USC Upstate Commemoration of World War I Begins Tuesday, September 23

September 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Beginning on September 23, the University of South Carolina Upstate will embark on a five-year commemoration and reflection of World War I culminating with the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. These five years are in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the war.

Although the United States did not enter World War I until 1917, the impact on the Upstate began long before then.

The following events are free and open to the public:

  • How It All Began: Causes of World War I — Dr. Robert McCormick — Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the J  M Smith Board Room

Although World War I began 100 years ago, the conflict was in the making for many years.  Issues such as nationalism, industrialism, imperialism, economics, and politics all played their role in moving Europe towards war.  Come join Dr. Rob McCormick in examining the long-term and short-term causes of the conflict which forever changed modern history.


  • Spartanburg WWI Veterans I — Frieda Davison — Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 12 p.m. in the Sansbury Campus Life Center, Rooms 309 and 310


A brief overview of two military installations in the Upstate (Camp Wadsworth and Camp Sevier), the rationale for them being here, and their impact on the communities. The main focus of the presentation is a discussion of the men from Spartanburg County who died while in service, the causes of their deaths (not all were killed in action), and the sacrifices they made for their country.


  • Selected Views of WWI — Tammy Pike and USC Upstate students — Friday, September 26, 2014 at 12 p.m. in the University Readiness Center Atrium & Great Room

The purpose of this exhibit is to inform both students and the community of the history of World War I through the use of historical objects.  The exhibit will highlight original pieces from WWI collected by both instructor Tammy Pike and students who studied abroad. The exhibit will include a diorama of a Prussian/French trench created by USC Upstate students, a rare tool used to create barbed wire at the Battle of the Somme, postcards sent from the battlefields, over 20 letters sent from an American soldier to his mother in North Carolina, a British helmet used by an American soldier and much more.  Many of the exhibits will be available for the viewer to touch so as they can physically interact with history that is more than 100 years old which impacted our community both internationally and locally. 


  • Women and Warfare: The Experience of American Women during WWI — Dr. Carmen Harris — Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 12:15 p.m., in the Campus Life Center, Rooms 309 and 310

This presentation will focus on the impact of World War I on the lives of women in the United States ideologies, such as a separate sphere, represent events such as wars as masculine moments. However, American women played multiple roles in the war. Some American women traveled to Europe and could be found near the front lines working as nurses, volunteer ambulance drivers, in hospitality canteens. On the home front, the drafting of millions of working men into military service opened up jobs in traditionally non-female industrial jobs and in the professions.


For more information, please contact Dr. Catherine Canino at CCANINO@USCUPSTATE.EDU or (864) 503-5657; Dr. Araceli Hernández-Laroche at AHERNANDEZ-LAROCHE@USCUPSTATE.EDU