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From the summer of 1914 until the spring of 1917, European nations were engaged in a global conflict that was supposed to be the “War to End All Wars,” while the United States remained a neutral country. President Woodrow Wilson had tried to keep America out of the war but forces inside and outside of the nation compromised its neutral stance and the U.S. entered the conflict on April 6, 1917. This exhibition will highlight the more than 61,000 Tennesseans who were drafted into the war and another 19,000 who volunteered. Most served in the army, but some joined other service branches. All served courageously, particularly the six Tennesseans who earned the Medal of Honor. In addition to those who served overseas, many contributed through war industries and volunteer organizations that mobilized at home. Women temporarily joined the workforce or became nurses. After the war, Tennesseans honored the service of all veterans with grand commemorations and memorials across the state.
Tennessee and the Great War is scheduled to be on view through the beginning of 2020.