gas masks Mule Rearing Riveters The pilots pilots in dress uniforms African American Officers African American Soldiers 1 doughboys with mules

Dispatch Newletter

The WWI Centennial Dispatch is a weekly newsletter that touches the highlights of WWI centennial and the Commission's activities. It is a short and easy way to keep tabs on key happenings. We invite you to subscribe to future issues and to explore the archive of previous issues.

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November 14, 2017


Commission hosts Ceremonial Groundbreaking for WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC

Speakrs Four

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for America's World War I Memorial on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at the memorial's site, Pershing Park.

Among the featured speakers for the event (at right, top to bottom) were U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby.

For the ceremonial groundbreaking, the keynote speakers used presentation-shovels to turn soil that came to the ceremony from the Meuse-Argonne battlefield in France. Meuse-Argonne was the site of the largest military battle in the history of the United States military, and involved over one million service members. 26,000 Americans were lost in the battle.

The Centennial Commission used the event to announce that they had received leadership gifts from two of America’s leading veteran service organizations, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Each of the organizations made donations in the amount of $300,000, to be used for the creation of the new national-level memorial.

The groundbreaking ceremony received broad coverage nationally, internationally, and locally in Washington, DC media.

Sandra Pershing

Sandra Sinclair Pershing, the granddaughter-in-law of General John Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force to Europe in World War One, penned an eloquent guest opinion piece in The Hill newspaper, noting that "It would be inconceivable to Gen. Jack Pershing that a century ago he would be told the men under his command would not have a memorial to their sacrifice in the nation's capital when the centennial of that conflict would finally arrive."

Read more articles about the groundbreaking ceremony here.

Outdoor exhibit of striking images of WWI battlefields at Pershing Park until December 8


Fields of Battle

The experience of American soldiers in the Great War is documented in a free outdoor special centennial exhibition, Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918, which debuted Wednesday in Washington DC's Pershing Park. The exhibition features the incredible contemporary photographs of Michael St Maur Sheil, depicting the battlefields of the Western Front where the Doughboys fought. The exhibition, co-curated by the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, opened in conjunction with the ceremonial groundbreaking for America's World War I Memorial. Read more about this amazing WWI battlefield photo exhibition here.

"Belgium will never forget the sacrifices made by American soldiers"

Belgian unit

The Embassy of Belgium has a remarkable new World War I exhibit that has been traveling across the United States. It tells a unique story of a unique military unit, that had adventures unlike any other, during the World War I period. The Expeditionary Corps of Armored Cars (often called ACM) was a military division formed by Belgian volunteers during WWI. It was sent to Russia at the request of the Tsar to fight the German Army on the Eastern front and distinguished itself in battle in Galicia in 1915. After the Bolshevik revolution, the ACM corps found itself in hostile territory and reached the US through Siberia and China. The exhibition consists in 19 banners (4 dedicated exclusively to their journey in the USA). We caught up with two members of the Belgian Embassy staff, who worked with the exhibit -- Gaëlle Powis de Tenbossche, and Carl Vander Maelen. They took a few moments to tell us all about it.

Trains and Traction restoration of historic World War I American Rail Cars in France


An amazing group of people in France have been working on an amazing project to remember the American troops who helped France 100 years ago. Calling themselves Trains and Traction, they are railway enthusiasts who have spent countless hours restoring an original American Army World War I-era railway boxcar, for eventual display & exhibit. The rail car was left behind in France, and was a ruin when discovered by the group a few years ago. Olivier Jaubert (shown at left working on a boxcar) is the Director of Heritage for the Trains and Traction Foundation, and he told us about his team, and what they have done.

Delaware honors its WWI Servicemen with new Memorial at State Capitol

Governor John Carney

One hundred years after America’s entry in the Great War, just to the south of Delaware’s Legislative Hall where the General Assembly meets, stands the nation’s most recent WWI monument, commemorating The First State’s citizens who served in the United States Armed Forces in the conflict. A two-year effort produced the stately granite monument which was unveiled on a cool November 4th before Governor John Carney, other elected officials, residents and visitors. Read more about the Delaware monument and the dedication ceremony here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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 site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn

POWs in WW1

Episode 45

POWs in WW1 | @01:30

The war on the eastern front is over - Mike Shuster | @11:15

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Gavin McIlvenna | @15:50

Speaking WW1 “Dingbat” | @22:40

100C/100M, Wheaton IL - Nancy Flannery & Rob Sperl | @24:15

The Millionaire’s Unit - Dr. Marc Wortman | @30:50

North Dakota WW1 Centennial Committee - Darrell Dorgan | @38:00

Warrior in Khaki - Native American Warriors - Michael and Ann Knudson | @44:15

WWrite Blog - Pierre Lemaitre’s, The Great Swindle | @51:20

The Buzz - Native American History Month | @52:25

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

WWrite Blog Twitter Feed Launched!

