An exhibit that tells the story of what was going on in the United States during World War I, and how the U.S. was transformed by it, is opening in the Twin Cities this weekend.
The "WW1 America" exhibit opens at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul on Saturday, just two days after the 100-year anniversary of America officially entering the Great War.
The exhibit tells the stories of Americans – both the ones you learned about in history class and the ones you didn't – who made a mark on the U.S. between 1914-1919, a news release says.
The WWI exhibit is divided into different time periods, ranging from before the U.S. entered the war; the 19 months the nation was at war; the end of the war; and the lasting impact the war – and the people of that time – had on America, the Minnesota Historical Society says. In each section, there will be original artifacts on display, along with music, hands-on exploration, interactives and multimedia presentations.
“What I hope people come away with is seeing this war as transformational,” Minnesota Historical Society curator Brian Horrigan told the Pioneer Press. “Not just in a national sense. Individual lives were transformed."
On opening day, you'll be able to take in a history talk or a theatrical performance with comedian Kevin Kling, see costumed re-enactors, live music, storytelling and different art activities. (Check the online calendar for more information on these events – some do cost a little bit more.)
Plus, throughout the run of the exhibit (it ends Sept. 4), you'll be able to watch as local artist David Geister paints a huge, 30-foot mural. The mural will feature 100 Americans who were important in making what America became following WWI. The history center is asking people to vote here for the five people they think were the most influential, and who should be displayed more prominently on the mural.
The "WW1 America" exhibit is included with admission to the museum (admission is $6-$12), while members, active military and veterans are free.
After the exhibit's run in St. Paul, "WW1 America" will do a three-year tour at other museums around the country. The exhibit, which got funding help from a $600,000 grant, was created by the Minnesota History Center in partnership with the National Constitution Center, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the Oakland Museum of California and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.