The World War I Memorials of Connecticut,23 April 2019 meeting

Next Meeting:

The Southington Genealogical and the Southington Historical Societies are pleased to sponsor a program entitled “The World War I Memorials of Connecticut” with Richard Franklin Donahue on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm at The Southington Historical Society, 239 Main St, Southington, CT.


As the First World War ended, American communities hurried to memorialize the great  efforts of their sons and daughters.  Changes in cultural and civic ideals since the American Civil War led to extensive public discourse about what memorials should and should not be.  Government leaders, artists, historians, and the monument industry itself promoted ideas from simple tablets to  monoliths rivaling those of Egypt and Rome. Memorials throughout Connecticut exemplify  this entire  range of monumental styles.  The citizens of Southington wasted no time in this process and had a plan in place by the end of 1918.  Within a year, the town dedicated a unique flagpole as a  “Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial “with an enormous celebration and parade.

Having visited and cataloged more than 225 monuments throughout the 169 towns  in Connecticut, Richard Franklin Donohue will display images  of  the monuments and  share stories of their design, placement, and the people memorialized on them.  The Southington Memorial and those of the surrounding towns will be featured along with images of several of Southington’s World War veterans.

Richard Franklin Donohue is the Town Historian of his hometown of Cromwell, Connecticut.  His original research has formed the basis of museum exhibits, travelling lectures, and living history programs on topics ranging from 18th-century slavery to Civil War-era subscription balls to early 20th-century marine engines.  As President and Program Director of the Cromwell Historical Society for nearly fifteen years and a teacher in both public and private schools for twenty-five, he strives to enhance his town’s interest and participation in local and national history.  In addition to his work with history, Richard is a tenor soloist specializing in Middle English Carols, Bach arias, and German Lieder and is the director of the 1876 Singing Society at Mystic Seaport.


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