This November 11 marks the centennial of the end of the First World War and the High Point Museum is hosting a traveling exhibit from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The exhibit, North Carolina in the Great War, will be open Tuesday, October 30 until Sunday, December 2.
This traveling exhibit contains panels with information on both the soldiers abroad and the home front here in North Carolina. It shares information on the various military installations in the state, discusses U Boat activity off the coast and seeks to put the war in context. Also included is a mannequin dressed as a soldier in full uniform with weapon and complete backpack and gear, and another mannequin as Red Cross nurse, dressed in a ward dress, apron, and cap with veil.
Artifacts from the High Point Historical Society collection along with the stories of both men and women from High Point completes the exhibit. Items on display include personal items such as shaving kit, bible and postcards along with combat items including gas mask, compass and trench knife. Several uniforms and photographs also are on display. In order to give visitors a look at the front lines three films from the National Archives can be viewed in the exhibit. The films were taken by Signal Corps, a group in charge of communications for the Army.
“Many organizations and media outlets have been talking about this year being the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, but it’s so long ago that no one really has a living memory of the war anymore,” Edith Brady, Museum Director, said. “So this exhibit is a great opportunity for all of us to learn or review what happened during WWI and reflect on how it changed the world.”
The High Point Museum is planning three programs and participating in a statewide initiative to coincide with this exhibit. Charles Knight, Curator of Military History at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, will conduct a presentation on “The Great War” Thursday, November 8, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Knight’s presentation examines the role of North Carolina in World War I and includes stories from some of the more than 86,000 Tar Heels who went overseas to fight for the U.S. as well as those who donned the uniforms of other Allied countries before American involvement in this largely forgotten war that ended 100 years ago. This presentation is free and open to the public.
Our American observance of Veterans Day on November 11 evolved from Armistice Day, which commemorated the end of World War I. Come make your own “bell of peace” and red poppy while learning why these symbols are associated with this historic event on Saturday, November 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free drop-in event is especially for children and families.
The High Point Historical Society Guild Series program on Wednesday, November 14 at 10 a.m. will focus on High Point's Experience of the Great War. In this program, Larry Cates will share many interesting facts about High Point’s approach to the war effort, both here and "over there." The presentation will include war heroes and "slackers," volunteers and draft dodgers, paranoia, persecution, and real-life espionage, business challenges and opportunities, fuel and food shortages, an extremely cold winter, and a deadly influenza pandemic.
Bells will toll in unison across High Point, Guilford County, North Carolina and throughout the world at 11 a.m. Sunday, November 11 to commemorate the centennial of Armistice Day. When the Armistice ending World War I was signed on November 11, 1918, bells rang in celebration around the world. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is encouraging local history groups, individuals, places of worship of any faith and community organizations to ring bells 21 times at 11 a.m. Sunday, November 11. If your group or organization is interested in participating please contact Teresa Loflin, Community Relations Director at High Point Museum, at 336-883-3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Please join in and add your bells to the chorus,” Brady said.
The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is working in partnership with the World War I Centennial Commission and the local chapter of Veterans for Peace to promote bell ringing on Nov. 11. Additional partners include the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, is dedicated to sharing Greater High Point’s history, providing perspective for current issues, and strengthening the sense of community.
The City of High Point aims to serve as the catalyst for bringing together the community’s human, economic and civic resources for the purpose of creating the single most livable, safe and prosperous community in America. For more information on the City, visit www.highpointnc.gov