On April 6, 1917, the United States of America joined the allies and became one of thirty-two countries engulfed in the Great War. Families across America felt President Woodrow Wilson’s words of neutrality on August 4, 1915 evaporate before them.

The Loudonville Public Library and Cleo Redd Fisher Museum are pleased to present World War I and America, the largest exhibition that the library has presented to date.  We have worked diligently to bring to you an exhibit that reflects the human toll and the impact of World War I on our local community. These stories will be told through sight, sound, smell and taste.

Explore a variety of displays on the main level before passing through the Hall of Soldiers and entering the re-creation of a World War I trench where the traveling exhibit and others can be viewed. Poppies made by C. E. Budd and R. F. McMullen students have been lovingly arranged in the poppy field to honor all veterans. Upon exiting the trench you will have the opportunity to read headlines of the time from area newspapers.

Below you will find an extensive list of special programs for all ages that have been designed to augment this exhibit. Our goal is not only for each viewer to learn about the Great War but to feel the war in their own way.

In addition, the project website, WWIAmerica.org, features historical texts and an interactive timeline of World War I events.

Thank You

A special thank you to the local people and businesses that have made this exhibit possible.

Jim Danner - Veterans liaison

PV Communications - printing services

Cleo Redd Fisher Museum volunteers

Les Sandusky - exhibit support

Ron Robbins - exhibit support

Brian Wilson - exhibit support

Loudonville Public Library staff

Friends of the Library - exhibit financial support

Special Program Schedule

World War I and America Opening Event
Thursday, February 1 at 7:00 pm

The exhibit will officially be opened by the American Legion Color Guard, followed by readings from “World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived it” and other writings. Refreshments will be served with an added selection of items that would have been eaten by soldiers during the war.

Exhibit Tours
Saturdays, February 3 and 17

Colleen Sandusky, event coordinator and/or local veterans will share insight into the exhibit.

Tuesday Family Friendly Genealogy Series
Every Tuesday from 6:00-7:00 pm in February families can learn the basics of genealogy searching and finding military records. These programs will focus on WWI, but skills can be applied to other wars and family searches.
Oral History and Gathering Facts February 6
Ancestry Library Edition February 13
Military Records February 20

Hands On Local History February 27

Film Presentation - Dear Home: Letters from WWI
Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00 pm

This History Channel documentary (50 mins.) will share a poignant perspective of the war through personal writings. There will be light refreshments and a short discussion of the importance of letter writing to soldiers and their families. If you have a personal letter from any war period that you would like to share please feel free to bring it along.

World War I Posters: For the Hearts and Minds of Ordinary People
Saturday, February 10 at 2:00 pm

Susan Talbot-Stanaway, retired Director of the Zanesville Museum of Art, will describe the posters, which were created during World War I to engage and rally support on the home front, as works of art and propaganda. There will be a selection of posters on display. 

Film Presentation - All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00 pm

The Academy Award winning film All Quiet on the Western Front will be shown at the library (2 hrs. 12 mins.). The screening will be preceded by vintage news reel footage from World War I.

Adult Book Discussion
Friday, February 16 at 11:00 am

This month’s books are Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear or The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund. Both of these books are World War I based stories. This book can be picked up at the circulation desk. New members are always welcome, so come and enjoy coffee, snacks and lively conversation.

The American Flag, Long May it Wave
Saturday, February 17 from 11:00-12:00 pm

Loudonville American Legion Post 257 will demonstrate the proper handling of the United States flag, including when it should be flown, how to dispose of the flag when it is torn and how to fold the flag properly.

Ken Hammontree as Sergeant York at Cleo Redd Fisher Museum
Monday, February 19 at 7:00 pm
Ken Hammontree, historian, lecturer and author, will present a first person presentation of Sergeant York.

Film Presentation - Grand Illusion with Dr. Greg Shaya, College of Wooster
Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 pm

Screening of WWI news reels and this classic French film (English subtitles) will be followed by a discussion led by Dr. Greg Shaya, College of Wooster. This film runs 1 hour and 57 minutes.

Sowing the Seeds of Victory at the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum
Saturday, February 24 from 2:00-4:00 pm

Discover how everyday Americans were encouraged to assist in the war effort; through victory gardens, voluntary rationing, and war bonds.  Refreshments.

This program is part of World War I and America, a two-year national initiative of The Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.