World War I Exhibit, Lectures To Highlight Commemoration

The World War commemoration will include lectures and memorabilia from the war.

The World War commemoration will include lectures and memorabilia from the war.

Southwestern Adventist University in Keene will commemorate the centennial of World War I with an exhibit that features artifacts from the Great War. The display is open April 12 to May 1 in the Meadows Gallery of the Chan Shun Centennial Library.

Southwestern’s department of history and social sciences is coordinating the exhibit, which will also feature a replica trench built inside the gallery. Trench warfare was one of the most recognizable features of the war, which lasted from August 1914 to November 1918.

“World War I often gets forgotten now, sandwiched in between the Civil War and World War II,” said history department chair Dr. Steve Jones. “For the next several years there will be centennial commemorations around the world. This is our contribution to that, our way of studying and remembering the pivotal importance of the war.”

The exhibit brings together items on loan from private collectors and north Texas museums. Artifacts include uniforms, helmets, a variety of weapons, photographs, and two machine guns. Of special interest are personal items from Admiral Charles Rosendahl, a Cleburne native who pioneered the U.S. Navy’s use of airships, and Fort Worth’s Henry Clay, a fighter ace from World War I. An “ace” was any pilot who downed at least five enemy aircraft.

“We have so many remarkable items coming for the commemoration,” says Chloe Northrop, exhibit coordinator and Southwestern adjunct professor. “We hope the displays will give visitors a better understanding of what this war was like, and what the people involved had to endure.”

Many of today’s problems in the Middle East are the result of a post-World War I reorganization of that region. Dr. Nancy Stockdale, professor of history at the University of North Texas in Denton, will present “The Great War and the Creation of the Modern Middle East” as part of Southwestern’s commemoration events. She will speak in Pechero Hall, Room 128, on April 23. Her talk begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

The exhibit is sponsored by a grant from Humanities Texas as well as donations and artifact loans from the Burleson Heritage Foundation, UT Dallas, the Layland Museum of Cleburne, Bruce and Audrey Anderson, the Texas Fashion Collection, Nick Stewart Lumber Co., and additional private collectors.

Admission to the exhibit is free. Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-6 p.m., Wednesdays 1-9 p.m., Fridays 11-2 p.m., and Sundays 12-6 p.m. For more information, visit or call (817) 202-6249. To schedule group or school tours, email

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