A.K. Smiley Public Library WWI lecture series begins Sept. 23


Sept. 14, 2017 – As part of the commemoration of the centennial of World War I, the A.K. Smiley Public Library will host a lecture at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, in the library’s Assembly Room. Presented by historian Dr. Ann Deegan, “Entering into Service” will explore the ways that Redlands men joined the military effort during the Great War.

Just one month after declaring war in April 1917, America had a selective service act in place creating the ability to draft hundreds of thousands of men. But it took many steps in the process producing stories of eagerness and avoidance. Other men volunteered whether from patriotism or seeking to retain some say in what capacity they would serve. Threaded through the war are stories of men working for exemptions and a growing desperation at the increasing shortage of men who were qualified to serve. What kept them out of war, what conditions made it possible for a man to be drafted, what military groups attracted the men of Redlands as volunteers? Using the words of those who lived during this time and illustrations from the era, find out how the war unfolded through the eyes of Redlanders. These stories range from amusing to tragic but teach us the reality of those times.

The program is free and open to the public. The A.K Smiley Public Library is located at 125 W. Vine St. in Redlands. For more information, please contact the Heritage Room at (909) 798-7632.

Biography for Dr. Ann Deegan

Ann Deegan received her Ph.D. in the area of textile history and material culture studies from the University of Maryland and her M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of California, Davis. She has been working in history museums and archives and teaching in universities for more than 30 years. Currently she is doing research, writing, and publishing in 19th and 20th century United States history. Her most recent works include co-authoring a History Press book Redlands in World War I with Don McCue, Dr. Nathan Gonzales and Maria Carrillo Colato. She also co-authored an Arcadia book with Maria Carrillo Colato entitled Early Redlands and wrote the San Bernardino County Museum Association Quarterly “Redlands City Directories 1896-1967.”