Wednesday, June 6, 7:00 pm
At MHA 2018 the GGRWHC continues its pioneering research on wartime efforts by midwestern women who were already national leaders in Progressive Era reform movements. The second in our three-year project illustrates initiatives to create a home defense by guaranteeing the health of the nation’s children. Read on!
Fourth Annual
Midwestern History Conference
Sponsored by the Midwestern History Association and
the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University

During its fourth annual meeting in Grand Rapids, the Midwestern History Conference will again feature a range of midwestern topics, from the region’s intellectual and religious history to capitalism and politics, ethnicity and race. Plenary speakers will discuss why studying the black midwestern working class as well as blue-collar nationalism both matter. See entire schedule.

Courtesy of GVSU’s Hauenstein Center, admission will be open to the public and free, including a complimentary lunch—if you RSVP!

Attend all or just part of the day-long offerings—
but don’t miss the GGRWHC’s presentation at 7:00 pm!
Held in the DeVos Center (#3 on downtown campus map)
Gates are up in all GVSU parking lots after 6:30 p.m.

When in 1917 the American wartime government established the Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense, 17,000 local organizations sprang up immediately. Invited in because of military needs, the nation’s women citizens made contributions ranging far beyond specific war needs and their traditional gender roles.

The GGRWHC has been digging out the forgotten history of these Americans and their wartime initiatives. When one third of American male draftees failed their physicals, the better care of American children became an important focus of their work.

Midwestern Women and the Children’s Programs
of the WWI Council of National Defense

Join us one hundred years later to honor the 1918 Children’s Year with fascinating on-the-ground reports featuring urban Grand Rapids and rural Jasper County, Indiana, and to see proof that women’s pre-war programs thrived when given a federal mandate—this time benefiting children. The second in GGRWHC’s three-year project illustrates initiatives to create a home defense by guaranteeing the health of the nation’s children.
In “ Riding the Rails on the Children's Special” the GGRWHC’s Melissa Fox reports how Michigan’s creative use of an interurban railroad car illustrates the national response to infant mortality and a general public health crisis.
“Children’s Recreation as a Defense Measure” -- Historian Jayson Otto uses the case of Grand Rapids to illustrate how women’s investments in public gardening and public parks coordinated with the programs by school officials and city departments in the war effort.
In “Schooling for War in Rural WWI Jasper County, Indiana,” Indiana resident Sue Caldwell provides rich illustration how the goals and problems of wartime children’s programs were addressed differently in rural settings, especially through the schools.
Please recruit friends to attend with you to see what
GGRWHC and the MHA are up to!
Hope to see you on Wednesday!
GGRWHC |   | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!
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Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation .  Visit our  website  for more information and the ability to donate online.