The Tulsa Historical Society & Museum has a collection of over 60,000 objects and eight galleries that showcase different events in Tulsa’s past. One of the exhibits that are on view is The Great War: Tulsans During WWI. Located in a cozy room on the second floor of the building, it shows how Tulsans came together either to serve or to show support during this crucial time in history. The exhibit displays pictures of men serving overseas and gives an inside look on what they were experiencing on a daily basis, showing them posing for the camera in their tent and another soldier posing in his protective gas mask. It also shows support of the war in Tulsa, showing pictures of individuals fundraising at the War Savings Bank and the beginnings of the Blue Star Banner, in which families would display them in their windows to show they have relatives serving overseas.
The labels in the exhibit state that the first Tulsans to leave for duty served in the 358th Infantry, 90th Division, which became known as the “Texas and Oklahoma.” Another set of soldiers that were highlighted in the exhibit was Company D, 111th Engineer Regiment, 36th Division. While overseas, their job was to “build and repair roads and bridges, filling captured trenches, and clearing mines in France. They also participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.” Along the exhibit walls show the men working and posing together, then showing some of the sights they began to see as they continued their service.
The exhibit shows WWI Propaganda Posters, maps, and many other incredible objects and pictures from that time. Without fully giving away the exhibit, it shows the resilience of U.S. soldiers and how a city can band together in such time of need, which is something anyone can benefit from seeing in one way or another. I recommend the exhibit for all ages, as this is an important part of Tulsa’s history. While it is a smaller exhibit, it is still impactful to anyone who takes the time to reflect on World War One and to honor those who fought for our country.