Category Archives: World War One Centennial Commission

WWI DISPATCH July 2020

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July 2020

Bells of Peace Header image

Countdown: 100 Days to Bells of Peace runs August 4 to November 11, 2020

Announcing Bells of Peace, A World War I Remembrance, November 11, 2020, when everyone is invited to toll the “Bells of Peace” in honor of all those who served and sacrificed in World War I. To kickoff “Bells of Peace,” on August 4, 2020, join us for a 100-Day Countdown” to November 11, 2020 on our social media platforms FacebookTwitter and Instagram. The “100-Day Countdown” features stories commemorating the 100-day offensive on the Western Front leading up to WWI Armistice, November 11, 1918 when the guns fell silent and the bells tolled on the Western Front, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Click here to read more about the Countdown, and learn how you, your family and friends, your organizations, and your communities can toll the “Bells of Peace” and remember this pivotal moment in our Nation’s history and all those who served in World War I.


WWI Hero in new AUSA Graphic Novel

Henry Johnson graphic novel AUSA

Sgt. Henry Johnson, a member of the famed “Harlem Hellfighters,” is the subject of the newest graphic novel in the Association of the U.S. Army’s series highlighting Medal of Honor recipients. Medal of Honor: Henry Johnson features the story of Johnson, who served on the Western Front of World War I with the 369th Infantry Regiment, an African American unit that later became known as the “Harlem Hellfighters.” Click here to read more about the new book, and the incredible bravery of Henry Johnson that the volume spotlights.


Arrest made in Missouri for Doughboy statue vandalism at courthouse

Damaged Doughboy Statue

The “Spirit of the American Doughboy” statue, sitting on the Pettis County, Missouri  Courthouse lawn, was vandalized over the July 4 weekend. The saber and gun are bent and the statue’s hand is cracked. Barbed wire circling the monument is also broken. On July 24, the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office took a suspect into custody.  Fortunately, the damage was not intentional, but occurred when a person “determined they would climb the statue for purposes of having a picture taken on it.” Click here to read more about the damage caused to the E.M. Viquesney statue, and the investigation that identified the culprit who caused it.


WWI soldier desegregated baseball

Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey was an Army officer in the Chemical Warfare Service during WWI. In his unit, coincidentally, were future baseball greats Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. Rickey would also take a place in baseball history, thanks to his decision to do the right thing. In October 1945, as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey signed infielder Jackie Robinson, an African American, for the Dodgers’ minor league team. Robinson’s later success with the Dodgers from 1947 to 1956 led other owners to seek Black talent. Click here to read more about RIckey’s great service to the nation in war and peace.


How baseball resumed play after World War I on Patriots Day in Boston

Baseball return 1919 snip

As Major League Baseball struggles to restart play amidst the challenges of COVID-19, looking back 100 years to baseball getting back on the diamond after World War I may offer some lessons. Writing on the Society of American Baseball Research web site, author Dixie Tourangeau notes that “Every day ships entered Boston Harbor with returning troops from Europe, bringing joy and relief to awaiting households, but they docked in the midst of continuing pandemic burials.” Click here to read more, and learn how baseball and America worked through the legacy of the recent war and the omnipresent pandemic to make sure “Play ball!” was heard again in major league ballparks.


Artist turns World War I posters into calls for Americans to wear face masks

Miss Liberty with mask

A series of retro illustrations offer a modern take on American propaganda posters from World War I — showing what the images might have looked like if they were made to promote mask-wearing to try to contain the novel coronavirus Clara Aranovich, a writer and filmmaker who has also worked as a period researcher for the TV series “Mad Men,” is the brains behind the re-created posters, which have been shared thousands of times on Instagram since early July. Click here to read more about (and see images of) Aranovich’s artwork, meant to inspire a sense of camaraderie in the same way many people united to support America’s efforts in World War I


The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919

Deaths per 1000 soldiers flu 1918-1919

Writing a decade ago for the Public Health Reports at the National Institutes of Health, researcher Carol Byerly took a hard look at how “The American military experience in World War I and the influenza pandemic were closely intertwined.” The pandemic “sickened 20% to 40% of U.S. Army and Navy personnel” with highly deleterious effects on induction, training, and availability of military personnel. She notes that “During the American Expeditionary Forces’ campaign at Meuse-Argonne, the epidemic diverted urgently needed resources from combat support to transporting and caring for the sick and the dead.” Click here to read the entire article, and learn more about the 1918 pandemic, and lessons we can take way a century later from the military’s response.


