WWI and The Tar Heel Connection at The NC Museum of History
The NC Museum of History is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. The special exhibition which runs until January 2019 features 6,500 square feet of history with a special focus on the Tar Heel connection.
“Step into the boots of a Tar Heel soldier”
The WWI Exhibition at the NC Museum of History gives a great overview of the events leading up to America’s eventual entry into the fighting. The self-guided tour is designed to take visitors along the timeline by providing information as well as artifacts from the era. In addition to the American story, the museum does a terrific job putting guests into the boots of some of the North Carolinians who fought in what was supposed to be The War to End All Wars.
Get Down In The Trenches
Trench warfare immediately comes to mind when reflecting on World War I and this exhibit does an incredible job of recreating the environment and depicting what life would have been like on the Western Front. With a detailed diorama as well as simulated trenches, vintage film footage, and close to 500 artifacts, this exhibit brings the visitor down into the trenches.
The Weapons of WWI
The WWI Exhibit features weapons of the era including the deadly gasses which were used and the rudimentary instruments designed to protect against their lethal effects. In addition to the dreaded mustard and chlorine gasses, there were some equally horrific combat devices. Machine guns, shrapnel shells, barbed wire, and a myriad of deadly weapons are part of the exhibit – some with surprisingly realistic sound effects! (Okay, the machine gun startled me.)
Educational and Interactive
One of the most moving aspects of the entire exhibit is the way local North Carolinians are featured and recognized for their contributions. Each one with a unique story of how they came to be involved in the fighting as well as the outcome for them individually. It’s hard to not feel a lump in the throat when considering all they went through and just how grusome and difficult the war was. It’s fascinating seeing some of their personal effects on display and sobering contemplating their experiences.
Tips For a Visit to The WWI Exhibit at The NC Museum of History
In order to fully experience the World War I Exhibit, give yourself at least an hour to go through and read all the wonderful information and view the displays. With close to 500 artifacts, you’ll want to take your time and not miss anything.
This is a fantastic field trip if you have young ones learning about WWI, though be mindful of the subject matter before bringing children who may find aspects of the exhibition upsetting. The old adage is true, “War is hell.”
The WWI Exhibition at the NC Museum of History runs until early January of 2019 and is free. Week days are typically the least crowded which is great for maximizing your time and absorbing history. The museum is also featuring several First Friday Films to complement the exhibit and there’s also a selection of commemorative items in the museum gift shop.
The WWI Exhibit at the NC Museum of History is not only an educational interactive recounting of the Tar Heel Connection to the “War to End All Wars,” it’s also laid out well and there are ample photo ops designated along the timeline. Step into the trenches, take a picture and share it with your social networks. #NCWW1
Social media sharing is encouraged at the WWI Exhibit. #NCWW1
The NC Museum of History has outdone itself with the WWI Exhibition. The moving tribute commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the war featuring the North Carolinians who answered the call to duty is well done and a must-see for history buffs. With over 86,000 volunteers and draftees from North Carolina who served in World War I, the exhibit does a stellar job of weaving the thread through the chronology and highlighting the Tar Heel connection.
The North Carolina Museum of History 5 East Edenton Street Raleigh, NC 27601 NCMuseumofHistory.org
Monday–Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Closed New Year’s Day, January 2, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
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Have you visited the NC Museum of History’s WWI Exhibition?
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