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Conference marks centennial observance of WWI; National and international scholars examine Great War’s legacy

MADISON, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2017) – The Wisconsin Veterans Museum today announced that it will host “World War 100: A Centennial Symposium” on October 27-28 in Madison, in partnership with the Wisconsin World War I Centennial Commission, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the War in Society and Culture Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation. The symposium is open to the public and will honor the centennial observance of World War I, bringing national and international scholars together to examine the Great War and its legacy.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, during which more than four million Americans served, 116,516  U.S. soldiers gave their lives in combat, and another 200,000 were wounded.  The Great War changed the world forever, and this special symposium event will examine and pay homage to the 122,000 Wisconsin men and women that served on air, land, and sea and the war’s profound impact through keynote presentations, roundtables, and panel sessions.  Featured topics include WWI’s impact in Wisconsin, medical history, cultural mobilization, gender and more. The symposium will also feature the premiere of “Dawn of the Red Arrow,” a film about The United States 32nd Infantry Division formed from Army National Guard units from Wisconsin and Michigan who fought primarily during World War I and World War II. It was the first allied division to pierce the German Hindenburg Line of defense.

“Despite its significant impact on the world today, World War I is one of America’s forgotten wars,” said Michael Telzrow, director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. “This symposium aims to shed a light on the Great War during its centennial observance. We are thrilled to welcome many renowned national and international scholars to Wisconsin for this special event, and we encourage everyone to join us for an unforgettable experience.”

The Centennial Symposium begins on Friday, October 27 with a tour of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, a reception at the Overture Center, a roundtable discussion and “Dawn of the Red Arrow” premiere. It continues on Saturday with additional keynote speakers and panel sessions. Guest scholars include:

  • Sir Hew Strachan, Professor of International Relations, University of St. Andrews
  • John Cooper, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • David McDonald, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Bruno Cabanes, Professor, Donald G. & Mary A. Dunn Chair in Modern Military History, The Ohio State University
  • Holly Case, Associate Professor of History, Brown University
  • JenniferKeene, Professor of History, Chapman University
  • Michael Neiberg,Chair in War Studies, S. Army War College

To view the full schedule of events and purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/world-war-100-symposium-tickets-35793410053?aff=es2.

The centennial symposium is the second major WWI event to be hosted by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum this year. In April, the museum unveiled the “WWI Beyond the Trenches: Stories from the Front” exhibit, which shares the stories of Wisconsin WWI veterans in their own words through audio recordings, photographs, diary-like letters and more. The exhibit will run through April 2019. For more information, visit www.wisvetsmuseum.com.


About the Wisconsin Veterans Museum  

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum dates to 1901 when it was established as the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall in the Wisconsin Capitol. It is an educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate since 2014, one of only three in Wisconsin, which gives it access to the Smithsonian’s unparalleled collections and scholarship. For more on the Museum’s exhibits, collections and events, log on to WisVetsMuseum.com. Museum admission is free and it is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 30 W. Mifflin St., directly across from the State Capitol.

About Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active, and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving, and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs, and services. For more information, visit wisconsinhistory.org.

About the World War I Centennial Commission

The Commission was established by the World War I Centennial Commission Act, passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on January 16, 2013, and is responsible for planning, developing, and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I. The mission is to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served, and commemorate the Great War through public programs and initiatives. To learn more about the Commission activities, visit worldwar1centennial.org

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