University center's book focuses on Central PA in WWI
A center at Shippensburg University has
released a book of essays on Central Pennsylvania during World War I in
time to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the war’s start. The Center for Applied History published Duty Calls
at Home: Central Pennsylvania Responds to the Great War, 1914-1918.
The book is comprised of essays written by graduate students enrolled
in Dr. Steven Burg’s research in local and regional history class in Spring 2013. The
students, members of the university’s applied history graduate program, wrote,
edited and prepared the essays for publication. Burg, professor of history and chair of the history and philosophy department,
contributed a foreword and afterword for the collection.
The idea for the collection originated when Burg discovered that it
was difficult to find history books that included information on the impact of
the war on the Central Pennsylvania home front.
“I realized that there was a great opportunity here for my students to
write a history that fill and important gap about how the First World War
impacted our local people and communities,” said Burg. “I knew that we could
provide a real service for local teachers, students, and residents who might want
to better understand how the events of the First World War touched the lives of
people right here in the Mid-state.”
The essays explore a wide array of topics including the mobilization
of the Pennsylvania National Guard, the role of civilians with the Carlisle
branch of the American Red Cross, efforts to conserve and preserve food for the
war effort, and the impact on the U.S. Army Training camp, Camp Colt, on the
Several essays examine the war’s impact on higher
education in the region including Dickinson, Shippensburg, Gettysburg, and
Wilson colleges. Other essays focus on the changes at Mercersburg Academy, the
Westtown School, and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
Burg and John Maietta and Christy Fic, two of the student-authors, will be on
WITF-FM’s Radio Smart Talk from 9 to 10 a.m. July 28 to discuss the response of
Central Pennsylvania to World War I. The program is also available online at http://www.witf.org/smart-talk.
Copies of the book can be found at many local bookstores in the
region, or ordered directly at http://lulu.com.