Tag Archives: World War One Centennial Commission

WWI DISPATCH February 12, 2019

From the World War One Centennial Commission.


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February 12, 2019

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NCPC Approves Preliminary Plans for National World War I Memorial in DC

At its February 7 meeting the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) approved preliminary site development plans for the National World War I Memorial submitted by the National Park Service in collaboration with the World War I Centennial Commission. The memorial, proposed for downtown Washington’s Pershing Park, will honor the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I. The primary memorial components are a freestanding memorial wall with a sculptural element on one side and an inscription on the other, and a pool with a central plaza. The Commission found that the design of the memorial wall’s inscription side is improved and noted that it is reminiscent to the park’s original fountain. Click here to read more about the NCPC findings, and how they move the Memorial closer to completion.

National Park Service

Meanwhile, The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking comments on the proposed enhancements to Pershing Park for the national World War I Memorial. The project, including a comparison of the two alternatives, is available online at http://go.nps.gov/WWI-DEA. The public comment period is open February 6 – 27, 2019. The comment period, which originally ended on January 18, has been extended due to the partial government shutdown. Click here to find out more about how the public can comment online through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website.


The World War I ‘Harlem Hell Fighters’

Harlem Hellfighters

It’s African-American History Month and a fitting time to recall the black soldiers of the New York National Guard’s 15th Infantry Regiment. 100 years ago, on Feb. 17, 1919, when those 2,900 soldiers came home as the “Harlem Hell Fighters” of the 369th Infantry Regiment, New York City residents, both white and black, packed the streets as they paraded up Fifth Avenue. Click here to read more about the big parade, and what it meant for the unit whose performance in battle, and band’s music, made dramatic impacts on America and the world.

Sometimes overlooked is the fact that of the 44 members of the Hellfighters’ band, 18 were recruited from Puerto Rico. James Reese Europe visited Puerto Rico looking for musicians. The island was a haven for musical talent, with a tradition of municipal bands that resembled military ones. Click here to read more about the role and influence of these island musicians on the most famous military band of World War I.


New exhibition seeks to connect WWI’s “staggering losses” to modern medicine

Micaela Sullivan-Fowler

Drawing on the Ebling Library for the Health Sciences’  vast collection of health sciences materials, including early 20th century nursing journals and medical books, as well as the University of Wisconsin’s archives, a new exhibition seeks to tell the story of World War I, its impact on modern medicine, and the forgotten people who fought in it. “Staggering Losses: World War 1 & the Influenza Pandemic of 1918” officially opened Thursday, February 7, and runs through May. Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, a librarian at Ebling who curated the exhibition, talks about what she learned while preparing the exhibition, and why people should still care about World War I.


The Fictions of World War I: 7 Novels Inspired by The Great War

Rhys Bowen

When compared to World War II, says author Rhys Bowen, World War I has been largely overlooked in literature, possibly because so many of the stories tend to be dark and tragic. However, writing in the CrimeReads web site, Bowen highlights what she considers the standouts in the WWI genre, the “books that show the horror, the bravery, and the difficult aftermath of what was called ‘The War to End All Wars.’” Click here to read Bowen’s list of the seven most important novels written about the First World War and its aftermath.


National World War I Museum and Memorial’s 2018 Symposium Now Available on YouTube

NWWIM&M YouTube 2018 Symposium

Last November, scholars and attendees from across the world gathered to explore the irrevocable changes years of cataclysmic conflict wrought on the global stage at the National World War I Museum & Memorial in Kansas City, MO for the presentation of Symposium – 1918: Crucible of War.  If you weren’t present, you can now view the incredible presentations from Mike Hankins, James Holmes, David Kennedy, Robert Laplander, Adriane Lentz-Smith, Brian Steed, Graydon Tunstall, Kara Vuic and Geoffrey Wawro via the Museum and Memorial YouTube channel. Click here to read more about the Symposium, and get the link for the YouTube presentation of the historic event.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Historian’s Corner: Jennifer Keene

Keene

On February 1st’s edition of the WWI Centennial News Podcast, Episode 108, host Theo Mayer spoke with Professor Jennifer Keene about the experience of the African American community during the Great War. Dr. Keene is the former Department of History Chair at California’s Chapman University.  Some of her publications include The Long Journey Home, African American World War I Veterans and Veteran’s Policies, The Memory of the Great War in the African American Community, A comparative study of White and Black American Soldiers during the First World War, Wilson and Race Relations, among others. Click here to read the entire transcript of this informative podcast that sets the scene for Black History Month.