Centennial of 19th Amendment Exhibition Open National World War I Museum and Memorial

19th Amendment exhibit National WWI Museum

The National WWI Museum and Memorial commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment, prohibiting the denial of voting rights on account of gender, with a new exhibition dedicated to telling the story of the women’s suffrage movement. Votes & Voices explores the history of the fight for women’s right to vote, largely from the perspective of those who fought for enfranchisement more than 100 years ago. Click here to read more, and learn how “World War I and the women’s suffrage movement are inextricably tied together.”


Outdoor events in August at the National World War I Museum and Memorial

Movies at memorial

Outdoor events allowing for social distancing are among the August offerings from the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The Summer Movie Series returns on Friday, Aug. 13 with a screening of the ground-breaking film They Shall Not Grow Old from Oscar-winner Peter Jackson. Guests can come together on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 5-8:15 p.m. for the socially-distanced Jazz on the Lawn: A Modern Picnic. The event celebrates the spirit of the early 1920s with the hottest jazz band in town, Grand Marquis, as well as former Mayor Sly James and DJ Hartzell Gray. Rounding out the slate of outdoor events is the annual program Living the Great War from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. This free program features the Living History Volunteer Corps and vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. Click here to read more about these and other August activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and how to sign up to attend.


Largest WWI Mobile Museum travels America but calls Marlow, OK home

Keith Colley

Keith Colley, owner of the incredible WWI Mobile Museum (see previous articles herehere, and here) has been interviewed by his local Oklahoma television station.  His traveling schedule has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced him to cancel 238 scheduled showings. But he’s spent that time making the museum better. Click here to read the entire article, and learn when the WWI Mobile Museum expects t be back on the road again.


Millennial’s Alter Ego is Forgotten Female Surgeon From World War I

Lillian Fehler

Most war reenactors are older men, but 27-year-old Lillian Fehler stands out for designing uniforms that are historically accurate down to the tiniest details. In an interview during the 2019 Camp Doughboy event at Governor’s Island in New York City  Fehler talked about how she decided to recreate the persona of Dr. Anna Tjomsland, a real-life surgeon who served in World War I, and was one of about 55 female surgeons to put on a uniform for the American military during the First World War, but one of only 11 to get assigned overseas.  Click here to read more about Fehler’s intensive research and meticulous work that brings the story of a unique and independent female doctor back to life.


When the Serbian Flag Flew Over the White House during World War I

Serbian flag white house 1918

On July 28th in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson gave the order to fly the flag of Serbia over the White House. This was one of a number of acts that reflected the solidarity of Americans with the Serbian people who suffered so tremendously during the First World War.  At the start of the conflict, thousands of young Americans of Serbian descent volunteered to cross the Atlantic and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with their cousins. Malvina Hoffmann’s famous poster urged people to make donations to assist the people of Serbia. Pupin, Mabel Grujić, and others collected not only money, but also thousands of tons of humanitarian aid for the poor and for displaced refugees from Serbia. Click here to read more about American assistance to Serbia during and after World War I.


South Carolina Public Radio replaying World War I programs

Fighting on Two Fronts SC Public Radio

In July, South Carolina Public Radio replayed three programs about World War I and South Carolina, hosted by Dr. Walter Edgar. The replays can be listened to online from wherever you are. The programs include “Fighting on Two Fronts: Black South Carolinians in World War I”; “South Carolina in WWI: The Military”; and “Conversations on S.C. History: Women and World War I”.  Click here to read more about these three World War I programs, and how your can access them by radio in the South Carolina Public Radio listening area, or online elsewhere.


Most decorated Texan of The Great War

George Lawson Keene

On July 22, 1917, a young soldier from East Texas was recovering from serious wounds, while coping with the effects of a mustard gas attack 72 hours after fighting his second two-day battle in seven weeks. George Lawson Keene, who always went by his middle name, grew up in his birthplace of Crockett. His roots ran deep in the Piney Woods with both parents direct descendants of early settlers. Click here to read more about how the “fearless Texan” found himself in the middle of one of the pivotal battles of WWI, and emerged with the Army’s second highest medal – the Distinguished Service Cross.


