100 Years Since the First World War

An exhibit of items from the WCSU Archives’ collections. In the Haas Library Atrium until the end of the semester.

To mark Veterans’ Day and the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I,  the Western Connecticut State University Archives presents “100 Years Since the First World War” exhibit on view through December 17, 2018. This exhibit features two cases of material from the archives’ collection.  From political cartoons to memorials, the pieces included in this exhibit provide a fascinating glimpse into America during the First World War. See online exhibit.

Woodrow Wilson in November of 1918:

The war thus comes to an end; for, having accepted these terms of armistice, it will be impossible for the German command to renew it.

It is not now possible to assess the consequences of this great consummation. We know only that this tragical war, whose consuming flames swept from one nation to another until all the world was on fire, is at an end and that it was the privilege of our own people to enter it at its most critical juncture … Armed imperialism such as the men conceived who were but yesterday the masters of Germany is at an end, its illicit ambitions engulfed in black disaster. Who will now seek to revive it?*

The exhibit showcases printed matter from the WCSU Archives that arose out of attempts to sway public opinion to support the War. It also includes materials that document the life of one of Danbury’s own who died while “over there,” George Bennett Hawley.

Hawley was born on April 27, 1895, in Danbury and was a signalman for company B of the 307th Infantry – one of the first AEF units to join the lines of battle in France.

Through these materials, we have a unique glimpse of the period; 100 Years Since the First World War commemorates the efforts of American soldiers and their experiences in war.

* The American Presidency Project. Woodrow Wilson Address to a Joint Session of Congress Concerning the Terms of Armistice Signed by Germany
November 11, 1918. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=117697