Starting Thursday, April 19, the Downtown Central Library will be featuring three programs that will commemorate aspects of World War I (1914-1918). The programs coincide with the Library’s collection-based Centennial exhibition Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about “The War to End All Wars”, then this is a great opportunity to do so. There could be no better time, to closely examine a point in history when American patriotism was at an all time high. It was certainly a different era, when wartime meant economic boom, and GIs proudly enlisted at the drop of the hat. At the same time, the sacrifice was staggering. Now, 100 years later, we are still living in a world where a World War is possible, incredible as it may seem.
Thursday, April 19, 6 p.m. – Ten-Minute Play Festival: WNY Playwrights Celebrate Buffalo Never Fails: Seven original short plays inspired by selected artifacts from the Library’s exhibition will be presented in a staged reading. Coordinated by James A. Marzo, works by WNY playwrights Jon Elston, Michael Fanelli, James A. Marzo, Karen McDonald, j. Snodgrass, Winifred Storms, and Jennifer Tromble will be read by members of Buffalo’s acting community.
Thursday, May 3, 6 p.m. – Exploring a Family Archive: Postcards from the World War I Trenches: Kenneth J. Knoespel, Professor and former Dean at Georgia Institute of Technology, discusses the personal perspectives told through a collection of postcards written home by a German soldier, witness to the War’s most dramatic battles.
Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – One Community One Book World War I Day: A variety of activities exploring aspects of the War, the Library’s exhibition and one of the great literary works inspired by it, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway*. The day’s schedule includes:
- 10:30, 12:30 and 1:30 – Guided tours of Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I exhibition;
- 11 a.m. – “Donut Girls” WWI program for kids with Teresa Wood and Paula’s Donuts
- 12 noon – Talk by historian Jacek Wysocki, Not the War to End all Wars: The Legacy of World War I
- 1 p.m. – Talk by educator Mary Sorrels, Ernest Hemingway: A Wounded Man. A Lost Generation. The Modernist Era
- 2 p.m. – Music program with James Kimball, Over There and Other Songs of WWI
“We are so pleased at how well received our exhibition ‘Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I’ has been since it opened last fall,” noted Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski. “The Buffalo of 100 years ago, and our nation as a whole when the War began in Europe was a very different place than we know today. It’s important to remember and understand that time in our history, and the many sacrifices both on the battlefield and here at home made by everyday people. We hope that the exhibition and the programs like these that we are offering help tell some of those stories.”
Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I
Free & open to the public during regular Library hours, and remains on view through January 2020.
All programs are free and open to the public.
Additional activities can be found here.
For more information on Library activities, visit www.BuffaloLib.org or call 716-858-8900.
*Hemingway’s tragic romance, based around his experiences as an ambulance driver at the Italian front, is the 2018 “One Community One Book” selection promoted by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries as an annual shared reading and discussion experience for the community each May.