Category Archives: World War One Centennial Commission

“Out of the Blue” challenges in World War I & today + webinar updates & WWI television recommendations

An item from World War One Centennial Commission.


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Geomatic storm of 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As our nation continues to grapple with a challenge that seemingly came “out of the blue” from the COVID-19 virus, analogies have been drawn (by us as well as others) with the influenza epidemic at the end of World War I a century ago. But 99 years ago this week, a very literal “out of the blue” event was impacting America and the world, as The Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 1921 slammed the earth. Electrical currents induced by geomagnetic activity on the sun surged through telephone and telegraph lines, heating them to the point of combustion, causing fires and disrupting travel and communications all around the planet for an extended period. Another lesson from history that unexpected challenges are the rule of the universe, not the exception.

Seattle newspaper influenza 2018

As illustrated by the period newspaper front page at left, in the autumn of 1918 our nation was engaged fiercely in two essential national campaigns: the Muse-Argonne offensive, and the fight against the terrible influenza that was sweeping the nation and world. The battle in France would lead later that year to the end of the fighting in Europe in World War I. The struggle with the epidemic would take much longer to end. In neither case was the result rapid or without tragic cost. But in both cases, American resolve, ingenuity, and teamwork brought us through the crisis stronger than ever.

As the nation goes on the offensive to get back to work again after the COVID-19 pandemic, those same resources will be called upon in new ways to achieve the same end: a strong and innovative nation ready to grow and prosper in the decades ahead.

App vertical

As many of you know, we have undertaken a very ambitious and innovative project of our own. It is called the “WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer” a smartphone and tablet app that uses a new technology called “Augmented Reality”.  The app allows us to put the new National WWI Memorial being built in Washington D.C. into everyone’s pocket in a highly informative and unique way.

While the actual Memorial is still under construction, the app is ready for testing. As a part of our existing WWI Memorial “family,” your participation in trying out  the app before the general public, and providing feedback to us on both your experience and any errors you find (a process called “Beta Testing”) will help us perfect this complex and innovative project before we release it to the general public.

If you are interested in being a “beta tester” it is easy to sign up by clicking ww1cc.org/explorer.  Besides helping us, and the teachers and educators who will be using the app in the future, it should also be a lot of fun. Get your kids involved! and thank you.

We will continue providing you with World War I-themed webinars, activities, and information over the coming weeks, hoping these events and recommendations will provide some interesting, informative, and pleasant distractions.


Hello Girl Diagonal

We will be presenting another webinar on Friday, May 15, at 1pm EDT, focusing on America’s First Women Soldiers, “The Hello Girls.” Join us as we explore the incredible story of these women soldiers who helped us win WWI, and whose battle for recognition and their veterans rights continued for 60 years after the fighting stopped on the western front. It is a powerful story of heroism and empowerment set against the backdrops of WWI and the Women’s Suffrage movement.  Click here to register.

Our special guests are Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, historian and author of the the Harvard University Press book called “The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers,” and the creative team of Cara Reichel and Peter Mills, who produced the highly acclaimed off-Broadway musical “The Hello Girls”.

As our Bonus Feature we will be screening the 6 minute Documentary short “Women in WWI” from our “How WWI Changed America”: Teaching and Learning Resource series underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Click here to sign up now for this interesting and entertaining webinar on May 15.

If you missed any of our four previous webinars (“Making the Memorial Sculpture”, “WWI Memorial Virtual App”, “Genealogy Workshop”, and “Memorial Design and Construction Update”), or want to watch one of them again, click here to find links for the videos of all the previous webinars.


Doughboys in Theatre masks

At the U.S. Army hospital in Royat, France, during the World War I influenza epidemic, convalescing Doughboys wearing surgical masks (sound familiar?) gathered in the base theater to enjoy being entertained by movies from back in the states.  We don’t know what the film titles were that they watched (all silent films, remember), but we do have a few suggestions for you sheltering at home for some WWI-themed television programs which you may enjoy — surgical masks optional in your home theater, of course!