In the News 100 Years Ago: The Official Bulletin

Official Bulletin poster

From January 25th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 107,  Host Theo Mayer brings you some headlines from the U.S. Government’s official wartime publication, The Official Bulletin, published 100 years ago. Right after America declared war in 1917, President Wilson asked a gentleman named George Creel to set up and publish a daily newspaper in which the Administration could inform America about its news, policies, programs and initiatives for the war effort. In other words, it is the Administration’s daily propaganda gazette. Click here to read a transcript of this discussion about what was making news in the Official Gazette a century earlier.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

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The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it’s about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New – Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Officer Candidate trainees at Fort Des Moines, Iowa vs2

Episode: #109
Fort Des Moines, Iowa

Host: Theo Mayer
From a Civil War, to a World War and Beyond – Host | @02:20
With Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun & Dan Dayton

Wilson’s Push for a League of Nations – Mike Shuster | @10:35

First into Germany: Sgt. Roy Holtz Part 5 – Host | @14:40
(Courtesy of Robert Laplander)

The Neglected Disabled Doughboys – Dr. Edward Lengel | @23:10

A Century in the Making: Interpretive Elements – Dr. Libby O’Connell | @30:20

Remembering Veterans: Fort Des Moines, IA – Dr. Hal Chase | @35:50

Education e-Newsletter – Liesl Christman Agan | @43:20

Articles & Posts: Dispatch Highlights – Host | @47:15


Literature in WWI This Week

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A New Look at Anne Frank, Her Father, and WWI Through Literature and History

By David Gillham and Peter de Bourgraaf

The Diary of Anne Frank has always been known as a story of the Holocaust and of WWII. But it is also, in part, a story about WWI.

This week at WWrite, New York Times bestselling writer of City of Women, David Gillham discusses a little-known yet important event his newly released book, Annalies, a novel that imagines a scenario in which Anne Frank survives the Holocaust: the Nazi officer, a veteran of WWI, who arrested the Frank family decided to be nice to them because he discovered that Otto Frank, Anne’s father had also served in WWI.

As a historical complement to Gillham, Dutch historian Peter de Bourgraaf, from the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam, talks about his research on the shortcomings of the Versailles Treaty, shortcomings be believes were the cause of WWII. Read this dual literary-historical new perspective of the one the Diary of Anne Frank, one of the world’s most important accounts of the Holocaust at WWrite this week.


Doughboy MIA for week of Feb. 11

Vernon Fenton Webb Jr.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday’s MIA this week is Private Vernon Fenton Webb Jr. Born 04JULY1895 and generally known by his middle name of Fenton, Pvt. Webb was a resident of Union County, Lanes Creek Township, North Carolina and working on his family farm when he was inducted into the army on 19SEPT1917. He received his induction training at Camp Jackson before being sent to Camp Sevier and assigned as a member of Company D, 119th Infantry, 30th Division. With that unit he departed from Boston, MA aboard the transport Laomedon for overseas service on 12MAY1918. The 30th ‘Old Hickory’ Division was one of two US divisions permanently brigaded with the British during the war. Killed in action on 29SEPT1918 in the Somme Valley sector during the great ‘Final Offensive’, word of his death was received on November 5th and his father, Vernon Sr., was so brokenhearted that he died that December at the age of just 46. Pvt. Webb is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at The Somme American Cemetery, Bellicourt, France. Nothing else is known about his case at this time.

Want to help solve Pvt. Webb’s case? Give ‘Ten For Them’ to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coin Display

United States Mint WWI Commemorative Coin and Display

The US Mint stopped selling the World War I Commemorative Coin on December 27, but you can still purchase the limited edition silver dollar in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor, from the Centennial Official Merchandise store. This package makes a great collectible gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available at hereSupplies are limited.  And remember: proceeds from the sale of this item go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.

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


Double Donation Artillery


Brennan Gauthier

Everyone in our community possesses an interest in World War I history. One of our favorite things at the Commission is to see the different and incredible ways that this interest manifests itself. We recently came across Brennan Gauthier, who has a remarkable example of bringing his interest into a unique format. For his regular job, Brennan is a Senior Archaeologist for the State of Vermont Transportation Department. Privately, he writes & manages PortraitofWar.com, a blog site that examines World War I photography – Specifically the photo portraiture of the time. Brennan looks at the styles, the milieu, the contexts for the pictures. But then, he takes things a step further. Brennan does deep-dive looks into the subjects — their uniforms, their decorations, their units, etc. Brennan will even track down their genealogy and their grave sites, all in the name of exploring/learning who these people were, and what their experiences were.   We were thrilled that Brennan gave us some time to talk about his work with PortraitofWar.com.


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Robert Donald West

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

Robert Donald West

Submitted by: John West {Grandson}

Robert Donald West was born around 1895. Robert West served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

My grandfather, Robert D. West, served in Company B, 140th Infantry, 35th Division, during the World War. He trained at Camp Dodge, Iowa and sailed from New Jersey to Liverpool on the HMS Adriatic.

He trained with the British and French and fought in the Meuse-Argonne.

During 2018 and 2019, I am posting Robert’s diary entries and the letters he sent home at mndoughboy1918.tumblr.com and on Twitter at@mndoughboy1918.