Smedley Butler’s fiery speech to WWI veterans is still relevant today

 Smedley Butler

In 1932, some 25,000 World War I veterans descended on Washington, DC to to demand that the government keep its word about an early payment of a bonus they had been promised following victory in the First World War. On July 19 of that year, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler took to the stage at the largest so-called Bonus Army camp in the Anacostia Flats area outside of downtown D.C. There he launched into a fiery tirade that remains relevant to military veterans, and Americans at large, even to this day. Click here to read more about Butler’s speech, and why it remains pertinent and important almost eighty years later.


Mutt the Cigarette-Delivering French Bulldog & Other Animals of World War I

Mutt

During World War I, a plethora of “good boys” and dog breeds participated in tasks that would be deemed unusual in today’s modern wars. Among them were dogs who pulled carts with machine guns on the other end, while others hauled supplies. Bruce, a black-and-white British companion, acted as a messenger running urgent orders up and down the Western Front. Rats were a nuisance in the muddy trenches and were so prevalent that the French trained smaller dogs as rat-catchers. Mutt, a French Bulldog (left) belonging to the YMCA Cigarette Dog delivery service, was wounded twice while trying to improve the morale of soldiers in the 11th Engineers. Click here to read more about the many animals (many of surprising species) who made their mark serving American and other forces in World War I.


Doughboy MIA for July 2020

https://app.mobilecause.com/form/pWRVJw

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Samuel J. Hochfelder of Company L/106th Infantry Regiment/27th Division.

Hochfelder was born in January, 1899 to Louis and Rose Hochfelder, Hungarian immigrants. He was one of five children and was born in the Bronx, New York. Following America’s declaration of war, Samuel joined the army on June 7th, 1917 and was first assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard. The 23rd was later federalized as the 106th Infantry. With them he went to France aboard the USS President Lincoln on May 10th, 1918.

In France the 27th Division was one of two divisions brigaded with the British as the US 2nd Corps, fighting in the British sector. The 106th first moved into the lines on June 25th, 1918 in Belgium, distinguishing itself in combat. On September 1st, 1918, the 106th Infantry was engaged in heavy action in the midst of the Ypres-Lys Offensive. About 10:00 am that morning, in the midst of a heavy artillery barrage, Hochfelder was hit directly by an artillery shell and was reported “mutilated beyond recognition”. His comrades had no time to bury him properly and thus his remains were pulled into a nearby shell hole. Unfortunately his grave was never found.

Even with Covid upon us, we continue to research our missing Doughboys and need your help! Please consider giving ‘Ten For Them‘ – make a donation of just $10.00 to Doughboy MIA and know that you did your part toward making as full accounting as possible of our missing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines from the Great War. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit organization today. And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lest We Forget Book Cover

“Lest We Forget: The Great War”

World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library 

As the United States commemorates the centennial of World War I, one of the nation’s premier military history institutions pays tribute to the Americans who served and the allies they fought beside to defeat a resourceful enemy with a lavishly illustrated book.  It is an official product of the United States World War One Centennial Commission. The story of WWI is told through the memorable art it spawned―including posters from nations involved in the conflict―and a taut narrative account of the war’s signal events, its major personalities and its tragic consequences; and the timely period photographs that illustrate the awful realities of this revolutionary conflict. Most importantly, this book is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and what would become the Air Force. Proceeds from the sale of this book help fund the new National WW1 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.


Virtual Explorer snip for sidebar

Click the image above or scan the QR Code below to download the Virtual Explorer App for the National World War I Memorial, and explore what the Memorial will look like when work is completed.

QR Code for Virtual Explorer App download


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Free Self-Contained WWI History Web Site on YOUR computer

Sources, lessons, activities, videos, podcasts, images

We have packaged all the content we created for “How WWI Changed America” into a format that is essentially a web site on a drive. Download the content onto any drive (USB, external, or as a folder on your computer), and all the content is accessible in a web site type format even without an internet connection. Click here to learn more, and download this amazing educational resource for home or classroom use.


