Dr. John Maxwell Hamilton named to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Historical Advisory Board

Dr. John Maxwell Hamilton, the Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor of Journalism and founding dean of the Manship School, has been named to the Historical Advisory Board for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.

Established by an Act of Congress in 2013, the commission serves to educate, honor and commemorate what is considered America’s most forgotten war. According to the commission’s website, it aims to raise awareness of and give meaning to events that few can remember through educational programs and a variety of broadcast, print and digital media to resonate with all ages. The Historical Advisory Board is comprised of experts from wide-ranging fields, who review endorsement and partnership requests from outside sources, as well as the commission’s educational content and materials. The commission is building the national World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington through private donations.

“World War I is not nearly as well remembered as World War II, or others for that matter,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton is working on a book about government propaganda during World War I, and he spoke about his research at a panel discussion during the commission’s centennial event at the National World War I Museum & Memorial in Kansas City earlier this year. Watch the panel discussion here. In his research, Hamilton looks at the impact of the American government’s propaganda during wartime and its lasting effects in peace.

“‘Ground zero’ for systematic, pervasive, American government propaganda at home and abroad is World War I,” Hamilton said. “The American government’s involvement in the mass mobilization of people, in this case for a total war, created patterns that carried on in peace…. [For that reason,] World War I is an important window through which we can understand our country today.”

While discussing his involvement with the commission, Hamilton expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with other experts on the World War I.

“The more you meet people who are working on the same things you do,” he said, “the more you learn.”