LIVING HISTORY: PLAS wax museum honors key figures

Published 8:18 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The figures in the World War I Wax Museum at Pike Liberal Arts School came to life for an hour Tuesday morning. Visitors to the school were fortunate to be there to hear the stories the figures had to tell about their involvement in the “war to end all wars.”

Laurie Lynn Jordan, PLAS history teacher, said the sixth-grade students have been studying the global war that originated in Europe and lasted from July 28, 1914, to November 11, 1918.

Jordan said the follow-up activities of the study of the First World War included writing a paper about a selected character involved in the war, directly or indirectly, and making a speech about that individual.

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“The culminating activity of the month-long study of the war, was the Wax Museum,” Jordan said. “Each student’s character came to life and told about their participation in World War I. They dressed as that character and told his or her story.”

Jordan said the students were interested in and excited about bringing their characters to life.

Some of the characters’ costumes were purchased, others were home creations. 

Anna Kate Hardin chose Amelia Earhart because of her adventurous spirit.

“Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean,” Anna Kate said. “During World War I, she served as a Red Cross nurse’s aide in Canada.”

Robert Lindsey chose Henry Ford, who was a pacifist. He was a friend of Thomas Edison. They liked to race in wheelchairs.

Amy Ramage chose Julia Stimson who served in the United States Army during WWI. She received the Distinguished Service medal.

“I am Quentin Roosevelt,” said Luke Sikes. “I was the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt.”

Quentin Roosevelt was killed in aerial combat on Bastille Day. He is the only child of a United States president to die in combat.

Each sixth-grade history student has a favorite character from World War I. Jordan said they all were creative in portraying their characters and their presentations were interesting and well delivered.

“Parents and family members were also interested and involved in the wax museum,” she said.

Kenzie Ray portrayed Elsie Inglis in the PLAS Wax Museum.

“Elsie Inglis was a Scottish doctor in World War I,” Kenzie said. “She was the first female doctor in the war. My mother and I made a stethoscope like the one Elsie Inglis would have used. We made it out of rubber cord and a cabinet knob we got at Lowe’s.”

Rose Buchanan made Carmen Sanders’ World War I rifle division uniform. Buchanan’s father was a British American POW. The medals on Carmen’s uniform were those won by Buchanan’s father.

Carmen said wearing the medals Buchanan’s father was awarded made being in the wax museum even more memorable for her.

Participation in the wax museum will hopefully be encouragement for the sixth-grade students to continue their interest in history and those who made it.