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George Henry Knatz

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

George Henry Knatz

Submitted by: Geraldine Knatz {Niece}

George Henry Knatz born around March 11, 1897. George Knatz 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

George Henry Knatz was born on March 11, 1897 in New York city to parents Anna Bergner and Charles (Carl) Knatz . George began his first military service with the New York State Guard when he was 20 years old. He enlisted on June 18, 1917 and was mustered in the next month to Company G, 14th New York Infantry.

For service during WWI, the men of the 14th Infantry which included George were added to strengthen the 23rd New York Infantry. The men were stationed from New York City up the Hudson River to protect the water supply.

George was only with the Guard for a few months when a presidential order drafted the entire unit into the 106th U.S. Infantry in October 1917. There were 3003 men in in the 106th and George was assigned to Company G.

Private First Class George Knatz left for Europe on May 10, 1918 from Hoboken on the ship President Lincoln. This would be the last time the President Lincoln ferried soldiers to France. But no one knew it at the time. The dangerous part of the voyage was near France as the ship made its way through submarine invested waters. The ship arrived safely in Brest, France on May 23rd. There, George and his fellow soldiers disembarked.

Read George Henry Knatz’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.

Fundraising thermometer 07282020


The Doughboy Foundation Requests Your Input: Dispatch Readers

As our branch regular reposts items from the World War One Centennial Commission, it is important for our readers to join in with their opinions.


Dough Foundation with WWI Commission logo

Dear Michael:

Thank you for your participation in commemorating the Centennial of WWI.

You helped change the national narrative of the “Forgotten War” to WWI being remembered as “the War That Changed the World”.

Some of the highlights of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission’s programs and activities commemorating the centennial of WWI include:

  • Establishing volunteer chapters in 42 states to run commemorative events across the country;
  • Distributing the weekly WWI Centennial Dispatch, highlighting WWI history relevant to current events, war heroes, and commemorative activities, to 87,000 subscribers;
  • Producing an award-winning podcast with nearly 2.25 million downloads; and
  • Partnering with the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the HISTORY Channel, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation to provide educational materials to more than 20 million students and teachers.

The capstone project of the U.S. WWI Centennial is the National WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C., which has been developed and created in record time. The Memorial will open to the public starting this December, 2020. It will be fully completed and formally dedicated in 2024. At that time, the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission’s work will draw to a close and the Commission will be disbanded.

So who will keep faith with the American Doughboys and those who served in WWI?

The Doughboy Foundation, the program’s long associated 501(c)(3) non-profit, will continue the work of honoring our WWI veterans. The Foundation will do this with inspiring programs, events, activities, and remembrances that ensure WWI will never fade back into the mists of obscurity.  

The foundation will rely on donations to fund these programs and activities including the long-term maintenance and programming related to the National WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C..

Over these past years, your interest, participation and support have been the foundation of our success. As we look ahead, you continue as the bedrock on which The Doughboy Foundation will build the perpetual commemoration of America’s achievements and sacrifice in WWI.

To understand the interests of our existing family of supporters as we prepare for this transition, we are asking you to please give us five minutes of your precious time to complete a short survey.


CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY


With your participation and support we have come so incredibly far; with your advice we will continue into a future where the 4.7 million who served in WWI will be remembered for all the generations to come. I thank you for your help and support.

Sincerely,

Dans Signature

Daniel S. Dayton

Executive Director
U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

Chairman
The Doughboy Foundation

WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” App is launching

A fourth and final item from the World War One Centennial Commission today.


Dough Foundation with WWI Commission logo

Dear Michael:

We wish you and your family a safe and happy July 4th weekend.  We are thrilled to let you know the new WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” App will be available July 3, 2020!

Please enjoy taking your own private virtual tour of the Memorial, and the many WWI App explorations that bring the history of the “The War that Changed the World” to life.

See the App Store badges below to download the App.

Warm regards,

Dan Dayton
Chairman, Doughboy Foundation
Executive Director, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

  


Press Announcement

WWI MEMORIAL VIRTUAL APP NOW AVAILABLE.


WASHINGTON, DC (07/03/2020)  – The Doughboy Foundation today announced the release of the WWI Virtual Explorer App in cooperation with the United States World War One Centennial Commission.

The free, innovative Augmented Reality Smartphone App for iOS and Android mobile devices allows users to take a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial being built in Washington DC.

Virtual Explorer App Header Image

The App provides an ability to explore the past using the tools of the future.

