Events & Activities

Salem Museum Speaker Series
The Surprising Role of Virginians in the Great War
Annual Meeting: November 19 at 6:30 pm
Talk: November 19 at 7 pm

In this illustrated lecture, Lynn Rainville reveals the crucial roles that Virginians played in the Great War. These individuals ranged from soldiers to politicians, and from locally born horses to their ferriers. These patriots also included female stenographers, African American doctors, domestic gardeners, National Guard troops, and army chaplains. Of these hundreds of thousands of volunteers, more than 3,600 lost their lives as a direct result of the war, yet many of their sacrifices have been forgotten. Rainville will conclude her talk with a study of statues erected in Virginia after the war to reveal a more complete story of service and sacrifice during the Great War.

Dr. Lynn Rainville is Acting Dean of Sweet Briar College, the Director of the Tusculum Institute and a fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She is the author of Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia and Virginia and the Great War: Mobilization, Supply and Combat, 1914–1919.

If This Place Could Talk: the Destroyed Village of Vauquois
Saturdays through February 23, 2019

The virtual reality experience, If This Place Could Talk: the Destroyed Village of Vauquois, is a project funded by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) which involved team members from the School of Education, the School of Visual Arts, University Libraries, the Department of History, and the Department of Mining Engineering.  The team explored and mapped actual WWI tunnels constructed by French and German soldiers beneath the village of Vauquois, near Verdun, France. The immersive experience will take visitors into those tunnels to impart a sense of what life was like for the soldiers who were part of that terrible period in world history. Call ahead to confirm availability.

The Price We Paid: Salem and the Great War
Through February 23, 2019

Salem’s WWI Homecoming Parade

A century ago, Salem like other communities, was shaken by the world’s Great War—WWI—and called to sacrifice on the battlefield and home front. The Salem Museum’s current featured exhibit, The Price We Paid: Salem and the Great War includes displays of artifacts on loan from the collection of Dr. Lee Anthony whose father served in WWI. A short film, Till I Come Home directed by Chloe Shelton of the Grandin Theatre Film Lab, provides insights into the wartime experience of an actual Salem soldier through his letters home. The film and exhibit are generously supported by John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home and Crematory in Salem and will be on display through February, 2019.