Stay up to date with the latest writerly WWI posts and events!

Today, WWrite launched its Twitter Feed that will be linked to the blog. These Tweets will replace the weekend updates and will appear regularly. The Twitter account is just getting off the ground and will continue to evolve and improve over the coming months. We will also be working to link it to all relavent information on the WWI site. All suggestions welcome at Please find us at: @orthveillon, #WWrite 

For more details see this week's post in the WWrite Blog.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Fleece sweatshirt

Navy Fleece Sweatshirt: $46.00

Head into the Holiday season and gatherings with the family, warm, snug and totally commemorative! This fleece sweatshirt top is not only comfortable, but also features the Centennial Doughboy Icon.

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 M – 2XL (Small and XL are currently sold out)

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

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Harry Shankman

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Harry Shankman


Submitted by: Ronald Miller



Harry Shankman served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917/1919.

Harry Shankman’s W.W.I. Service History

PFC Harry Shankman: Private First Class, E-2, Service #1390206

Member of Company "L" (4th Platoon) . . . of the 3rd Battalion . . . Of the 132 Infantry Regiment . . . of the 66th Brigade . . . of the 33rd "Prairie" Division.

The 33 DIVISION (The Prairie Division) was comprised of the troops from the Illinois National Guard. They trained at Camp Logan, TX then sailed for France in May 1918. The 33rd served with the Australians at the Amines sector, and was represented by units at Verdun and at the Meuse-Argonne. As a division, the 33rd Division spent 27 days in active sectors and 32 days in quiet sectors. It captured 3,987 prisoners-a record for a National Guard Division - and advanced 36 km (22 miles) against the enemy while sustaining 989 battle deaths & 6,266 wounded. 

Most combat operations were either about 70 miles north of Paris, or about 135 east of Paris.

Read Harry Shankman's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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November 7, 2017

National World War I Memorial ceremonial groundbreaking set November 9 in D.C.


After years of extensive research, planning and coordination with state, federal, military and international governments, supporters of the National World War I Memorial will break ground for the site just prior to Veterans Day on Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. The program will serve as an opportunity to thank partners and supporters who have helped turn a historic vision into reality. Unique to the event, the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony will include soil brought from French battlefields signifying the allied service and sacrifice of those who fought for the common cause of freedom. VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin is scheduled to be among the featured speakers.
The event will be live streamed via Facebook Live at
Find out more about the ceremonial groundbreaking by clicking here. You can help build the Memorial by clicking here.

North Dakota web site goes live

North Dakota web site menu

Welcome North Dakota! The North Dakota World War One Centennial website is now live at At the new “North Dakota in World War I” web site you will find stories on ND centennial events and activities, articles about North Dakotans Who Served, scholarly Research Articles and Documents, and an event calendar. There is also a map of the state’s World War One monuments, memorials, and historic sites. The ND development team will be joining us on the WW1 Centennial News Podcast show on Wednesday, November 8 to tell you more about their state program. We invite you to register for the WW1 Centennial News live show. North Dakota joins a growing number of state sites hosted by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. Click here to see the other states’ web sites.

WWI Centennial will be featured in 2017 NYC Veterans Day Parade, other activities

NYV Vets Day Parade

The  United War Veterans Council in NYC is hosting activities on and around Veterans Day, including the New York City Veterans Day Parade (formerly America’s Parade) on November 11th, as well as activities that take place during Veterans Week NYC, November 4th-11th. The Veterans Day parade will feature100+ WWI re-enactors marching, and can be seen live nationwide on a variety of streaming platforms, as well as on local television in NYC. Find out more about the big Veterans Day events going on in the Big Apple here.

New exhibit at the Woodrow Wilson House: The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

Mallows Bay

Partially submerged in the middle of the Potomac River, in Mallows Bay, lies the largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere. More than 200 shipwrecks, the majority of which date to World War I, represent a haunting legacy of the Great War. In April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson approved the greatest shipbuilding program in history: an order for 1,000 ships to make up the shortage of transport vessels needed for the war effort. The war ended before any ships were put into service and hundreds were simply scrapped in the Bay. To celebrate its legacy, the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington DC presents a new museum exhibit that explores the Ghost Fleet’s fascinating—and scandalous—history.

