Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum & History Center presents new exhibit on ‘World War’


August 2, 2016

The Norwich University Sullivan Museum and History Center presents “World War: America and the Creation of a Superpower,” with an opening reception to be held on Wednesday, August 31, from 4-6 p.m.

The state’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Sullivan Museum and History Center is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served during the opening reception.

The exhibit, which is aligned with the 100th anniversary of the U.S.’s entry into WWI in 1917 and the 75th anniversary of U.S. involvement in WWII in 1941, will be on display from August 30, 2016-May 31, 2017. The exhibit examines the way these wars have defined the country’s place in the world.

Featured objects include propaganda posters from the Sullivan Museum’s own collection, on loan from the Robert Hull Fleming Museum in Burlington, and the Pritzker Military Museum in Chicago. These posters offer a fascinating look into how war objectives were communicated to the country.  Also on exhibit will be a rare complete “Hello Girls” uniform, on generous loan from Norwich alumnus James Mullin.  Hello Girls were bilingual switchboard operators who served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I.

Other objects on display include trench art, uniforms, medals and objects from the field. The exhibit also includes a listening station that will take visitors back in time to experience the home front via radio broadcasts during World War II.

For the August 30 opening reception, members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 792 will provide Buddy Poppies for attendants. Inspired by the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen World War I soldiers in Flanders Field in France, the Buddy Poppy program was started as a way to remember veterans. The VFW administers the Buddy Poppy program to benefit disabled veterans, who make the silk flowers.

Also in conjunction with the exhibit, all are invited to participate in a free book discussion series called “The Path to War,” co-sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council. The series will run from September through December and feature monthly discussions of four books which can be borrowed, free of charge, from the Museum starting on July 28. Three discussions will be moderated by Mark Stoler and one by Alan Berolzheimer.  Mark Stoler is professor emeritus of history at UVM.  He specializes in U.S. diplomatic and military history and is the author of numerous books and articles.  Alan Berolzheimer is the project historian and assistant director of The Flow of History, a Teaching American History program providing professional development activities to Vermont Teachers.  All discussions will begin at 7 pm in the museum conference room, light refreshments will be served.

  • September 8 ~ America’s Great War: World War I and the American Experience by Robert H. Zieger, moderated by Alan Berolzheimer
  • October 13 ~ The American People in World War II: Freedom From Fear by David Kennedy, moderated by Mark Stoler
  • November 10 ~ “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel, moderated by Mark Stoler
  • December 8 ~ No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin, moderated by Mark Stoler

For more information about the exhibit, reception or to register for the book group, please call the Museum at 802-485-2183 or visit our webpage at

The Sullivan Museum and History Center is located on the Northfield campus of Norwich University. It is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the academic year. There is no charge for admission to the museum.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

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