His story includes a broken engagement, a shotgun wedding, leaving his pregnant bride at home, and sailing to Europe to do his part “Over There.” I am very proud to share his story with others.

Read Robert Donald West’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


Introducing the Story of Fort Des Moines: Episode #109

From the World War One Centennial Commission.


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Fort Des Moines, Iowa

Episode #109

Officer Candidate trainees at Fort Des Moines, Iowa vs2

Officer Candidate trainees at Fort Des Moines, Iowa

Fort Des Moines, Iowa
Black Officer Training Camp

Highlights

Episode #109

Host: Theo Mayer

  • From a Civil War, to a World War and Beyond – Host | @02:20
    With Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun & Dan Dayton
  • Wilson’s Push for a League of Nations – Mike Shuster | @10:35
  • First into Germany: Sgt. Roy Holtz Part 5 – Host | @14:40
    (Courtesy of Robert Laplander)
  • The Neglected Disabled Doughboys – Dr. Edward Lengel | @23:10
  • A Century in the Making: Interpretive Elements – Dr. Libby O’Connell | @30:20
  • Remembering Veterans: Fort Des Moines, IA – Dr. Hal Chase | @35:50
  • Education e-Newsletter – Liesl Christman Agan | @43:20
  • Articles & Posts: Dispatch Highlights – Host | @47:15

Listen To The Podcast NOW

All about WW1 THEN and NOW while you drive, work or play.


Coming up next week:

Fort Des Moines Training Black Medical Officers

The American Legion Formation

and much more…

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on iTunes and listen anytime on your mobile device.
Also available on Google Play  Podbean TuneIn Stitcher Radio On Demand , Spotify and now you can listen on Youtube
For smart speakers say: “play W W One Centennial News Podcast”


Join live recording

Register to join us as we record and produce the show. Ask questions of the guests. Let us know what you think. Get the link list right during the show. Most Wednesdays at Noon, Eastern.

New Twitter Handle for Podcast:

 @TheWW1Podcast

Use our research and publish the stories. Join our live recording sessions and get ALL THE LINKS TO STORY SOURCES before we publish the podcast.


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WWI DISPATCH February 5, 2019

From the World War One Centennial Commission.


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February 5, 2019

Colonel Charles Young was not alone: The marginalization of the African American Officer Corps in World War I

Colonel Charles Young

The story of Colonel Charles Young’s service, sacrifice, and disappointment at not leading African American Troops in France during World War I has been well documented. Unfortunately, his story was not unique; large numbers of African American World War I officers were systematically denied or pushed out of leadership positions. World War I was fought during the backdrop of Jim Crow and in a blatantly racist America. Click here to read more about the impact that the destruction of the African American Officer Corps had on African American World War I soldiers and their service.


Captain Ely Miller, first recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross in WWI

Captain ELy Miller

Captain Ely Miller is an American World War I aviation hero whose story of valor and sacrifice is truly unique. He posthumously received the very first Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) ever being presented to a recipient from World War I, for which the award was originally intended. Additionally, Miller, by his sacrifice, became the first U.S. airman, eligible for the Purple Heart, to die in air-to-air combat against any enemy, while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. Captain Miller lost his life in the worldwide fight for humanity and civilization. He unhesitatingly and fearlessly exposed himself to enemy planes and heroically volunteered his efforts to defend this great nation. Click here to read Captain Ely Miller’s entire story.


World War I grenade found in French potato shipment to Hong Kong

Hong Kong grenade from France

Speaking of how World War I is still reaching out to touch us today: A WWI German hand grenade turned up unexpectedly at a potato chip factory at an industrial estate in Hong Kong last week, thought to have originated in France before being shipped to the factory. It was reportedly coated with mud when it was obtained by law enforcement, leading them to believe it may have been buried in a potato field and mistakenly included in the shipment. Click here to read more about this unwelcome visitor from 100 years ago, and see video of its explosive disposition.


AEF troops continued fighting in Russia long after World War I Armistice

Doughboys in Siberia

Did you know that troops of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) continued fighting long after the 11 Nov 2018 Armistice? They did so, as part of the AEF’s incursion to Russia. Did you know that there were actually TWO American incursions into Russia? They were separated by thousands of miles, as well as a significantly different mission. There was a 5,000-member force (the Polar Bears) sent to Archangel, in North Russia, as part of a multi-nation Allied combat/stabilization force. Separately, there was also a 3,000 member AEF force (the Wolfhounds) sent to Vladivostok, in far eastern Siberia, to take control of war stockpiles that were originally sent from America, and to protect the trans-Siberian railway. Click here to read more about this fascinating but often overlooked sideshow for Doughboys in WWI.


