- Purchase/rental options available:
This article details the North Carolina Museum of History's "North Carolina and World War I" (8 April 2017–6 January 2019) exhibition. It was not just about North Carolinians, nor was it a traditional museum presentation with artifacts in glass cases and didactic text. Oral histories were collected from veterans and linked to a visual experience with artifacts, film, and photography. Battlefield relic cases were embedded into recreated trench walls. Historical battlefield images were presented on large format screens, with areas where visitors were subjected to the sounds of shell fire and of a poison gas attack. At a critical point visitors went "over the top" directly toward a German machine gun position with staccato flash and sound of the gun when it opens fire on them. More than 500,00 visitors from across the U.S. and Europe attended one the most comprehensive exhibits of WW I ever created.