Developed by the Doughboy Foundation, a 501c(3) not for profit foundation under an education grant from Walmart, the mobile device App places a scaled version of the entire 1.8-acre WWI Memorial anywhere including backyards, driveways, living rooms, and more.

The Lusitania sails for UK in this 3D game style presentation

The virtual Memorial is filled with WWI explorations and discoveries including video game style 3D stories and over 50 videos integrated into the 3D space. Together they present various aspects of WWI, “The War that Changed the World”.

Although WWI is not a major focus in American education today, the War had a deep and lasting impact on nearly every aspect of American society and culture.

App How WWI Changed America Theater

The Explorer’s “How WWI Changed America” Theater offers dozens of short videos in nine categories including how WWI affected women, immigrants, African Americans, Native Americans, citizenship, finance, international standing, and prophetically, the Pandemic 100 years ago. Prominent WWI historians, archival footage, period photos and newspaper headlines provide short focused insights.

America’s military experience of WWI is also explored from a variety of angles. This was arguably the single most transformative period in American and global Military history, ushering in the modern era of warfare with its machinery of mass destruction and previously unimagined devastating forces.

WWI was the genesis for the modern tank

The Memorial, and the App are both dedicated to recognizing that WWI was a deeply traumatic human experience. It was a historical event that affected every household and person in the nation… A story powerfully told by the WWI Memorial’s central feature, a 58’ long, 38 figure bronze sculpture called “A Soldier’s Journey,” created by classicist sculptor Sabin Howard.

The WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” offers multiple unique interactive ways of experiencing the work.

A figure from the Soldier's Journey sculpture looks back at WWI

To remember the individuals who served, the App provides the ability for families and organizations to submit a “Virtual Remembrance” of WWI veterans, along with anyone who served in WWI including nurses, ambulance drivers, Red Cross volunteers, local heroes and even companies that stepped up. The only requirement is that the story of service needs to be WWI driven.

These Virtual Remembrances are submitted via a web page accessed through the App, curated and then manifest in the Memorial App. The story of service that is submitted, is turned into speech and text which can be listened to or read.

WWI Veterans and other remembrances can be submitted by app users

And while the National WWI Memorial is still under construction, the “Virtual Explorer” allows users to drop-in on the construction site and see what they are up to. They can see the most current still, watch a time lapse video of the construction, or select any date and time of day in the past to explore a high-resolution image of the construction activity at that time.

Live camera view of the WWI Memorial construction site

“This WWI Memorial comes to our Nation’s capital 100 years after WWI transformed our country in unimagined ways. 4.7 million Americans put on the uniform and we mobilized a force of 2 million from a standing army of less than 130,000 – all in just 18 short months,” said Dan Dayton the Executive Director for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission.
“The War that Changed the World was transformational for the nation and for the world. This new ability to see it ‘in person’ is truly remarkable”.

“It is very exciting for the Doughboy Foundation to be able to bring this innovative 21st century way of exploring the WWI Memorial to the American People,” said Phil Mazzara, President of the Doughboy Foundation,
“and we can do it for free, with the support from Walmart.”

The WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer App is available from both the Google Play and the App Store from July 3rd, 2020. There are no costs and no in-game purchases required. It is suitable for any age above 12 years-old with some depictions of battles and wounded soldiers.

###


The WWI Virtual Explorer App was produced by the Doughboy Foundation. The Doughboy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of “Keeping Faith with the Doughboys.” More information about the Foundation is available here: https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/about/the-foundation.html .

* * *
Media Contact: Chris Christopher. Email: chris.christopher@doughboy.org
Phone: 202-796-2805.
* * *

The production company for the App is TechApplication.com, LLC of Ventura, CA,
Theo Mayer, Producer/Director.
Contact: theo.mayer@techapplication.com Phone: 818-535-1326

Created in partnership with game studio, Code-Headquarters, LLC of Burbank, CA,
Andranik Aslanyan, Creative & VFX Director.
Contact: aaslanyan@code-hq.com Phone: 818-653-6136

Apple, App Store, iPhone and iOS are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Google, Google Play and Android are registered trademarks of Google LLC.


Downloads

PDF of this Press Release

(opens a PDF file in your browser)

WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer Images

(places a zip file with images into your download folder)

Install the App

Get it on Google Play
Download on the App Store

“WWI Webinar Special” – Getting Ready for the Holiday Weekend.

