Earlier this year, the Cal Poly Pomona California Center for Ethics and Policy and Veterans Resource Center received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to lead a series of dialogues about the California experience of war. One contingency of the grant was that some of the dialogues take place off of the Cal Poly Pomona campus, and what better place to host a dialogue like this than our very own Center for American War Letters Archives?

A small group of people sit facing away from the camera, while two men stand to either side of a projection screen in front of them.

CAWLA Archivist Andy Harman welcomes visitors to the Archives.

Last week, on September 24th, visitors from Cal Poly Pomona joined interested members of the Chapman University community to discuss selected chapters from historian Diane M.T. North’s California at War: The State and the People during World War I. Surrounded by war letters and other materials from the archives, participants engaged in a conversation about the unique experience of Californians during World War I. Among the topics discussed were the ways in which the war ultimately had a positive effect on California’s economy, helping to push it from the agricultural state it had been into the more industrialized, booming economy of much of the twentieth century.

A group of seated people face away from the camera while two men stand in front of them.

Discussion leaders guide participants in their dialogue.

We greatly welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with another university on this event, and we look forward to doing more of the same in the future!