Browse Exhibits (22 total)

The Experience of Veterans after WWII

Military Reorientation Program Image.jpg

When the United States entered World War II in 1941 against the Axis powers, many American men enlisted to join the various branches of the American military to serve their country. While they undoubtedly and heroically overcame many obstacles on the battlefields of the African, European, and Pacific theatres when the war was over, their readjustment back into the American public was an entirely new challenge for them to overcome. Fortunately, many were able to overcome these obstacles and go back successfully back into the job market. This was largely thanks to government programs designed to make the transition from military service into regular jobs as smooth as possible. Others were not as lucky, especially those that were left with horrific disabilities as a result of their military service. Projects were also created by the US government to help veterans physically rehabilitate from their wartime injuries. 


Tuberculosis treatment in Georgia

Tuberculosis Editorial Cartoon.pdf

Warren B. Brannon was born on July 8, 1893, in Forsyth County, Georgia. After graduating from high school he got married and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Here he worked in the leather industry until World War I. Warren was drafted and served as a Military Police officer. Sometime during the war, he was exposed to mustard gas which left him disabled and with tuberculosis. He was discharged and came back to Georgia but after that, it is not known what happened to him. The only thing that is known is that he died in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1922.

This exhibit is going to explore how and where a veteran with tuberculosis got treated. It will mainly focus on tuberculosis treatment in Arizona due to finding a news article stating that Warren was transferred from Arizona to Nebraska. The first thing that this exhibit is going to talk about is the situation in Georgia. It will explore how Georgia handled tuberculosis and if there was a shortage of tuberculosis hospitals. The second page will explore more about the veteran's life with tuberculosis. This is where one will learn more about acts that were passed that helped veterans with disabilities and the common story of veterans with tuberculosis. The third page will explore Neill MacArtan who was responsible for creating a veterans' hospital in Tucson Arizona. The page will explore more about the life of MacArtan and how he helped the hospital. The fourth page will explore more about the hospital itself. It will mainly explore how the hospital got its funding and how many patients it was able to hold. The fifth page will explore the treatments that were offered at the hospital.

Aviation in the Progressive Era


A general overview of aviation in the early 1900s, with a particular focus on aeronautical experiments conducted in North Georgia, as well as the use of airplanes in World War I.


The Southern Democratic Political Machine in North Georgia


Today in America, the South is associated with the Republican party. In most elections, the South will vote for Republican candidates most of the time. However, during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the South was heavily Democratic, particularly in Georgia. According to, Georgia voted Democratic in every presidential election from 1876 to 1920. This level of extreme democratic control can be credited to the Bourbonism Democrats. These Democrats were extremely wealthy and influential people. 

Along with major influential figures, the Ku Klux Klan also had an impact on the Democratic party during this time period, as they would use violence and intimidation to terrorize citizens that the Democratic party did not favor. During the Progressive Era, the Klan was in the second wave and was created in order to be a political machine. Political candidates on all levels were involved in the Klan, and most politicians that weren't were afraid to denounce them. President Woodrow Wilson held a screening of Birth of a Nation, a movie romanticizing the Ku Klux Klan, in the White House. 

Part of the reason the South was heavily democratic during these times is due to the party's racial policies. The republican party was seen as the party of Lincoln and associated with freeing the slaves, a notion that did not sit well with the South at this time. Also, the democratic party was seen as the common man's party in the South, which appealed to Southern voters. 

Towards the middle of the 20th century, the switch in party dominance commenced. Since then the South has been viewed as predominately Republican, voting regularly for the party in elections. However, some argue the political dominance of the Republican party today does not compare to the level of dominance seen during the Gilded Age and Progressive era. 

The Temperance Movement in Georgia and the Beck Tragedy

membership card.jpg

The temperance movement specifcally targeted the consumption and sale of alcohol. Those who opposed the sale of alcohol and wished to do something to combat this issue were the members of temperance organizations. People joined these organizations for a variety of reasons, to reform education about alcohol, to teach those in the community about the dangers of alcohol, or even to fundraise for their cause, much like people do today. Many people looked towards temperance as a cure for the crime, sin, and poverty that seems to travel with alcohol consumption. The argument for temperance and alcohol control also had a focus on protecting the family. Protecting the family became a large focus for these temperance groups as the mental inhibition caused by excessive drinking seemed to lead to domestic disputes and in the worst cases, such as that of Addie Bailey and her sister Ella Beck, murder caused by intoxication and heavy drinking. 