Discussion on African-American WWI veterans to highlight Black History Month events at VCU

Dubois

For its 17th annual Black History Month Lecture, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries is featuring a statement from an essay by W. E. B. Du Bois about black veterans returning from World War I. He wrote “We return. We return from fighting. We return fighting.” The program will feature a conversation-style panel of experts who will offer insight into the experiences of African-American veterans. Click here to read more about this program at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Quacks, Alternative Medicine, and the U.S. Army in the First World War

Patent medicine label

During the First World War, the Surgeon General received numerous pitches for miraculous cures for sick and wounded American soldiers. Ranging from anti-sea sickness remedies to complex elixirs for treating diseases like tuberculosis and venereal disease, America’s “quack” and non-traditional medical practitioners sought a seat at the table. Serving as a barrier between established medical practices and non-professionally tested “cures,” the Army Medical Department and the Surgeon General worked to shield vulnerable ill soldiers from the potential dangers of the medically unknown. Yet, at the same time, the military debated allowing the use of osteopaths in the ranks and used alternative medical techniques like hydrotherapy and essential oils for wound rehabilitation. Click here to read more about the U.S. Army’s turbulent First World War relationship with alternative medicine.


ABMC Releases new Digital Version of World War I Battlefield Companion

ABMC WWI Battlefield Companion

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) has released its World War I Battlefield Companion in digital format. Free to download, this book serves as a guide for visitors to Europe who want to learn more about American involvement in World War I, and see the geographic locations where major events occurred. From ABMC cemeteries and memorials, to private monuments large and small, more than 50 different stops are highlighted. This book, grounded in history but seen through a 21st century lens, includes colorful driving maps with directions that point readers to precise World War I locations. Click here to find our more about this new digital version of an essential guide to those visiting WWI sites.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

100 Years in the Making: Sabin Howard

Sabin Howard

On January 25th’s edition of the WWI Centennial News Podcast, Episode 107, host Theo Mayer had a chance to chat with National WWI Memorial sculptor Sabin Howard as he was getting ready to jump on a plane for the UK to launch the next step, scaling up his one-sixth size maquette. Sabin was off to visit one of the only foundries in the world that will be able to cast the full size sculpture. Click here to read the entire transcript as Sabin caught us up on the technical progress of the sculpture itself and reflected on the process of 21st-century, technology-assisted sculpting.

WWI Education This Week: Cathy Gorn

Cathy Gorn NHD

On January 25th’s edition of the WWI Centennial News Podcast, Episode 107,  host Theo Mayer spoke with Dr. Cathy Gorn, the Executive Director of National History Day, and an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Maryland at College Park. Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview as Dr. Gorn talks about NHD, how it engages students on the subject of WWI, and the importance of history education generally.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it’s about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New – Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

WWI affected the entire African American community  and its future

Episode #108
Highlights: WWI & the African American Community

Host: Theo Mayer

The Effect of WWI on the African American Community – Dr. Jennifer Keene | @02:05

The Dynamics of the Paris Peace Negotiations – Mike Shuster | @10:10

First into Germany: Sgt. Roy Holtz Part 4 – Host | @14:30(Courtesy of Robert Laplander)

The Story of Nurse Sarah Sand – Dr. Edward Lengel | @22:30

The Elements of the WWI Memorial Park – Dr. Libby O’Connell | @27:50

A Teacher on Teaching WWI – Michael Sandstrom | @36:50

“Speaking WWI”: Airport – Host | @45:45

“Articles & Posts”: Weekly Dispatch – Host | @48:00


Literature in WWI This Week

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Five African American WWI Army Bands That Changed Music Forever

James Lamb

Writers of words but also writers of musical notes make up the rich cultural heritage of WWI. This week at WWrite, we ask: where did the great music we call jazz actually come from? And when did our military bands become ambassadors of American goodwill performing this music across the globe?

The often-told story is that Jazz migrated up from New Orleans when the US entered WWI and after the Navy shut down the fabled Storyville district. But, according to James Lamb, former Music Director/Conductor of New York’s Great American Songbook Orchestra and Naval Musician, jazz’s story runs much deeper and he traces its spread over 30 years in cities all over the country.

Beginning with James Reese Europe and the 369th Harlem Hellfighters, Lamb gives a sharp rundown of five bands from WWI African American regiments that changed the face of American music forever. Read the incredible story of these bands at WWrite this week!


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lest We Forget Book Cover

“Lest We Forget: The Great War” Book

“Lest We Forget: The Great War”is a great way for you to help build America’s National World War I Memorial, in Washington DC. At the same time, you get to enjoy a very special, colorful, inspiring and lasting souvenir of the centennial!

The book features nearly 350 high-quality images, an introduction by Sir Hew Strachan and text by historian Michael W. Robbins. The project is dedicated to the Centennial and produced by The Pritzker Military Museum and Library along with the WW1 Centennial Commission.

Importantly, when you get this visual remembrance of the “War that Changed The World”  – a full ½ of the proceeds go to building the Memorial!

