Display of World War I Artifacts Kicks off Special Centennial Series

During the centennial year of the United States’ entry into World War I, the New Jersey State Library will host a series of special programs on New Jersey’s connection to the first global war in history. All presentations take place in the State Library’s Level 2 Reading Room, 185 West State St., Trenton.

The series began on Wednesday, Sept. 13, with John S. Niemiec, a reenactor and military collector, discussing the events that led to the war and showcasing an impressive display of uniforms, equipment and other memorabilia. Niemiec started collecting World War I items in 1962, roaming flea markets in Lambertville, Columbus and other places to find the treasures.


The display included items from the U.S., our allies and Germany, ranging from various types of helmets, uniforms and bandoliers to grenades, stick bombs, knives and knuckle-dusters. There were also photos and dioramas.

German military items
U.S. military diorama







The series continues on Wednesday, Sept. 27, with Erik Burro, a researcher and historian, who will share stories about the many World War I monuments located throughout the Garden State.

Author Lisa Mastrangelo will discuss “Women of Peace and Preparedness: The Use of Motherhood and Maternalism in World War I” on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Mastrangelo, a professor of English at Centenary University, will be drawing from her paper The Rhetoric of Maternalism: The Use of Motherhood as a Trope in World War I for her presentation.

The program on Wednesday, Nov. 15, will feature James Hockenbury discussing “New Jersey’s Role in World War I: Sabotage Target and Key State in the War Effort.” The author will describe the events around the Black Tom Island explosion and other key incidents.

The event is open to the public. RSVP to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.