Influenza pandemic and WWI C-SPAN

Influenza Pandemic and World War I provides an in-depth presentation by historian Nancy Bristow about the 1918 influenza pandemic and how it devastated American civilians and soldiers during the final year of World War I and beyond. She also explained why the epidemic is not memorialized like the war itself, despite causing a higher number of deaths. Ms. Bristow is the author of American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri hosted this talk as part of their annual symposium in 1918.

Influenza Pandemic and World War I can be viewed on the C-SPAN3 web site here.

The Great War PBS

The Great Wara three-part series on the PBS program American Experience, draws on unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters to tell the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “Doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. The Great War explores how a brilliant PR man bolstered support for the war in a country hesitant to put lives on the line for a foreign conflict; how President Woodrow Wilson steered the nation through years of neutrality, only to reluctantly lead America into the bloodiest conflict the world had ever seen, thereby transforming the United States into a dominant player on the international stage; and how the ardent patriotism and determination to support America’s crusade for liberty abroad led to one of the most oppressive crackdowns on civil liberties at home in U.S. history. It is a story of heroism and sacrifice that would ultimately claim 15 million lives and profoundly change the world forever.

The Great War can be streamed free online on the PBS web site, or viewed on Amazon PrimeiTunes, or Google Play.

Sled Dog Soldiers

Sled Dog Soldiers  In August 1915, two officers of the French Army embark on an incredible secret mission: to bring 450 sled dogs from Alaska and Canada to France. Will they succeed in carrying out their mission on time? The objective: to save the Eastern front from German invasion with the help of the sled dogs – the only way to penetrate the snow-filled Vosges and bring much-needed supplies and ammunition to starving and injured French soldiers. Captain Louis Moufflet and Lieutenant René Haas and legendary dogsled driver Scotty Allan have 120 days to cover 10,000 kilometers under enemy threat, from Alaska all the way to Quebec. Once their ship departs they must defy German submarines and face terrible storms to cross the Atlantic and reach France. As one Amazon reviewer wrote: “The logistics of moving this many high energy/dominant Canines in ANY era is hard to comprehend, but doing it in 1915? and in undeveloped Canada and Alaska!?”

Sled Dog Soldiers can be viewed on Amazon Prime, and other online video sources.

Remember that if you shop using AmazonSmile, a percentage of the price of your purchase will go to help build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC which is currently under construction.


Stay safe.

Dans Signature

Daniel S. Dayton
Executive Director
U.S. World War One Centennial Commission


WWI Webinar Series: “The Hello Girls – America’s First Women Soldiers”

An item from the World War One Centennial Commission.


WWI Webinar Series

Building the National WWI Memorial
In Washington, D.C.

Dough Foundation with WWI Commission logo

Friday May 15 2020 , 1p Eastern •  “The Hello Girls – America’s First Women Soldiers”

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Friday, May 15, 2020 @ 1pm Eastern

“THE HELLO GIRLS”
America’s First Women Soldiers


Join us as we explore the incredible story of The Hello Girls – America’s first women soldiers. They helped us win WWI, but their battle for recognition and their veterans’ rights continued for 60 years after the fighting stopped on the western front.

It is a powerful story of heroism and empowerment set against the backdrops of WWI and the Women’s Suffrage movement.


Click to Register


Featuring

Elizabeth Cobbs

Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs
Historian and Author of “The Hello Girls”

Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman holds the Melbern Glasscock Chair in American History at Texas A&M University and is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.


Cara Reichel and John Mills
The creative Team behind
“The Hello Girls” Off-Broadway Musical

Nominated for the Drama Desk Awards, Outer Critics Circle Awards, Drama League awards and others, this wonderful musical tells the story of “The Hello Girls” in an upbeat, accessible, entertaining and touching way.

Cara Reichel and John Mills

DOWNLOAD EXTRA

For all attendees, courtesy of Cara, John and their record label, we have a free download of the title song “Hello Girls”  from the Cast Album

SHORT DOCUMENTARY BONUS

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The role that women played in WWI was pivotal and the role that WWI played in the women’s rights movement was momentous.

At the turn of the century, the role of women was already changing. What WWI did was to hugely accelerate that change.

In this 6 minute documentary we examine this from a variety of perspectives.

Click to Register



View videos from our Previous 2020 Webinar Series



Thoughts on World War I & national recovery + webinar updates & WWI book recommentations

An item from the World War One Centennial Commission.


