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South Dakota in World War One - The Old Courthouse Museum Exhibit
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Old Courthouse Museum Exhibit Logo
Old Courthouse Museum Exhibit Logo
Siouxland Heritage Museums

The exhibit summarizes World War One and details South Dakota's role in the conflict. Some elements of the exhibit come with rich and well-documented histories, like the well-preserved uniform of pilot Fred Christopherson. Christopherson, originally from Toronto, South Dakota, was trained as a bomber pilot but never saw combat. He returned to Sioux Falls after the war and worked as the editor of the Argus Leader for 33 years.

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Other relics on display speak for themselves.

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Relics and war booty - old rifles, machine guns, bayonets, hand grenades and the like - are displayed in cases set into the walls of a simulated trench. Another part of the exhibit features the music of the era.

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One wall is plastered with propaganda posters and other wartime artworks.

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One section is dedicated to remembering the role of women in the war and on the homefront.

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A child's army-style jacket is displayed next to a small toy cannon. The cannon was sold with a paper cutout of Kaiser Wilhelm, which was meant to be used as a target.

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Some of the many photographs in the exhibit were made on European battlefields. Others were shot closer to home.

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Portraits of fallen South Dakota soldiers look back from honor roll posters that resemble pages from an old high school year book.

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"World War One - The Great War" can be seen at the Old Courthouse Museum, Main and 6th St. in downtown Sioux Falls. Admission is free. Visit the Museum's Web site for more information.