State archives World War I exhibit travels to Arkansas State Univ.

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An exhibit from the Arkansas State Archives commemorating the anniversary of World War I is sitting in the Dean B. Ellis Library at Arkansas State University.

Assistant Director for Public Services, April Sheppard, said this exhibit is about providing the school with a history.

"This exhibit is specifically about the soldiers from Arkansas," Sheppard said. "And Arkansas' role during World War I."

Sheppard said they worked for some time to get the exhibit here.

"This has actually been a pretty long process," Sheppard said. "We actually started working on this last year. We got it on the calendar to have the exhibit and planned some programming around it. We put a lot of heart and hard work into this. Sherry Eskridge has worked really, really hard. And we have a lot of people on campus, a lot of people in the community who have worked to help us put this together."

Sheppard said students, faculty, and staff like the exhibit.

"We've had a really good response," Sheppard said. "I think it's easy to overlook World War I. One thing that's been really interesting is how many times people will accidentally say World War II. And we say, 'No, it's World War I'. To realize that we did have an impact on World War I. That Craighead County, we had over 1,300 soldiers from our area including Paragould, Jonesboro, and Cash. To drive home that this was something that affected us locally. And it was The Great War. We had no idea that World War II was going to come back in the early 1900s."

Sheppard said she hopes the exhibit helps people realize the impact of World War I in Arkansas and Region 8.

"World War I had a really big impact on our nation, our state and our communities. There is a lot of local history here," Sheppard said. "A speaker will be coming whose family served and he'll be bringing photographs from that time. It's just that local history and taking pride in what Arkansas has done and the role we have played."

The exhibit was partially funded by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Other events taking place on campus include "Fighting the Great War in Song".

There will be a lecture on Mame Steward Josenberger, who was a black woman activist in World War I, on April 3.

Sheppard said there'll also be a tree ceremony dedication on April 11.

"We're going to have a Willow Oak," Sheppard said. "Along with soil from the grave of the National Cemetery in France, and that will be on campus."

A series of additional lectures and events will be taking place through April 11.

The exhibit is located on the third floor of the Dean B. Ellis Library and will be there through April 12.

For a complete listing of events, click here.

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