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Liberty Plane first flight

“Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.”

 — Eddie Rickenbacker
World War I American fighter ace

Flu Poster

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As our nation struggles with how to get the country back to normal after the Covid-19 challenge, looking back 100 years to the aftermath of World War I offers some possible lessons for our national endeavor. As our World War I Centennial partners at history.com have written: “Somehow, despite a global flu pandemic that killed 675,000 Americans in 1918 and 1919, and a depression that gutted the economy in 1920 and 1921, the United States not only recovered but entered into a decade of unprecedented growth and prosperity.”  Americans made and wore masks as the nation worked to overcame the effects of the virus, and in time was “able to exercise a wide and important influence in restoring the world to a normal and livable condition.” Though many obstacles had to be overcome, the nation was on course to recovery.

Liberty Plane in flight

We will be encountering such obstacles alike in the 21st Century while overcoming the current challenges our nation faces, as “even the best battle plan doesn’t survive first contact with the enemy.” This can also be true of efforts to honor those who flew for America’s armed forces in WWI. A multi-year effort to restore to flying status the last remaining original, made-in-WWI American DH4 aircraft was very successful recently…up until it wasn’t. Dorian Walker, leader of the Friends of Vintage Flight Team and pilot of the “Liberty Plane,” took to the sky last week on a test flight, and thrilled his team with the sight of the DH4 aloft for the first time in 100 years, as the photos at top and at left attest. However, as Dorian tells us, something “happened to interfere with our flight plan” before the aircraft was back on the runway safely…a happenstance all-too-familiar to WWI aviators like Eddie Rickenbacker. The team is now determining the extent of damage and the costs to repair, similar to what the nation is going through now in the wake of the Covid-19 “crash” that it has endured. We won’t necessarily be successful with each step the first time we take it, but with good planning and hard work, we’ll get it done. As Eddie Rickenbacker said, “I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through – then follow through.

construction 05062020

The World War I Centennial Commission and The Doughboy Foundation team has been working hard to keep construction moving forward on the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, while taking the required Covid-19 precautions, and so far there have been no delays, for which we are all very thankful. We’re keeping focused on our mission of honoring and remembering the 4.7 million Americans who served in our nation’s Armed Forces in World War I, confident that we have thought things through, and determined to follow through until the job is done.

The Liberty Plane team, thinking things through right now in the wake of the aircraft mishap, is also intent on following through with their commemorative mission. As Dorian told us, “I don’t regret for a moment climbing into that original 102 year-old cockpit, strapping myself in behind the totally rebuilt century-old 400 hp Liberty engine, and pushing the throttle forward, like the aviators of a century ago did to defend Liberty in the skies over Europe. Our team’s mission has been and continues to be to Honor and Remember those brave lads from long ago. And for that brief flight we feel we did exactly that!

We will continue sending you these World War I-themed updates and activities over the coming weeks, hoping you will find them useful and enjoyable during these challenging times.


Thumbnail for The Soldier's and Artist's Journey Webinar

If you missed our “The Soldier’s and Artist’s Journey” webinar on May 1, you can click on the image at left to see and hear sculptor Sabin Howard describe the origin and making of the monumental bronze sculpture for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. Take an unprecedented look through the artist’s eye at the amazing work of art that will be honoring all the Americans who served in uniform in World War I.

If you are interested in how we plan to allow you to put the entire National World War I Memorial into your pocket, check out the the webinar about our exciting upcoming WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer smartphone App.

Didn’t see our “Finding Your WWI Ancestors” webinar on April 10? Click here to watch genealogist Debra Dudek provide a brief but deep introduction into how to research the records of your family members who served in uniform in World War I.

You can also watch a replay of our April 3 webinar about the status of the National World War I Memorial under construction in Washington, DC.  Click here to view the replay of this informative webinar.


Doughboys reading

When our Doughboys had a bit of precious time for rest and relaxation on the front lines in World War I, they would often turn to the camp library for a book to read that would help take their minds off the conflict for a short while. Courtland Jindra, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force, and long-time volunteer for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, has compiled his Top Ten Books about WWI list to share with us.  Here are the next three of Courtland’s Top Ten picks, with his comments about them. We hope these volumes can help take minds off of the current situation here in the US by looking back at the Great War and those great American veterans who served during the conflict.

