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Gonzaga Hosts ‘Washington at War: The Evergreen State in World War I’ Oct. 19

The Great War’s Impact on Washington &
How Washington Impacted the Great War

SPOKANE, Wash. – In an interactive presentation, public historian Lorraine McConaghy, Ph.D., will discuss the impact of World War I on the state of Washington and how the state impacted the war in a free public event at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 19 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room.

Lorraine McConaghy. (Photo courtesy Humanities Washington)

One-hundred years ago, the United States entered into World War I to fight alongside its European allies. But the state of Washington’s homefront experience began long before the country entered the war, and continued afterward. McConaghy, who lives in Kirkland, Washington, will present an illustrated introduction to the war’s themes before offering audience members a “Readers’ Theater” script – allowing them to speak aloud together the history they are discovering.

The script includes excerpts from newspapers, diaries, writings, speeches and correspondence, and is based on extensive research in primary source material focused on the war’s impact on Washington – and how Washington impacted the war. The reading covers the period between the successful Prohibition referendum in 1914 through Seattle’s General Strike and President Woodrow Wilson’s visit to Washington in 1919. Learn about and discuss this dramatic period of immigration, wartime industrialization, women’s rights, social change, radical labor, epidemic disease, and worldwide turmoil.

The event, hosted by the Gonzaga history department, is presented by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Historical Society in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in World War I, also known as “The Great War.”

McConaghy, who earned her doctorate from the University of Washington, works as a historian and curator for the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle and Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. Her work has dealt with Washington at war during the Treaty War of 1855-1856, the Civil War, World War I and World War II. She has participated in working groups concerning the opportunities of commemoration, and presented lectures and workshops on readers’ theater programs for the National Council on Public History, the American Association for State and Local History, and the Washington Museum Association.

In 2009, her readers’ theater script, “Speaking Out,” won the national performance award from the Oral History Association. In 2015, the AASLH honored her “Voices of the Civil War” with a national award of merit. McConaghy’s work has been recognized with the Washington State Historical Society’s Robert Gray Medal, the annual award of the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild, and the Humanities Washington Award.

For more information, contact Robert Donnelly, Gonzaga associate professor and department chair, at (509) 313-3691 or

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