Baylor Libraries Commemorate WWI Entry with New Exhibit

Jan. 25, 2017

The Baylor Libraries latest exhibit “End of Innocence: Centennial of the United States' Entry into WWI,” commemorates the anniversary of America’s official involvement in World War I.

Located in Moody Memorial Library's Goodpasture Concourse, the display sheds light on the War and its relationship to Baylor and Waco. Each case displays a different aspect of the conflict. The exhibition also mentions Texas’ participation in the War. The segments are chronicled through descriptive panels, illustrations and artifacts from the era.

The exhibit examines Baylor student and alumni involvement and honors the fallen, both male and female.

West native Roxie Henderson is among several featured. Henderson attended Baylor from 1917 to 1920. She served as a nurse in the American Expeditionary Forces and as a member of the American Red Cross.

“It was an honor to tell the stories of the Baylor students who served this country,” Erik Swanson, Exhibit Curator for the Baylor Collections of Political Materials, said.

The exhibit includes letters and photographs from Baylor’s Texas Collection that ambulance driver Clitus Jones sent to his family from France. Jones, who graduated from Waco High School, attended the University of Texas but left six weeks before graduation to serve overseas. Museum Studies graduate student Emily Carolin, who curated the exhibit, transcribed the letters written between February 1917 and April 1919.

“This correspondence, which is available publicly for the first time, offers a unique view of the conflict. Other items in the exhibit chronicle the significant impact of World War I on the Waco economy and outline Baylor’s involvement. Those connected with Truett Seminary will be interested in George W. Truett’s efforts spent preaching to American Forces overseas at the request of Woodrow Wilson.”

The final section reflects on the War’s impact on soldiers and their families. This portion contemplates the aftermath of WWI and how the outcomes influenced motivations for World War II.

"End of Innocence: Centennial of the United States' Entry into WWI" is available for viewing throughout the spring semester during regular library hours. The experience is free and open to the public.