One hundred years ago, the New World came to the rescue of the Old, as nearly five million American troops mobilized to join the Allied cause in World War I.

Join local historian John Maietta as he presents a two-part program, “Over There and Back Home: America and World War I,” that covers the causes of the war, its course on the battlefields of Europe, and its impact on the lives of ordinary people back home. The first program will be presented at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, with the second part at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St.

Of local interest, the American Expeditionary Forces included National Guardsmen from Williamsport, cheered on by their fellow citizens as they shipped out to help “make the world safe for democracy.” They and their fellow doughboys did not see major action until the summer of 1918, but they played a decisive role in the final push to defeat German aggression.

Meanwhile, patriotic civilians across the country bought liberty bonds, planted victory gardens, and demonized “the Hun” who brought untold destruction into a seemingly innocent world.

Maietta, who has been a passionate fan of history throughout his life, is a native of Williamsport. He worked for many years as a freelance photographer and public relations specialist in the Harrisburg area, where he lives.

At the same time, he served as a public affairs officer with the Pennsylvania National Guard, volunteering for numerous active-duty assignments in Washington, D.C., Europe and Iraq.

Now retired from both the military and business professions, he has launched a third career in adult and community education, bolstered by his receipt of a master’s degree in applied history from Shippensburg University. He is on the adjunct faculty of York College of Pennsylvania, where he teaches a course on the foundations of Western Civilization. He also is a popular presenter of public lectures on a wide variety of cultural and historical topics.

This program is one of the many ways Pennsylvania public libraries support the PA Forward Initiative by providing civic and social literacy opportunities for learning.

The program will be presented in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Children’s Wing. Registration is suggested, but not required. Visit calendar.jvbrown.edu to register or call 570-326-0536.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.