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Symposia on American entry into WWI, and on the Conscience Objector Movement during the War, & program examining the future of American political parties highlight Upcoming Events at National World War I Museum and Memorial

By Mike Vietti,
National World War I Museum and Memorial

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Coming to the National WWI Museum and Memorial will be a pair of symposia, featuring world-renowned speakers, including historian, Sir Hew Strachan. The programs will examine the entry of the U.S. into World War I and the conscience objector movement. There will also be a bi-partisan panel discussion on the future of American political parties featuring former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

eight col Sir Hew StrachanSir Hew StrachanFrom Oct. 19-22, the Museum hosts the symposium “Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War I Through Today.” The event features acclaimed authors and presenters, including New York Times author Michael Kazin and Ingrid Sharp from Leeds University in the United Kingdom. Additionally, author Duane Stoltzfus and Dora Maendel of the Fairholme Hutterite Colony in Manitoba, Canada, will examine what happened to more than 500 Hutterites who protested American involvement in WWI and were later jailed in Washington, Alcatraz and eventually Ft. Leavenworth, where two young men died under suspicious circumstances. Nearly 50 Hutterites from Canada, many of whom are descendants from the 500 people imprisoned at Ft. Leavenworth, will be in attendance at the event. Single day registration ($55) and complete event registration ($125) are available at theworldwar.org/symposia.

The Museum welcomes one of the world’s leading experts on World War I, Sir Hew Strachan, for a special free program in advance of its second symposium at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2. Strachan, former Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford, will be joined by scholars Jennifer Keene (Chapman University) and Jay Sexton (University of Missouri) for “The Long Road to Peace: Enter the Peace Broker,” which examines President Woodrow Wilson’s attempt to arbitrate the war in December 1916.

On Nov. 3-4, the Museum hosts its second international symposium “1917: America Joins the Fight” featuring renowned scholars from across the world. The event features author David Stevenson, making his only U.S. appearance in 2017 following the release of his new book “1917: War, Peace and Revolution” as well as acclaimed authors Michael Neiberg, Robert Cozzolino, Olga Porshneva, Richard S. Faulkner and more. Early bird registration ($195) is available through Oct. 6 at theworldwar.org/symposia.

In conjunction with American Public Square, the Museum hosts “The Elephant & Donkey in the Room: The Future of American Political Parties” at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 16. The panel includes Howard Dean (former DNC Chairman), Danny Diaz (former campaign manager for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign), Greg Orman (independent candidate for Kansas U.S. Senate seat in 2014), Jacqueline Salit (former campaign manager for Michael Bloomberg’s three campaigns for NYC Mayor), and Beth Miller Vonnahme (Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-Kansas City). Allan Katz (former United States Ambassador to Portugal) will moderate the event, and Nick Haines (Executive Producer, KCPT) will act as the “roving reporter,” presenting questions from the audience. A limited number of free tickets remain for the event at americanpublicsquare.org. The event will also be carried via live stream at theworldwar.org/live.

Scott Stephenson kicks off the 2017-18 John J. Pershing Great War Centennial Series at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11 with the free program “Total War Comes to the Fatherland: The German Home Front, 1914-18.” Stephenson will focus on the evolution of the German Empire, from a nation of wealth, unity and resolve to one of despair and revolution.

Other Museum events during October include: Hands-on History (Saturdays at 2 p.m.), the free Feast of Fountains event with Kansas City Parks and Recreation (Oct. 12, 4:30-7:30 p.m.), the free WW1USA amateur radio special event station (Oct. 14-15, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), the monthly Story Time children’s reading/craft event (Oct. 14, 11 a.m.) and a performance from the Mid America Freedom Band (Oct. 29, 2 p.m.).

The National World War I Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war.

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