First Over There

First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny America’s First Battle of World War I by Matthew J. Davenport

“This book focuses on the organization, training, and first combat episodes (climaxing with the three days at Cantigny) of the 1st Division till early June 1918. It has an extraordinary level of detail, partly because the scope of Cantigny wasn’t as large as some of the later battles fought by the AEF. Davenport almost follows the action minute by minute as the men of the Big Red One takes and then holds the village against numerous counter attacks.” 

First Over There is available in hardcover, Audio book, and Kindle versions from Amazon, and from other online booksellers.

Passed by the Censor

Passed by the Censor: The Experience of an American Newspaper Man in France by Wythe Williams

“Williams was bureau chief of the New York Times in Paris and the book is his experience covering the first year or so of the war there. The book is fascinating as the author describes living the events as they happened, from the week leading up to France entering the war, to covering the battle near the front line (including his arrest by Military Police), working for the American Red Cross for two months, and his views of General’s Joffre and Foch. The book loses a bit of near the end but admiration for it has only grown in the years since I first came across it.”

Passed by the Censor is available in hardcover, softcover, and Kindle versions from Amazon, or can be read free online here.

My Fellow Soldiers

My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War by Andrew Carroll

“My Fellow Soldiers works as both a biography of General Pershing as well as a nice overview of the American experience in World War I. Cutting between the two story lines we see how the Iron General came to be chosen to lead the AEF, his struggles to put a modern Army on the field – as well as characters ranging from the Lafayette Escadrille, to the Choctaw Indians, to Sergeant Alvin York, The Lost Battalion and everything in between.”

My Fellow Soldiers is available in a variety of formats (including audio) from Amazon, and from other online booksellers.

Remember that if you shop using AmazonSmile, a percentage of the price of your purchase will go to help build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC which is currently under construction.


Stay safe.

Dans Signature

Daniel S. Dayton
Executive Director
U.S. World War One Centennial Commission


WWI DISPATCH April 2020

A newsletter from the World War One Centennial Commission.


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April 2020


App group image Beta Release

New WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” Beta Release available end of this week

The innovative new “National WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer” app is planning to publish its Beta Release by the end of the week and you can sign up to participate now. This innovative “Augmented Reality” smartphone app for iOS and Android will allow anyone to place a 3D model of the entire National WWI Memorial now under construction in Washington DC, INTO their living room, back yard, driveways (and someday soon their classrooms). With the app people will be able to experience, explore and discover many aspects of WWI. Click here to read more about the exciting new app, and sign up to receive the Beta Release, and get an early look at the product.

App webinar thumbnail

Not sure what the “WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer” is? Click on the image at left to watch a replay of the recent special webinar introducing participants to the innovative  “Augmented Reality” smartphone app. Viewers got an insider, behind the scenes look at what is coming from members of the development team.  Click to watch the entire webinar, and learn how Augmented Reality is already “really here TODAY.”


Daughters of the American Revolution Supports the National WWI Memorial

DAR logo

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution has become an official sponsor for the construction of the National World War I Memorial with a $100,000 donation. The DAR is also encouraging individual members and chapters to support the Memorial, which “also honors the memory of the Daughters who served with valor during this time.” Click here to read the entire story of this generous donation by a great American organization.


This Giving Tuesday We Would Like to Give Back to You

Giving TuesdayNow May 2020

May 5, 2020 has been widely designated as “Giving Tuesday a Global Generosity Movement” to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities, and the world, as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. While you may be “Staying Home,” or are one of our “Essential Workers,” or in some cities easing your way back into public life… we want to thank you for your bravery and steadfastness, much like our WWI Doughboys. Click here to find out more.


The American Women who reported WWI

Harriett Chalmers Adams

Harriett Chalmers Adams (left), writing for National Geographic, was one of the the pioneer American Women who reported the First World War. Historian Chris Dubbs discusses the challenges, the triumphs and the stories of these women in his book, An Unladylike Profession: American Women War Correspondents in World War I, to be published in July 2020. Click here to read an extensive interview with Dubbs, and learn how the women reporters’ “determination and ingenuity to cover the war became an interesting element of their reporting.”


