Liberty Hall Exhibit Brothers in Arms Commemorates WWI 100th Anniversary
A treasure trove of never before seen World War I letters are now on exhibit at Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University to mark the 100th anniversary of the United States entering the First World War. Brothers in Arms: Memories of the Great War tells the story of the service of Captain John Kean, his brother, Congressman Robert W. Kean, as well as their three Roosevelt cousins, George, John and Philip. For the first time ever, their personal letters written during the war will be on display as well as their uniforms, military handbooks, maps, pictures, and commemorative pins.
Rachael Goldberg, coordinator of museum collections and exhibits at Liberty Hall read and transcribed the more than 300 letters in the World War I collection.
"These letters chronicle the lives of the Kean brothers while training in the U.S. and serving overseas," said Goldberg. "They write about politics, their thoughts on the war, as well as the latest goings-on at home."
Brothers in Arms encompasses five rooms within Liberty Hall Museum and lets visitors walk in the footsteps of John and Robert as they head to basic training in 1917, to the front lines of Europe in 1917-18, and back home in 1919.
"This exhibit is very near and dear to my heart. I feel so close to John and Robert, and I want to honor their service, along with that of all the other men who fought in World War I," said Goldberg. "The Kean brothers' letters gave me, as an historian, a better understanding and appreciation of this war and what these men did for our country."
Liberty Hall Museum's extensive collection of World War I artifacts includes Captain John Kean and Congressman Robert W. Kean's uniforms from their service in the National Guard and the U.S. Army; English and American propaganda posters, Army equipment such as their trunks, helmets and binoculars; newspapers from the duration of the war; and medals awarded to both John and Robert for their service.
Brothers in Arms: Memories of the Great War will on display through November 10, 2018 - the entire length of time the United States fought in World War I. Tours of Liberty Hall Museum will include the new exhibit and take place every hour on the hour, Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.