Grant County and the Great War

Community members are invited to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I at a presentation at the Silver City Public Library on Tuesday, March 7, 4:00pm. In this presentation, “Grant County and the Great War,” a local historian and researcher will outline how the war influenced life in our region.

The Silver City Museum will also be commemorating the centenary with a small exhibit, “April 1917: The United States Enters World War I.” The exhibit will be on view in the new education and activity room from March 21 through May 14, 2017, and it will feature a uniform and original photographs. Photographs, informative text, and other materials will be available for study.

World War I soldiers, possibly from the First New Mexico Infantry
Marriott Collection, Courtesy of the Silver City Museum Collection

During the time before the second World War, people referred to World War I as “the Great War.” World War I was fought from 1914 to 1918, but the United States did not enter until April 6, 1917. Several thousand New Mexicans fought and died. The war also affected our region economically.

World War I is a sometimes-overlooked historical era. The March 7 presentation and the museum’s exhibit will be good opportunities to learn about it. It will be particularly interesting to discover how things like the draft and reduced food consumption influenced our local communities.

Those who are interested in this topic may also be interested in the World War I film series happening Thursdays through April 6, hosted by the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society at the Santa Clara National Guard Armory. More information is available at fortbayard.org.

The Silver City Public Library is located at 515 W. College Avenue, at the corner of College and Cooper Street in Silver City, and can be contacted at 575-538-3672 or ref@silvercitymail.com. The Silver City Museum is located at 312 West Broadway in Silver City, and can be contacted at 575-538-5921.

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