This weekend both of my letter writing blog posts revolve around World War I letters with today, part one, on the Smithsonian National Postal Museum World War I Letters Exhibit. You will want to be sure to be back tomorrow for my special Sunday blog post with part two for the weekend – it will be on the new book by Frank Skidmore, Dear Boys in Service.
These type of blog posts where we pause and sincerely pay our respects to these special letters from such a historic time take me longer to write and so today’s daily blog post is being posted much later in the day than my usual morning post time.
Smithsonian National Postal Museum World War I Letters Exhibit
It was on April 6, 1917, a hundred years ago that America entered WWI.
On Thursday of this week, April 6, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum opened its World War I Letters Exhibit for the centennial. The exhibit is open from April 6, 2017 – November 29, 2018, in the Mail Call Gallery at the Smithsonian.
The exhibit is called My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I. The exhibit is the result of collaboration between the Smithsonian National Postal Museum with the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University, and they attribute in part to the “generous support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.”
The exhibit showcases General John J. Pershing with a letter he wrote that begins “My Fellow Soldiers”. “Pershing expressed his profound respect and appreciation for the sacrifice, endurance, and will of those who served under him. Each member of the AEF received a copy of the message.”
“This exhibition examines America’s role in the war as recorded through the unique lens of personal correspondence written by soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, aid workers, and their loved ones on the home front. Letters contain the stories of these men and women in their own words. What and how people wrote were influenced by censorship rules and social expectations. With few other forms of communication readily available at the time, letters were a lifeline for maintaining relationships and hope.”
Their online Exhibition is coming Soon. Also, there is the link to “Connect to the US World War I Centennial Commission for information on the history of the war, centennial programs, and events across the United States.”
If you have been considering a reason to travel to DC then getting to go to this exhibit looks to be a great reason. It has me looking at their link to Plan to visit and getting out my calendar. Perhaps a letter writing road trip to see this first hand could be in future plans. Tomorrow on Palm Sunday, we will be covering part two on World War I Letters this weekend with the new book by Frank Skidmore, Dear Boys in Service.
Postal Museum World War I Letters Exhibit Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today
Smithsonian National Postal Museum My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I, Excerpt. Image above American Red Cross photo postcard shows soldiers sending mail, NPM0.214896.119. Excerpt from About the Exhibit. @PostalMuseum
Image from US World War I Centennial Commission WW1 Centennial @WW1CC
Frank Skidmore, Dear Boys in Service.