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


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Sarah Sand

Historian, author, and tour guide Ed Lengel has written an article about Sarah Sand (above), who was Director of Nursing at Evangelical Hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota when the United States entered World War I. Like many other nurses, she immediately volunteered for service overseas. After extensive training at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, Sand departed the United States in September, 1918. She arrived at the front in time to help care for the massive wave of perhaps 100,000 casualties resulting from the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Her life would never be the same again. Click here to read the detailed story of how her experiences in WWI changed her future.


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Archie Henry Thomas

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

Archie Henry Thomas

Submitted by: Gregory Neifeld {Great-Grandson}

Archie Henry Thomas born around 1885. Archie Thomas served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1909 and the service was completed in 1925.

Story of Service

Between April and September 1916, Archie was stationed on the Mexican border in California with the Oregon Third Infantry Regiment, Company I during the Mexican Border War. His regiment was activated into federal service after Pancho Villa’s raid in Columbus, New Mexico. While on the border, Archie was promoted to Corporal in July 1916 and he was promoted to Sergeant before his return to Oregon in September.

This was an era in which the U.S.-Mexico border was perceived as a potential location for a German-funded invasion by Mexico. Border service went into effect when this threat was exposed by the British interception of the Zimmerman Telegram. This message discussed Germany’s alliance proposal for Mexico if the U.S. entered the European war against Germany.

The onset of American involvement in World War I prompted all National Guard regiments to reactivate under federal service. This activation included the Oregon Third Infantry Regiment in March 1917. In July 1917, the unit was mustered at Camp Withycombe, Oregon and transferred to Camp Greene, North Carolina for training.

Read Archie Henry Thomas’ entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


WWI and the African American Community. Ep. #108

From the World War One Centennial Commission.


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WWI and the
African American Community

Episode #108

WWI affected the entire African American community  and its future

WWI affected the entire African American community in the U.S.

WWI and the
African American Community

Host: Theo Mayer

  • The Effect of WWI on the African American Community – Dr. Jennifer Keene | @02:05
  • The Dynamics of the Paris Peace Negotiations – Mike Shuster | @10:10
  • First into Germany: Sgt. Roy Holtz Part 4 – Host | @14:30
    (Courtesy of Robert Laplander)
  • The Story of Nurse Sarah Sand – Dr. Edward Lengel | @22:30
  • The Elements of the WWI Memorial Park – Dr. Libby O’Connell | @27:50
  • A Teacher on Teaching WWI – Michael Sandstrom | @36:50
  • “Speaking WWI”: Airport – Host | @45:45
  • “Articles & Posts”: Weekly Dispatch – Host | @48:00

Listen To The Podcast NOW

All about WW1 THEN and NOW while you drive, work or play.


Coming up next week:

The next issue of the Education Newsletter
Black officer training at Fort Des Moines
The Genesis of the American Legion born in 1919 Paris

and much more…

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on iTunes and listen anytime on your mobile device.
Also available on Google Play  Podbean TuneIn Stitcher Radio On Demand , Spotify and now you can listen on Youtube
For smart speakers say: “play W W One Centennial News Podcast”


Join live recording

Register to join us as we record and produce the show. Ask questions of the guests. Let us know what you think. Get the link list right during the show. Most Wednesdays at Noon, Eastern.

New Twitter Handle for Podcast:

 @TheWW1Podcast

Use our research and publish the stories. Join our live recording sessions and get ALL THE LINKS TO STORY SOURCES before we publish the podcast.


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WWI DISPATCH January 29, 2019

From the World War One Centennial Commission.


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January 29, 2019

January 1, 2019 Memorial Header

Revamping Pershing Park: Giving World War I Remembrance Its Due

Federal City Council

The United States World War I Centennial had the opportunity last week to brief the Federal City Council (FC2 ) in Washington, DC on the new National World War I Memorial in the nation’s capitol. Commissioner and Vice Chair Edwin Fountain, and Commissioner Tod Sedgwick led a discussion with FC2 Trustees about plans to build the Memorial in Pershing Park. Click here to read the extremely positive response from the FC2 on the briefing, and the organization’s call for FC2 members to “get involved” in the Memorial project.


Senators Tester, Blackburn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Honor “Hello Girls”

Blackburn-Tester

U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are honoring the groundbreaking service of the women who connected American and French forces on the front lines of World War I. The Senators introduced the bipartisan Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Actto award the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, dubbed the “Hello Girls,” with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service and subsequent 60 year fight to be recognized as veterans. The Hello Girls were recruited after male infantrymen struggled to connect calls quickly or communicate with their French counterparts. Despite their outstanding service and the military oath they took, the Hello Girls were denied veteran status and benefits when they returned home. It wasn’t until 1977, 60 years after the first Hello Girls took the Army oath, that Congress passed legislation to retroactively acknowledge the military service of the women in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Click here to read more about this new legislative initiative to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the “Hello Girls” that will “honor their service as well as their fight for recognition.”


