AUGUSTA — Capt. Jonathan D. Bratten, command historian for the Maine Army National Guard, will present the first talk in the March Collaborative Encounters series at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 1. The free talk, “The Pine Tree State in France: Maine’s 103rd Infantry Regiment in the Great War,” will be held at the Maine State Library, 230 State St.

“In 1917, 2,002 Mainers left their homes and families to ‘make the world safe for democracy,'” commented Bratten. “Their travels took them directly into the heart of the Great War, where they proved that the best of the German Army was no match for the boys from Maine. During my talk, I’ll be sharing the stories of the 103rd Infantry and discussing how the actions of its soldiers changed the course of World War I.”

Bratten’s talk is part of the March Collaborative Encounters series jointly sponsored by the Maine State Library, Maine State Museum and Maine State Archives. The museum’s new exhibition, “Over There and Down Home: Mainers and World War I,” will be open free from 5 to 5:30 p.m. prior to Bratten’s talk.

Future presentations in the series will be: March 15, “World War I Open House: Exhibits and Special Collections at the Maine State Museum, Archives and Library;” March 29, “The World War I Dye Shortage: Color, Clothes and Chemistry,” Jacqueline Field; April 12, “Maine and World War I,” talk and book signing by Jason Libby and Earle G. Shettleworth Jr. All programs begin at 6 p.m.

The Maine State Library, Maine State Museum, and Maine State Archives are located in the Cultural Building, adjacent to the Maine State House, 230 State St.

For more information, see the museum’s website or call 207-287-2301.

Maine soldiers who mobilized during World War I included two units bound for Texas, pictured here on parade in Bangor on June 22, 1916. (Photo courtesy Maine Historic Preservation Commission)

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