The Great War: 1918-2018, Honoring the Centennial of the Armistice

November 11, 2018 marks 100 years since the signing of the armistice between the World War I Allies and Germany. The signing took place at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Around the country, commemoration activities are taking place to mark the centennial, including a grand event in the works at the Washington State Capital (more on that to be posted here soon). 

Click here for a list of World War I monuments and memorials in Washington.

Below, some of the WWI exhibits and activities in Washington include:

November 11 Veterans Day program at Washington State History Museum

Join us at 2:00 PM for a fascinating talk by Joseph Govednick, Cowlitz County Museum director. Joseph will talk about the technology of weaponry during WWI and many pieces from his collection will be on view for you to see. 
You can also learn about Washington's role in preparing the nation to fight in WWI, as well as the incredible advancements in technology which impacted far more than just the wartime industry. 
See a pop-up exhibition about what happened on Washington's homefront during WWI.
These special programs are free with museum admission. Veterans and active duty military with ID and up to five family members get in FREE on Sunday, November 11.
Note: The Washington State History Museum is closed on Monday, November 12.

Veterans Day program and World War One Commemoration at the Capitol Rotunda

Please join Governor Inslee and others on Sunday, November 11 for the WWI Centennial Commemoration at the Capitol Campus, presented by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Doors open at 9:30 AM to view displays of WWI artifacts, a special exhibit featuring the history of Washington during the Great War produced by the Washington State Historical Society, and period and contemporary military vehicles parked in the flag circle area. 

The rotunda program begins at 10:30 AM and will include the ceremonial ringing of a large bell in the rotunda at 11:00 AM, which will be occurring in communities across the country and the world as 11:00 AM crosses their time zones. There will be a full program with performances by military bands, honoring all who served and are serving in our armed forces. 

Governor Inslee’s proclamation will be read at the Capitol Rotunda. More details here.

Armistice Weekend at MOHAI in Seattle 

In Seattle, the Great Seattle Fire Bell will be rung at 11:00 AM as part of the Museum of History and Industry’s weekend of WWI commemorative programs. The museum's programming runs from November 9 through November 12. More details here. 

See the West Coast premiere of the WWI America exhibit with artifacts, images and multimedia presentations about America during the World War I era, 1914-1919. It will be on view at MOHAI through Feb. 10 MOHAI, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle; $15.95-$19.95, ages 14 and younger free (206-324-1126 or

On the Battle and the Homefront: Rentonites in the Great War

Renton History Museum, on view through November 11

Like thousands of cities and towns across the U.S. Renton fully mobilized to support the war effort, sending its young men off to foreign battlefields. But war mobilization also involved mothers and nurses and farmers and draft board workers, too. This exhibit explores the experiences of these men and women confronting international war for the first time. For people who had never thought of themselves as part of a global community, WWI crystallized and clarified their beliefs about citizenship and its duties, national identity, and patriotism in ways that changed Renton forever.

Washington's Great War: World War I in Washington

Pop-up and traveling exhibition by Washington State Historical Society.  

We've created a downloadable exhibit about how The Great War impacted our state, including industry, the home front, women's changing roles, and resistors. The exhibition will be on view at a number of historical organizations around Washington during the summer and fall of 2018. See the list below for locations and your chance to view the exhibition:

Washington Soldiers carvings in quarries discovered in Loire River Valley 

WWI 300 dpi McCoolTake a look at the graffiti in these three images. These names were carved into the stone walls of quarries in the Loire River Valley by soldiers from Washington during World War I. 

The graffiti is located in central France, in and near the town of Noyers sur Cher, the location of U.S. Army supply depots and training camps during the war. French historians note that soldiers had free time after completing the mandatory 30-day training and before deployment to the front lines, or while waiting for transportation home after the end of the war. The nearby limestone quarries were ideal for inscribing names and messages. Tuffeau limestone is relatively soft and has been used to construct the world-famous chateaus of the Lorie River Valley. 

Our sincere thanks for the research and photographs provided by Valérie Chapeau, historian for the French region of Vallee du Cher et du Romoantinais, and photographer Nicolas Xavier, for the images and history of some of Washington's soldiers serving in the 41st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in central France during WWI.

WWI 300 pixel LusterWWI 300 pixel Howser









Image at page top:  Black and white photographic image of an Armistice Day parade on a Wilkeson, Pierce County, Washington, circa. 1918. A group of small boys and girls are clustered in the street at image lower left corner. They are followed by a rank of young people wearing uniforms and marching. Many boys march in following ranks: the class of 1926, honoring those who served in World War I. Men and women watch from the sidewalk in front of stores behind the parade. Stores include: The Reliable Shoe Store; Carlson's, housing the Carlson Hotel and Bar. Washington State Historical Society, Stuart Miller Collection, 2014.45.1.14.