Joan McGuire Mohr is a United States historian and writer in military history, historical fiction, and biography.
As an immigration historian she specializes in Slavic Immigration to the United States. Mohr consulted as a Research Fellow for the Institute for Learning, a Think Tank at the University of Pittsburgh, and for museums throughout the United States and Central Europe.
Mohr was born into an Irish/Portuguese family. Her mother's Portuguese ancestors settled in Hawaii at the turn of the 20th century. Her father's Irish ancestors, who fled to the United States during the potato famine, settled in Denver, Colorado. She was raised in northern New Mexico until the age of six when her family returned to the Denver area. She became interested in Slavic immigrants while living among them in Colorado.
Mohr earned her B.A. at the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.A. at the University of San Diego, and her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh (PA). She became a professor at PITT while intermittently studying at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. She served as contributing historian to the Czech and Slovak National Museum and Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa organizing, designing, and lecturing on an exhibit of rare World War I era photographs and material culture.
Mohr's area of expertise is United States Immigration History with an emphasis on Czech and Slovak homeland and host settlement conditions post 1850 to World War I. While working on the story of Czech and Slovak immigration, Mohr discovered material in archives across Central Europe and throughout the United States that detailed a hidden incident which occurred in Siberia from 1917 to 1922. Mohr collected oral histories, public documents, personal letters, and photographs from a variety of individuals and collections which she pieced together to revive the odyssey of the Czech and Slovak Legion through Siberia during the Russian Revolution. Mohr's latest book, The Czech and Slovak Legion in Siberia from 1917 to 1922 (released Spring 2012) grew out of her interest in Czech and Slovak immigrant communities across the United States who supplied money and support for a specialized Russian army (the Legion) composed of Czech and Slovak prisoners of war. Later, the evacuation of these Czech and Slovak POWs through Vladivostok precipitated the murder of the Russian Royal family and forced the Legion to act as protectors to both the Russian Treasury and the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Czech and Slovak Legion's detour through Siberia became a human interest story of World War I, chronicled weekly in both The New York Times and The New York Herald, yet virtually nothing of it is known today.
Dr. Mohr was invited to lecture on the Legion at the Library of Congress and the Slovak Embassy in October, 2012. She presents and discusses rare photographs of the Legion exodus across the United States and throughout Europe. Mohr continues to provide groups the opportunity to travel to villages throughout Hungary and Transylvania in association with the Iparmuveszeti Muzeum (Applied Arts Museum) of Hungary in Budapest.
Mohr acted as historical consultant to a film company currently producing a movie about the Czechoslovak Legion in Siberia. For further information see: www.legiefilm.cz/joan
Her latest work, The Blood Orphans, a two book historical intrigue series, covers the post World War II era in Czechoslovakia and the death of Foreign Minister, Jan Masaryk in 1948.
Currently, Dr. Mohr is finalizing research on Czech immigration to Western Pennsylvania from 1865 to WWI. This study, From Immigrant to Citizen, will be available soon.