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State Historical Society of Iowa

World War I Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration Set for Nov. 10

Oct 23, 2018

DES MOINES – On a cold, wet morning in November 1918, Allied leaders boarded a railroad car in the Forest of Compiègne near Paris to sign an armistice with Germany.

The Armistice brought World War I to a close at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918 – "the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" – and ended four years of warfare that killed some 40 million people, including 116,708 American military personnel.

Next month, on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, the State Historical Museum of Iowa will mark the milestone with a World War I Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration. The public is invited to attend open-house programs throughout the day and see the fighter-pilot movie "Wings," which in 1929 won the first Academy Award for Best Picture.

"With the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, we have an opportunity to honor those who served and sacrificed in the name of freedom," said Susan Kloewer, administrator of the State Historical Society of Iowa. "It's part of our mission to help Iowans understand the roles earlier generations of Iowans played both here and abroad."

If you go:

World War I Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration
State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E. Locust St. in Des Moines
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission is free


9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. World War I Battle Diorama presented by Conrad Wiser
9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Iowa and the Great War Exhibition
9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. World War I Honor Roll Display
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. "Wings" Movie Showing
12:30-1:30 p.m. Ross Kennedy, award-winning author of The Will to Believe: Woodrow Wilson, World War I and Illinois State University history professor, will discuss life after World War I and the events that led up to World War II. 
1:30-2:30 p.m. Presentation by Tom Clegg in "Iowa and the Great War" exhibit.
3:30-4:30 p.m. Greater Des Moines Community Band Concert

The museum's centennial commemoration will wrap up three days of events and activities that mark the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, the museum will host elementary students and teachers for a series of workshops and activities. They'll learn about the role Iowans played during after the war through artifacts and photographs, take tours of exhibitions and read letters Iowa soldiers wrote to family and friends.

On Friday, Nov. 9, middle and high school students and teachers will learn from historians addressing a variety of topics, including the influenza epidemic of 1918 and African-American troops at Fort Des Moines and a lecture by Kennedy.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.