Also we invite you to listen to the interview with Steve Bunker & Carrie Villar about The Ghost Fleet and Mallows Bay on this recent WW1 Centennial News Podcast @07:35

Commissioner Hamby at Indiana events to honor Corporal Gresham, Veterans Day


A number of events took place in Indiana last week, to mark the approach of Veterans Day, and to honor the centenary of the first U.S. Army soldier killed in combat during World War I. That first soldier, Corporal James Bethel Gresham, hailed from the town of Evansville Indiana, and was lost on November 3rd, 1917. Commission Chair Terry Hamby represented the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission at a wreath-laying ceremony for Gresham, and also helped the Indiana Military Museum add a piece extremely rare WWI equipment to its collection.  Read about both Indiana events (and a surprise that Kentuckian Hamby received in the Hoosier State) here.

Returning American soldiers faced a sobering reality in 1919: Prohibition


The global impact of the Great War reverberated throughout world history. Millions of lives were changed in four years, putting nations on radically different paths. In the United States, the war fundamentally shifted how the nation viewed itself in global affairs and how it behaved at home. As industries and the federal government prepared for conflict, a social movement that brewed for nearly eighty years saw the golden opportunity to achieve its ultimate goal: the national prohibition of alcohol. The Great War itself wasn’t the only contributing factor to the 18th amendment’s passage, but the timing was critical. Read the National Archives and Records Administration analysis of the nexus that occurred here.

Web Site Features -- The WWrite Blog

Wwrite Blog Logo

This week's post looks at Pierre Lemaître's The Great Swindle: A Prize-Winning WWI Novel Hits the Screen During France's Great War Centennial

"The Great Swindle", sounds strange among familiar WWI books like The Return of the Soldier, by Rebecca West, A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, or All is Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. But, yes, this book is not only about a post-war traumatic experience; it is also about the art, and, yes, the money that could be made by making a business out of the millions of dead bodies that had a hard time finding a proper grave after the combat ended.

Read this fascinating article in the WWrite Blog.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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 site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

German submarines drove the WWI naval strategy in the Atlantic

Episode 44

The US naval war of 1917 | @01:10

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay with Steve Bunker & Carrie Villar | @07:35 

Living in NYC? Did a “Slacker” live in your apartment 100 years ago?  | @14:55

The Balfour Declaration - Promise of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine with Mike Shuster | @17:15

The worldwide history of Veterans Day | @22:05

Ceremonial Groundbreaking for America’s WWI Memorial in Washington DC | @24:10

Veterans Day Events | @24:30

Speaking WWI…  “Scrounge” | @28:00

100C/100M in Riverside IL with Joseph Baar Topinka | @29:30

International Report - Notre Dame Projection spectacular and documentary premiere | @36:20

Falling back to Daylight Standard Time - Blame the Kaiser | @37:35

The Buzz in Social Media | @39:35 

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Victory Pin

U.S. Victory lapel pin: $4.95

This is a great gift item and even better conversation starter about WWI, what it was, what it meant and why it matters.

Soldiers received Victory buttons upon their discharge from service in “the War that changed the world”. 

This always popular hand cast in jeweler’s alloy and hand finished in a satin bronze patina, the design features the star, symbolizing victory, honor and glory; a wreath of evergreen laurel leaves symbolizing triumph over death; and the U.S. insignia, clearly identifying the country served.

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

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Gilbert W. Zeits 

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Gilbert Zeits


Submitted by: Carol Hylton



Gilbert W. Zeits served in World War 1 with the the United States Army . The dates of service are: Known March 21,1918 to May 20th, 1919 .

Gilbert's mother, an immigrant from Bohemia, had 7 sons, four of whom fought in the first World War. Three sons were in the Army and one in the Navy. They all lived in Traverse City, Michigan.

The eldest brother, Alfred Zeits was killed and is buried in France. He served with the 11th Machine Gun Battalion. 

Gilbert served from March 21,1918 to May 20th, 1919 and was able to visit the battlefields and places they stayed in France in 1981 with his surviving daughter. He took part in the battles of Argonne Forest and St. Mihiel.

Read Gilbert W. Zeits's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here. 

