The year 2018 marks the centennial of the Armistice ending the First World War. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this world-altering historical event marked the dividing line between historical and modern America. The war drastically changed the world, thrusting the United States onto the global stage and exposing millions of Americans to foreign lands and modern warfare. Immediately after the war erupted in Europe in 1914, though their country remained neutral, Americans became involved in the war effort both individually and through organizations. After war had raged on “over there” for almost three years, the United States officially intervened in April 1917.

The National Museum of American History holds a variety of collections demonstrating the transformative history of World War I and of the United States’ participation in it. Our objects and their stories help illuminate civilian participation, civil rights, volunteerism, women’s military service, minority experiences, art and visual culture, medical technological development and new technologies of war and peace. On this site, we will be sharing the Museum’s World War I collections, online exhibits and programming, and research. These will be updated regularly and augmented with additional content.


New app!

We've partnered with the National Archives and Records Administration to make our World War I content available in the Remembering WWI app, available for free from the Apple Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). The free app allows you to explore and interact with objects, photos, and never-before-digitized archival film footage from over a dozen partner institutions and organizations.

Object Groups

New Displays

Related Programs


From Our Blog

Cher Ami

This summer marks the centennial of a bird—possibly the most famous pigeon in history—going on display at the Smithsonian. A representative of Columba livia domestica, this bird is known as simply Cher Ami.

An etching of a man with a musket.
“About the prints … I make no comment, save that they were made from the indelible impressions of war. They are not imaginary. I saw them.” Kerr Eby wrote about his World War I etchings.
See more blog posts