history & heritage

Thursday, April 2, 2015 (All day) to Friday, September 25, 2015 (All day)
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, 236 Harding Band Bldg., 1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign

When World War I began in 1914 the United States proclaimed that it would follow a policy of strict neutrality “in thought and deed,” and President Wilson firmly believed that peace was the only course of action needed to resolve the European conflict. Many Americans felt the same way, but as the war’s atrocities, both fictional and real, were publicized, some politicians and military leaders began to voice their support for military intervention. After the United States declared war against Germany on April 6, 1917 the country witnessed a dramatic mobilization of industry and financial resources to produce trained soldiers, food, munitions, and equipment which were in short supply at the start of America’s involvement. The federal government set up hundreds of temporary agencies with over a million new employees to help redirect the nation’s economy. America’s sheet music industry joined forces with the U.S. Committee on Public Information to help sell the ideals of patriotism, sacrifice, and volunteerism to the American public as the only way to win this war. This special exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History depicts the diverse portrayals of soldiers’ lives, recruitment of African-American soldiers, women’s support for the war effort, and the country’s financial and personal sacrifice through the melodies, lyrics and graphic illustrations of sheet music that were produced between 1917 and 1919.

Visit http://archives.library.illinois.edu/sousa for more information.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 (All day) to Monday, August 3, 2015 (All day)
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, 236 Harding Band Bldg., 1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign

As war enveloped much of Western Europe in 1914 and 1915 our country struggled to justify its involvement in this conflict and our national leaders overwhelmingly favored peaceful negotiation as the only logical way to end Europe’s war. However by 1916 Germany’s military had devastated large portions of Belgium and France, and presented a serious threat to Great Britain as well as commercial shipping across the north Atlantic. While fear of a German invasion spawned discussions on the possible need to close the University of Illinois or at least discontinue courses that did not provide relevant training to support a military build-up if needed, the University’s band program under the direction of A. Austin Harding continued to provide the campus and the local community with musical artistry, patriotic fervor, and moral support during the darkest days of WWI. This exhibit investigates the challenges that Harding faced as many of his band’s members enlisted in the army and navy in 1917 after America entered the war, and highlights the role that Harding and his bands played to support that nation’s war effort.

Visit http://archives.library.illinois.edu/sousa for more information.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 (All day) to Monday, August 3, 2015 (All day)
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, 236 Harding Band Bldg., 1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign

As war enveloped much of Western Europe in 1914 and 1915 our country struggled to justify its involvement in this conflict and our national leaders overwhelmingly favored peaceful negotiation as the only logical way to end Europe’s war. However by 1916 Germany’s military had devastated large portions of Belgium and France, and presented a serious threat to Great Britain as well as commercial shipping across the north Atlantic. While fear of a German invasion spawned discussions on the possible need to close the University of Illinois or at least discontinue courses that did not provide relevant training to support a military build-up if needed, the University’s band program under the direction of A. Austin Harding continued to provide the campus and the local community with musical artistry, patriotic fervor, and moral support during the darkest days of WWI. This exhibit investigates the challenges that Harding faced as many of his band’s members enlisted in the army and navy in 1917 after America entered the war, and highlights the role that Harding and his bands played to support that nation’s war effort.

Visit http://archives.library.illinois.edu/sousa for more information.

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