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Participating Entities

The following are entities that are participating in Maine's World War I Centennial commemoration, whether through planning support, exhibits, or other historical activities.

Maine National Guard

Maine Bureau of Veteran's Services

Maine State Historian

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., co-author of "Maine in World War I," available October 2, 2017 from Arcadia Press.

Maine State Museum

Exhibit to run from November 2017 to November 2018: "Over There and Down Home: World War I and Maine."

Maine State Archives

Exhibit: “Neutral No More: Maine Mobilizes for the Great War,” on display October 2, 2017 to September 21, 2018

Maine Historical Society

"World War I and the Maine Experience," Opening February 3, 2017.

Known as "The War to End All Wars", World War I ended nothing. 2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of American involvement in the first World War, and an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous impact it continues to have on American politics, society and culture. Our exhibition, World War I and the Maine Experience places emphasis on Maine's attitude towards the conflict, the cultural rhetoric of the period, and the service and sacrifice of Maine citizens on the front and at home.

It also explores the role the media played in public opinion, and highlights how Maine's economy, population, and development reflected and reacted to the global issues at hand. Through exhibited objects including posters, pamphlets, and political cartoons, the exhibition depicts a nation rallying together to support its allies and "preserve liberty." Also on view are uniforms and period clothing, military documents, and weaponry including a ca. 1895 Colt-Browning machine gun, as well as a rich collection of photographs and letters demonstrating the veteran experience, the complexities of reintegration, and the comradery of service.

This exhibition is made possible by the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust and the Margaret Burnham Charitable Trust.

MHS Cover Photo for Exhibit

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine

The University of Southern Maine

The Maine World War I Memorial Inventory seeks to promote an increased civic awareness regarding the role of the United States in World War I, and hopes to shed light upon a war (and those who fought in it) often overshadowed in American History (especially by the Civil War and World War II).

Osher Map Library

The Osher Map Library celebrates the opening of a new exhibition of World War I maps and propaganda. The exhibition, “To Conquer or Submit? America Views the Great War,” coincides with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war in March 1917.

The exhibition explores American participation in the war with propaganda posters, maps and atlases from the collections of University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, 314 Forest Ave., Portland.

Maine Military Museum and Learning Center

The Maine Military Museum and Learning Center will be running a World War I display of artifacts, posters, pictures, and uniforms, telling the story of Maine's service members in the Great War.

Maine Military Historical Society

Colby Museum of Art

"Graphic Matters: George Bellows and World War I"
February 9, 2017 - September 3, 2017
Gourley Gallery

Graphic Matters reflects on the centennial of American entry into World War I by reexamining Bellows’s prints for the timely questions they raise about representation, aestheticized and institutionalized violence, nationalism, and masculinity

Maine Maritime Museum

"Pull Together: Maritime Maine in the 1914-1918 Great War"

Oct. 7, 2017 — June 10, 2018

The significance of naval and merchant ships, and by extension the shipyards that built them, was more uncontested in the unprecedented searing magnitude of the first World War – when land armies had yet to become highly mechanized, and air power was a novelty – than it was in the grim repeat of WWII. Bath and other Maine coastal communities with long-standing shipbuilding reputations felt the war-fever flush of national attention (and cash) as America finally surged into action, declaring war against Germany on April 2, 1917 after three years of indecisive neutrality.

Pull Together will examine Maine’s contributions (and losses) of ships, resources, and personnel in the Great War, including Bath-built commercial sailing vessels sunk (or missed) by the German navy, coastal defenses and patrol craft, and the service careers of Maine-born mariners and Maine-built ships of all kinds, from yachts to four-stackers to submarines. Other related topics will include life in the “delirium” of wartime Bath as revealed in contemporary newspapers, propaganda, posters, photography, and other original collection sources at Maine Maritime Museum.

Dr. Donald Zillman - Author

Living The World War: A Weekly Exploration of the American Experience in World War I—Volume One.

By Donald N. Zillman and Elizabeth Elsbach

A century ago Americans entered and fought 'a war to end all wars.' In Living the World War: A Weekly Exploration of the American Experience in World War I we use the Congressional Record and the New York Times to see how an American citizen of that era would have experienced the World War without knowing what would come next. In addition to the War, Americans living during the weeks of October 1, 1916 to December 31, 1917 also debated women’s suffrage, race relations, Prohibition, the rights of organized labor, reconciliation of North and South, and coal and fuel shortages. That experience of war, and the emerging national issues, profoundly shape America in the 21st century.

Houlton Higher Education Center

Richard Rubin - Author

The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and their Forgotten War:

In 2003, 85 years after the armistice, it took Richard Rubin months to find just one living American veteran of World War One. But then he found another. And another. Eventually he managed to find dozens, aged 101 to 113, and interview them. All are gone now.​​

A decade long odyssey to recover the story of a forgotten generation and their Great War led Rubin across the United States and France, through archives, private collections, battlefields, literature, propaganda, and even music. But at the center of it all were the last of the last, the men and women he met: a new immigrant, drafted and sent to France, whose life was saved by a horse; a Connecticut Yankee who volunteered and fought in every major American battle; a Cajun artilleryman nearly killed by a German aeroplane; an 18 year old Bronx girl "drafted" to work for the War Department; the 16 year old who became America's last World War One veteran; and many, many more.​

Back Over There

In Last of the Doughboys, Richard Rubin introduced readers to a forgotten generation of Americans: the men and women who fought and won the First World War. Interviewing the war's last survivors face-to-face, he knew well the importance of being present if you want to get the real story. But he soon came to realize that to get the whole story, he had to go Over There, too. So he did, and discovered that while most Americans regard that war as dead and gone, to the French, who still live among its ruins and memories, it remains very much alive.

Years later, with the centennial of the war only magnifying this paradox, Rubin decided to go back Over There to see if he could, at last, resolve it. For months he followed the trail of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front, finding trenches, tunnels, bunkers, century-old graffiti and ubiquitous artifacts. But he also found an abiding fondness for America and Americans, and a colorful corps of local after-hours historians and archaeologists who tirelessly explore these sites and preserve the memories they embody while patiently waiting for Americans to return and reclaim their own history and heritage. None of whom seemed to mind that his French needed work.

Bangor/Brewer First World War Centennial Committee

On Thursday, April 6, the United States will recognize the 100th anniversary of its entrance into World War I. This often overlooked war was significant in our history and effected our nation, state and Bangor/Brewer in meaningful ways.

In recognition of this centennial anniversary, the Brewer Historical Society, Acadia Hospital and the Maine Infantry Foundation have formed the “Bangor/Brewer First World War Centennial Committee.”

The mission of this committee is to learn from the sacrifices of the men and women of the Bangor/Brewer area during World War I in order to help us guide our future.

The committee will host a number of public events and discussions to not only learn from the lessons of the past, but to make suggestions as to how those lessons might transfer to today.