated with museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies across the state to develop an online digital archive called Missouri Over There.

Color photo of panel for Missouri and the Great War traveling exhibitRecently a traveling exhibit based on this digital archive opened for public viewing at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. Developed in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council, the exhibit features seven double-sided panels that explore the many facets of World War I history through the perspective of the Show-Me State and its residents. Each panel features historical images and artifacts from museums (including the Missouri History Museum), libraries, archives, and private collections from across the state.

Accompanying the exhibit are two touch-screen kiosks where you can discover additional content, artifacts, and photographs, and find the locations of World War I monuments throughout the state. You can also watch a new seven-minute documentary video featuring footage from the war.  

Color photo of panel for Missouri and the Great War traveling exhibitThe exhibit will remain in Jefferson City until August 27 and then travel across the state. Additional venues include:

  • Three Rivers College (Poplar Bluff): September 5–October 22, 2017
  • Mineral Area College (Park Hills): October 30, 2017–January 7, 2018
  • Moberly Area Community College (Moberly): January 16–February 23, 2018
  • A. T. Still Memorial Library (Kirksville): March 1–April 27, 2018
  • Bushwhacker Museum (Nevada): May 1–June 29, 2018
  • St. Joseph Museum (St. Joseph): July 2–September 2, 2018 
  • Mid-Continent Public Library (Independence): September 8–October 28, 2018
  • Springfield-Greene County Library District (Springfield): November 1–December 30, 2018

—Brian Grubbs, Local History & Genealogy Department Manager, Springfield-Greene County Library District

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