The War to End All Wars: Onondaga County Encounters World War I

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) is excited to present an exhibit on Onondaga County’s role in the Great War in the Murray-Sales Gallery at the Onondaga Historical Museum at 321 Montgomery Street in downtown Syracuse.

The exhibit features photographs, posters, uniforms, gas masks, helmets & other military accoutrements, war souvenirs, home-front conservation items, letters, diaries, and other archival material and objects. These items illustrate the impact World War I had on Onondaga County and the world at large. The exhibit focuses on the people, places, and events at home and abroad including military personnel and units, the nurse corps, Camp Syracuse, food conservation, the Split Rock munitions explosion, and the Spanish Influenza epidemic.

On April 6th, 1917, the United States formalized its participation in World War I by declaring war on Germany. The war had been raging in Europe for almost three years and the U.S. could no longer remain neutral once Germany began sinking American ships in war-zone waters in early 1917. On June 26th, the United States sent its first military personnel to France to begin training to fight Germans. Less than one month later, the first Onondaga County residents traveled to Camp Dix in New Jersey to begin their military training. For the United States, World War I lasted for about eighteen months. In that time, almost 5 million soldiers went to war and more than half of them were draftees. Onondaga County sent almost 13,000 soldiers overseas, eventually losing 413 in service to our country.

The exhibit is free and open to the public and is available for viewing Wednesday-Friday, 10-4 and Saturday & Sunday, 11-4. The exhibit will run for the equivalent duration of World War I, closing on November 11th, 2018.