Guts & Glory: The War Train that Shaped a Nation


Guts & Glory: The War Train that Shaped a Nation

Open April 7, 2018 – December 31, 2018 in 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. (Read the news release.)

About the virtual reality experience in Guts & Glory
  • There will be a limited number of virtual reality (VR) experiences available daily as part of the Guts & Glory exhibition, and the hours that the VR experience will be offered will vary periodically throughout the exhibit’s run.
  • Those choosing to take part in the VR experience will be given a timed ticket when they purchase their museum admission. Although the museums is open 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays, the VR schedule will be limited. However, on weekends VR will be available 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 12-4 p.m. on Sundays. All VR tickets will be first-come, first-served, with no reservations. VR experiences are scheduled every 15 minutes and are led by NCSML staff. Last VR ticket will be sold at 3:15 p.m.
  • VR participants must be age 10 or older, and children under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • All VR participants must sign a liability waiver.

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

Category: Artifacts, Current Exhibits, Historical