November 2nd Library Column

We have many events in our WWI centennial series this week, and several more days to view the traveling display from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Without further ado:

Tonight (Thursday, November 2) we’re showing the 1938 film Dawn Patrol starring Errol Flynn, David Niven, and Basil Rathbone. That lineup just screams dashing, doesn’t it? Lots of aerial action in this one, and I will be interested to see how the build up to World War II may have colored this film about World War I. The movie starts at 6:30.

Saturday morning at 10:00 we welcome Ripon College Professor of Music Sarah Kraaz for “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” a look at popular vocal and instrumental music during the Great War. Music was not merely entertainment for the troops and the loved ones they left behind – it was also a morale builder, a connection with home, sometimes patriotic, sometimes propaganda.

Sunday afternoon (November 5) at 2:00 it’s time to focus on the home folks during the war. “Over Here – the Wisconsin Home Front in World War I” is the title of the program given by Leslie Bellais, Curator of Social History at the Wisconsin Historical Society. With its large German population and prominent anti-war political figures, Wisconsin was viewed as a traitor state by many Americans. Leslie will explore the ways ordinary Wisconsinites experienced the war.

Tuesday evening at 6:30 is almost the flip side of Sunday’s program. That night we welcome Dr. Richard Pifer for “The 32nd Division Over There.” Hear, through letters and diary entries, how Wisconsin soldiers experienced the war. Dr. Pifer’s new book about WWI, The Great War Comes to Wisconsin: Sacrifice, Patriotism, and Free Speech in a Time of Crisis, has just been published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Copies will be available for purchase (and signing) following Dr. Pifer’s talk.

Lest you think we’ve all become warrior wannabes, let me assure you it’s not all WWI this week. Our library knitting group has a fabulous display in the meeting room, as they are our spotlight artists for November. The group has been working all year on making hats and scarves and mittens for children in the county’s Angel Tree program. There will be a reception on Saturday, November 11.

And the 59-ers HCE Club will be at the library on Tuesday morning, November 7, from 10:00 to noon with displays, treats, and friendly folks ready to tell you all about this hidden gem of a club.

So many reasons to stop in! I hope we see you soon.