Friday, June 20, 2014

Over There: Washington and The Great War

The Gunn Memorial Museum, on 5 Wykehem Rd in Washington Connecticut has  organized a new exhibition that commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War One, one of the largest and bloodiest conflicts in history, where over 70 million military personnel were mobilized around the world and more than 10 million combatants and 7 million civilians were killed, including several from Washington, CT. Over 100 men and women from Washington, and more than 150 alumni and faculty from The Gunnery served in The Great War.





Letters, pictures, and an interesting array of period artifacts from the museum, local families, and collectors, including Peter Tragni and Dr. Robert Jacobs, among others, are used to explore the dramatic experiences of Washington's soldiers, along with the extensive support efforts that were happening on the home front in Washington through such organizations as the Sister Susie Society, the Red Cross, the Women's Land Army, and the Home Guard. All of their fascinating stories will be shared in this exhibit and a diverse series of public programs (see below) through the year, sponsored in part by the Connecticut Community Foundation.

Art director Chris Zaima, designer Sandy Booth, and painter Keith Templeton, along with a team of other volunteers and staff, have created another visual masterpiece. Local history will come alive as visitors step back in time and explore the lives of Washington's residents during World War One, through their own words, and the impact this war had on our small town.

Admission to the exhibit is free, and this exhibit will be on display through January 18, 2015. For more information, call the Museum at 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for more information or email gunnmuseum@sbcglobal.net.

On June 28 at 11 a.m. at the Gunn Library, there will be a lecture, The Beginning of the End: The Origins of World War I.  Dr. Michael Nolan, a professor of European History at Western Connecticut State University, will present a lecture to mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austrian Empire, the spark that ignited World War One. On June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated by a Serbian nationalist who was a Black Hand Terrorist as they visited the city of Sarajevo. This assassination was the catalyst of World War One, a four-year event that claimed the lives of over 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians around the globe.


Dr. Nolan will discuss the contentious years leading up to the assassination, how the events of that day unfolded, the impact the resulting war had on the 20th century, and who was really to blame for the origins of the war, the answer to which is not as clear cut as many might think and has vexed historians for the past century. Dr. Nolan is a 2001 graduate of Brandeis University and is the author of The Inverted Mirror: Mythologizing the Enemy in France and Germany, 1898-1914 (New York, Berghahn Books, 2005).

On Tuesday, July 14 & 28 and August 11 & 25 at 1:00 p.m. at the Gunn Library and Museum there will be a WWI Film Series featuring: The African QueenA Farewell to ArmsFly Boys, and War Horse.

2 comments:

  1. I must say, GML/M is a study in excellence. When I was a resident growing up in the 40's and 50's, the Library was a mere shadow of what is has become. Makes me wistful about my old home town. Harvey Chess

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  2. Havey, yes, GML/M is a wonderful inspiration to Washington and always has interesting events that tell the story of this lovely New England village.

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