About the series

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917, The Great War, a six-hour documentary presented over three nights, explores how World War I changed America and the world. Drawing on the latest scholarship, including unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters, The Great War tells the rich and complex story of the conflict through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers,” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Great War premieres Monday April 10th at 8pm on 5.1. Watch the preview here

War Letter Wednesday

WWI was a watershed in wartime letter-writing, but it is just one chapter in a long history of Americans communicating conflict from abroad. Throughout American history, letters and dispatches from soldiers and others at the front have brought news, good and bad, to waiting loved ones at home. At the same time, letters from the homefront were an eagerly awaited respite from the terrors of war to those serving far from home. These messages range from the poignant, poetic and heartbreaking to the humorous, brief and mundane. Whether written with ink and parchment or tapped out in telegrams or typed in emails, they have all shown the human face of war and conflict.

#WarLetterWednesday is a new weekly Instagram challenge to feature your war letters, photographs, and communication technologies in order to share the history of wartime correspondence. With this campaign, American Experience aims to build a community of museums, libraries, cultural organizations and individuals centered on sharing the history of wartime correspondence in America.

Challenge for the week of March 22:

FROM THE HOMEFRONT - Correspondence highlighting the wartime experience of those at home.



Instagram Feed #WarLetterWednesday

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