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October 31, 2017

Ceremonial Memorial groundbreaking Nov. 9 to live-stream on Commission Facebook page 


The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will host a ceremonial groundbreaking for America's World War I Memorial on Thursday, November 9, 2017, 11:00 am EST, at Pershing Park in Washington, DC. It will be available for viewing via a live-stream on the Centennial Commission's Facebook page at

The Honorable David J. Shulkin, 9th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Guests of Honor will include The Honorable David J. Shulkin, 9th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (right), senior military & veteran leaders, as well as Centennial Commission members, members of the historical/cultural community, U.S. and city officials, and major donors. U.S. Military Academy Cadets, the Pershing Rifles Group, and the US Army Band's "Pershing's Own" Brass Quintet are also expected to participate. Read more about the ceremony here.

Veterans History Project schedules WWI special programs for Veterans Day 2017


The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP) will celebrate Veterans Day, between Nov. 7 to Nov. 11, with live book talks and a variety of performances, guided tours, workshops and other activities. The series of events, titled “Coming Home: Veterans Day at the Library of Congress,” will take place in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library. From a letter-writing event for active-duty service personnel to examining objects a World War I soldier needed, these activities intend to honor and recognize veterans and their families and explore the ways military men and women have connected to home and family during and after service from World War I, Vietnam and the current conflicts. Read more about the program here.

"He was just a boy who marched away to serve and die for our country, in the war that is often forgotten."

Carl's Story

On November 10, 2008, the eve of the 90th Armistice Day, Noretta Willig's phone rang. A genealogist from Oregon working for the US Army identified her as the next of kin of her uncle, Carl Willig, who had been killed, but his body lost, in 1918 during the battle of St. Mihiel. Now, thanks to a fortuitious discovery in an isolated wood in France, Carl had been found. "From that second," says Noretta, "I was compelled -- I would even say driven – to write Carl’s Story." This thoughtful book, written as a Commemorative Partner of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, tells the compelling story of how "Through a long and extraordinary series of coincidences, described in the book, Carl was found and identified. Then, after almost a century, Carl came home. Home at last." Read more here about the making of the book, the people and organization who helped bring Carl home again, and the powerful effect this journey had on the author herself.

War Horses 103 years on: Horse Heroes WWI memorial fund nears $1 million

Brooke USA

Some 103 years ago this month, the first of America’s horses and mules exported to join the World War One war effort in Europe left their homes. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the US entering WW1, and Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign has raised nearly $900,000 of its million-dollar goal to honor the memory of those horses by raising funds to improve the welfare of working equines around the world. Brooke USA, an official Commemorative Partner of the United States World War I Centennial Commission, is raising one dollar in memory of each of America’s horses and mules who served in World War I. Read more about Brooke USA and the Horse Heroes campaign here.

North Carolina scholar decoded German World War I secret correspondence

Charles Jastrow Mendelsohn

Not every North Carolinian who served in the armed forces during the First World War carried a gun on the battlefields of France. Some were administrators. Others served as nurses, artists, naval officers, and chaplains. At least one NC person served as a cryptographer—someone who specializes in encrypting and decrypting sensitive information—during the war period: Wilmington native Charles Jastrow Mendelsohn. The entirety of his year-long military term was spent stateside at posts in Washington D.C. and New York City where Mendelsohn led at team tasked with decrypting intercepted German diplomatic correspondence. Read more here about how a professor of ancient languages at the City College of New York helped the U.S. read the enemy's mail during WWI.

National WWI Museum event looks at Great War's resistance and impact

Dora Maendal of Fairholme (Man.) Hutterite Colony

While many events have honored heroism and sacrifice during World War I, a different kind of conference gathered in an unlikely place to pay tribute to those who opposed the Great War a century ago. “Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War I Through Today” took place Oct. 19-22 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Museum president and CEO Matthew Naylor said the work of interpreting the First World War and its impact isn’t just to glorify heroism and sacrifice but to reveal the catastrophe of spilled blood. Historic peace churches were well-represented at the conference, which included 70 academic paper presentations and was attended by about 250 participants. Read more about the proceedings of this important event here.

The world forgot a 402-foot-long painting. Here's what happened when it was found.

