History Museum to Hold Symposium on Women, Workers, and the Suppressed in World War I

By April 18, 2018Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (April 18, 2018) In recognition of the extreme social upheaval of World War I on the homefront,the Los Altos History Museum will hold a symposium panel titled “Women, Workers, and the Suppressed,” slated for Tuesday, May 1 at 7pm, at the Bus Barn Theater in Los Altos. The public is invited to participate in an exchange of ideas with panelists Dr. Glenna Matthews from Stanford University, Dr. Candace Falk from UC Berkeley, and Dr. Margo McBane from San Jose State University.

The program is part of a series of events supporting the exhibition “Over Here: Americans at Home in World War I” on display in the Museum’s main gallery, noon-4pm, Thursdays-Sundays, through May 27.

“This panel will complement the National Archives photos on display in the exhibition, which document the experience of women and workers during wartime,” said Executive Director Elisabeth Ward.

Historian Dr. Glenna Matthews will discuss “The Valley of Heart’s Delight One Hundred Years Ago,” highlighting the nature of local agriculture in the early 1900s, the cannery work force, and a short-lived union that struggled to be born during WWI: The Toilers of the World. The author of “Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream,” Dr. Matthews obtained a doctorate from Stanford University in American History.

Dr. Candace Falk, Editor and Director of The Emma Goldman Papers at UC Berkeley, will discuss how freedom of expression on the homefront eroded while American soldiers joined the war abroad “to keep the world safe for democracy.” In “Over Here: Emma Goldman and the Consequences of Voicing Dissent on the Homefront,” Dr. Falk will highlight the words and stories of those who stood up for justice in those threatening times, serving as a source of inspiration – and a warning.

Dr. Margo McBane will focus on “Sisters of the Soil: The WWI Woman’s Land Army of America,” a national organization, and how it differed from California Divisions on large farms, and the female farm help role on the small Eastern and Midwestern farms of the war era, as well as their promotional purposes. Dr. McBane received her PhD in History from UCLA.

Following a series of short presentations, the panelists will field questions from the audience.

The Bus Barn Theater is located at 97 Hillview Avenue in Los Altos. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to visit the exhibition at the Museum prior to the symposium, from 6-7pm.

The Museum is offering additional programs to support the current exhibit.

  • Memorial Day weekend, special activities, May 26-27th, 10am-3pm, Museum
  • Lecture, “Training for War in the Los Altos Hills: The Camp Fremont Experience,”June 5th, 7pm, Los Altos Library
  • Closing celebration and panel discussions, “World War I: Lessons Learned?”, June 17th, 2-4pm, Museum

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