Township of Ocean Historical Museum
An Open Door To History
Copyright 2017 (C) Township of Ocean Historical Museum
Township of Ocean Historical Museum
Address: 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ 07712
Mailing: P.O. Box 516, Oakhurst, NJ 07755-0516 

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(732) 531-2136
E-mail us at OceanMuseum@yahoo.com    
New Jersey and the Great War: Local Stories of World War I
Currently In The Richmond Gallery

The West Gallery offers regularly changing exhibits ranging from stories of the communities that were once part of Ocean Township to interesting aspects of local history. This Gallery is named in honor of Howard (Doc) and Virginia (Ginny) Richmond, for their years of dedication and service to the Museum and its work.  The current exhibit is 
Bringing World War One home

Though overshadowed by its sequel, World War One had profound and lasting effects on politics, social order, and individual lives. “New Jersey and the Great War: Local Stories of World War One,” sets out to make that case—with particular emphasis on the people and happenings of our state.

The big picture

The Great War reshaped the world. The U.S. emerged a world power. The seeds were sown for the rise of fascism and the spread of communism. Middle Eastern national boundaries were redrawn, fueling ethnic conflicts that continue to threaten.

At home, the scope and power of the U.S. government grew. A national army took over state militias. National security clashed with civil rights. Ethnic tensions grew--as did opposing organizations that either fed or defended against them. Women entered the work force in unprecedented numbers—and developed a irreversible taste for independence.

New Jersey’s role

New Jersey was an industrial powerhouse that supplied the Allies even before we entered the war—and for that drew the attention of saboteurs. Once in the war, we boosted our manufacturing output. The army built facilities here that played major roles in the war effort, including Camps Dix, Merritt (a major embarkation base), and Vail (later Fort Monmouth).

New Jersey supplied two high-profile figures of the war era, most notably, the President himself. Wilson was a former New Jersey governor who ran his presidential campaigns from right here in Monmouth County. His nemesis during the war years, Alice Paul, was a militant suffragist from Burlington County who labelled the president “Kaiser Wilson.” Her White House picketing and arrest drew national attention and in large part led Wilson to reverse his opposition to the 19th Amendment.

One man’s story

Behind the headlines are the stories of people. The exhibit tells, among others, of Joe Marino (born Giuseppe Maranaccio). Joe ended up in Asbury Park, U.S. citizen, father of four, and owner of Marino’s Bar on Main St. But he started life in Accadia, Italy.

Italy, originally allied with Germany, remained neutral at the onset of war, then sided with the Allies. Nearly 6 million Italians served—including a teenaged Joe Marino. He was captured and imprisoned for years in Austria. Near the end of the war, he escaped and walked under cover of darkness the hundreds of miles back to his village. His sweetheart, assuming him dead, had married. Heartbroken, Joe moved to Rome where he worked three years to save the money to immigrate to the states.

The new exhibit runs through June 2018. A century ago this year, the United States entered World War I