Pantheon de la Guerre

Shortly after World War I broke out in 1914, two French artists could already predict that the conflict would take place on a scale unlike anything ever seen, so would demand a tribute on an equally unprecedented scale. More than 100 French artists — mostly older men who were not able to fight themselves — worked on Panthéon de la Guerre, the painting measuring a whopping 402 feet around and 45 feet tall. Depicting some 6,000 heroes of the Allied war effort, it was billed as the world's largest painting, and toured the world. But it wound up by 1940 sitting in a crate outside a Baltimore warehouse, wet, forgotten, and forlorn. Read more here about how the monumental work was rescued, refurbished, and found a permanent, dry home at the National World War I Museum.

Website Features -- the Official Bulletin

Official Bulletin

From 1917 to 1919, the Official Bulletin released daily reports on the war from the Committee on Public Information. The Committee on Public Information -- also known as the CPI -- was established by President Woodrow Wilson in order to engender positive national support for the war. The CPI was responsible for movies, posters, the Official Bulletin, cards, buttons, cartoons and more. Legendary Public Relations man George Creel was the Chairman of the CPI. Creel ensured that only the best news was broadcast and transferred across every medium. The goal of the CPI was to make sure that every American was absorbing the propaganda and pushing national favor towards the war effort.  Every day except Sunday, the World War One Centennial Commission web site re-publishes the Official Bulletin on the centennial of that issue's original publication date. Check out the Official Bulletin here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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 site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

1st. Division begin the move to the front - still fresh faced and innocent

Episode 43

US troops quietly begin deployment to the western front | @01:15

British troops near mutiny - Mike Shuster | @06:55

Zeppelin L-49 captured intact - War in The Sky | @10:50

Announcing Ceremonial groundbreaking for America’s WWI Memorial in Washington DC -Facebook Live stream coming | @15:30

All about America’s WWI Memorial in DC - Edwin Fountain | @16:15

Junior Master Gardener Poppy Program update - Lisa Whittlesey | @24:10

Speaking WWI - the word is Nark! | @29:35

100C/100M project profile - Borough of Danville, PA - Jamie Shrawder | @31:00

International Caparetto, Kobarid and Karfreit - Commemoration | @36:10

First three American combat casualties - from 16th infantry | @37:35

The Franco-American links - US Centennial Commissioner Seifried | @39 :00 

About Aline Kilmer’s poetry - Peter Molin on WWRITE blog | @39:35

Buzz on Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and selection of the Unknown Soldier | @40:45 

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

fleece vest

Black Full Zip Fleece Vest - $39.95

It's fall! There is a chill in the air. The leaves are turning. The days are getting shorter. The smell of wood fires is wafting around. Yup... It's time to cozy up with this warm fleece vest.

The vest features a Black with white doughboy embroidery. 100% spun polyester, 12.5 Oz. Premium anti-piling fleece. 

It has full zip front with two side seam pockets. Mens’ sizes available S – 2XL.

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

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Henry Zeller

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Henry Zeller


Submitted by: Wanda Zeller Peterson {granddaughter}



Henry Zeller served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known August 28, 1918 to January 27, 1919..

My Grandfather Henry Zeller was in the United States Army, his service number (SN) was: 4 706 169. 

His dates of service: He was inducted at Carson, ND on August 28, 1918 and sent to Camp Lewis, WA. He served in the 166th Depot Brigade to September 6, 1918; Company H, 76th Infantry to discharge on January 27, 1919 at Camp Lewis, WA. He was only in for 5 months. He was a Private First Class.

He was born in the United States of parents who were Germans from Russia. He was very proud of his German Heritage and very proud to have served in the US Army. Decorations and Awards per the National Archives and Records Administration: WWI Victory Medal and WWI Victory Button (Bronze).

Read Henry Zeller's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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October 24, 2017

"To honor our Regiment’s fallen and remember all soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice"

Stephen Clay

On 3 November 1917, Corporal James Gresham, and Privates Thomas Enright and Merle Hay, were killed in action during a German trench raid near the little village of Bathelémont, France. These soldiers -- all members of F Company, 16th Infantry -- were the first three American soldiers killed in combat in World War I. The 16th Infantry Regiment Association will honor Gresham with the dedication of a plaque at his mother’s home in Evansville, Indiana, at 10:00 am, on 3 November 2017.  We spoke to the Association's President, Steven E. Clay, about about the First Three and the remembrance of all the 16th Infantry's soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"Involve the young generations to perpetuate the French-American legacy" 


Earlier this month, the city of Versailles France rededicated a pair of major memorial statues in their city -- one to WWI American General John Pershing, and the other to American Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de La Fayette. These statues were conceived and started after the close of World War I, as a thank-you and remembrance of the fraternity between the U.S. and France. However, the peace after World War I was imperfect, and the permanent statues were not completed -- until this month. Our Commissioner Monique Seefried attended the re-dedication ceremony at Versailles, and she talked to us from France about the event, the statues, and what they mean.

