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Launch of Exclusive Series: World War I Symposium - Lander University

May 27, 2019 - Posted in Education by Andrew Davis
Lander University's World War I Symposium Cover is proud to unveil its new exclusive series, all about the World War I Symposium, hosted by Lander University! 

Between 1914 and 1919, the globe was engulfed in the first world war. Europe encountered devastation the likes of which was never before seen at that time. Triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, the war began on the coattails of the Industrial Revolution. While the world saw widespread technological innovation and industrialization in this period, so too did the globe witness terrible destruction, and tragic loss of life. Although the United States arrived late in the conflict, Americans were very much involved. The soldiers fighting 'over there' were not the only ones who suffered hardships during this era - the civilians back on the homefront faced hardships of their own.

The year 2019 marks the one hundred year anniversary of The Great War's end. While World War II may be easier for most Americans to recall, World War I had developed the stigma of being known as "The Forgotten War" in comparison. With the centennial of the end of this "forgotten war," the occasion has rekindled interest for people all over the globe to look back and reflect on this war's effects. The state of South Carolina is no exception to this, since many South Carolinians fought and sacrificed their lives in World War I. South Carolina was one of the most heavily involved states in America's efforts in World War I, since the state was home to three of the largest U.S. Army training installations at that time: Camp Jackson in Columbia, Camp Sevier in Greenville, and Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg. Camp Jackson, presently Fort Jackson, is the only one of these Army training installations still in operation. Even though the latter two training installations no longer exist, the effects of World War I can still be felt today in South Carolina's upstate. 

In honor of the one-hundred-year centennial, Lander University, in Greenwood, South Carolina, hosted a symposium on World War I. Experts from all across the country came to the university to discuss various aspects of the war in a series of panels, which were free to the public. This symposium, organized by Lander University's own Dr. Lucas McMillan,  was made possible by a generous grant from the South Carolina Humanities. The aim of the symposium was to further the understanding of how World War I affected the southern United States - culturally, economically, socially, and politically. Greenwood County has had a debate on commemoration, since the local war memorial listed fallen soldiers' names by race. American Legion members sued over the S.C. Heritage Act, and as a result of the lawsuit, a new plaque was placed on the memorial, which now lists the soldiers' names alphabetically. 

Lander University has partnered with South Carolina ETV to bring educators and general audiences a series of educational videos featuring some of the historians from the symposium. The series features the following experts:

  • Dr. Angela Jill Cooley - Associate Professor of History at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Dr. Matthew L. Downs - Associate Professor of History at the University of Mobile
  • Dr. M. Ryan Floyd - Associate Professor of History at Lander University
  • Dr. Fritz P. Hamer - Curator of History and Archivist at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
  • Dr. Courtney Tollison Hartness - Assistant Professor of History at Furman University
  • Dr. Lucas McMillan - Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Lander University
  • Dr. Kathryn M. Silva - Assistant Professor of history at Claflin University

These accomplished historians weigh in on various aspects about World War I, from how the war first got started, to the progression of civil rights in the southern U.S. during that period. 

This series can only be found on, and can be viewed with the following link:

*Please note that some of the topics discussed in this series may not be suitable for younger audiences, and viewer discretion is advised. 



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