This all-volunteer effort is free, but you must register. See 'Registration' below for details.
10:00 - USAHEC Opens, Symposium Opens
10:30 - Welcome by PA WW1 Centennial Committee event chairman
10:35 – Orientation by USAHEC Staff on programs/resources/facility
10:40 - "America's Responses to the War in Europe, 1914-1917", Dr. Michael S. Neiberg, Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College
The war in Europe impacted American society from the day it began. Over the next few years, Americans debated how they should respond to the war. By the spring of 1917, their options narrowed significantly. This talk will trace America's road to entry into what many of them hoped would become the war to end all wars.
11:40 - Lunch break
13:00 - “Americans All! Foreign-Born Soldiers in World War I”, Dr. Nancy Gentile Ford, Professor of History, Bloomsburg, University.
During the First World War, nearly 1 out of 5 soldiers in the U.S. Army were foreign-born. This surge of Old World soldiers (from 46 different nations) challenged the American military’s culture, linguistic and religious traditions and required military leaders to reconsider their training methods.
Dr. Nancy Gentile Ford will examine how the War Department drew on the experiences of progressive social welfare reformers and ethnic community leaders, who assisted with training, socializing and meeting the cultural and religious needs of immigrant troops. Ford will also analyze why the War Department did not call for harsh Americanization of foreign-born soldiers but, instead, created an atmosphere that accepted both American and ethnic pride.
14:00 - Break 2
14:10 - "Writing the Great War: Veterans, literature, and the war's memory", Dr. Ian A. Isherwood, Visiting Assistant Professor, War and Memory Studies, Gettysburg College
15:10 - Break 3
15:20 - "Philadelphia in World War I", Peter Williams, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is an attorney with a special interest in World War I. He writes articles and a blog on life in Philadelphia during the First World War years
Peter Williams will speak about life in Philadelphia during the "Great War". One hundred years ago Philadelphia was the third largest city in the United States and a major manufacturing center nicknamed "The Workshop of the World." Mr. Williams will discuss how Philadelphians lived, worked and played. He will also discuss how when America joined the fight, the city and its citizens mobilized to support the war effort at home and their boys over there.
16:20 - Program Ends
17:00 - USAHEC Closes
For additional information on the symposium, contact Barry Johnson,
Pennsylvania World War One Centennial Committee volunteer at