World-War-I-American-Centennial-NYC-Untapped-Cities1Photo via Library of Congress from Wikimedia Commons

April 6th marks the centennial of American entrance into World War I. On that date, 100 years ago, the United States officially joined Allied efforts and declared war against Germany; over 4.5 million American men and women came to serve in the war effort, more than 200,000 people were wounded and over 116,000 soldiers—or “doughboys—died overseas.

Today, there are physical reminders of the Great War all around us, which we can see year-round. In commemoration of the centennial, however, we’ve rounded up 10 WWI-themed events taking place in New York — many of which are free and presented by the Cultural Services of The French Embassy.

1. World War I New York: Book Talk with Kevin Fitzpatrick


Join Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, author of World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War, as he discusses New York’s role during the war effort in an evening event hosted by the New York Transit Museum; you’ll learn about war monuments, hear transit-related stories and see items from the museum’s collection, which reveal the role of the city’s transit system during the war. Tickets are $10 or free for Museum Members and Untapped readers with the code “WORLDWAR1.” See more details here, and read our WWI article by Kevin Fitzpatrick.

Also check out World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War below:

2. Posters and Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York

Posters and Patriotism Selling World War I in New York -World War I Propanganda Posters-Museum of the City of New York-John W. Campbell Collection-NYCPosters from Museum of the City of New York, gift of Mr. John W. Campbell

The Museum of the City of New York is launching Posters and Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York on April 5th. The new exhibition will delve into the work of New York City’s artists and illustrators who were recruited into the war effort in the U.S. government’s Division of Pictorial Publicity. During the war, they created mass-produced images now that were distributed on posters, flyers, in magazines, and other forms of media; many, including the “I Want You for U.S. Army” poster by James Montgomery Flagg—are now ingrained in America’s iconography.

The exhibition will be open daily from 10am–6pm. Read more here.

3. Propaganda by Design at the Museum of the City of New York

hero_design by poster-Museum-of-the-city-of-new-york-NYC-Untapped-CitiesImage via the Museum of the City of New York

In addition to performances, conferences, screenings, the Cultural Services of The French Embassy is presenting Propaganda by Designa conversation hosted by The Museum of the City of New York, which will highlight a selection of rarely exhibited propaganda posters and the parallels in the world of graphic design and illustration today. Moderated by Donald Albrecht, the co-curator of Posters and Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York, the event will feature leading graphic designers Seymour Chwast, Laurie Rosenwald, and Paula Scher; it takes place this Wednesday, April 5th at 6:30pm.

4. NYC Remembers WWI Centennial


New York City will commemorate the centennial anniversary of WWI with a public ceremony, sponsored by the Fr. Duffy Coalition (FDC). Taking place in Manhattan’s historic Fr. Duffy Square, the 90-minute program will include speeches, music, a color guard posting and a wreath laying. Reenactors in WWI uniforms will also be present in honor of the Americans who served in World War I.

5. WWI Centennial Salute Party

Douglas Fairbanks, 1918 Liberty Loan Drive. Image via: U.S. Library of Congress

On the evening of the centennial (6pm–9pm), author Kevin C. Fitzpatrick is celebrating the debut of his book with classic cocktails, champagne and period music. World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War is the first guidebook to trace the remnants of the Great War in the region, and in Long Island and New Jersey. It includes more than 150 locations spread out across the five boroughs.

6. Find Traces of WWI in NYC

Captured German submarine placed in Central Park for war bond fundraising 1917. Image via: U.S. Library of Congress

If you can’t make it to the Salute Party, go on a self-led scavenger hunt to find traces of World War I in New York City. Kevin C. Fitzpatrick has written this handy guide for us, featuring locations like Central Park, Governors Island and Liberty Island.

7. Free Screening of ‘Wings’ at the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF)

Wings_poster-WWI-NYC-Untapped-CitiesPoster in public domain

Head to the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) for a a free screening of romantic, silent action-movie, Wings, the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture (then called “Best Picture, Production”), as well as a 1929 Oscar. Taking place on April 6th at 7:30pm, the event will also include a live U.S. premiere performance of the musical score by Baudime Jam, featuring France’s Prima Vista Quartet.

8. An Exploration of WWI with Veterans

American soldiers returning to the U.S. after WWI. Image via Wikimedia Commons from U.S. Naval Historical Center

The Library of America is organizing a meet-and-greet with veterans and their families at New York University’s Silver Center in Hemmerdinger Hall. As part of the event, taking place Thursday, April 6 from 6:30pm-8:00pm, guests will examine letters from American soldiers who fought in the war. American biographer and Pulitzer Prize winner A. Scott Berg, and bestselling author Sebastian Junger will also lead a discussion.

9. Preview Screening of ‘The Great War’

On Saturday, April 8th (7pm), the New York Historical Society will host a preview screening of the upcoming PBS miniseries The Great War from PBS’s American Experience. Following the screening, producer and director Amanda Pollak, author Richard Rubin, and historian Dr. Chad Williams will come together for a discussion, moderated by National WWI Centennial Commissioner Dr. Libby O’Connell. Reserve tickets here.

10. Musical Homage to Paul Wittgenstein

Also taking place on April 5th (7pm), is a musical homage to Paul Wittgenstein—a concert pianist who lost an arm in World War I (and consequently commissioned piano concerti for the left hand alone). The event, which will feature compositions like Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917) by Ravel and Suite pour 2 violons, violoncelle et piano op.23 commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, will take place at Le Poisson Rouge.

Next, read 10 Traces of World War I You Can Still Find in NYC on the Centennial Anniversary and A Secret Veterans Museum Hidden in the Park Slope Armory, Brooklyn.