Florida in World War I: A Digital History Project

Sunday, January 8, 2017: 11:00 AM
Mile High Ballroom 3B (Colorado Convention Center)
Barbara A. Gannon, University of Central Florida
American remembers some wars better than others. In memory, World War II looms over all other modern wars, particularly the war fought by the greatest generations’ fathers—World War I. As we approach the centennial of the Great War, it is incumbent on teachers and scholars to use this anniversary to remind our students and our communities of the American experiences in this cataclysm. I intend to talk about the “Florida in World War I Digital Project.” As part of this effort, the University of Central Florida, Department of History’s student and faculty hope to join with community members to create a digital project chronicling the experiences of Florida and Floridians in World War I. Much of the impetus for this project was an awareness that little has been done to chronicle the state’s wartime experience. To fill this gap, in a way that will be accessible to the broader community, we have created a website that will act as a portal to a series of projects that will allow Floridians of all ages to access vital information and analysis on this subject. Among the ongoing projects, a “Story Map” documenting all World War I memorials in this state. No one has ever recorded these monuments and provided the public with their location and history. In addition, my students created a database that organizes the military service cards at the website “Florida Memory” so that Florida communities can understand the impact of the war on their community. Graduate students used this information to follow these men’s military careers using google fusion tables and spacial analysis. For example, John Pierce, an Orlando native was inducted into the army on July 21st, 1918. Pierce served in Company C of the 807th Pioneer Infantry until his discharge in July of 1919.
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