History Museum to Open WWI Exhibition, Over Here: Americans at Home in World War I

By March 15, 2018Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (March 15, 2018)–In observation of the centennial of WWI, the Los Altos History Museum will open a new exhibition “Over Here: Americans at Home in World War I” April 12th through May 27th, 2018, drawing upon the unparalleled holdings of the National Archives. The U.S. entry into World War I, 1917-1918, marks the beginning of its position as a global power, and dramatically affected the home front. “Over Here: Americans at Home in World War I” captures the patriotic fervor of draft registration, the emotional goodbyes of men leaving for training camps, the “hoopla” of Liberty Loan drives, the craze for volunteerism, and the violence of vigilantism.

The Los Altos History Museum will follow up that exhibition with an in-house exhibition about World War I, “Right Here: Our Local Stories“, which opens June 1st, 2018 and runs through June 17th. It will illuminate locally collected artifacts and stories, which focus on the growing Los Altos community in the context of a wartime Peninsula, and feature personal letters, original newspaper stories, information on Camp Fremont, and graphic posters promoting patriotic messages.

Over Here: Americans at Home in World War I“, is divided into three themes:

  • Mobilizing the Nation – Modern warfare demanded not just soldiers on the front lines, pilots in the sky, and sailors on the high seas, but guns, ships, and crops from America’s factories, shipyards, and fields.
  • Stirring Patriotic Passions – In a war that was often described as a “crusade,” emotion, pageantry, and performance were weapons. Along with the Federal Government, local, state, and national organizations produced a variety of events that aimed at stirring feelings of patriotic obligation among Americans and encouraging sacrifice, volunteerism, and national service.
  • Policing Enemies at Home – Nearly all home front photographs encouraged national unity and saluted patriotic work, but a much smaller number hint at some of the anti-German hysteria, political unrest, and social conflict that lurked behind the patriotic fervor of bond drives, pageants, and parades.

The Museum is organizing several free public programs to support the two exhibitions.

The Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org