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Exhibition Dates: April 6, 2017 – November 29, 2018 at Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

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For security reasons, the military censored outgoing mail from all service members deployed overseas.
NPM 0.260305.14.47.1
For security reasons, the military censored outgoing
mail from all service members deployed overseas.
NPM 0.260305.14.47.1

Contact

Media Contact: Marty Emery 202.633.5518 emerym@si.edu

Curator Contact: Lynn Heidelbaugh 202.633.5538 heidelbaughl@si.edu

Press Release

2017-04-06: National Postal Museum Opens Exhibition Commemorating the Centennial of First World War
Explores Firsthand Accounts of Love, Longing and Loss

Downloadable High Resolution Images for Press Use

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American Red Cross photo postcard with soldiers sending mail
Military service personnel deployed to the front lines in Europe during World War I wrote millions of letters home to the United States. Family and friends on the home front sent 35 million letters in response over just the first year after entering the war.
Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

American Red Cross photo postcard with soldiers sending mail
Military service personnel deployed to the front lines in Europe during World War I wrote millions of letters home to the United States. Family and friends on the home front sent 35 million letters in response over just the first year after entering the war.
Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

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Miss Irene Donnelly’s letter to her sweetheart Private Charles Eggeling
Irene Donnelly decorated this patriotic stationery with a blue star signifying her sweetheart's deployment. She began this letter on November 7, 1918 in celebration of the news that the war had ended, however, the official ceasefire was not signed until November 11, 1918.
Courtesy Center for American War Letters Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, CA

Miss Irene Donnelly’s letter to her sweetheart Private Charles Eggeling
Irene Donnelly decorated this patriotic stationery with a blue star signifying her sweetheart's deployment. She began this letter on November 7, 1918 in celebration of the news that the war had ended, however, the official ceasefire was not signed until November 11, 1918.
Courtesy Center for American War Letters Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, CA

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General John J. Pershing’s portrait on a World War I postcard
At the end of the war, General John J. Pershing—commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF)—wrote a letter of appreciation to the members of the AEF, and that letter begins “My Fellow Soldiers.”
Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

General John J. Pershing’s portrait on a World War I postcard
At the end of the war, General John J. Pershing—commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF)—wrote a letter of appreciation to the members of the AEF, and that letter begins “My Fellow Soldiers.”
Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

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Postcard with pre-printed message for the military to send home
Many charitable organizations supplied stationery to encourage the military to write home to their loved ones. The YMCA freely distributed this postcard with a pre-printed message for military personnel about to embark for overseas deployment. The cards were mailed when the ship arrived safely. Stewart C. Lockhart with AEF Medical Unit 60 sent this card to Mrs. Nellie Bailey in October 1918.
Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

Postcard with pre-printed message for the military to send home
Many charitable organizations supplied stationery to encourage the military to write home to their loved ones. The YMCA freely distributed this postcard with a pre-printed message for military personnel about to embark for overseas deployment. The cards were mailed when the ship arrived safely. Stewart C. Lockhart with AEF Medical Unit 60 sent this card to Mrs. Nellie Bailey in October 1918.
Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

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American aid worker writing a letter for a wounded soldier, France, 1918
Courtesy National Archives

American aid worker writing a letter for a wounded soldier, France, 1918
Courtesy National Archives

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Captain Harry S. Truman’s letter to his fiancée Bess Wallace, dated February 18, 1919
Future President of the United States, Captain Harry Truman described details for his fiancée Bess Wallace about readying his artillery battery for review by the commander of the AEF, General John Pershing, and wrote: “The General told me . . . that he wanted me to take [my troops] home as clean morally and physically as when they came over.”
Courtesy National Archives, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, MO

Captain Harry S. Truman’s letter to his fiancée Bess Wallace, dated February 18, 1919
Future President of the United States, Captain Harry Truman described details for his fiancée Bess Wallace about readying his artillery battery for review by the commander of the AEF, General John Pershing, and wrote: “The General told me . . . that he wanted me to take [my troops] home as clean morally and physically as when they came over.”
Courtesy National Archives, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, MO

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General Pershing at an American cemetery in France, Memorial Day 1919
Courtesy National Archives

General Pershing at an American cemetery in France, Memorial Day 1919
Courtesy National Archives

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My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

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My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

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My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

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My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

Refer to caption
My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño