Artifacts from Life on the Homefront
On display at Central Library, April 2016.
Just in time for Arlington Reads 2016, Central Library is hosting an artifact-rich exhibition on Arlington County in World War II.
It’s the story of a community undergoing rapid transition from fading farms to new homes to the Pentagon, all while sending its young men to fight in Europe and the Pacific.
The exhibition also highlights the often unheralded role of women who served essential roles in the war effort and maintained domestic life amid sacrifice.
“We’re stepping back to the 1940s with this exhibit and these visiting authors to show how quickly the world changed at home and overseas,” Library Director Diane Kresh said. “But ultimately the themes of human suffering and surprising courage appear timeless and seem to confront every generation.”
Scrapbooks from the Woman’s Club of Arlington document a number of local wartime enterprises, including the Arlington Recreation Center for Servicemen.
The displays range from poignant letters home, combat boots, banners, music albums and “Victory” cookbooks to sometimes-grisly Horrors of War trading cards meant as social commentary, folk art and propaganda. The exhibition also includes a listening station of Arlington-at-war recollections culled from the Center’s hundreds of recorded oral histories.
Arlington Read 2016
- Thursday, April 7 at Washington-Lee High School Auditorium – Anthony Doerr, author of “All the Light We Cannot See.”
- Thursday, May 5, 7 p.m. at Central Library – Julie Otsuka discusses “When the Emperor was Divine,” her acclaimed debut novel based loosely on her family’s history with a Utah internment camp for Japanese Americans during the Second World War.
- Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at Central Library – Richard Reeves discusses “Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II.”
Arlington Reads is the Library’s one-theme, one-community reading initiative. It is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Arlington Public Library.
News release written by Peter Golkin, County Communications Office.