Instead of Laying Off Workers, National World War I Museum Redeploys Them to Expand Digital Archive

WWI letter

Even when the National World War I Museum and Memorial is open, the majority of its vast holdings aren’t on public display but stored for safekeeping. Now, with a metro-wide stay-at-home order keeping the Kansas City museum closed, museum employees who usually work with guests are helping transcribe about 10,000 digitized pages from letters, diaries and journals. Click here to read more about what Museum President and CEO Matthew Naylor calls “the brilliant idea to use this time and transition part of our staff toward our goal of fully transcribing these items from the collection.”


Jeannette Rankin’s history-making moment overshadowed by WWI vote

Jeanette Rankin

It was on April 2, 1917 that Jeannette Rankin became the first woman in Congress. But within days, she became the target of national scorn for voting against America’s entry into World War I. The same day that she officially became the first female member of Congress, President Wilson addressed Congress encouraging it to pass a declaration of war. Three days later, she told her colleagues “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war”. Click here to read more about how Rankin’s decision established herself as both an active member of Congress and a staunch anti-war representative.


Cook Quarantine-Friendly WWI Recipies

Apealing war fare

If you’re running low on flour or getting tired of feeding your sourdough starter, the National World War I Museum and Memorial has some alternative culinary options for your perusal. The Kansas City institution offers a host of online exhibitions, including one dedicated to the critical role that food played during the Great War. Titled “War Fare: From the Homefront to the Frontlines,” the show includes a list of recipes first published in the 1918 Win the War in the Kitchen cookbook. Click here to read more about these century-old recipes that may bring relief to modern day kitchens currently under siege.


Meet the forgotten hero First World War pilot from Wallingford, Connecticut

Lufbery

French-American pilot Lt. Raoul Lufbery, shown at left in France during World War I,  joined the Lafayette Escadrille, a French command volunteer group of mostly American fighter pilots that was named in honor of the French hero of the American Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette. After the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Lufbery became the commanding officer of the U.S. 94th Aero Squadron. Officially hailing from Wallingford, CT, though he never stayed in one place for long, Lufbery had served with France’s foreign service since the outbreak of World War I. Click here to read more about this aviator who is still honored today in his adopted New England hometown.


Answering the Call: American Nursing and the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919

Lisa Budreau

When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, the US Army Medical Department officials believed they had learned vital lessons about disease from the Spanish-American War. Feeling better prepared for war than ever before, and with stronger preventive measures in place, such as a proven vaccination program against smallpox and typhoid fever, its preparation still fell short of the demands that lay ahead. Neither it, nor any other medical organization in the world, could do much to cope with the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. To combat the flu, the Army’s Medical Department relied heavily on the Army Nurse Corps. Click to read more in this in-depth article by Lisa M. Budreau, Ph.D.Senior Curator of Military History at Tennessee State Museum.


How the women of Orange County, NC responded to WWI and the Spanish Flu

Orange County NC women

World War I called on the women of America to serve their country as best they could. Expected to be housewives and caretakers to their families, American women had lives that were far from independent. But in Orange County, NC, a tiny dot on a map of the world, women worked hard to support the war effort, expanding into new roles, and their efforts in WWI did not go unnoticed. Click here to discover how, from working in “war circles” to serving in the Red Cross at home and overseas, the women of Orange County made an out-sized impact.


Doughboy MIA for April 2020

A.N.R.E.F.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month  is a little different. This month we are not featuring one man but instead featuring a whole group: the men missing from the American North Russia Expeditionary Force.

Commonly known as the ‘Polar Bears’, these men came from the 339th Infantry Regiment and 310th Engineers of the 85th Division, with the majority of the men originating from Michigan. Between 1918 and early 1920 America sent these men over as part of a multi-national task force with the allies to assist the ‘White Russian’ forces in their war against the Communist Russian forces. Their base of operations was Archangel. And while their mission was not supposed to be one of offensive action, they nevertheless suffered some 553 casualties, including a number of MIA’s.

