How 1917 Changed the World

One hundred years after the United States entered World War One, the French Embassy seeks to shed light on this momentous occasion through a series of exhibitions, talks, concerts, and screenings beginning in New York City and continuing across the US throughout 2017. The program aims to familiarize younger generations with this transformative moment by exploring the ongoing impact of the cultural and aesthetic upheaval of the period and uncovering untold stories of communities that were instrumental to this critical period of history.

Kicking off a major nationwide centennial commemoration this spring, the French Embassy has assembled a series of events in New York City as part of a yearlong program “How 1917 Changed the World”. Centennial activities will continue throughout the year from Boston to Chicago and Atlanta.

As the events of this year demonstrate, the friendship between the United States and France has been both central to the preservation of democracy around the world and a driving force behind a long, remarkable history of cultural and artistic creativity. It is our honor to commemorate the sacrifice made by the American soldiers who participated in the war and to celebrate the enduring bond between France and the United States that has helped shape our world over the last hundred years.

>> Download the full calednar of events here


In fall 2017, a University Road Trip will be organized for six young scholars from France specializing in World War I, during which time they will discuss their research with their peers. Each will start their journey in a key U.S. city including Boston, MA; New York, NY; Raleigh, NC; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; and Kansas City, MO, where wrap-up experiences, events, and conferences will be open to the public. Further details to come. 

An ambitious project, Marcel Proust’s World War I Letters: A Digital Edition, organized by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign will gather, translate, and digitalize nearly 1,200 letters of Proust’s on WWI. The collection of translated texts will be made available to the public in the Fall 2018.


Teacher resources related to World War I are available at the following links:

>> Classroom resources: Artists and the Great War
>> Classroom resources: Poetry and War
>> Pedagogical booklet (pdf) 

Presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy with support from The French Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, in charge of the World War One Centenary in France. This program is endorsed by The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission as a commemorative partner, which recognizes commitment to educating the public about World War One and honoring those who served.