January 27, 2017 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center
450 W Ohio St
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Ellen Munds

World War I as seen through the eyes of three Hoosiers
In collaboration with the Indiana Historical Society
Sponsored by Tom and Pat Grabill
Tickets are $15/Advance, $20/Door
Purchase tickets online or call 317-232-1882

Sharon Kirk CliftonIt was called the Great War, the World War, the War to End All Wars. In its early years, most Americans referred to it as the European War. We wanted to protect our own interests by staying out of the fray, remaining neutral, and trading with both sides. However, Germany would not recognize U.S. neutrality. American ships at sea became fair game.

After the Germans sank two of our ships, American sentiment shifted, and the public pressured President Woodrow Wilson to go to war against the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. On April 2, 2017, Wilson sent a war request to Congress. Four days later, the United States declared war on Germany.

Among the first to answer the call to serve were three Hoosiers. Ruth Wright of Rochester had recently become an RN and was working at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. When she heard the Red Cross needed nurses to volunteer for duty in France, she signed up to go with the first wave. Robert H. Tyndall, an Indianapolis native, was a successful businessman who heard the call to serve and sold his half of a tailoring firm to his partner and re-entered the military. He had served in the war with Spain. Alice Moore French was neither a nurse nor a soldier. She was a determined mother with a passion to organize and mobilize other mothers of servicemen to make sure the U.S. military was well-nourished. Thus, she founded American War Mothers.

Using the Indiana Historical Society’s archives, storyteller Sharon Kirk Clifton will share the stories of these three people who, after the war, became leaders in Indiana in the premiere of Over There and Back Again. 

Sharon Kirk Clifton is a professional storyteller who is also passionate about writing, especially for children. She has published two middle-grade novels, Up a Rutted Road and The Second Cellar, and is working on a third. Sharon also is researching a historical romance set in southern Indiana in 1930. She received the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship in 2004 for which she premiered Abigail Gray: Living Under the Drinking Gourd. This is her second commission for the Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories series. Her previous story, At Home and In Harm’s Way: The Role of Indiana Women in the Civil War,  premiered in 2007.