As part of the College of Charleston’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and The College Reads! Sponsorship of a number of war, trauma, and culture events, History Graduate Student Caroline Parsons installed an exhibit on the local impact of World War I.
June 28, 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of World War I. Known as the first “total war,” WWI devastated Europe economically, politically, demographically, and, ultimately, morally. On April 16, 1917, when the United States joined her allies – France, Russia, and Britain – to fight in World War I, there were many students from the College of Charleston who commissioned to join the ranks of the American military and to fight alongside their fellow Americans and Allied Powers in this brutal war. In an effort to recognize their service and to remember the first total war of our modern world, the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library has partnered with the College of Charleston History Department to create a display to commemorate the centennial of World War I. The display utilizes WWI propaganda posters, newspaper clippings, photographs from Special Collections at the library, and other sources that explore various topics including gender, race, politics, the importance of the home front, the lives of soldiers, and ultimately what made the first World War so unique and devastating.The purpose of the display is to communicate to the observer what it would have been like to live during WWI and to inevitably be involved in the conflict. A number of the sources included in the display specifically highlight the involvement of Charleston and the Lowcountry in war, serving as a reminder of the contributions that the local community made to the war effort.
The display is available until the end of the Fall 2014 semester and is located on the second floor of Addlestone library. In addition to the exhibit, there is a book cart available on the first floor of the library with specially selected texts that explore the causes and ramifications of World War I.
I am a second year student in the joint MA History program at the College of Charleston and The Citadel.She is currently finishing up her final semester of courses and writing her thesis which focuses on Ronald Reagan’s moral and religious rhetoric concerning communism and the Soviet Union during his time as president. Caroline graduated with honors in May 2013 from Western Carolina University with a BA in History and a minor in Philosophy. Originally from Mint Hill, NC, she hopes to move back to the Old North State to pursue a career as a high school history teacher and basketball coach after graduation in May 2015.