World War I Centennial Commemoration and Special Exhibit Opening

NORFOLK, Va. –  April 2017 marks the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I.  To mark this centennial, the MacArthur Memorial and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum will host a one-day symposium on April 8, 2017, that will culminate in the grand opening of the MacArthur Memorial’s new “Over Here, Over There” Special Exhibit. 

After nearly three years of neutrality and isolationism, the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917.  U.S. troops and supplies provided aid to the Allies at a critical moment in the war and helped break the stalemate on the Western Front.  The effect of the war was not limited to events abroad however.  The war also had a profound effect on the Homefront.  Regions like Hampton Roads were particularly transformed by the war, and rapidly evolved to meet the growing global responsibilities of the nation.

The symposium will feature four speakers who will highlight the year 1917 – specifically the creation of the Norfolk Naval Base as well as the embarkation, arrival, and actions of U.S. troops in France.  The Special Exhibit will examine the causes of the U.S. entry into World War I, wartime propaganda, the social fabric of America, and the American Expeditionary Force.  The exhibit will be on display at the MacArthur Memorial through December 30, 2018.

The symposium and exhibit opening will take place at the MacArthur Memorial in downtown Norfolk from 9:00AM-2:30pm on Saturday April 8, 2017.  Admission is free but registration is requested ( 

About the MacArthur Memorial: The MacArthur Memorial is a museum and research center dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.  In the last fifty years, the museum has also expanded into one of the premier institutions in the United States dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of World War I, World War II, the Occupation of Japan, and the Korean War.  Admission is free.

About the Hampton Roads Naval Museum: The Hampton Roads Naval Museum introduces visitors to over 240 years of U.S. naval history in Hampton Roads, Virginia. One of 9 officially operated U.S. Navy museums reporting to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the museum houses a rich collection of authentic uniforms, weaponry, underwater artifacts, detailed ship models and artwork.  Admission is free.