Following the withdrawal of American forces and the eventual success of the Communist’s in the war, the Soviets refused to work with the U.S. government for repatriation of known held American POW’s and KIA remains unless the Washington would recognize the Soviet government. Washington was not ready to do so, and negotiations ended there. Then in 1929, in a rare moment of cooperation, the Soviets allowed a mission from the American organization Veterans of Foreign Wars onto Russian soil to search for missing U.S. remains. The result was the recovery of some 86 sets of remains returned to the United States. Then, once again, the doors closed until 1934, when another expedition was allowed over following then President Roosevelt’s official recognition of the Soviet government in 1933. This expedition returned with a further 14 sets of remains.

But there are still remains unaccounted for – 19 sets, in fact. Is there a possibility of locating these men? The odds seemed extremely remote. However, in 2018 a set of remains believed to be those of Sergeant Samuel Pearse, an Australian serving in the British army contingent sent to North Russia, were apparently discovered at the site of what is believed to have once been an allied military cemetery in the area of operations of the ANREF. The speculation is that American remains may also be buried there. The amateur Russian team responsible for the discovery contacted Mr. Mike Grobbel, who is not only the big kahuna of the Polar Bear Association, but also THE guy for the ANREF here at Doughboy MIA. Their announcement that they had likely located the remains was followed by a request for assistance in possibly searching for U.S. remains. The Doughboy MIA team has dug out what records we could find on the burials and the missing men and is passing all this information along to Mike, who is direct liaison to the Russians and is heading this Doughboy MIA Mission.

NOTE: with the Covid-19 thing having everyone locked down, and the necessary legalities of dealing with foreign governments and language barriers, this investigation is sort of in a holding pattern. But rest assured: we are on this and moving on it as quickly as we are able. Stay tuned!

Would you like to assist with this most difficult undertaking? You can! Making a tax deductible* donation today to the non-profit Doughboy MIA organization will go a long way toward getting us back into the National Archives – when we are allowed to – to search out paperwork we still need to make these recoveries a more serious possibility. If we’re to go to Russia and help, WE need to have the desk based research done to find these guys! Won’t you help? WE KNOW things are tight now, but they WILL get better, and the size of the donation does not matter. Give what you can and accept our deepest thanks (and theirs too). Just go to www.ww1cc.org/mia and give today. And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

— Robert Laplander

* Remember, because of the CARES Act, donations up to $300 ($600 for joint filers) are tax deductible, even if the tax filer cannot itemize and therefore takes the standard deduction.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Black Pique Polo Shirt

Black Pique Polo Shirt with WWI Centennial logo

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA polo shirt. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “Doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.

Shirt features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery. 100% combed cotton pique, 6.2 oz. pre-shrunk fabric. Shirt has 3 wood-tone buttons, and side seam design for shape retention. Men’s sizes available S – 2XL.

A portion of the proceeds from this purchase will help build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


Memorial Camera

You can keep track of progress at the new National World War I Memorial through construction site time lapse video, or a live video feed from the site. Click here to take a look, and also find out how you can help finish this national tribute to the 4.7 million Americans who served, and the 116,516 who did not come home from World War I.


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Garland Langhorn Spain

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

Garland Langhorn Spain

Submitted by: Jacob Parks, Administrative Support Specialist, The Country Doctor Museum

Photos provided by Eddie Lynch {Grandson}

Garland Langhorn Spain born around 1890, Garland Spain served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Garland Langhorn Spain was born on July 17, 1890 in the small community of Jarrett’s Depot in Sussex County, Virginia to Benjamin and Josephine Gates Spain.

By 1910, Garland Spain continued living in Virginia and worked as a farmer to support his widowed mother. For reasons that are unclear, Spain relocated to Rocky Mount, N.C., where he lived at the time of his registration for World War I on June 5, 1917.

Garland Spain was inducted into military service with the U.S. Army on September 20, 1917 and took up arms as a corporeal with Company E of the 322nd Infantry, 81st Division. After training, Spain set sail on the troop transport ship Helenus on July 31, 1918 from Brooklyn, New York to Europe.

Spain received severe wounds while fighting in the Great War. Either on November 9 or 11, 1918, Garland Spain was shot twice while advancing on six German machine guns that wounded the rest of Spain’s squadron near Moranville, France.

