Being German in Illinois during WWI

Crime to Be German

Historical actor Barbara Kay of Glen Carbon, IL,  portrays her great-grandmother, Margaret May, a resident of southern Illinois who saw and felt anti-German hysteria a century ago.

The United States was involved in the “Great War,” and some Illinoisans considered anything German evil – including their fellow Illinois residents of German descent. Although German immigrants and first-generation German Americans had been present throughout Illinois for decades and formed a large proportion of the state’s population, mob hysteria and violence against them escalated in Illinois during the World War I years.

Kay illustrates her presentation with photographs, newspaper headlines, and editorial cartoons of the time.  Through her first-person, costumed portrayal, she brings the struggles of World War I-era German Illinoisans to life and engages audiences with questions and discussion.

The performance is funded by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars program and the Friends of the Moline Public Library Foundation: Part of the “Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience is a project of City Lore in collaboration with the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the International Coalition of the Sites of Conscience.  The project has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities:  Exploring the Human Endeavor.”

A program series for all us

The story of our ancestors, our country and us.

Becoming American Slide

No registrations is required to attend any of the programs in this Quad Cities-wide film and discussion program series.

Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience is a project of City Lore in collaboration with the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the International Coalition of the Sites of Conscience.  The project has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: “Exploring the Human Endeavor.”

Run away and join the circus!

Or maybe just come to the library to learn about them first. Baby steps.

Church of Marvels - History of the Circus

Dirt Is Good!

Want to know the benefits of playing in dirt, having pets and spending time on a farm? We’ve got just the poster presentation (and book) for you.

Dirt is Good Poster