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World War 1 exhibit opening at Clark County Heritage Center

A local historical Society next month will be hosting a World War 1 themed exhibit featuring artifacts from Springfield residents.

The Clark County Historical Society will be debuting their two-year exhibit Global Conflict, Local Experience: Clark County Joins the Great War at their museum at the Heritage Center, 117 S. Fountain Ave, on April 6th.

The event will be hosted at the center’s Crabill Discovery Hall and will feature a lecture from Thomas Taylor of Wittenberg University about the impact that the war had on Springfield.

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The upcoming exhibit will be broken into two parts, the first being a depiction of life on the home front.

It will feature posters, public records and personal accounts detailing aspects of the home front such as bond issues, the Red Cross and the draft board.

The society’s director of collections Virginia Weygandt says that the war had a major local impact and attendees of the exhibit will be able to see just how big that impact was.

Artifacts from the war will also be on display including uniforms, mess tins and other pieces of field equipment.

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“We want to talk about the men and talk about what they sacrificed and whether they came home or not,” she said.

Weygandt says that there will be display cases full of personal letters and diaries sent from the frontlines to loved ones presenting an intimate look at the local men who fought in the last two years of the global conflict. Personal photographs will also be included.

“They are all candid shots,” she said. “My favorite is of this guy leaning on the rail of a ship and the last thing that they see is the statue of Liberty.”

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The second part of the exhibit will start next year and will focus on the technical advances of World War 1 including sections about tank and aerial warfare.

All of the artifacts that will be in the exhibit were donated to the historical society and represents some of the 50,000 items that the society has archived.

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