YGM’s ‘History that Matters’ speaker series begins w/ MT’s Women Veterans of WWI The Friends of the Yellowstone Gateway Museum announce their upcoming fall speaker series, History that Matters: Anniversaries of 2018. The four bi-monthly programs begin on September 26th and continue through November 7th. Topics include Montana’s women veterans of World War I; Sedition and free speech during World War I; the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness; and the Crow Fair and Apsáalooke culture.
Author Edward E. “Ed” Saunders gives the first program, “Knapsacks and Roses: Montana’s Women Veterans of World War I”, on Wednesday, September 26th at 7pm. On the centennial year of America’s victory in World War I, his book and program tells the epic true stories of intrepid and heroic Montana women who served in uniform in that terrible upheaval, mostly as nurses in the Army Nurse Corps. Saunders highlights Elizabeth “Sandy” Sandelius who was born in Cokedale, Montana, east of Livingston in 1893. She was commemorated for heroism under fire in Cohan, France in 1918.
During World War I over 200 of these courageous and indomitable women from the Big Sky Country served stateside in crowded, understaffed, diseased-filled base hospitals, and overseas in war-torn France, enduring terrible and deadly battlefield conditions. They served an indifferent federal government denying them equality as the men. After the war, the women came home alone, unheralded, and mostly forgotten. They faced another battle – a battle for recognition. Knapsacks and Roses showcases these women veterans using their words and through official reports of the day, shining the light of honor on these women – and all America’s women veterans of World War I – richly deserved and long overdue.
Saunders, is a retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army, and ground combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Reared in the American West, Saunders directed the effort to create the Yellowstone County [Montana] World War I Women’s Memorial. He previously wrote and published, Sentinels: Yellowstone National Cemetery – From Prairie to Hallowed Ground. He and his wife live in Laurel, Montana. Saunders will be signing his book after the program.
On Wednesday, October 10th author Clem Work, a retired University of Montana School of Journalism professor, gives a program entitled “Darkest Before Dawn: Sedition and Free Speech in the American West.” On Wed., Oct. 24th David Kallenbach, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation executive director, presents “The Call of the Wilderness – 40 years of the Absaroka-Beartooth.” The final program on Wed., November 7th is co-presented by Shane Doyle, educator and member of the Crow (Apsáalooke) Tribe, and John Zumpano, local photographer, entitled “Crow Fair: Celebrating 100 Years of Apsáalooke Culture.”
All programs are held at 7pm at Park Photo, located at 115 S Main St. in Livingston. The speaker series is free, open to the public and refreshments are served. Doors will open at 6:30pm. For more information about upcoming programs, visit www.yellowstonegatewaymuseum.org or find the museum on Facebook, @yellowstonegatewaymuseum. •