Gilcrease Museum presents restored newspaper to VFW, announces free admission for military and vets

VFWTulsa World
Stetson Payne

It was supposed to be the last war, the end of violent nationalism and, likely, the last time “SURRENDER” would span the top of a Tulsa World extra edition.

History has shown us it wasn’t.

After a year of meticulous conservation efforts, though, that fateful edition of the Tulsa World is back at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 577. In 2018, Scott Gantz donated the fragile copy to the post to commemorate the centennial of the armistice that took effect 11 a.m. Paris time, Nov. 11, 1918.

But after seeing a Tulsa World story about the paper, Mark Dolph, curator of history at Gilcrease Museum, saw an opportunity to preserve the then-tattered edition.

On Thursday, Dolph presented the paper back to the post, complete with a frame provided by Ziegler Art and Frame. The presentation also served to announce that beginning Veterans Day, Gilcrease Museum will offer free admission for active-duty military members and veterans.

Dolph, who had previously curated an exhibit on World War I propaganda posters, said the paper is an important piece of the American story and a portal to a vastly different time.

“This is truly a survivor,” Dolph said. “A newspaper, whether it was 100 years ago or this morning, is ephemeral. It’s not meant to survive, particularly not in the digital age. For something like this to still be here 101 years later is remarkable.”

At Gilcrease’s paper conservation lab, technicians used chemicals to stabilize the paper and remove acid from the newsprint before finally suturing the three pieces together.

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