"The relief and story that I’ve created are a visual poetry of World War 1"

Memorial relief detail

Sculptor Sabin Howard has published an absorbing meditation on art, his own art, and the evolution of the design for the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC. Through a series of personal vignettes, Howard details the intertwining of classical and historical themes and technology from which the Memorial bas-relief sculpture is emerging. Read all about Howard's personal journey toward "creating a sacred art of re-humanization" as he "left behind that realm of esoteric creation and moved into the realm of artistic creation that is in service of many."

U.S. Marshals during World War I: Protection of the Home Front from enemy aliens, spies, saboteurs, and slackers

U.S. Marshal badge

When President Woodrow Wilson issued the declaration of war against Germany April 6, 1917, he told the American people that "the supreme test of the nation has come. We must all speak, act, and serve together." While American troops fought in the trenches of Europe, United States Marshals protected the home front against enemy aliens, spies, saboteurs, and slackers. Read more about the responsibilities and activities of U.S. Marshals during World War I here.

Fake News and fervent nationalism got a Senator tarred as a traitor during WWI

Robert "Fightin' Bob" La Follette

Robert "Fightin' Bob" La Follette was one of the most hated men in America when he took the U.S. Senate floor on October 6, 1917. Vicious caricatures depicted the Wisconsin senator receiving the German Iron Cross medal and holding a German spiked helmet. Theodore Roosevelt, La Follette’s old rival in the Progressive movement, called La Follette “the most sinister foe of democracy in this country” and told an audience that he wished “we could make him a gift to the Kaiser for use in his Reichstag.” His transgression? Opposing the United States’ entry into World War I. Read the entire La Follette story here.

Tarred and feathered: The tragic plight of Germans in America during World War I

German-American Farmer John Meints

As Europe was ravaged by fighting in World War I, German immigrants in the US suffered harassment, internment, lynchings - and even the humiliation of being tarred and feathered. Although a little-remembered part of history today, America was completely wracked by the fear and paranoia that swept from coast to coast during the Great War. The United States declared war on Germany in April 1917 and helped lead the Allies to victory. But before victory came, many Americans were terrified of the potential home-grown German threat .A fascinating collection of photos have resurfaced showing the hardships faced by German-Americans at the brutal height of the First World War. Read the entire Daily Mail article about the plight of Germans in the U.S.

Website Features -- WWI Video Library

Video Library


Do you like learning about World War I in new and exciting ways? If you said yes, then it’s time to check out! The Video Library on the World War One Centennial Commission Website is a collection of videos created by the Commission and produced by other organizations.  The videos vary in length but all of the videos provide interesting facts and figures about the Great War. Many of the videos provide information about the Commission and the forthcoming World War I Memorial in Pershing Park. Other videos serve as educational tools that trace the events during and people of World War I.   One of the videos to check out is a commemorative ceremony in Kansas City from April 2017. The moving ceremony uses music, anecdotes, and narrations to show how the Great War sparked “The American Century.”  Another video to explore is a presentation called the “Impact on the Nursing Profession.” In this video, several Army Medical Historians discuss the how World War I generated an incredible growth in the number of nurses. This video even includes some incredible World War I photography!   There are many different videos to watch in the Video Library. Visit to discover and learn about World War I today.  

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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 site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Those magnificent men and their flying machines

Episode 42

Trading With The Enemy Act |@01:15

Mata Hari is executes - Mike Shuster |@06:10

Little companies big ideas - War in the Sky |@09:50

Gilder Lehrman Institute program - Tim Bailey |@14:30

Speaking WWI: “Short Hairs” |@ 21:20

100 Cities / 100 Memorials genesis and future - Ken Clarke |@22:40

100 Cities / 100 Memorials profile - Memorial to US Air Service - Michael O’neal and Robert Kasprzak |@30:35

Kiwis Commemorate Passchendaele |@37:00

Michigan sign WWI Centennial Commission into law |@39:00

Madame Curie in WWI |@39:40

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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Are war wives war poets, too? 

Can we consider those women who write about the contortions on domestic life and feminine sensibility wrought by war as veteran writers?

