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New IHS Exhibit Commemorates 100th Anniversary of U.S. Entry into WWI

Jan. 11, 2017

Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) commemorates the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I with a new exhibit that examines the war through the lens of what Hoosiers left behind.

The exhibit, The Great War through Hoosier Eyes, includes original letters and diaries written by Hoosier men, women and children. It also includes reproductions of several dozen postcards saved by Hoosiers throughout the war.

In addition, visitors to The Great War will hear taped interviews with World War I veterans. Chosen excerpts feature a variety of Hoosier experiences, such as segregation at training camps and a case of mistaken identity on the battlefield.

There is also an interview with the late Ann Allen Cranston of Indianapolis, who served as a U.S. Army nurse. During the 1982 interview, Cranston reflected on an encounter with a woman she believed was a German spy on U.S. soil.

"She told me that they were watching her and that she didn't dare go out with a camera, that those people were watching her," said Cranston. "She went and put bright orange colored curtains in her window, and I think that was some kind of a signal."

The Great War will open Saturday, Jan. 14, and will be available through Saturday, July 8, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis. The exhibit is free for IHS members or included with admission to the Indiana Experience.

Those who wish to view additional World War I materials are encouraged to visit IHS's William H. Smith Memorial Library and Destination Indiana exhibit. The library is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Destination Indiana includes eight time-travel stations where guests can explore IHS's World War I images, featuring Hoosier soldiers, life on the home front and welcome home parades.

To learn more about The Great War and other ways IHS is marking the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

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