A third item today 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

THURSDAY  July 2nd, 2020 , 1p Eastern • “WWI Webinar Special” – Getting Ready for the Holiday Weekend.

Flag promo


THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 @ 1pm Eastern

“WWI Webinar SPECIAL”

This is an update of yesterday’s webinar invitation clarifying your invitation to JOIN US ON THURSDAY, JULY 2 at 1pm ET.

Help us LAUNCH the WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer”, which allows you to explore the National WWI Memorial being built in Washington, D.C.

The Lusitania sails for UK in this 3D game style presentation

We will also show you how to use the new interactive Construction Site Camera that allows you to follow the Memorial construction in whole new ways. It is your personal viewer into the process of HOW a National Memorial gets constructed.

New construction cam

Perhaps most appropriate to the upcoming Independence Day Weekend – we have a concert for you… played by the 369th Experience, the tribute to the Harlem Hellfighters’ Regimental Band led by the legendary James Reese Europe.

It is a ragtime, jazz and big band treat with a wonderful patriotic flavor that you’ll enjoy tomorrow at the webinar – and might just be tempted to play back over the weekend.

369th square promo picture

It’s going to be a fun-packed and interesting show… We look forward to your joining us.

Please NOTE, The Webinar IS ON THURSDAY JULY 2, 2020 at 1pm ET


Click to Register



View videos from our Previous 2020 Webinar Series



WWI DISPATCH June 2020

Another item from the World War One Centennial Commission.


View this in your browser

Header Image 09172019

June 2020

App alternate 3

The National World War I Memorial Virtual Explorer App will be available July 3 on both the Google Play and the Apple AppStore. There are no costs and no in-game purchases required. It is suitable for any age above 14 years old with some depictions of battles and wounded soldiers.

Innovative Augmented Reality App for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. available on July 3

The Doughboy Foundation is announcing the release of The National World War I Memorial “Virtual Explorer” app on July 3. The free, innovative Augmented Reality smartphone app, for iOS and Android mobile devices, allows users to take a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial, being built in Washington DC, from wherever they are in the world.

Developed by the Doughboy Foundation under an education grant from Walmart, the mobile device App places a scaled version of the entire 1.8-acre WWI Memorial park into anyone’s back yard, driveway, living room, or (when schools reopen) classroom… but that is only the beginning. Click here to read more about this amazing app that gives students, teachers, veterans, history buffs, and anyone the ability to explore America’s WWI past using the tools of the future.


The 369th Experience band concert to rerun on WETA DC public TV and web in July

369th Experience

WETA Arts, a half-hour magazine-style show featuring Washington, DC-area arts and artists, will lead the July edition with an encore presentation of “James Reese Europe”, the story of a renowned jazz bandleader and commander of an all-Black unit in World War I, featuring The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz, Jason Moran, and the reenactment band The 369th Experience, The band was sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. The original episode segment can be viewed here:https://watch.weta.org/video/weta-arts-february-2019-ozigr4/  The new episode will feature an amazing group of additional DC-local Black artists, as well, and will be streaming  on the WETA website https://weta.org/arts and via the PBS Passport app, starting July 5 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.


Public-private partnerships developed during WWI had profound impact on American civilian society after the war

Mark Hauser

By his own admission, Ph.D. student Mark Hauser “knew very little about the First World War before I began graduate school, but I was always vaguely aware it was important.”  Mark’s recently completed dissertation provides an interesting new perspective on just how important the war was to America, making the case “that World War I changed Americans’ relationship to mass culture is both a history of the military and a business history.”  Click here to read more about how Mark’s research illuminated a relatively unexplored aspect of the impact of World War I on America.


Maryland couple finds live World War I artillery shell in their home flower bed

MD WWI artillery shell

A woman and her husband in northeast Maryland found a live World War I artillery shell while digging in a flower bed. After the startling discovery, Kelly and Shannon Thomas, of Belair, MD, left the round where they found it and called the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. “After examining the device, it was determined that the best course of action was to conduct an emergency disposal to render the ordnance safe,” the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal said in a news release. “Bomb Technicians disposed of the potentially dangerous round on the scene.” Click here to read more about this very unexpected find of a “connection” to World War I for a suburban household a century later.


