MSU prepares to observe WWI centennial


Mississippi State University has announced it will sponsor three public events in observance of World War I's centennial this fall.

The first of the events will be held on Thursday, with veterans of later wars participating in reading and discussing soldier correspondence housed in the library archives in an event titled "The Great War: World War I Writing and Memorabilia from the Special Collections.”

The reading event will begin at 7 p.m. in Mitchell Memorial Library's third-floor John Grisham Room.

The series of commemorative events is is part of World War I and America - a two-year national initiative of the Library of America. The series is also presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial and other organizations, with support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.


On Oct. 12, MSU will host “The Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I.”'

"Descendants of Mississippi’s original residents played significant roles with the American Expeditionary Force, the U.S military’s official designation while in European service," MSU said in a news release.

A general discussion will follow the screening of “Choctaw Code Talkers,” the hour-long documentary released in 2010 by Native American Public Telecommunications Inc.
Nov. 16 will see “Poetry and the Poppy: ‘In Flanders Fields’ and One Woman’s Role in Creating a Symbol of Remembrance.”

The event will feature veterans and audience members reading lines from the famous war poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian physician who penned a defining war poem about the small, brilliantly colored flowers he saw growing on the graves of fallen soldiers.

Participants in the November event will then discuss the herbaceous plant that seemed to flourish on the barren grounds of trench-scarred former battlefields.

Also discussed will be Moina Belle Michael, the University of Georgia professor and humanitarian who conceived the plant's use to symbolize WWI service and sacrifice.

For more information on the upcoming events, contact Sarah McCullough, MSU Libraries’ cultural heritage project coordinator, at 662-325-2506 or; or Brian Locke, the Montgomery Center’s interim director, at 325-6719 or