World War I
World War I: Beyond the Front Lines
Extended to September 8, 2019
Fought in 1914-1918, World War I was the modern world's first international conflict. Nearly 11 million soldiers were killed, and the war's death toll including civilians approached 20 million. There were approximately another 20 million injuries.
The United States formally entered the war April 6, 1917, although American soldiers did not engage in significant combat until spring of the following year. By Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, more than 116,000 Americans died as a result of the war. Of these, more than 1,600 were Knights of Columbus. Both the first and last American military officers to die during the war were K of C members.
In addition to Knights who served on the battlefield as soldiers, the organization was active in war relief efforts, managing highly successful fundraising drives and providing hospitality to servicemen in America and abroad through Knights of Columbus recreation centers under the motto “Everybody welcome. Everything free.”
The exhibition provides a historical retrospective of the war and includes interactives, images and artifacts from the Knights of Columbus archives and museum collection, as well as items from private lenders and institutions. A complementary series of WWI-related lectures and presentations will be offered throughout the course of the exhibition.
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) selected the Knights of Columbus Museum as a 2018 Award of Merit recipient for the World War I exhibition. The honor is among the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of history.