Remembering the ‘war to end all wars’
Lincoln Presidential Library offers presentation on trench warfare, screens ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

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[July 12, 2016]  SPRINGFIELD – A century ago, World War I took warfare to such vast new levels that some believed it would be “the war to end all wars.” The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum looks back at this terrible time with two events in July: a presentation on trench warfare and a screening of the classic movie “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

The first takes place Thursday, July 14. Dr. Mark DePue, head of the presidential library’s Oral History Program, will explain the horrors of trench warfare by focusing on the 1916 battles of the Somme and Verdun – which he calls “military disasters on a monstrous scale.”

The Civil War, which produced so many military innovations, saw early versions of trench warfare at the sieges of Vicksburg and Petersburg.

DePue developed an extremely popular series of presentations on key Civil War battles, using maps, photos and the soldiers’ own words to explain what happened and why. Now he is bringing that same approach to World War I.

The free event takes place at 6:30 p.m. in Union Theater at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. To reserve a seat, visit and click on “special event reservations.”

On Tuesday, July 26, the presidential library presents “All Quiet on the Western Front,” one of the greatest war movies of all time.

The 1930 movie won the Academy Award for best picture, was banned in Nazi Germany during the ‘30s and has been included on many lists of great movies.

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Admission is free. The movie starts at 6:30 in Union Theater. Reservations can be made at

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history. The museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors.

[Christopher Wills, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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