U.S. World War I Centennial

The April program page has info on events of all kinds coming up this weekend and the rest of the month.

Photo from Great War Remembered at PA Military Museum
"The Great War Remembered" program at PA Military Museum 2016 (via Facebook)

Trailheads is a day early this week to mark the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I on April 6, 1917. This important anniversary is being commemorated in numerous places along the Pennsylvania Trails of History, not to mention the rest of the state, country, and world.

Throughout this month the Pennsylvania Military Museum will offer lectures and interpretive programming focused on World War I (see brochure). If you aren't able to be there in person, you have some options. The museum's (newly redesigned) website provides background information on the history of the site (home to the Boal Machine Gun Troop) and the 28th Division Shrine, which honors Pennsylvanians who died in World War I and later conflicts. (There is also a photo gallery of previous programs.)

In addition, site administrator Tyler Gum will take part in the National Museum of American History's World War I Social Media Day on Tuesday, April 11. From 1 to 2 pm that day, he will be "Facebook Live" representing the PHMC and talking about the role of the citizen soldier in WWI and Pennsylvania's legacy of military service.

PMM educator shows student how to use trench periscope
PMM educator Joe Horvath shows a visitor how a trench periscope works at "The Great War Remembered" in 2016. This year's event is slated for April 22-23 at the PA Military Museum (photo via Facebook)

Last weekend, The State Museum of PA opened an exhibit of World War I posters from the collections of the Pennsylvania State Archives. PHMC's Twitter account has a recap of the opening reception, which featured a tour by archivist Rich Saylor. The exhibit is open to the public during regular operating hours and is included in museum admission; it will remain on view through Nov. 12.

An article from the Erie Times-News earlier this week explored the World War I centennial. The Erie Maritime Museum's Linda Bolla spoke with reporter Ron Leonardi about the crew of USS Wolverine and their service in World War I. Wolverine had been decommissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1912 and turned over to the Pennsylvania Naval Militia, based in Erie. When word of U.S. entry into World War I reached Erie on the night of April 6, the crew of Wolverine were put on alert. On April 11, most of them marched from Erie's Public Dock to Union Station to board troop trains bound for Philadelphia. From there they were deployed for wartime. The ship itself, and some of the crew, remained on the Great Lakes during the war, recruiting sailors for the U.S. Navy and serving as a training vessel. Bolla, a regular contributor to Trailheads, has been researching Wolverine's crew, their service, and their post-war histories.

USS Wolverine crew 1913
Crew of USS Wolverine, 1913 (photo Erie Maritime Museum)

Other items of interest...

We'll try to keep you apprised of other WWI-related activities on the Trails of History as the centennial commemorations continue through the end of 2018. In the meantime:


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