World War I: Lessons and Legacies explores the war and its lasting impact and far-reaching influence on American life.
Sparked by the assassination of one man, the war eventually included the forces of the world’s major industrial powers (over 18 countries) and ended with millions dead. World War I also gave rise to significant and enduring changes in America. Wartime technologies and medical advances resulted in new industries and novel ways to fight disease and treat disability. Women and minority participation in the war led to women’s voting rights and raised awareness on civil rights issues throughout society. The war led to pivotal changes in America’s culture, technology, economy, and role in the world. It redefined how we saw ourselves as Americans and its legacy continues today.
Developed for middle and high school students, the eight posters feature historical photographs, documents, graphics, educational text, and a design that reflects the modernity the war’s end brought to the 20th century.
World War I: Lessons and Legacies is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the National Museum of American History, in cooperation with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. It is funded in part by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for over 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.
National Museum of American History
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research, ad dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. For more information, visit americanhistory.si.edu. To access the Museum’s World War I collections, online exhibits, and research, visit americanhistory.si.edu/topics/world-war-i.
United States World War I Centennial Commission
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was created by an Act of Congress in 2013. Members of the Commission were appointed by the President, leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National World War I Museum. World War I remains America’s forgotten war, even though more Americans gave their lives during that war than during Korea and Vietnam combined, and even though it profoundly shaped the rest of “the American century.” The Commission will use the Centennial as a timely and essential opportunity to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; to honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served; and to commemorate through public programs and initiatives the centennial of this global event. Visit worldwar1centennial.org.
SI Women’s Committee
The Smithsonian Women’s Committee celebrates fine American crafts through two signature events: the Smithsonian Craft Show and Craft2Wear. From the funds raised at these shows, the Committee awards grants and endowments throughout the Smithsonian. For more information, visit swc.si.edu.