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Guts & Glory: The War Train that Shaped a Nation

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April 7, 2018 – December 31, 2018

Petrik Gallery

It’s the most epic, heroic World War I story you’ve never heard.

As World War I ended in 1918, political leaders in Europe and America created the new nation of Czechoslovakia. Crucial to that decision were 60,000 brave Czech and Slovak soldiers who supported the Allies, seized the Trans-Siberian railroad, and fought their way across Siberia— eventually reaching their new homeland in Europe.

This exhibition represents a unique collaboration among:

  • The NCSML staff
  • Kevin J. McNamara, author of Dreams of a Great Small Nation
  • Many students and teachers at two Cedar Rapids high schools: Iowa BIG and Metro High School STEAM Academy
  • Graphic novel artist Rachel Marie-Crane Williams of the University of Iowa faculty

Together they have created an exhibition that includes two virtual reality stations, three replica train cars, many period artifacts, and more than two dozen large-scale interpretive panels that tell the story in graphic novel form. Guts & Glory promises a unique experience that commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I and underscores the lengths people will go to obtain freedom.

Major support comes from: Rockwell Collins, Aegon Transamerica Foundation, Western Fraternal Life, ITC Midwest, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, and Lee Freeman.

On Wednesdays, during the month of June and July, we’ll be offering Late Night-exclusive guided tours tied to the World War I theme in our exhibit Guts & Glory: The War Train that Shaped a Nation. Tours are at 6 p.m. and are included in your admission.

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