The Case of Eugene Beck: Murder, Moonshine, and Madness

Beck Case Summary.pdf

Widows in Georgia


Josephine Bagley was born in 1878 in Forsyth County Georiga.  She married her husband, R.L. Bagley, in 1899. Together that had 3 children; Loy, William, and Ruth. The couple was married for forty-one years. R.L. Bagley passed away in 1940, just after their forty-first wedding aniversery. Josephine then lived the next fourty years as a widow until her death in 1980; she lived to be 102 years old.

Early 19th marriages were asymmetrical; men had the upper hand in all financial and social aspects of the marriage where the wife was supposed to carry the emotional burden herself. Women in states like Virginia and Georgia were placed under English Common Law. English Common Law states that the man and woman in a marriage are regarded as one person during the course of their marriage; the woman would have no legal existence separate from her husband. The death of a spouse may not only cause a crisis in social identity but a crisis in financial security. The social and financial status of widows has always been of concern to lawmakers in the United States. Early United States legislators wanted to be sure that the widow was not taken advantage of by family or members of the community looking to buy her newly found estate but were also concerned with if the widow was able to successfully operate the entirety of her husband’s estate. Different legal statutes, like Title 31 of the Georgia Code of 1933, explicitly stated what the husband was legally required to leave his wife and how much of the estate she was entitled to after his death. The legal requirement was referred to as a dower. Dowers were important to the financial and social success of the widow. 

North Georgia's Reaction to the Selective Service Act of 1917


                Cumming, Georgia native John Lewis Tate was a 24-year-old farmer when the United States entered ‘the Great War.’ With an infant and wife, John Tate was most likely in ‘Class IV’ of the five classifications created by the Selective Service Act of 1917, therefore, Tate was excused from serving so he could support his young family. Despite this classification, Tate registered for the draft along with thousands of other men from Northern Georgia. As the war raged on, most people of Northern Georgia supported America’s effort to ‘keep the world safe for democracy.’ 

                Tate’s patriotic actions towards America’s involvement in ‘the Great War’ and the implementation of the Selective Service Act was shared by many, but not all. Georgia politician and ‘journalist,’ Thomas E. Watson was a significant voice in the opposition to conscription. With thousands of followers Watson challenged the validity of the draft law, eventually in the Supreme Court. Much of the German-American population of Georgia, expressed their ideas against America’s involvement in the war by calling for American neutrality after President Woodrow Wilson asked for a declaration of war in 1917. The German-Americans met with violent opposition in many cases. 

                Other than Watson’s vocal opposition, a majority of North Georgians were in support of the war effort. African Americans and women, although not able to enjoy all of the rights that went with American citizenship, enthusiastically support America’s effort. North Georgia also provided one of the largest training grounds for the war at Chickamauga/Fort Oglethorpe. Thousands and men and women went through training at the Civil War battlefield, preparing for their time in France.

Understanding PTSD and 'Shell Shock'


A historical project analyzing the understanding of shell shock which would eventually become PTSD. The project also reviews veterans' integration back into society via academic and scientific journals.

Mental Health in the Military During World War Two


At the time of World War Two, 1930 to 1945, physiatrists used a plethora of terms to describe the mental illnesses within the United States military. At the time, throughout the 1900s, terms such as battle fatigue, shell shock, and combat stress reaction were all separate diagnoses. Today, they all operate under the encompassing term of “Combat Stress reaction” or CSR. There were other diagnoses like shell shock that was used separately, but is now considered to fit under the umbrella of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Then there are the separate, more modern diagnoses, of depression and dysphoria. All of these mental illnesses portray their own symptoms that affected enlisted and veteran men.

Mental Illness was treated as an unspeakable social taboo in the 1900s, and especially affected not only men but military members disproportionately. Creating an extensive research into some specific illnesses that enlisted men faced during World War Two reveals these troubles. Military Personnel faced various illnesses within the service and when returning home; there is a clear connection between their affected mental states and the suicide rates of service members.