The Orcas Island Library and Humanities Washington partner to bring public historian Lorraine McConaghy to Eastsound for a free event entitled “Washington at War: The Evergreen State in World War I” on Thursday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Orcas Island Community Church.
One hundred years ago in 1917, the U.S. entered The Great War to fight alongside our European allies. But Washington’s homefront experience began long before the country entered the war, and continued afterward.
Led by McConaghy, the program begins with an illustrated introduction to the war’s themes before offering a “Readers’ Theater:” a script that is read aloud together, allowing participants to speak the history they are discovering. The script includes excerpts from newspapers, diaries, writings, speeches, and correspondence, and is based on extensive research in primary source material focused on the war’s impact on Washington—and how Washington impacted the war. The reading covers the period between the successful Prohibition referendum in 1914 through Seattle’s General Strike and President Woodrow Wilson’s visit to Washington in 1919. Learn about and discuss this dramatic period of immigration, wartime industrialization, women’s rights, social change, radical labor, epidemic disease, and worldwide turmoil.
This talk is presented by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Historical Society in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in World War I.
Lorraine McConaghy is a public historian who earned her PhD from the University of Washington. At the Museum of History & Industry and Washington State History Museum, her work as historian and curator has dealt with Washington at war during the Treaty War of 1855-1856, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. She has participated in working groups concerning the opportunities of commemoration, and presented lectures and workshops on readers’ theater programs at National Council on Public History, American Association for State and Local History, and the Washington Museum Association. In 2009, her readers’ theater script, Speaking Out, won the national performance award from the Oral History Association. In 2015, AASLH honored her Voices of the Civil War with a national award of merit. McConaghy’s work has been honored by the Washington State Historical Society’s Robert Gray Medal, the annual award of the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild, and the Humanities Washington Award.
Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state. For more about Humanities Washington, visit www.humanities.org. Speakers Bureau is one Humanities Washington’s oldest and most popular programs. A roster of 31 cultural experts and scholars provides low-cost, high-quality public presentations across the state, encouraging audiences to think, learn and engage in conversation. These diverse and engaging speakers cover a variety of topics, including popular culture, photography, architecture, literature, food, film and history.