Skip to main content

You probably don't know as much about WWI as you should – this exhibit will change that

The Minnesota History Center will have a brand new exhibit about the impact of World War I.

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.

People can also learn more about WWI on the history center's website, which features a "WW1 Daybook," a blog that's based on items from the center's collection that's updated daily.

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.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 5.21.04 PM

Ex-South St. Paul coach dies by suicide 2 days before sentencing

Matthew McCollister was to be sentenced for fraud in federal court on Wednesday.


Minnesota 'glampground' named one of 10 best in U.S.

In Nevis, Minnesota, campers can stay in a refurbished 1905 train car.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Two men charged over terrifying armed robbery at Newport apartment

They shot the woman who lives in the apartment in the abdomen, and put a gun to a man's head.

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis 2-year-old identified in suspicious death case

The cause of death has not yet been revealed due to an ongoing investigation.

Arianna Vos

Victim of wrong-way driver crash ID'd as Hutchinson 19-year-old

Three women, ages 19, 20 and 20, were in the vehicle struck by a wrong-way driver early Sunday morning.

Julissa Thaler

Eli Hart killing: Police investigating multiple crime scenes

An announcement Tuesday confirmed potential crime scenes in Mound and Minnetrista.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Minneapolis accused of backtracking on 24/7 bus lanes for Hennepin Ave.

The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on Thursday.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Duluth brings back masking in city buildings amid COVID surge

Duluth, in one of the state's current COVID hotspots, has brought back a mask requirement in city buildings.


A Pixar exhibit is coming to the Science Museum of Minnesota

It's only the fourth museum in the country to get this exhibit.

A massive Cuban art exhibit is coming to the Walker Art Center

It'll be the first time in more than 70 years that the U.S. has had a Cuban art exhibit this large and significant.

Quiz: How well do you know the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden?

Is that piece new? What does it mean? How much does that big spoon weigh?

GDT @ Mia: Director/horror master Guillermo del Toro exhibition set to open

From the mind of the man who brought you Pan's Labyrinth and Cronos.