HSP is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant to host two free programs this spring exploring the First World War. The grant was awarded as part of World War I and America, a major initiative involving public programs in all ﬁfty states.
The first program, Americans All! Foreign Born Soldiers in the First World War, will take place on April 12. The second program, hosted in partnership with Warrior Writers, is currently being designed—stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks!
Americans All! Foreign Born Soldiers in the First World War
“3rd Division Crossing the Marne, July 19-31, 1918.” From The American Expeditionary Forces In Action: Drawings of Capt. George Harding V.S.R. Official Artist A.E.F.
April 2017 marks the centennial of American involvement in the First World War, a global conflagration that upended the established world order.
During the conflict, foreign-born soldiers represented nearly 1 out of 5 servicemen in the U.S. Army. This surge of Old World soldiers – from 46 different nations – challenged the culture of the American military, its linguistic and religious traditions, and required top brass to reconsider training methods.
Join HSP on April 12 for a free program as Dr. Nancy Gentile-Ford examines how the U.S. War Department drew on the experiences of progressive social welfare reformers & ethnic community leaders who assisted with training, socializing, and meeting the cultural and religious needs of immigrant soldiers. The lecture will also analyze why U.S. War Department policies did not call for the harsh Americanization of foreign-born soldiers, but instead created an atmosphere that made both American and ethnic pride acceptable.
About World War I and America
Library of America has been awarded a $550,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in partial support of World War I and America, a major initiative involving public programs in all ﬁfty states, a traveling exhibition, a multimedia website, and the publication of an unprecedented anthology of writings by Americans who experienced World War I. The grant to Library of America is the largest awarded by the NEH this year to a museum, library, or cultural organization.
Organized to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the nation’s entry into the war in 1917, the project will bring members of the veteran community together with the general public in libraries and museums around the country to explore the transformative impact of the First World War by reading, discussing, and sharing insights into the writings of Americans who experienced it firsthand. Providing scholar-moderated opportunities for those who served in more recent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan to bring their experiences to bear on historical events and texts, the project will illuminate for a wide audience the lasting legacies of World War I, and the similarities and differences between past and present.