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Read the exhibition press release here.



Related Programming:




Wednesday, April 5 at 6:30 pm 
5th Annual Freedom Seder Revisited






Thursday, April 27 at 6 pm
Young Friends Curated Cocktails






1917: How One Year Changed the World

On view March 17 - July 16, 2017

 1917 header now open

"Remarkably prescient..." – The New York Times

"A deep dive into a strange, history-shaking year." – TIME

"Strikingly relevant to current events." – Montgomery News

"Concise and smart..."  The Forward



Uncle Sam poster 2

1917: How One Year Changed the World looks back 100 years to explore how three key events of 1917—America’s entry into World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, in which Great Britain indicated support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine—brought about political, cultural, and social changes that dramatically reshaped the United States’ role in the world and provoked its most stringent immigration quotas to date.

The exhibition examines this consequential year through the eyes of American Jews, who experienced these events both as Americans and as part of an international diaspora community.

1917 features nearly 125 artifacts—including uniforms, letters, photographs, and posters—and interactive media. Visitors have the rare opportunity to view two original drafts of the Balfour Declaration, a decoded copy of the Zimmermann Telegram, the Treaty of Versailles, an Uncle Sam costume, the Medal of Honor posthumously awarded to Jewish WWI soldier William Shemin, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’s judicial robes, a postcard written by a young Golda Meir, a page from the original Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, and much, much more.

1917 will be on view at the co-organizing institution, the American Jewish Historical Society in New York, from September 1 - December 29, 2017.



Enjoy FREE ADMISSION on the first Fridays of each month and on select historic anniversaries throughout the exhibition. Free days include:

  • Thursday, April 6: Centennial of America's entry into WWI on this day in 1917
  • Friday, April 7: Free First Friday
  • Wednesday, April 19: Wake Up America Day, celebrated on this day in 1917 to boost WWI recruiting
  • Friday, May 5: Free First Friday
  • Thursday, May 11: Birthday of composer Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose WWI draft card is on view in the special exhibition and whose piano is on view in the first floor Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame
  • Thursday, June 1: Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis on this day in 1916; his judicial robes are on view in the special exhibition
  • Friday, June 2: Free First Friday
  • Wednesday, June 14: Ringing of the Liberty Bell on this day in 1917 as part of a national effort to encourage purchasing of war bonds
  • Wednesday, June 28: Signing of the Treaty of Versailles on this day in 1919; an original copy of this agreement which ended WWI is on view in the special exhibition
  • Tuesday, July 4: Independence Day
  • Friday, July 7: Free First Friday

1917 and AJHS credit

1917: How One Year Changed the World has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Major support provided by Anonymous; David Berg Foundation; and Tawani Foundation. Additional support provided by: Linda and Michael Jesselson, Bryna and Joshua Landes. Header image: Jacob Lavin (center) with
group of American Expeditionary Forces in France. Gift of Marilyn Lavin Tarr.