In case you hadn’t noticed, Hackney Library has gone back in time about 100 years: we are playing temporary host to an exhibit called “North Carolina in the Great War.” The exhibit consists of two mannequins–the first dressed in the World War I uniform of a U.S. soldier (known as a “doughboy”), complete with gas mask; and the second in the uniform of a World War I nurse–as well as posters detailing the participation of North Carolina citizens in “The Great War.”
This year commemorates the centennial of the United States’ involvement in World War I, and the mannequins and poster exhibits are on temporary loan to us from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) through October 24, 2017. In only five months of action in 1918, the United States suffered over 275,000 casualties and over 50,000 deaths during the war.
According to the DNCR World War I web site,
With the declaration of war by President Wilson [in 1917], North Carolinians rallied to the cause. Women joined the American Red Cross, YWCA, and Salvation Army to serve as nurses in military hospitals at home and in France. Farmers grew victory acres and children grew thrift gardens to earn money to buy war bonds. Individuals and industry united to support the war effort.
The posters on display throughout the first floor of Hackney Library explore some of the details of North Carolinians’ involvement in the war and on the homefront during the conflagration that came to be known ironically as “the war to end all wars.”
Come by and take a step back in time to see what North Carolinians were doing to support the World War I effort!