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What was Washington like during The Great War?

Timberland library program commemorates the centennial of World War I

Published on March 20, 2017 6:43AM

Historian Lorraine McConaghy will talk about Washington state during World War I and lead a readers’ theater reading.

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Historian Lorraine McConaghy will talk about Washington state during World War I and lead a readers’ theater reading.

PACIFIC and GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY — On April 6, 1917, the United States entered World War I — The Great War — to fight alongside its European allies. Washington state’s homefront turmoil, however, began before the country entered the war, and continued afterward.

Four Timberland libraries will host the program “Washington at War: The Evergreen State in World War I,” presented by historian Lorraine McConaghy.

The talks are presented by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Historical Society in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in World War I. The schedule is:

• 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 23, Ocean Park Timberland Library, 1308 256th Place, Ocean Park, Washington, 360-665-4184.

• 5:30 t 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 24, Raymond Timberland Library, 507 Duryea St., Raymond, Washington, 360-942-2408.

• 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 25, South Bend Timberland Library, First Street and Pacific Ave., South Bend, Washington, 360-875-5532.

• 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 25, Westport Timberland Library, 101 Harms Drive, Westport, Washington, 360-268-0521.

McConaghy will begin the program with an illustrated introduction to the war’s themes.

Following that, attendees may participate in a scripted readers’ theater designed to portray the turmoil of the years 1914 to 1919. The script is drawn from first-person sources such as letters, diaries, speeches and newspaper stories. It allows modern readers to speak aloud the words of a past generation and gain an sense of how Washingtonians of that era experienced the great social, economic and political changes: industrialization, immigration, women’s rights, radical labor, epidemic disease, and worldwide turmoil.

McConaghy is a public historian whose work has been widely recognized and honored. She received the Washington State Historical Society’s Robert Gray Medal, the annual award of the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild, and the Humanities Washington Award.

She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Washington. At the Museum of History & Industry and Washington State History Museum, her work as historian and curator has dealt with Washington at war during the Treaty War of 1855-1856, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

She has participated in working groups concerning the opportunities of commemoration, and presented lectures and workshops on readers’ theater programs at National Council on Public History, American Association for State and Local History, and the Washington Museum Association. In 2009, her readers’ theater script, “Speaking Out,” won the national performance award from the Oral History Association. In 2015, AASLH honored her “Voices of the Civil War” with a national award of merit. She lives in Kirkland, Washington.

For more information, contact the individual libraries hosting the program, or visit www.TRL.org


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