The state of Arkansas continues to commemorate the centennial of World War I with a series of events in December and 2018, in addition to new educational materials on its website. A full list of events is available on the website.
“The Great War: Arkansas in World War I,” the Arkansas State Archives traveling exhibit on WWI, will be displayed at the Museum of Regional History in Texarkana from Dec. 19 to Jan. 11. More information is available by calling 903-793-4831 or through email.
The Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee also has planted and dedicated a number of WWI memorial trees throughout the state, and that will continue in 2018. Trees are provided through the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Two are dedication ceremonies are planned for Saturday (Dec. 16). Boone County Memorial Tree Dedication will be 10:30 a.m. at Omaha City Hall. Cross County Memorial Tree Dedication will be 10:45 a.m. at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in Cherry Valley.
Madison County Memorial Tree Dedication will be Jan. 16, 4:30 p.m. at Madison County Public Library in Huntsville. Pulaski County Memorial Tree Dedication will be Feb. 11, 2:30 p.m. at MacArthur Park in Little Rock. Perry County Memorial Tree Dedication will be Feb. 24, 2 p.m. at Milam Library in Perryville.
On May 28, Lonoke County Memorial Tree Dedication will be 10 a.m. at the Lonoke County Courthouse in Lonoke, and Chicot County Memorial Tree Dedication will be at noon in Lake Village Park in Lake Village.
Polk County Memorial Tree Dedication will be June 30, 8 p.m. at Hatfield Municipal Park.
Untold Stories: American Indian Code Talkers During WWI exhibit will continue through Feb. 2 at the Sequoyah National Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. More information is available by calling 501-569-8336 or through email.
WWI-themed exhibits that will be on display through the end of 2018 include the U.S.S. Arkansas exhibit at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock, Lonoke County in the Great War exhibit at the Museum of American History in Cabot, First Call: American Posters of WWI exhibit at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock, and “On the Fields and in the Trenches: Relics of the First World War” exhibit at the Arkansas State Archives at One Capitol Mall in Little Rock.
The Camp Pike exhibit, which tells the story of how the Little Rock area was selected as the site for Camp Pike in 1917 after the United States entered WWI in April 1917, is now a permanent display at the Arkansas National Guard Museum at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.
The WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee and the School of Mass Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock joined forces to produce seven podcasts about life in Arkansas around the time of the war.
They are available online at the committee’s website.
A list of recently added podcasts follows.
- Blake Perkins of Williams Baptist College on resistance to the draft in WWI Arkansas
- David Sesser of Henderson State University on efforts to build an Arkansas infrastructure to train WWI troops
- Joe Fox of the Arkansas Forestry Commission on his doughboy grandfather and his link to the Civil War
- Don C. Bragg of the USDA Forest Service on the fighting foresters of the 20th Engineers Regiment
- Mark K. Christ of the Arkansas WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee on a pair of pioneering airmen with Arkansas connections.
The website also features a timeline of events that occurred during WWI in Arkansas and a map of WWI-related sites throughout the state, in addition to a page where Arkansans can post photos and documents related to their families’ experiences during the WWI era.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2016 created the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee, tasked with planning activities around the 100-year commemoration in Arkansas, conducting research and otherwise seeking the expansion of the understanding and appreciation of the significance of WWI, according to its website.
The committee is part of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.