Presented by Marty Olliff, Ph.D., this presentation describes how the Alabama homefront responded to mobilization in World War I and how that response changed the state and its people’s institutions. It recounts Alabama’s military contributions to the war effort, then examines the economic and social impact of the federal government’s spending on four military camps, Wilson Dam and the Nitrate Plants at Muscle Shoals, and the shipbuilding industry of Mobile. Next it treats how citizens responded to the war through mobilization agencies and through their own institutions.
The presentation pays particular attention to the African-American response to the war, the public face of which was hyper-patriotic that masked deep fears within the white community concerning black patriotism and within the black community concerning white oppression.
The Great War in the Heart of Dixie is a free program provided with support from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Patrons are invited to bring a lunch to eat during the program. Drinks and light snacks will be provided.