- Illinois State Museum, Springfield
"From the Sangamon to the Rhine: The Letters and Photographs of Kent Hagler"
Paul Mickey Science Series presented by Dr. Christopher McDonald, Lincoln Land Community College
Rejected by the US military as a result of a childhood injury, Kent Hagler volunteered as an ambulance driver in the American Field Service. Hagler left his place at Harvard University and his family in Springfield and travelled to France to drive ambulances in support of the French army. McDonald’s talk will examine Hagler’s experiences through the lens of the letters he sent home to his family in Springfield. Hagler, still a teenager at the time, was decorated for bravery by the French and saw first-hand the impact of war. His letters are insightful, literate, and sometimes humorous; and his photographs give us a glimpse into the life of an ambulance driver as he traveled from the Sangamon River in 1917 to the Rhine in 1918. The letters also provide an interesting view of Springfield at the time. When Hagler returned home in 1919, he brought a large number of souvenirs of the war which he later donated to the State Museum. This talk aims to place these items into the context of both an individual and general history.
Each month, the Paul Mickey Science Series features a different speaker and topic in the Auditorium at the Illinois State Museum. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 558-6696.