Throughout the centennial, the Montana Historical Society will be hosting presentations relating to Montana and the Great War. MHS records most of the presentations given at the Society and streams them on its YouTube channel or through SoundCloud. Those relating to World War I will be posted below. Check back often for new programs.
"What Can We Learn from World War I?" What does it mean to be a “good American”? How are immigrants changing America? Do foreign nationals living in the United States pose a threat to our security or “way of life”? What should be the limits of free speech? These burning questions occupied Montanans, especially during 1917 and 1918 as thousands of Montana boys left the state to join the “the war to end all wars.” Exactly 100 years ago to the day after the United States entered World War I, Montana Historical Society staff members Senior Archivist Rich Aarstad and Historical Specialist Martha Kohl lead the audience in an opportunity to reexamine these questions, informed by the history of Montana and the Great War. (April 6, 2017)
"A Country Doctor and the Epidemics, Montana 1917-1918." Dr. Steven Helgerson —the Montana State Medical Officer from 2006 to 2015—discusses his new historic novel, A Country Doctor and the Epidemics, Montana 1917-1918. A Country Doctor tells the story of a small-town physician and the people he serves during the turbulent years of World War I. The doctor struggles with the limitations of the medical science, the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic and personal tragedy.
"Women's War Work." During the Great War, Many Montana women chose to break gender barriers by serving as nurses and radio operators. Those who remained in Montana were often recruited by the Red Cross for local events and fundraising. In addition to their days’ regular chores they learned to Hooverize. They recycled, canned, knit, served meatless meals, rationed butter and wheat, and raised their children while awaiting news from the front. Many battled the Spanish Influenza, while others became Gold Star Mothers after losing loved ones. MHS Reference Historian Zoe Ann Stoltz details the vital role that Montana women played in WWI.