Texas researcher discovers, honors African American World War I vets

Carolyn Warren Bessellieu

It was a single gravestone that prompted Carolyn Warren Bessellieu’s sometimes challenging, sometimes emotional, but satisfying quest for African American World War I service information. The discovery in “an unmarked African American cemetery” of a headstone of a WWI veteran named Tobie Harris started Bessellieu’s quest. “My great-uncle Holiday Bennett use to tell me many stories of World War II. I was fascinated to see what I could find on those who served in WWI.” Click here to read more about Bessellieu’s research, and how it led to a personal discovery of her own family’s connection to World War I..


United in the Great Cause: Allied and American military relations during WWI

United in the Great Cause

On May 28 1917, less than two months after the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies, 191 U.S. Army officers and men led by Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing boarded the British ocean liner RMS Baltic and sailed for England. President Woodrow Wilson had dispatched this group as the nucleus of the American Expeditionary Forces, an army that eventually comprised over one million American soldiers in Europe. Writing in Army History Magazine, author Tyler Bamford takes an in-depth look at how this unprecedented interaction with the armed forces of allied nations helped prepare U.S. forces for “an enormous task for which the U.S. Army possessed little institutional experience.” Click here to read more about what they learned, and how the hasty U.S. and British Army introduction to cooperation during World War I “laid the foundations for the unique, informal Anglo-American military relationship in the interwar period.”


World War I marked the birth of New York Life’s volunteerism committment

New York Life volunteerism

When the United States entered World War I in April of 1917, New York Life shared the nation’s fighting spirit and rallied to help mobilize America’s troops. The company offered its deep financial and human resources to support the war effort. And the volunteerism born then—from fundraising to moral support to military service—would live on as an abiding value for decades to come. Click here to read more about how the culture of the company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, was shaped by the organization’s experiences in World War I.


Book Review: “First Americans: U.S. Patriotism in Indian Country after WWI”

Navtive American knitter

Writing for the H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online web site of the University of Michigan, reviewer Matthew Villeneuve looks at Thomas Grillot’s book First Americans, calling it “a study of Indigenous patriotism in the aftermath of World War I. While the historiography on American Indian participation in the First World War often focuses on the battlefield experience of Indigenous people, Grillot’s study examines the ways Indigenous veterans, along with their Euro-American comrades, made meaning out of Indigenous participation in the War to End All Wars after the armistice.”  Click here to read more about how Grillot’s book “sheds light on the process by which the symbolic repertoire for the expression of Indigenous pride came to include such icons as the American flag, citizenship, and the figure of the GI.” in the war’s aftermath.


National WWI Museum and Memorial gets $125,000 from NEH for Digitization and Transcription of WWI documents

Soldier's letter for transcription

The National WWI Museum and Memorial announced a grant for $125,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize and transcribe letters, diaries, and journals from soldiers and family members originated from World War I. “This gift is essential as it allows the organization to take a major step forward in our efforts to digitize and transcribe our entire collection of letters, diaries and journal entries from the Great War, “said Museum President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor. “Making the content from these incredible first-person accounts available is important because it allows people to connect with those who experienced the 20th century’s founding catastrophe.” Click here to read more about the grant, and how it will support and further the work taken on by the Museum while it was shut down for the COVID pandemic.


Five Dog Breeds that Served in WWI

Rags

Dogs are man’s best friend, and at times that means we have brought them with us into the worst parts of what we do. The use of dogs in war is nothing new, but their role changed over time. In the First World War dogs were used extensively by all sides, with different breeds managing different roles. Emily Green, Founder and Chief Editor of the DoggieDesigner.com web site, takes a look at five specific breeds which played (sometimes outsized) roles for American and other military forces in World War I.


Cole County, MO’s Grace Hershey remembered as World War I heroine

Grace Hershey

One woman is named on the Cole County, MO World War I Memorial at the courthouse. Grace Hershey was a stenographer with the American Red Cross. Highly praised for her clerical skills in contests and courtrooms, the 31-year-old took a significant pay cut when she left her job with the state insurance department to go overseas. Her fiancé, Thorpe Gordon, had deployed to France in August 1918. Click here to read more about how her departure only a month later was “her patriotic duty to do what she can to help win the war.”