American Legion supports review of minorities’ World War I valor medals

Valor Medals review web site logo

The American Legion magazine’s February 2019 issue will carry a full-page article detailing the Legion’s support for the United States World War I Centennial Commission-sponsored Valor Medals Review Task Force. This is the first systematic  review of World War I veterans who may have been denied a Medal of Honor due to racial or ethnic discrimination. The Valor Medals Review Task Force is starting with the records of approximately 70 African-American soldiers — in particular, those worthy of the nation’s highest military award who may have been downgraded to a Distinguished Service Cross or received a French Croix de Guerre with palm. Click here to read more about the Valor Medals Review Task Force, and the Legion’s full support for its efforts.


Philadelphia Family Gets Back Grandfather’s World War I Keepsake Thanks to Purple Hearts Reunited

2nd Lt. Donald A. McClure

Three weeks ago, the nonprofit Purple Hearts Reunited reached out to the McClure family in West Chester, PA, letting them know that they found something that belonged to them. In a letter home to Pennsylvania, 2nd Lt. Donald A. McClure (left) described the severe leg injury he had suffered in World War I. The letter came from France. The year was 1918. McClure was 22. McClure’s descendants weren’t aware that Lt. McClure received a WWI Wound Certificate, and like many, don’t know how it left the family. But inside of a West Chester home, the honor was returned. Click here to read the entire story, and watch the video as a bit of World War I history was returned to a veteran’s family.


How the flu wiped out 675,000 Americans after World War I

Libby O'Connell

Commissioner Libby O’Connell of the United States World War 1 Centennial Commission is the chief historian emeritus at the History Channel. She picked up her historian’s pen to craft an article last week for the New York Post newspaper about the still mystifying outbreak of influenza during World War I that killed millions worldwide, including some 675,000 Americans, 43,000 of them Doughboys. Click here to read more about the viral carnage of the influenza pandemic, and how the specter of a pandemics like the World War I episode, in new and virulent forms, isn’t a remote historic footnote 100 years later.


Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” marches on: Warner Brothers releasing widely across North America

The Shall Not Grow Old Title poster

Warner Bros. Pictures is widening the front for Peter Jackson’s widely acclaimed World War I documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old.” The studio will expand the release of the film to 500 theaters across 150 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada, beginning on Friday, February 1, 2019, with special pre-shows the evening before.  The Warner Bros. release comes following the film’s hugely successful Fathom Events dates, which yielded record-setting results. “They Shall Not Grow Old” took in $8.34 million, making it the highest-grossing U.S. Cinema Event release ever. Click here to read more about the broad release of this epic World War I documentary, including how to buy tickets.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

A Century in the Making: An Interview with National WWI Memorial creative team Joe Weishaar and Sabin Howard

Weishaar-Howard

In Episode 105 of the WW1 Centennial News Podcast, which aired on January 11th, 2019, we heard from two people who are integral to the creation of the National WWI Memorial: lead designer Joe Weishaar (top left) and sculptor Sabin Howard. We honor the veterans of every other major conflict of the 20th century in our nation’s capital, except World War I. To fix that, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission’s capstone project is the creation of the memorial. During the centennial of the armistice, we held events in D.C. at the site of the future memorial. At one of these events, Weishaar, and Howard spoke about the evolution of the project and how they got together. Click here to read a transcript from the event.

Remembering Veterans: Erin Fehr

Erin Fehr

On January 11th’s edition of the WWI Centennial News Podcast, Episode 105, archivist Erin Fehr of the Sequoyah National Research Center (SNRC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, spoke with host Theo Mayer about the new “American Indians in World War I” section of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission web site. The encyclopedic web site commemorates the service of American Indians in the Great War. Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

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The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it’s about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New – Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Boarding for the voyage home.

Episode #107
Highlights: New Nations, New World.

Host: Theo Mayer

  • The News 100 Year Ago in the Official Bulletin – Host | @02:05
  • Tempestuous Voyage Home – Dr. Edward Lengel | @15:55
  • A Seat At The Table: Yugoslavia – Host | @19:25
  • Communist Revolution in Germany – Mike Shuster | @22:40
  • First into German: Sgt. Roy Holtz – Host | @26:40(Courtesy of Robert Laplander)
  • The Next Step for the Sculpture – Sabin Howard | @34:10
  • National History Day WWI Education – Cathy Gorn | @41:45
  • Speaking WWI: Cup ‘O Joe – Host | @49:45
  • Hello Girls Musical Cast Album – Host | @51:35

Literature in WWI This Week

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WWrite 2-Year Review
Part 5

The last installment of the WWrite 2-Year Review! Since January 2017, WWrite has published a diversity of writers’ voices and stories from past and present. This week, part 5 takes a look at the following categories of posts: The Enemy; Allied Memorials; Native Americans; Colonial Soldiers; New WWI Art, Music, Poetry, and Fiction; Scholarship and Teaching. Read the fascinating ways international writers, scholars, and artists have commemorated the centennial at WWrite this week!

