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WW I parade_1918

WWI parade, Main St., Hartford, 1918. City Parks glass negatives, Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library

Hartford Public Library (HPL) presents a series of programs that coincide with the 100th anniversary of the nation’s entry into the war in 1917. Participants in this nationwide conversation will include 120 libraries in all 50 states, who will explore the transformative impact of the First World War by reading, discussing and sharing insights into the writings of Americans who experienced it firsthand. The programs aim to bring veterans and their families together with the general public to explore the continuing relevance of the war.

This program is part of World War I and America, a two-year initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.


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Fighting on Two Fronts: The Puerto Rican Experience in World War I
Thursday, April 6, 5:30 PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera of Bloomfield College, New Jersey will deliver a lecture focusing on the experience of Puerto Ricans in the United States military in the 20th century, addressing issues of nation building, national identities, citizenship, military institutions and imperial-colonial relations.  Local veterans from the Hartford area and surrounding communities are invited to attend, share their experiences and contribute to program topics. Program will be bilingual (English & Spanish).

Luchando en dos frentes: la experiencia puertorriqueña en la Primera Guerra Mundial
jueves, el 6 de abril, 5:30
Hartford History Center, tercer piso, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

El Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera de Bloomfield College, Nueva Jersey, impartirá una conferencia sobre la experiencia de los puertorriqueños en el ejército de los Estados Unidos en el siglo XX, abordando temas de construcción de naciones, identidades nacionales, ciudadanía, instituciones militares y relaciones imperiales y coloniales.

Los veteranos locales del área de Hartford y las comunidades vecinas están invitados a asistir, compartir sus experiencias y contribuir a los temas del programa. El programa será bilingüe.

Roundtable Discussion: Expressions of War
Thursday, April 27, 5:30PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

A group comprised of military veterans, American Studies students from Hartford-area colleges, and active duty personnel will evaluate and discuss readings from the World War I period, led by Marcus Lawson of Capital Community College, Dr. Carlita Cotton of Goodwin College, and Dave Ionno, City of Hartford Veterans Committee. It is encouraged but not required to read through the following readings prior to the event. To register, please email jeagosto@hplct.org or call 860-695-6367 with your name and contact information.

TOPICS/READINGS from World War 1 and America Reader:

  • WWI_Reader_Preface – Cover & Preface, pgs. 1-2
  • Why Fight? – Introduction, pgs. 3-4, Woodrow Wilson: From Address to Congress on War w/ Germany, pgs. 8-11
  • The Experience of War – Introduction, pgs. 15-16, James Norman Hall: Damaged Trenches, pgs. 17-20
  • Race and WWI – Introduction, pgs. 32-34, W.E.B. DuBois: “Close Ranks,” pg. 35, Charles R. Islum to W.E.B. DuBois, pgs. 39-43
  • American Women at War – Introduction, pgs. 44-46, Mary Borden: from the Forbidden Zone, Conspiracy, pgs. 47-49
  • The Home Front: Selling Unity, Suppressing Dissent – Introduction, pgs. 60-62, Oliver Wendell Holmes: from Dissenting Opinion in Abrams v. United States, pgs. 66-67
  • America on the World Stage – Introduction, pgs. 68-70, Henry Cabot Lodge: from Speech in the U.S. Senate on the League of Nations, pgs. 74-77
  • Discussion Questions_Further Reading – pgs. 94-98
  • Chronology – June 1914 – November 1921, pgs. 99-112

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MY FELLOW SOLDIERS: General John Pershing and the Americans
Who Helped Win the Great War
Tuesday, May 2, 5:30PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

Military historian and author, Andrew Carroll, who founded The Center for American War Letters, will give a talk on his new book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. The book is a comprehensive telling of the American experience in the war based on eyewitness accounts by General Pershing and other senior officers, as well as the troops, aviators, and nurses who risked—and often gave—their lives during this conflict. Many of their letters and diaries will be published for the first time.

This program was made possible in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Hartford in World War I
Thursday, May 11, 5:30PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

Local historian and journalist David Drury, author of Hartford in World War I, will deliver a presentation on the activities of the Hartford community during the period, accompanied by a slideshow of images provided by the Connecticut State Library, in advance of CSLIB’s forthcoming programming and exhibits on World War I in Connecticut.

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Why Preserve? Digitizing Stories: CT Latinos in WWI
Thursday, June 1, 5:30PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera of Bloomfield College, New Jersey, will discuss opportunities for CT-based Latino veterans and their families to bring memorabilia, photographs, and their oral stories to be collected, digitized, and interviews recorded at the Hartford History Center for incorporation into the Connecticut State Library’s digital collection. He will discuss why it is important to preserve this information and offer suggestions of what to bring to the digitization day that will take place at the Hartford History Center of Saturday, June 10. This program will be bilingual (English & Spanish).

This program was made possible in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

¿Por que preservar? La Digitalizacion de Historias
que Representan Latinos y Latinas de CT en la Primera Guerra Mundial
jueves, el 1 de junio, 5:30
Hartford History Center, tercer piso, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

El Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera de Bloomfield College, Nueva Jersey, discutirá las oportunidades para que los veteranos latinos/as de CT y sus familias traigan objetos de recuerdo, fotografías y sus historias orales para ser recolectadas, digitalizadas con entrevistas grabadas en el Hartford History Center con el propósito de ser incorporadas en la colección digital de la Biblioteca Estatal de Connecticut. Él Dr. Franqui-Rivera discutirá por qué es importante preservar esta información y ofrecerá sugerencias de lo que traer al día de digitalización que tendrá lugar en el Centro de Historia de Hartford el sábado 10 de junio. Este programa será bilingüe.

CT Latinos in WWI: Digitization Day
Saturday, June 10, 11AM – 3PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

Trained digitization and recording specialists will digitize photographs, memorabilia, and record interviews of Connecticut-based Latino veterans for the digital collection of the Connecticut State Library. Spanish and English speakers will be available.

This program was made possible in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Día de la Digitalización: Latinos y Latinas de CT en la Primera Guerra Mundial
sabado, el 10 de junio, 11h-15h
Hartford History Center, tercer piso, HPL, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

Especialistas entrenados en digitalización y grabación digitalizarán objetos y fotografías y grabarán entrevistas de veteranos latinos/as residentes de Connecticut para la colección digital de la Biblioteca Estatal de Connecticut. Habrán asistentes que hablan español e ingles.