Historian seeks volunteers to help digitize World War I burial records

Andrew Capets

Andrew Capets’ initial interest in World War I was finding out more about his grandfather’s unit, the 313th Machine Gun Battalion. That research led the North Huntingdon resident and amateur historian to write “Good War, Great Men,” which focused on his grandfather’s battalion and its exploits. Now, Capets has joined with a Nebraska man on a new WWI project: creating a searchable database of soldiers’ burial cards, some of which will be linked to a digital map showing where those soldiers are buried. Click here to read more about this grassroots effort to make World War I burial records more accessible to families and other researchers.


WWI Influenza pandemic continues to have resonances, lessons learned for 21st Century pandemic control efforts

Navy medical 1918 flu

As the nation continues to deal with the effects of COVID-19 influenza pandemic in 2020, a look back at the American experiences with the great Spanish Flu Pandemic during World War I can provide remarkable reminders of how a similar scourge was dealt with a century ago.

Navy, Marines Struggled With 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Remembering WWI soldiers who succumbed to the 1918 flu

As the 1918 Flu Emerged, Cover-Up, Denial Helped Spread

The Pandemic to End All Pandemics?: World War I, the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, and Urban America

1918: A Study in How Disease Can Shape Public Policy

Reading your own obituary: Samuel Bustard, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and the evolution of New York Metro Area soccer through World War I


One of the earliest Monuments to African American WWI Troops

372nd Infantry Monument

Paul LaRue, former member of the
Ohio World War I Centennial Committee, writes that “A unique monument stands in the rural French countryside. It is a monument to the 372nd Infantry, an African American World War I combat regiment. The 372nd Infantry Monument represents one of the earliest monuments erected to African American World War I Troops.” Click here to read more about the 372nd, and how those who served in it “understood the significance of their service, and wanted to leave a monument in France to their fallen comrades.”


Doughboy MIA for June 2020

Doughboy MIA webinar thumbnail

On May 29, 2020, Doughboy MIA was featured on the Doughboy Foundation / World War I Centennial Commission webinar series. Those who attended the webinar live learned about The Who, The Where, and The Ways and Means behind what it is we are doing to be sure that all of the MIA are properly remembered, and how you can be a part of the effort.

Click here to watch the recording of the webinar.

Click here to download the slide deck from the webinar.

Would YOU like to be a part of our mission of discovering what happened to our missing Doughboys from WW1? Of course you would, and you CAN! Simply make a donation to the cause and know you played a part in making as full an accounting as possible of these men. Large or small doesn’t matter – that you cared enough to help does. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia to make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit project today, and remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Flag large

Fly the World War I Centennial Flag

This WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 3’x5′.  This flag has the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it and has 2 brass grommets to hang the flag.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this flag are designated for the National World War I Memorial.. You can show your support, and help promote the efforts, by proudly displaying your custom flag.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.

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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Free Self-Contained WWI History Web Site on YOUR computer

Sources, lessons, activities, videos, podcasts, images

We have packaged all the content we created for “How WWI Changed America” into a format that is essentially a web site on a drive. Download the content onto any drive (USB, external, or as a folder on your computer), and all the content is accessible in a web site type format even without an internet connection. Click here to learn more, and download this amazing educational resource for home or classroom use.


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William E. Baker

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

William E Baker

Submitted by: Robert D. Baker {Great Nephew}

William E. Baker born around 1892. William Baker served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

I never knew much about my dad’s Uncle Bill, except that he was my Grandpa Baker’s brother and had dated my Grandma Baker’s sister and that he was killed in World War I in France. He had a gravestone in the Dayton, OH National Cemetery, but it was never clear to me whether his actual remains were in Dayton or still in France.

After being contacted by the Secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary, I learned that The William Baker American Legion Post 363 in Lucasville, OH, was named in honor of my Great-Uncle back in Feb, 1920. So I started researching.

William Edwin Baker was born in Nov, 1892, the fourth of five children of Charles & Mary Baker. The family lived in Scioto County, Ohio, at the time of William’s birth. Around the age of 16, William moved with his folks and younger sister to Jamestown, OH. Meanwhile, his oldest brother, George (my Grandfather), had migrated to Dayton. William decided to find out what big city life was like, so he followed his brother to Dayton, where he worked as a Janitor, a Packer, a Motor Assembler, and a Conductor on the Dayton Street Railway line.

Read William E. Baker’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.

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