(5) World War I Subjects

Nebraskans and The Great War

by Spencer Davis

This presentation explores how three important Nebraskans of the time reacted to the war.  William Jennings Bryan, who resigned as Secretary of State in President Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet because of his opposition to the war; Senator George Norris, who opposed President Wilson’s declaration of war; and Willa Cather, whose novel about the war won a Pulitzer Prize.

Behind The Meaning of Names

by Karen Gettert Shoemaker

Karen Gettert Shoemaker, the author of the One Book One Nebraska 2016 selection, reads from and discusses the role of family stories and historic research in the writing of her historic novel The Meaning of Names. This presentation includes discussions of World War I, the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, the experiences of immigrants and first-generation Americans in the early 1900s, and the role of men and women in a changing society, as well as the many subjects readers bring to the conversation.

America and the Great War: 1914-1918

by David Wells

The role of America in “the war to end all wars” is misunderstood. Most people think only of the 1917-18 period when U.S. soldiers marched off to save the world, not realizing that from 1914-17 the nation was opposed to the war. Songs of the period show the changing attitude of the American public, from neutrality to anti-war sentiments to entry in the war and the ultimate defeat of Germany. World War II and the Cold War make more sense when you understand what happened between 1914-18. Wells features a special section of patriotic songs written by Nebraskans from Chadron to Omaha. A 45-minute slide program and a large display of sheet music are included.