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WWI America

As we approach the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day for World War I on November 11, our very own Museum of History and Industry is hosting the only exhibition on that subject on the entire West Coast. Armistice Day began as a protest against the horrors of war. It has evolved into a celebration of veterans, a very different purpose. This exhibition covers the full range of the issues raised by war, emphasizing the massive changes in US society.

First organized by the Minnesota History Center in partnership with the National Constitution Center and other institutions, MOHAI has added a significant Seattle component. Leonard Garfield, the dynamic Director of the Museum, commented at the opening, much of what we see in today’s Seattle began during World War I.

I was happy to see the anti-war movements, led by women like Jane Addams, at the beginning of the exhibition. Addams led an outcry with other women against the war as well as founding the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom after the war, an organization that is still in existence today.