Monday, December 10, 2018

Hyde, Sims Library host exhibit celebrating WWI centennial

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | Views: 1823

Hyde, Sims Library host exhibit celebrating WWI centennial
HAMMOND – A mock trench, battlefield diorama, and scores of war related items and artifacts are among the features of a special exhibit commemorating World War I at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies.

Titled “The War That Did Not End All Wars: Louisiana and the Horror of World War I,” the exhibit will have its grand opening at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, located on the third floor of Sims Library on Southeastern’s Campus. The exhibit is free and open to the public and will remain on display through Dec. 10.

“The guns fell silent on the human slaughterhouse that was World War I in November 1918. Alternately known as the ‘Great War’ and the ‘War to End All Wars,’ World War I represented an unprecedented human tragedy that devastated Europe and gave rise to political and economic configurations that continue to challenge our world today,” said Dr. Sam Hyde, Leon Ford Endowed Chair, Professor of History, and Director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies. “In our modern technology driven world attention spans are short and memories often fleeting, but the Great War left legacies of profound significance to American development, and Louisiana was no exception.”

Hyde said World War I took mass human suffering to unparalleled depths and, in addition to indescribable butchery on the battlefield, genocide, innovation, pandemic, and racial and ethnic awareness were only a few products of the war.

The exhibit opening is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the launching of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest American military offensive in the nation’s history.

“The Meuse-Argonne Offensive not only was our largest offensive operation, it witnessed 47 days of sustained fighting which not only resulted in more American casualties than any other battle in our history, but also brought Germany to its knees and forced the Germans to surrender,” Hyde said.

An educational project designed to inform and entertain that places emphasis on all the nations who participated in the great struggle, the exhibit covers all aspects of the war from the sources of the conflict through the ill-fated Russian incursion and the influenza pandemic that killed thousands at the end of the war, Hyde said.

Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday. Hyde said schools and other interested groups are welcome to visit.

“The exhibit is designed to remind us that war is about suffering, and we want to reach as many people as possible with that message,” Hyde added.

For additional information about the exhibit or to schedule a group visit, contact the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at 985-549-2151, or email selahistory@southeastern.edu.