The Gallatin History Museum is hosting a free family day, Animal Heroes of WWI, Saturday November 10th as part of the fall collaboration project, “Legacies and Memories of World War I : Commemorating the Armistice”. Fun interactive tables will be set up in museum to learn about the role animals played during the war. Live animals will be on the property with scheduled pigeon releases throughout the day as well as fun craft make-and-takes.
BREAKING NEWS* Bozeman’s own Therapy Donkey Oliver will be in the museum from 11:00-12:30.
Over 16 million animals served in the First World War. They were used for transport, communication and companionship.
In 1914, both sides had large cavalry forces. Horse and camel-mounted troops were used in the desert campaigns throughout the war, but on the Western Front, new weapons like the machine gun made cavalry charges increasingly difficult.
However, animals remained a crucial part of the war effort. Horses, donkeys, mules and camels carried food, water, ammunition and medical supplies to men at the front, and dogs and pigeons carried messages. Canaries were used to detect poisonous gas, and cats and dogs were trained to hunt rats in the trenches.
Animals were not only used for work. Dogs, cats, and more unusual animals including monkeys, bears and lions, were kept as pets and mascots to raise morale and provide comfort amidst the hardships of war.
This special event is being held in conjunction with the Gallatin History Museum and MSU Center for Western Lands & Peoples fall 2018 collaboration, “Memories and Legacies of World War I - Commemorating the Armistice". Additional community support provided by MSU Library, the Bozeman Public Library, MSU Department of History and Philosophy, Bozeman High School, and the Museum of the Rockies.
This event is free and open to the public.