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Keeping WWI Alive for New Generations

Lora Vogt bets she can tell you the four things you learned about World War I in school.

“A guy was shot,” Ms. Vogt began, counting out each point on her fingers in front of a case of military uniforms at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., “the Lusitania was sunk, the Americans came in and won the war, and Woodrow Wilson got 14 points.”

It’s a comically simplistic summary of the “War to End All Wars,” but one Ms. Vogt, a former teacher and the museum’s curator of education, is used to hearing: The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, the Germans sank the British passenger ship Lusitania in 1915, the United States broke its isolationist tradition and entered the war in 1917, and President Wilson gave his Fourteen Points speech to Congress in 1918, outlining the principles that lead to the war’s end that same year.

It’s the narrative that Ms. Vogt and her colleagues at the museum are trying to expand. “There are so many more things to learn from this time period,” she said, and the museum’s contemporary efforts, 100 years after the war’s end, have proven fruitful. The number of visitors has grown by more than 60 percent since 2013.

Read entire article at NYT