Author, veteran, and teacher, Peter Molin, explores the question this week in a post about poet Aline Murray Kilmer, wife of well-known American WWI poet, Joyce Kilmer, who was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. 

Throughout Joyce's deployment and then after his death, the words of Aline's poetry, in ambiguous ways, convey the urgency and nuance of a war wife's uncertainty as she finds her tranquility and self-worth vexingly dependent on her husband, even in his permanent absence. 

Don't miss this rich, insightful post about the often-overlooked and, yes, war poet, Aline Kilmer!

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Liberty Bond Poster

“Liberty Bond Poster"  Buying it is your DUTY! $12.50

100 years ago this month, the Wilson Administration was in the midst of their second Liberty Bond Drive. 

By this week, a century ago, they had sold over $2 Billion of bonds - by convincing Americans that it was their DUTY to support the war effort through buying Liberty Bonds.

Well, we want to convince YOU that it is YOUR duty to support the commemoration of WWI by buying this liberty bond theme poster.

We don't need $2 billion - but we do need your help which you can do by buying really cool Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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George Goody 

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

George Goody


Submitted by: Jack Sherman {grandson}



George Goody served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1910-1920. 

My grandfather joined the Army at 16 to avoid working in the woods of Maine. His father signed his papers but couldn't read and write English so was rather angry when he figured out what was happening.

George left Maine and ended up in troop I 6th Cav on the Texas Mexico border during the punitive expedition. Since he didn't read or write English he was never promoted in 6 years of service.

When we declared war on Germany and the Army needed French speakers grandpa George became a genius overnight since he could read, write and speak French just fine.

Read George Goody's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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October 17, 2017


United States Mint reveals designs for WWI Centennial Military Silver Medals 

The United States Mint has revealed the designs for the five World War I Centennial Silver Medals being issued by the Mint in conjunction with the Congressionally-authorized 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. This five-medal program features designs that pay homage to each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces active during World War I. Check out all the designs, and find out more about the Medals program here.

"People wanted to put the atrocity of the war behind them and get on with their lives." 

Rex Passion

Just over one hundred years ago, a young art student in Philadelphia named Edward Shenton joined the National Guard. Before going to training camp, he stocked up on art supplies, including many canvas-bound sketchbooks. He kept a sketchbok with him every day for the next two years, and drew in them constantly: in training camps, in combat in France, and after the Armistice. When Shenton returned home, he hoped to publish his stories and drawings, but sadly, he found that people only wanted to forget the war. Shenton put his sketchbooks away, and went on to become one of the nation's premier book and magazine illustrators from the 1920s through the 40s. He passed away in 1977 after a fifty-year-long career, and only then did his son find the drawings. Editor/historian Rex Passion has brought Edward Shenton’s Lost Sketchbooks back into light with a book and and a new section of the World War One Centennial Commission's web site. Read more about the amazing legacy of a remarkable artist here.

"The trick is to get all that information to stick in your head and then make it into a nice design."


Utah sculptor LeRoy Transfield had two uncles who served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Native Contingent during World War I, so he had a real personal connection to the conflict when he put together his design proposal for the 2018 World War I American Veterans Centennial silver dollar. He'd never sculpted a coin before, "but in the end, I came up with something I was really happy with. When I sent it off, I didn’t know if it was going to do well or not, but at least it was something I could put my name on." He did pretty well: Transfield's design was selected by the U.S. Mint for the 2018 coin that will help fund the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. Click here to read more about Transfield's creative process, and how he came up with the winning design.

100 Cities / 100 Memorials Awards Story Goes National

100 Cities 150

Associated Press reported Jennifer McDermott from Rhode Island penned a great article called: "World War I's Neglected Monuments Getting Spruced Up" in which she profiles several of the Round#1 awardee projects.

The article was picked up nationally by a number of metro papers including the LA Times as well as various local publications.

You can read the article and see the pictures on the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials blog.

Texas groups launch "100 Years/100 Schools" Veterans Day Initiative for 2017

Texas Commission

Texas has a great new Veterans Day 2017 initiative, "100 Years/100 Schools", that is being co-sponsored by the Texas World War I Centennial Commission, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Texas State Historical Association. "100 Years/100 Schools" aims to connect Texas schools who typically have some kind of annual Veterans Day ceremony. By linking these events together, the sponsors will help them to tell the story of Texas and Texans in the Great War to school students. Over 190,000 Texans served, and 5,171 of them gave their lives during the war. Read more about the big Texas "100 Years/100 Schools" initiative here.

