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

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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January 16, 2016


Make Way for Democracy! portrays lives of African Americans in World War 1

In an era of federal segregation, many within the African American community felt the call to fight in WWI beneath the claim of “champions of the rights of mankind” rang hollow. Many more approached the war as an opportunity to redefine their citizenship and improve social, political and economic conditions. Created in partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, Make Way for Democracy! portrays the lives of African Americans during the war through a series of rare images, documents and objects. The National World War I Museum and Memorial is one of 50 participating organizations across the country partnering with Google to create exhibitions featuring more than 4,000 items in conjunction with Black History Month.


First New Hampshire presidential primary in 1916 has echoes in events 100 years later

On February 8, 2016 voters in New Hampshire elevated outsider candidates to leading positions in the presidential race, despite objections from some in their party’s establishment. This was not the first time the New Hampshire primary has resulted in a dichotomy between party leaders and party voters; in fact, the design of the primary contest is to empower rank and file party members in the nominating process.
Tired of the shady deals in the smoke-filled hotel rooms of party bosses that had traditionally selected candidates, Progressives at the beginning of the 20th century began adopting the presidential primary as a way to gauge the sentiment of voters rather than political bosses. In 1916, New Hampshire hosted its first presidential primary, the results of which would be echoed eerily exactly 100 years later.
Read the whole story here


Documenting Doughboys will jump start your search for family members who served in WW1

Researching the military service of your family members in World War I can appear to be a daunting challenge at first, but the new Documenting Doughboys series on the Commission web site will get you started, and provide essential tips for navigating the important sources of information available. Check it out here, along with all the other features in the Family Ties section.


U.S. Army “Doughboy” Window Decal
Doughboy DecalFeaturing the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can proudly display this poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by all U.S. soldiers.
Get this and many more interesting commemorative items from the US WWI Commemoration Official Merchandise Shop.




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African American soldiers frm WWI
A new digital exhibition about African Americans during WW1
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February 29, 2016


Honoring Black WWI Veterans on Capitol Hill
In honor of Black History Month, Congressman Charles B. Rangel of New York and several colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus hosted a special Capitol Hill briefing on the contributions Black veterans made during World War I on February 25, 2016. The World War I Centennial Commission participated in the event, which focused on World War I as a transformative moment in Black history with lasting social, economic and political impacts. Get the whole story here..

WW1 coin design competition is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for American artists
The Secretary of the Treasury has been authorized by Congress to issue a coin in 2018 to commemorate the centennial of WW1 and to "honor the over 4 million men and women from the United States who served during World War I." Writer Dorian de Wind of the Huffington Post notes that "In modern history, the U.S. Mint has called upon the American public only a handful of times to submit designs for a coin." Read more about the WW1 coin design competition here.

Telegraph was critical turn in U.S. road to WW1
The Zimmerman telegram’s impact on American public opinion about Germany’s intentions was a significant factor in the United States’ decision to enter the Great War. On March 1, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson revealed the existence of the Zimmerman telegram and its text was published in newspapers across the country. “No other event of the war …so stunned the American people,” said Wilson’s biographer, Arthur Link. Find out more about this remarkable message and how it fell into American hands.


Documenting Doughboys: 1973 fire destroyed many WW1 service records
The new entry in the Documenting Doughboys series on the Commission web site discusses the terrible fire at NPRC in St. Louis that destroyed so many WW1 Army service records. Check it out here, along with all the other features in the Family Ties section.

Over There: America In The Great War
Over There book coverThis book features more than 360 photographs detail the American military experience in World War I on the ground, in the air, and at sea, from recruitment to the Armistice. This is the premier visual history of the United States in the Great War to be published during these centennial years.
  • Doughboys, Devil Dogs, flying aces, doctors and nurses, seamen, and even the German enemy
  • photos of weapons and equipment, uniforms, insignia, and medals
  • Richly informative text and captions by an expert on World War I and battlefield interpretation
This and many other commemorative items are available in the Official Merchandise Store.



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Congressman Charles B. Rangel
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March 14, 2016


Yockelson book tour underway
Historian Mitch Yockelson’s new book, Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army, was released March 1, and the author is now going around the country promoting the book. Yockelson is a member of the Historical Advisory Board for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission.

