Skip to main content

Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Events & Resources



The Library is highlighting its remarkable World War I resources with series of five free webinars in summer and fall 2017. The sessions will run for 40 minutes each and are open to the public, although registration is required for each event. Please request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

After the webinars, the Library will make recordings of the sessions available on this page. Please check back two weeks after the event.

August 22, 2017 2:00 pm ET

Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

This session will examine the making of the Library’s WWI exhibition and explore the upheaval of world war as Americans confronted it— both at home and abroad. The exhibition considers the debates and struggles that surrounded U.S. engagement; explores U.S. military and home front mobilization and the immensity of industrialized warfare; and touches on the war’s effects, as an international peace settlement was negotiated, national borders were redrawn, and soldiers returned to reintegrate into American society.  Cheryl Regan, the exhibition director, will provide highlights of the show.

Register here External

September 26, 2017 2:00 pm ET

Over Here, Over There: Immigrant Veterans of WWI

More than 120,000 veterans received citizenship as a direct consequence of military service and began a tradition of service-based naturalization. Liaison Specialist, Owen Rogers, explores the intersection of immigration and World War I military service through materials collected by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP).

Register here External

October 24, 2017 2:00 pm ET

Woodrow Wilson Chooses War

Like many individuals around the globe, Woodrow Wilson was shocked by the outbreak of a devastating world war among European empires in 1914. As President of the United States, however, he had a unique opportunity to shape the outcome of this catastrophic conflict. Sahr Conway-Lanz of the Library’s Manuscripts Division will discuss the Woodrow Wilson papers available at the Library of Congress.  They are the most extensive and significant collection of Wilson documentation found anywhere and include his White House files as well as personal and professional materials from the rest of his life.

Register here External

November 28, 2017 2:00 pm ET

Lest Liberty Perish: Joseph Pennell and World War I

Katherine Blood of the Prints and Photographs Division will discuss the wartime work of printmaker Joseph Pennell, including "Lest Liberty Perish," an evocative image of New York City destroyed by the enemy. Created for the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive of 1918, his design was mass produced. The Prints and Photographs Division preserves impressions of virtually all of Pennell's graphic works.

Register here External

December 12, 2017 2:00 pm ET

Charles Hamilton Houston & World War I

Before Charles Hamilton Houston became the chief attorney for the NAACP and a mentor to Thurgood Marshall, he was a young officer serving in a segregated military during the First World War. Curator Ryan Reft will discuss Houston’s wartime experiences and their influence on his later work.

Register here External


Public tours of the exhibition are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 1 p.m., and Saturdays depending on docent availability, and begin at the entrance to the exhibition. Please visit the Library’s Public Events Calendar for a current schedule. To reserve a private guided tour for groups of 10 or more, please call (202) 707-0245 or email [email protected].

Hands-On Cart

Explore the items a World War I soldier needed on the front with our hands-on learning cart. Featuring original artifacts from the Great War, the cart is available at the entrance to the exhibition on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays according to docent availability.


Saturday, August 12, 2:30 p.m.

Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue, SE. Films is free and no tickets are required.

Testament of Youth (2014, 129 minutes)—A young woman leaves Oxford University to become a war nurse. Based on the 1933 memoir of the same name by Vera Brittain, the film stars Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington.

Companion Publication

America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History, by Margaret E. Wagner, chronicles the American experience in neutrality and conflict. It presents events and arguments; political and military battles; and tragedies and epic achievements that marked U.S. involvement in the first modern war. Filled with quotations and personal stories, the book also includes more than 250 color and black-and-white illustrations from Library of Congress collections, many never before published.

Published by Bloomsbury Press, in association with the Library of Congress, it is available from the Library of Congress Sales Shop and bookstores nationwide.

Additional Library of Congress Publications

  • Forever a Soldier: Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service by Tom Weiner. A project of the Veterans History Project, published by the Library of Congress in association with National Geographic, 2005.
  • Voices of War: Stories of Service from the Home Front and the Front Lines edited by Tom Weiner. A project of the Veterans History Project, published by the Library of Congress in association with National Geographic, 2004.

To explore stories online from the Veterans History Project visit “Experiencing the War, World War I: The Great War.”

Related Library of Congress Exhibitions

World War I: American Artists View the Great War
Through August 19, 2017
Location: Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

This exhibition focuses on the American artistic response to World War I and features posters, political cartoons, illustrations, fine prints, popular prints, documentary photographs, and fine art photographs from the Library's Prints and Photographs Division.

War Gardens
Through the run of the exhibition
Locations: First Street and East Capitol Street, First Street and Independence Avenue, and Second Street and Independence Avenue

The Architect of the Capitol will create World War I-inspired War Gardens in three beds around the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Learn More

For more information on World War I and the Library's related collections and resources, visit the Library's World War I Topic page. This page includes an online version of the exhibition, digitized collections, blog posts by Library curators, teacher resources, and event listings, including new information and collections as they become available.

Suggested Readings

  • Berg, A. Scott, ed. World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It. New York: Library of America, 2017.
  • Capozzola, Christopher. Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Doenecke, Justus D. Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011.
  • Eisenhower, John S. D., and Joanne Thompson Eisenhower. Yanks: The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I. New York: Free Press, 2001.
  • Howard, Michael. The First World War: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007
  • Kazin, Michael. War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914–1918. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017.
  • Keene, Jennifer D. Doughboys, the Great War, and the Remaking of America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
  • Kennedy, David M. Over Here: The First World War and American Society. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
  • Lentz-Smith, Adriane. Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.
  • MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York: Random House, 2002.
  • Neiberg, Michael S. The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

For Young Readers

  • Bausum, Ann. Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2014.
  • Boyne, John. Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2014.
  • Frost, Helen. Crossing Stones. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
  • Hunter, Nick. The Home Fronts in World War I. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • __________. Campaigns of World War I. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • __________.  Life on the Western Front. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • __________.  Women in World War I. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • Jeffrey, Gary. On the Western Front (Graphic Modern History: World War I). New York: Crabtree, 2013.
  • Keenan, Sheila, et al.  Dogs of War. New York: Graphix, 2013.
  • Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. New York: Delacorte Press, 2006.
  • Mattick, Lindsay, and Sophie Blackall. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. New York: Little, Brown and Company 2015.
  • Morpurgo, Michael, and Michael Foreman. Farm Boy: The Sequel to War Horse. New York: Scholastic Press, 2012.
  • Osborne, Linda Barrett. Come On In, America: The United States in World War I. New York: Abrams Books, 2017.
  • Vanderpool, Clare. Moon Over Manifest. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010.

Additional suggestions are available in the Library's Young Readers Center, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Teacher Resources

 Back to top