“A Day in the Life” of Special Collections & Archives: John Lennon and Abbie Hoffman

This gallery contains 7 photos.

So our University Archivist, Chris Wydman, received a phone call a few months back in which the caller, a Wright State grad from the early 1970s, assured him that John Lennon had visited Wright State’s campus in the late 1960s, … Continue reading

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TDIH: World War I Begins in Europe

This Day in History: On July 28, 1914 — 100 years ago — World War I, or “The Great War” as it was often known prior to WWII, broke out in Europe.

Although the often-cited catalyst for the war — assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist — took place a month earlier on June 28, it was not until July 28 that Austria-Hungary actually declared war on Serbia, thus beginning the formal conflict.

Aerial view of ruins in Europe (from MS-293)

Aerial view of ruins in Europe (from MS-293)

Over the next several years, Wright State University Special Collections & Archives will join many other archives, museums, and cultural institutions around the world in commemorating the centennial of WWI in various ways, including sharing items and stories from our collections here on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter (@WrightStArchive) under #WWI100.

We will also be adding new World War I materials to our digital collections on CORE Scholar. The Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Photos (MS-152) are already online; and 91st Observation Squadron Photos (MS-293) and a selection of materials from the Fred Marshall Papers (MS-53) are in progress.

Soldiers at Camp Sherman, 1918 (from MS-100)

Soldiers at Camp Sherman, 1918 (from MS-100)

As part of our World War I commemoration efforts, we are seeking new donations of World War I manuscript materials. In particular, we are looking for historical materials that document WWI and have a connection to either the Miami Valley or to aviation history (or both). 

If you are interested in World War I in Dayton, you might enjoy these additional resources:

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John Patterson News

On July 26, 1864, John H. Patterson wrote a letter to his mother reporting on recent events including a trip to see a captured  Confederate Cigar Steamer, fishing for crabs, and recent reports of Confederate forces near Harpers Ferry.

The Confederate Cigar Steamer was constructed by a Rebel named Winans and was desiged to run the Union blockade of Southern ports.  The ship was a failure and was located in a harbor next to a long bridge.  John and his friends were able to climb onto the ship, which led to his description of it as a “queer craft.”  After visiting the ship, they fished for crab off the long bridge.  John provides a lengthy description of how you fish for crab and how good they are to eat.

The last portion of the letter discusses the Confederate raid near Harpers Ferry.  John indicates that the force is reported to be very strong and that government supplies were being moved to a safer location.  He notes that “if they tried to take this place they will have to lose a good many men before they succeed.” (Transcript of John H. Patterson letter, July 26, 1864)

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