Exhibit: Answering America’s Call – Newport News in WWI

Grants  •  History

Mariners' Museum

100 Museum Dr, Newport News, VA 23606
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During the First World War, Newport News became a crucial military port, transporting men, weapons, and supplies to Europe. Answering America’s Call: Newport News in World War I looks at the stories of those individuals who served locally, passed through the port, or lived on the Peninsula, and how Newport News answered America’s call to arms.

The exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in the “war to end all wars” and will remain open from May through December 2018.

This exhibition features artifacts, photographs, and documents relating to the camps located in Newport News (Camp Hill, Camp Stuart, and Camp Alexander) as well as the critically important Animal Embarkation Depot and its counterpart in Saint-Nazaire, France. It includes stories about how the community supported the war effort through Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company and numerous civilian agencies. The exhibition also examines the construction of Hilton Village as a means of accommodating the large influx of shipyard workers into the area.

This exhibit and associated lectures are made possible in part by a grant from Virginia Humanities.

Public Events

Tickets are required for all evening lectures. General admission tickets are $5 each.

Exhibit Opening
May 19th, 1:00 pm

  • Lecture and book signing by Lynn Rainville, author of Virginians in the Great War: Uncovering One State’s Role in Mobilizing For, Fighting, and Commemorating World War I
  • Boy Scout Troop 45 supply drive
  • Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society genealogy discussions
  • Games and activities for kids and families
  • Costumed historical interpreters


Symposium: The War to End All Wars: America Transformed
Free with museum admission
June 23rd, 1:00 pm

World War I was, in many ways, the beginning of an American century. The Great War saw the United States emerge onto the world’s stage as never before, and began the nation’s rise to prominence that continued throughout the 20th century. Similarly, World War I wrought dramatic changes on our home state, as new ships were built, neighborhoods were constructed, industries grew, and the population shifted dramatically. Join us as three prominent historians share their insights about this pivotal and transformative time in our history.

  • Craig Symonds, Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History, US Naval Institute
  • Al Barnes, Command Historian, Virginia National Guard
  • Lynn Rainville, Visiting Fellow at Virginia Humanities, and author of Virginians in the Great War: Uncovering One State’s Role in Mobilizing For, Fighting, and Commemorating World War I

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