Locations, dates announced for new Gilder Lehrman Education Program

Education program logos

Last month, we announced our participation in “Teaching Literacy Through History”, a great new professional education program presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading American history organization dedicated to K-12 education. The American Legion and the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission have partnered with Gilder Lehman for a special “Teaching Literacy Through History” program focused on World War I. The World War I program has been slated to take place in six cities across the country by the end of the current academic year. This week, those six locations/date are officially announced. Click here to find out when, where, and how teachers can get this WWI training.

Marie Curie and her X-ray vehicles’ contribution to WWI battlefield medicine

Marie Curie mug

Ask people to name the most famous historical woman of science and their answer will likely be: Madame Marie Curie. Push further and ask what she did, and they might say it was something related to radioactivity. (She actually discovered the radioisotopes radium and polonium.) Some might also know that she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. (She actually won two.) But few will know she was also a major hero of World War I. In fact, a visitor to her Paris laboratory in October of 1917 – 100 years ago this month – would not have found either her or her radium on the premises. Her radium was in hiding and she was at war. Curie decided to redirect her scientific skills toward the war effort; not to make weapons, but to save lives. Click here to read more about how Curie started an emergency medical revolution that is still saving the lives of both soldiers and civilians even today.

Wisconsin WWI Symposium features top scholars including Sir Hew Strachan


The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is hosting “World War 100: A Centennial Symposium” on October 27-28 in Madison. The event is in partnership with the Wisconsin World War I Centennial Commission, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the War in Society and Culture Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation. The symposium is open to the public and will honor the centennial observance of World War I, bringing national and international scholars together to examine the Great War and its legacy. To get more information, we connected with one of the hosts for the event, Michael Telzrow, who is Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, which is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

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 site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn or on Amazon Echo - Ask: "Alexa, play W W 1 Centennial News Podcast"

Girls collecting peach pits used in gas mask production

Episode #41

America’s youth goes to war |@01:20

Russia stalls - Germany attacks -Mike Shuster |@08:05

Building the DH-4 bomber |@11:30

WW1 Commemoration flags for Veterans Day |@14:50

DHS and WW1 - Allison Finkelstein and Zack Wilske |@15:40

“World War 100” and “1917: America Joins The Fight” symposia |@23:05

Speaking WW1 - Cushie! |@25:15

100C/100M in Trafford, PA - Andrew Capets |@26:35 goes live |@31:55

The Lost Sketchbooks - Rex Passion |@32:45

Roll of Honor Foundation - Jerry Michaud |@39:15

WWrite Blog: “God Armeth the Patriot” |@45:35

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise Shop

Merchandise shop jpg

If you are interested in WWI and its centennial commemoration, we have a great way for you to demonstrate your interest to others. GO SHOPPING at the Official Merchandise Store of the United States World War One Centennial.

The shop is filled with unique, interesting and even quirky items that you will find nowhere else.

Items range from wearables, to jewelry, to display items, to music, posters, replica items even limited edition cast statuary.

Many items are very affordable like four dollar bumper stickers or window decals...

and some items are a serious purchase - like our unique replica WW1 era bivouac tent for $2268! 

And everything in between! Display your commemoration proudly and honor our veterans doughboys. 

A portion of all proceeds of every piece of merchandise goes to building America's WWI Memorial in Washington DC.

If you have never been to or it's been a while since you visited - CLICK HERE and take a look around the official WWI Centennial Merchandise Shop.

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

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Thomas William Butterbaugh 

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of



Submitted by: Raymond W. Schaffranek



Thomas William Butterbaugh served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known July 22, 1918 - November 11, 1918.

Thomas William Butterbaugh, the first son of William and Mary (Nagle) Butterbaugh (aka Booterbaugh), was born on December 23, 1894, in Mark Hanna, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. He was working in a coal mine at age 15.

At age 22, he was single, living in Lilly, Cambria Co, PA, and working as a coal miner in Cassandra, PA, when he registered for the military service draft on June 5, 1917.

On July 22, 1918, he was inducted into the US Army at South Fork, PA, and sent to Camp Lee, VA, for training. He served as a Private with the American Expeditionary Forces from September 8, 1918 to November 11, 1918.

On September 8, 1918, he sailed overseas out of Newport News, VA, as part of the 69th Provisional Company August Replacement Draft on the USS Madawaska, which was originally the German steamship Konig Wilhelm II.

Read Thomas William Butterbaugh's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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