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

The Extra

The double suicide of American twin sisters Dorothea & Gladys Cromwell occurred Jan 19,1919. Their deaths provoked widespread public debate concerning the mental effects of war work on women volunteers. Read about Gladys Cromwell’s poem “The Extra”


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coin Display

United States Mint WWI Commemorative Coin and Display

The US Mint stopped selling the World War I Commemorative Coin on December 27, but you can still purchase the limited edition silver dollar in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor, from the Centennial Official Merchandise store. This package makes a great collectible gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available at hereSupplies are limited.  And remember: proceeds from the sale of this item go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.

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


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369th at Kennedy Center

New PBS Arts Series to feature the 369th Experience

The Centennial Commission got a wonderful communication last week — an email from Judy Meschel, Producer for Local Projects at WETA Television, the Public Broadcasting for Greater Washington, D.C. Judy was letting us know that she had just finished producing a segment for WETA on James Reese Europe, the legendary WWI Harlem Hellfighter Jazz Band Leader. The show features a recent performance at the Kennedy Center by our Commission-sponsored 369th Experience. The WETA Arts segment is scheduled to start airing on Friday, February 1 at 8:30pm on WETA TV 26 — and the segment will be available online starting Saturday February 2.  Click here for more information on the program, and an in-depth interview with Judy Meschel.


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Dalton Ranlet

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

Dalton Ranlet

Submitted by: Linda Gagen {niece}

Dalton Ranlet was born around 1900. Dalton Ranlet served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1917.

Story of Service

My uncle, Dalton Ranlet, lied about his age to enlist in the 11th Engineers (Railway), which was one of the first regiments to go to France. In November 1917 he died in the Battle of Gouzeaucourt, which was the first time an American unit fought as a unit in World War I. His body was lost in the rubble and not recovered until 1955. He was then buried in the Somme Cemetery, without notifying the family.

My mother was born three years after Dalton’s death and grew up hearing stories of her brother’s service and death. In 2012, I learned that he was buried in France while researching family history. That discovery began a long process of searching for records both in the United States and France to learn more about Dalton.

Over time I met the citizens and officials for Gouzeaucourt, who expressed an interest in creating a memorial to the 11th Engineers. With the help of my friend Leo, we located the 11th Engineer Battalion Association, who gladly funded the construction of a memorial.

Read Dalton Ranlet’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


New Nations, New World. Ep. #107

From the World War One Centennial Commission.


View as a webpage

WW1 Centennial News Logo

New Nations,
New World.

Episode #107

Boarding for the voyage home.

Boarding for the voyage home.

New Nations, New World.

Host: Theo Mayer

  • The News 100 Year Ago in the “Official Bulletin” – Host | @02:05
  • Tempestuous Voyage Home – Dr. Edward Lengel | @15:55
  • A Seat at the Table: Yugoslavia – Host | @19:25
  • Communist Revolution in Germany – Mike Shuster | @22:40
  • First into German: Sgt. Roy Holtz – Host | @26:40
    (Courtesy of Robert Laplander)
  • The Next Step for the Sculpture – Sabin Howard | @34:10
  • National History Day WWI Education – Cathy Gorn | @41:45
  • Speaking WWI: Cup ‘O Joe – Host | @49:45
  • Hello Girls Musical Cast Album – Host | @51:35

Listen To The Podcast NOW

Learn all about WW1 THEN and NOW while you drive, work or play.


Coming up next week:

Dr Jennifer Keene, historian at Chapman university.
High School Teacher Michael Sandstrom
The tale of Roy on a Harley continues.

and much more…

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Register to join us as we record and produce the show. Ask questions of the guests. Let us know what you think. Get the link list right during the show. Most Wednesdays at Noon, Eastern.

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 @TheWW1Podcast

Use our research and publish the stories. Join our live recording sessions and get ALL THE LINKS TO STORY SOURCES before we publish the podcast.


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WWI DISPATCH January 22, 2019

From the World War One Centennial Commission.


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January 22, 2019

January 1, 2019 Memorial Header

“We’ll have about as much time to raise the funds for the Memorial as the U.S. had in the field ‘Over There.'”

Phil Mazzara

This week, we have the remarkable good fortune to introduce our new Director of Development, Mr. Phillip Mazzara. He is a seasoned professional in the fundraising community, with a long history of success. He will lead the campaign to raise the money for construction of the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. We had the chance to ask Phil a few questions about his background, the challenges of his new position, and why remembering the service of America’s World War I veterans is important to him.


The Dawn of the Red Arrow book traces the Wisconsin National Guard’s role in WWI

Faltinson

Those who have been following the WW1CC newsletter and website know that there has been a terrific weekly series of articles appearing in social media, and on our website, entitled THE DAWN OF THE RED ARROW which traces the history of the Wisconsin National Guard in World War I. The series was created by MAJ Brian J. Faltinson, Public Affairs Officer, Wisconsin National Guard, and shows an amazing amount of teamwork, research depth, and insight. Now, the entire series has been edited together into a great comprehensive eBook. We had a few moments to talk to Major Faltinson about the book, and about his efforts to remember the WWI veterans from Wisconsin.


