The International Stage (1898-1920)

At the turn of the 19th century, European powers were confronted with the challenge of modernity. The rise of nationalism conflicted with the old notion of imperialism, while traditional military tactics were proven outdated by the increased lethality of mechanized warfare.

In the midst of all this, the United States of America emerged as a young, innovative world power. In this gallery, examine what drove Americans to join the rush to fight the “splendid little war,” the Spanish-American War. The exhibit features an actual porthole from the USS Maine.  Discover artifacts from the often-ignored Philippines campaign and find out how the US Infantry helped put down the Boxer Rebellion and defend US business interests in China. And then learn how American innocence was dashed on the battlefields of World War I, in the “war to end all wars.”

At the heart of this gallery, the Infantry experience during World War I is interpreted within the walls of a recreated trench. Projections, graphics and artifacts tell the story, surrounded by the thunder of artillery the rumble of passing tanks.