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Military history curator to present free program on World War I

The Stanly County Historical Society and The Stanly County History Center, in cooperation with Stanly County Veterans groups, will present a special program “World War I Remembered” at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Walter B. Hill Event Center – American Legion Post 76 (Stanly County Fairgrounds), 24302 U.S. Highway 52 Business S., Albemarle.

The speaker for the program, “World War I Remembered: An Observance of 100 years since the Armistice of 1918,” will be Charlie Knight, curator of military history at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

There will also be music, stories and poems related to WWI shared by local presenters.

“The Great War” of 1914-1918 cost millions of lives and toppled several empires, redrawing the lines on maps of Europe, Asia and Africa.

It was hoped by all involved that the extreme cost, both in terms of human lives and physical destruction, would make it “the war to end all wars.” But a generation later the world was at war again.

Knight’s presentation will examine the role of North Carolina in World War I. It will include stories from some of the more than 86,000 Tar Heels who went overseas to fight for the U.S. as well as those who donned the uniforms of other Allied countries before American involvement in this largely forgotten war that ended 100 years ago.

At the conclusion of the program, all veterans in attendance will be recognized. Veterans are invited to wear their military uniforms, or their Veterans Service Organization uniforms.

The program at the Walter B. Hill Event Center is free, and the public is invited to attend. Registration is not required for this event.

Knight has 20 years of experience in the museum field, having previously worked as a historical interpreter at New Market Battlefield Park in New Market, Virginia; curator at the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia; and director of the Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. He joined the N.C. Museum of History staff in 2017.

Knight is a graduate of Bridgewater College and American Military University, with degrees in U.S. History and Military History.

He has written numerous articles and book reviews for a variety of magazines, including Blue & Gray, Classic Trains and Hallowed Ground, among others.

His first book, “Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market,” was published in 2010, and his second book, “Robert E. Lee: Day by Day,” will be published in 2019.

He is also working on a biography of Confederate general and railroad magnate William Mahone.

Knight has spoken to various historical organizations and at conferences around the country and was an advisor to the 2014 film “Field of Lost Shoes,” about the Battle of New Market.

Knight lives in Holly Springs with his wife and two children.