Convoys celebrate centennial of WWI trip that led to the US Interstate System

Convoy vehicles interstate

The first Transcontinental Army Motor Transport Expedition in the summer of 1919 did make it from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, though it arrived several days late, abandoned nine vehicles and all but one of its kitchen trailers, destroyed 88 bridges, and had more than 200 unintentional off-road incidents, all due largely to the undeveloped (or lack of) roads along the way. Still, as a then-Lt. Col. Dwight Eisenhower wrote in his report, among the people he met while participating in the expedition, “It seemed that there was a great deal of sentiment for the improving of highways, and from the standpoint of promoting this sentiment, the trip was an undoubted success.” Within 40 years, that sentiment became a reality with the country’s interstate highway system, ribbons of road stretching from coast to coast and border to border that have — for better or worse — transformed the country and the lives of the people who live in it. Now, a century after that 62-day cross-country slog, at least two caravans will retrace the steps of Ike and the nearly 300 other men who took part in the expedition.


“You have to get it right because history demands that we remember it accurately in order to learn from it.”

Wayne Stables

Among the most incredible aspects of the ground-breaking new World War I documentary THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD is the restoration and colorization of the original 100 year-old imagery. The colorization process was supervised by Wayne Stables, who is a towering figure in the world of cinematic post-production. Wayne started working at Weta Digital in 1994 and has worked on projects including The FrightenersContactThe Lord of The Rings trilogy, AvatarThe Adventures of Tintin, and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG. He has recently worked as a Visual Effects Supervisor on Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall, and is currently working on James Cameron’s Avatar sequels. Wayne is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been nominated for a BAFTA and numerous Visual Effects Society awards. Wayne kindly spoke to us about his work with the incredible Peter Jackson World War I documentary.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it’s about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New – Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Teddy Roosevelt dies in January 1919

Episode #106
Highlights: Welcome Home, It’s Prohibition!

Host: Theo Mayer

The Headlines 100 Years Ago, Host | @02:00

The 308th Regiment’s Journey Home – Dr. Edward Lengel | @12:00

Wilson Goes to Rome – Mike Shuster | @19:10

First into Germany: SGT Roy Holtz – And he did it on a Harley – Host | @23:15(Courtesy of author Robert Laplander)

A Century in the Making: The Winning Team Part 2 – Joe Weishaar & Sabin Howard | @30:50

Introducing Phil Mazzara – Host | @40:00

The Story of a Memorial Hunter – Bob Shay | @42:30


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Not One, But Two Years of WWrite in Review! Part 4: Women Writing WWI

Over 22,000 American women served as nurses during WWI. The Navy and Marines accepted 13,000 women into active duty. Thousands have written about their experience, which has inspired contemporary women scholars and writers to explore the war through research and art. This is the 4th installment of the series, “WWrite Blog: Two Years in Review of WWI and Writing,” that will document and synthesize the 100+ blog contributions from January 2017. This week features posts about women’s incredible involvement in WWI as fighters and writers.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Navy Blue ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA ¼ zipper fleece sweatshirt. 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.

Sweatshirt features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery. 80% cotton/20% polyester,  9.5 Oz. High quality heavy weight pre-shrunk fabric. Sweatshirt has ¼  zip pullover with cadet collar and silver metal zipper. Ribbed cuffs and waistband with spandex. Cover-seamed arm holes. Mens’ sizes available Small and Medium. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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


Double Donation Motorcycles


Coin Display

The US Mint stopped selling the World War I Commemorative Coin on December 27, but you can still purchase the limited edition silver dollar in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor, from the Centennial Official Merchandise store. This package makes a great collectible gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available at hereSupplies are limited.  And remember: proceeds from the sale of this item go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.


you can help - shop using amazon smile


Poppy Seed Side Ad


Doughboy MIA



Pershing Sponsors

Pershing level sponsors post 11.18


email us


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John Ora Johnson

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

John Ora Johnson

Submitted by: Kathleen Susanne Johnston {grand daughter}

John Ora Johnson was born around 1898 or so. John Ora Johnson 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

My grandmother, who insisted on being called John Ora, was part of the Emory University U.S. Army Unit that served from 1917-1919, principally in France.

She was enlisted during her nursing training by a Dr. Green, who said she was the best surgical nurse he had ever trained. It seems, from family legend, that she was rather too young to be in the U.S. Army as a nurse, but Dr. Green insisted, and she was shipped overseas via the Canadian Maritimes to escape German U Boats.

I have photos of her at this point and later. She is noted in the official history of the Emory Unit as R.n., a.n.c., and as having enlisted on April 15, 1918. She is listed in the history as available through address to the Davis-Fischer Santarium, in Atlanta, where she was a superintendent.

Read John Ora Johnson’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.