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First World War Centenary, WW1 History

Rolling WW1 museum brings cataclysm to life in communities across the U.S.

The rolling WW1 gallery features a variety of artifacts and informative displays.

An 18-wheel “big rig” has been transformed into a mobile museum of the First World War. In July 2011 the travelling exhibition made the first of 75 planned stops at communities throughout the United States through next year. Along the way the gallery is partnering with museums of all types — including those focused on art, history, local culture, education and sports — to raise awareness of the Great War of 1914-1918, and to seek donations for the National World War I Museum, as well as for local museums and cultural institutions.

Dubbed the “Honoring Our History” tour, this unique traveling gallery presents a memorable multi-media experience of the First World War that will render this cataclysmic, pivotal period of human history personal and meaningful for those who come to see.

What visitors will find on display:

  • 66 artifacts, such as weapons, tools, equipment, uniforms, flags, posters.
  • A walk‐through trench that simulates the war environment.
  • Videos and audio tracks.
  • Headlines and historical descriptors.
  • Authentic flight gear, including flight suit, goggles and a log book.

Among the many thousands of veterans who served in WW1 were Chauncey Waddell and Cameron Reed, who formed a partnership in 1937 to create Waddell & Reed, the mutual fund and financial planning firm that is co-sponsoring the exhibition. Firm executives hope the tour will raise $500,000 in voluntary donations to be divided equally between each local museum and the National World War I Museum, based in Kansas City, Mo.

“The Honoring Our History tour is such a simple, yet dramatic, way to share our World War I collection with the rest of the country,” says Brian Alexander, president and CEO of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial. “It is especially important as the centennial of World War I approaches in 2014.”

About the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is the only American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of a war whose impact still echoes today.

Designated by Congress as the United States’ official World War I Museum and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the museum aspires to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations.

By combining interactive technology with one of the greatest collections of World War I artifacts anywhere in the world, the museum tells the story of the Great War through the eyes of those who lived it.

In 2010, some 133,000 people visited the museum in Kansas City.

More about the National National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
More about the Honoring Our History tour, including a preview, video and tour stops

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About Rick Koobs

I'm an ex-pat from the American South ("Born in old Virginia, North Carolina I did roam"), happily relocated to East Anglia in the United Kingdom since Jan 2010. I reside in Norfolk's fine old city of Norwich with its grand Norman castle, ancient cathedral, and quite extensive history, and I'm loving (almost) everything about it. My interests include writing, Web publishing, art (appreciating it AND making it), movies, history, Tai Chi, permaculture design and the Transition movement. I have a more-than-passing interest in the First World War, and occasionally enjoy building scale model aircraft of that era.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Rolling WW1 museum brings cataclysm to life in communities across the U.S.

  1. Great information, had no idea about Waddell and Reed – and I know the war, the causes, and the results, will be long forgotten in current generations if there isn’t a way to bring the story to people – visual presentations a great way to keep the short attention span involved.

    Posted by Caroline Roberts | September 3, 2011, 12:13 am
    • Thanks for coming ’round, Caroline. I agree. The causes of that cataclysmic period, the things that were said and done, the results reverbrating down to this day… it all needs to be remembered… and learned from. The old saw about those who don’t learn from history being doomed to repeat it, etc.

      We’re at the exact same point in this new century as they were then. In 1911, humanity didn’t have a clue what was about to hit it. When the s#*t hit the fan, they didn’t have a clue how to deal with the terrible forces that were unleased. Millions became sacrifices to hastily stoked national hatreds and to the new high-technology of destruction (and the profits made on that technology).

      With all the gigantic, frightening forces coming toward us today, we may be at a teachable moment. The first world war is an abject lesson in what happens when things slide out of control on a planetary scale. I’d like to find as many ways as possible to stoke a little interest, be it through a movie, novel or graphicc novel, a play, a game or a model kit… or any number of other ways available to us now.

      I’m just trying to pull it all into one place and see what happens.

      Posted by Rick Koobs | September 3, 2011, 9:28 am

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