Read Garland Langhorn Spain’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

Donation Progress Maquette - $4.2M left to raise


WWI Webinar Series: “The Soldier’s and the Artist’s Journey”

An item from World War One Centennial Commission.


WWI Webinar Series

Building the National WWI Memorial
In Washington, D.C.

Dough Foundation with WWI Commission logo

Friday May 1, 2020 , 1p Eastern •  “The Soldier’s and the Artist’s Journey”

Sabin Howard sculpting soldier 1


Friday, May 1, 2020 @ 1pm Eastern

“The Soldier’s and the Artist’s Journey”
The Making of The WWI Memorial Sculpture


Meet Sabin Howard, the classical figurative sculptor for the new National WWI Memorial in Washington DC.

The 58′ long, 38-figure, bronze sculpture tells the story of America’s role in World War I through the eyes of a father and his family.

It is called “A Soldier’s Journey” and to create it, the artist himself has gone through a transformative journey, blending his traditional figurative sculpting approach with powerful new 3D computer technologies.

In this one hour webinar, we will be exploring both journeys that are resulting in a brilliant new work of art to honor the American Experience and all those who served in WWI.


Click to Register


Download Special:

All attendees will receive a high resolution image of the sculpture maquette, the 1/6 scale model of the sculpture created by Sabin Howard during the development of “A Soldier’s Journey”.


Short Documentary Bonus

"Selling WWI" documentary

100 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson understood that he not only needed to mobilize a vast new army, but he also needed to “SELL THE WAR” to the American People.

He needed America to “buy into” the “War Effort” AND he needed Americans to literally “buy into” the war with cash – by buying WAR BONDS.

This fascinating 6 minute documentary tells the story about how the Wilson Administration got the American People on board.

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View videos from our Previous 2020 Webinar Series



New webinars available, and some WWI-related video recommendations

An item from the World War One Centennial Commission.


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Doughboys wearing flu masks

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Some signs are appearing that the end of the national campaign against the Covid-19 enemy may be on the horizon. However, as General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front in World War I, said a century ago: “… No one could possibly know when the armistice was to be signed, or what hour be fixed for the cessation of hostilities, so that the only thing for us to do, and which I did as commander in chief of the American forces, and which Marshal Foch did as commander in chief of the Allied armies, was to continue the military activities…”  In the same spirit, Americans need to continue to “do your bit”  to help bring our activities against the pandemic to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.

Truck Drivers needed

We continue to salute the modern day heroes in this national effort: those driving the trucks with essential supplies, the cashiers and those stocking shelves at stores, military and civilian medical personnel fighting to save the lives of those stricken, and everyone working diligently to keep our nation in operation until the campaign ends. In this, we are reminded of how the call went out in World War I for individuals able to perform the then-still-somewhat-novel task of driving a motor vehicle to bring those skills to the national war effort by driving the trucks which, then as now, were essential to supplying the goods and services needed by an embattled nation, as well as supporting the Dougboys on the battlefield. Then, as now a century later, Americans in and out of uniform were “doing their bit” in so many ways to keep the nation going through the perilous fight, onward to victory.

We will continue providing you with World War I-themed activities and information over the coming weeks, hoping these events and recommendations will provide some interesting, informative, and pleasant distractions.


FInding WWI Ancestors webinar image

If you missed our “Finding Your WWI Ancestors” webinar last week, you can click on the image at left to watch genealogist Debra Dudek provide a brief but deep introduction into how to research the records of your family members who served in uniform in World War I. We got an amazing response to this webinar — watch the webinar replay yourself and see why our audience has been deluging us with compliments.

You can also see a replay of our April 3 webinar about the status of the National World War I Memorial under construction in Washington, DC.  You will hear from Joe Weishaar, Lead Designer for the Memorial, and representatives of Grunley Construction Company Inc. about ongoing progress at the Memorial.  Click here to watch the replay of this informative webinar.


Hospital movies

At the U.S. Army hospital in Royat, France, during the World War I influenza epidemic, convalescing Doughboys wearing surgical masks (sound familiar?) gathered in the base theater to enjoy being entertained by movies from back in the states.  We don’t know what the film titles were that they watched (all silent films, remember), but we do have a few suggestions for you sheltering at home for some WWI-themed videos which you may enjoy — surgical masks optional in your home theater, of course!