Video of design team at National Press Club
Watch video of architect Joe Weishaar and Sculptor Sabin Howard, the design team for the new World War I Memorial in Washington D.C., discussing their work, the design competition, and their vision for the memorial. Later, Weishaar and Howard led an orientation tour of the Pershing Park memorial site. Click here to help build the Memorial.
Pancho Villa Raid Centennial observed
Photo by Jeff LowdermilkEvents in Columbus, NM on March 9 and March 12 commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Pancho Villa raid, and celebrated friendship across the border today, with participation by the families of both General John Pershing and General George Patton. Check out what happened.
You are invited to join the Weekly Sync-Call
This is a weekly, informal call held at 12 pm EST on Wednesdays for WW1 Centennial Commissioners, volunteers, partners, historians and enthusiasts who want to hear about the latest centennial news from the Commission and from around the country. The call usually runs about 30 minutes.

We recently changed to a new format that allows for larger audiences so you are invited.
Join us online, by Smartphone App or by phone:
1. To register click or go to:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5210680534968521731

2. If you have already registered, use your reminder email, click or go to:
https://global.gotowebinar.com/join/151002603

3. To join using a smartphone or tablet get the apps at
GoToWebinar for iPhone/iPad
GoToWebinar for Android

3. To call in and just listen, please dial:
+1 (631) 992-3221 and enter access code: 553-644-444#
Access the archive on-demand
The Sync-Calls are recorded. The audio and the minutes will be posted online afterwards for your on-demand access. Click on:
Weekly Sync-call Minutes & Archive



Reenactors Delight: World War One Centennial Limited Edition 1917 U.S. Army Trench BootsWWI Trench Boots
You can own and wear a part of history with these standard issue U.S. Army trench boots. Available exclusively through the United States World War One Centennial Commission, this limited edition 1917 Field Service Shoe is Made in the USA as it was one hundred years ago. These “trench boots” as they are commonly referred to, where designed based on function and reliability.
In 1916, the U.S. Army was watching the situation in Europe and modified an existing boot to use a shoe last designed by Lt. Col. Munson, M.D. The new last allowed for a closer fit to the foot and fewer injuries for the troops. Millions of pairs of the 1917 Field Service Shoe were produced, and remained the only approved design by the U.S. Army until the 1960’s. Each pair is authentically handmade to order, in the style and tradition of the great makers of the twentieth century. Made on milspec Munson lasts. Uppers are stuffed harness leather.
Available in sizes 5 to 15 in D width. Please allow up to 12 weeks for delivery due to stocking availability. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will help fund the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This and many other commemorative items are available in the Official Merchandise Store.




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March 21, 2016


Blue Devils, March Madness, and World War One
When Duke University held off a furious rally by Yale to claim a 71-64 victory on March 19, the Blue Devils advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time in school history. But 100 years ago in World War One, another group of "devils dressed in blue" were the inspiration for the school's mascot.

Lafayette Escadrille Memorial rededication April 20
The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Paris will be rededicated in a head-of-state ceremony on April 20th, 2016. The ceremony will cap a decade-long joint France/United States renovation project. Built in 1928, the monument commemorates not only the original 38 members of the squadron, but also the 200 or so who succeeded them as volunteers in various French squadrons. Read more about the trans-Atlantic project to renovate the Memorial.

Website Feature: All Social Media In One View!
The WW1CC.org website has an interesting feature that allows you monitor the Commission's entire Social Media Communications, all on one page. Bookmark this page to see the social conversation evolve. You can click on any posting for details; share and post to your own timeline or re-tweet with the little buttons at the bottom right of each panel; use the channel buttons at the top of the page to filter down to just Facebook, or Twitter, etc...
Take a look by clicking here.


“They flew on a wing and a prayer, because they flew without parachutes." Metal Sign
Marine Devil Dog StatueThis 8” x 12” embossed sign depicts historical images of fighter planes, limited in safety equipment, during World War One. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item goes to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.
This an many other commemorative items are available in the Official Merchandise Shop.




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Spotlight on March Madness and WWI -- Chasseurs Alpins with their distinctive blue berets in 1916.
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