Wings poster

Wings, a 1927 American film set during World War I, was the first feature film to win an Academy Award, and the only silent film ever to do so. The plot line about two aviators in love with the same woman is overshadowed by the amazing aerial dogfight sequences. Acclaimed for its technical prowess and realism, the film became the yardstick against which future aviation films were measured, mainly because of its realistic portrayal of air-combat. Playing to American audiences less than a decade after the war’s end, Wings was an immediate success upon release. In 1997, Wings was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”  As World War I was “The War That Changed the World,” Wings was the movie that changed moviemaking.

Wings can be watched free online from the Internet Archive, streaming on Amazon, and via a variety of other online sites.

Millionaires Unit

The Millionaires’ Unit is the story of a privileged group of college students from Yale who formed a private air militia in preparation for America’s entry into World War One.  Known as the First Yale Unit, and dubbed ‘the millionaires’ unit’ by the New York press, they became the founding squadron of the U.S. Naval Air Reserve and were the first to fly for the United States in the Great War.  Using the words of these pioneer aviators from their letters and diaries, the documentary tells the story of young men coming of age as America was coming of age as a world power. Their service and sacrifice is the great untold story of American aviation in World War One. The documentary was inspired by the book The Millionaires’ Unit by Marc Wortman. After seven years of development and production, with filming on three continents,

The Millionaires’ Unit  is available for streaming or purchase on Amazon and Vimeo.

Hello Girls Movie

The Hello Girls documentary tells the story of the American women fluent in French and English who answered the urgent call for telephone operators needed by the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I.  They took oaths to join the U.S. Army Signal Corps, underwent training by AT&T before boarding ships to Europe, heading to war before most of the American Doughboys arrived in France, connected 26 million calls and ultimately proved to be a significant factor in winning the war.  Wisconsin filmmaker Jim Theres has created an award-winning one-hour film about the American phone operators who served in the Army Signal Corps during World War I, shining a spotlight on a group of brave, selfless women who were not officially recognized for their work until it was too late for most of them.

The Hello Girls is available for streaming on Amazon

Remember that if you shop using AmazonSmile, a percentage of the price of your purchase will go to help build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC which is currently under construction.


Stay safe.

Dans Signature

Daniel S. Dayton
Executive Director
U.S. World War One Centennial Commission


WWI Webinar Series: First Public Reveal of the “WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer”

An item from the World War One Centennial Commission.


WWI Webinar Series

Building the National WWI Memorial
In Washington, D.C.

Dough Foundation with WWI Commission logo

Friday April 17, 2020 , 1p Eastern •  “WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer”

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Webinar Introducing the
“WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer”
Augmented Reality Smartphone APP


Our Virtual Explorer lets you drop a 3D model of the entire Washington, D.C. National WWI Memorial anywhere. Place it, Scale it and Explore it in your own personal living spaces (and soon in classrooms).

It is not only an accurate AR model of the entire National WWI Memorial, but it is also filled with all sorts of learning and discovery experiences about WWI.

It’s for the young, the young at heart – and basically anyone who owns an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. Best of all, it is FREE.


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The Future Meets the Past.

Join us as we illuminate:

What IS Augmented Reality?

Can you really put the entire National WWI Memorial in my pocket?

How does this help me learn or teach about WWI?

Spend a little time with us and learn about this innovative 21st century way of honoring the past.

You’ll meet the project producer and the team of brilliant young programmers who are putting it all together. We’ll even lift the curtain and let you see how some of this is done.

Everyone who attends, will be invited to become Beta Testers for the App. That means you get a copy of it before anyone else… and you can feed back to the development team to help make this wonderful tool even better.

Short Documentary Bonus

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As most of you know, 100 years ago, largely as a result of WWI there was a terrible global pandemic known at the time as “The Spanish Flu”.

Get the story and the facts about this incredible historical event from our leading historians. This short 6 minute documentary was produced by the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Doughboy Foundation with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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View videos from our Previous 2020 Webinar Series