DISPATCH: February 6, 2018

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February 6, 2018

Commission shares U.S. Mint WWI commemorative coin with key partners

Coin in box

A few days ago, the U.S. Mint opened sales for their new collective 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. This new coin was authorized by Congress as a tribute to the American men and women who served during the war. Sales from the coin help support our centennial programs -- so the coin is a tangible way for people across the country to directly participate in America's World War I Centennial. Since that opening sales day, our Centennial Commission has had the honor of sharing this new silver dollar with a few of our commemorative partners, organizations who help veterans and their families every day, and groups who remember and tell the story of America's sacrifice during World War I. Read more about the Commission's WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar organizational gifts here.

New "Ohio in World War I" web site goes live!

Ohio web site logo

Welcome Ohio!  The Ohio World War I Centennial Committee's new website is now officially operational at the URL ww1cc.org/ohio At the new "Ohio  in World War I" web site you will find information and photos that tell the story of Ohio in the Great War, as well as an event calendar, a timeline, and a growing map of the state’s World War One monuments, memorials, and historical sites. Ohio joins a growing number of state sites hosted by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. To see the other states’ sites, click here.

Amy Rohmiller

Amy Rohmiller of the Ohio Committee gave us an interview this week about how the site came to be, and what the Ohio group is doing to commemorate the Centennial--click here to check it out.  And listen to an interview with Amy on the weekly WW1 Centennial News Podcast. We invite you to register for the WW1 Centennial News podcast live show or download here.

The Role of African Americans in WWI

African American Soldiers

Fifty years after the end of the Civil War, the nation’s 9.8 million African Americans held a tenuous place in society. Ninety percent of African Americans lived in the South, most trapped in low-wage occupations, their daily lives shaped by restrictive “Jim Crow” laws and threats of violence. But the start of World War I in the summer of 1914 opened up new opportunities and changed American life and culture forever. “Recognizing the the significance of World War I is essential to developing a full understanding of modern African-American history and the struggle for black freedom,” argues Chad Williams, Associate Professor of African Studies at Brandeis University. Read more about the pivotal effects of WWI on African American history here.

New National Postal Museum Exhibition Celebrates Women’s Service in WWI

Nurse WWI

“In Her Words: Women’s Duty and Service in World War I” opened Feb. 2 at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. The exhibition, open through May 8, offers a glimpse into the lives of four women serving in and alongside the American military during World War I. Through letters, uniforms, ID badges, notebooks and other authentic objects, the exhibition reveals the wartime experiences, personalities and aspirations of two U.S. Army Nurses, a U.S. Navy Yeoman and a YMCA worker. Visitors will learn about and see evidence of the work these women performed and the circumstances in which they served. Read more about this new Smithsonian exhibition here.

St. Lawrence Student receives national, international attention for WWI research

Tanveer Kalo

Tanveer Kalo, a former intern at the World War I Centennial Commission, was previously profiled in the May 16 and August 29 issues of DISPATCH last year, continues to draw attention for his research into Indian Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in WWI. The local Watertown, NY Ledger recently interviewed Tanveer, and discovered that even in small-town New York, there are connections to be found with Indian Americans who served their new nation in the Great War a century ago. Read the entire newspaper interview here.

Frank Luke, Jr.: The Most Valuable Contributing Flying Ace in World War I

Frank Luke Jr.

In World War I, attacking through the air was a brand new form of warfare; it provided for various tactical uses such as reconnaissance, air superiority and close air support of ground troops. During this time period, two bold aviators, Edward V. Rickenbacker and Frank Luke, Jr were pioneers on this new front of technology in the war. While each man made a sacrifice and risked his life in the hopes of making a difference in the war’s outcome, Frank Luke, Jr. was the pilot who made the most valuable contribution to the War effort in World War I due to his personal sacrifice and the mission he carried out during his flying career. Read the entire analysis of  Luke's aviation combat legacy 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.

Base Hospital No. 59, in France where Josephine Heffernan served.

Episode 57

Feb. ‘18 overview - Ed Lengel, Katherine Akey, Theo Mayer | @01:40

War In The Sky 1918 preview - RG Head | @11:20

Fighting in Russia - Mike Shuster | @18:20

Harlem’s Rattlers - Dr. Jeffrey Sammons | @22:40

A Century in the Making - The maquette arrives in DC | @30:00

Speaking WWI - Attaboy! | @35:40

Nurse Josephine Heffernan - Dr. Marjorie DeRosier | @37:30

100C/100M Beaverton Michigan - Ed Rachwitz & Scott Govitz | @43:25

WWI War Tech - Gas Masks | @47:55

Articles & Posts - Dazzle Camo & S.S. Tuscania sinks | @49:45

The Buzz - WWI Social Media - Katherine Akey | @51:55

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Army Medal Set

World War I Commemorative Centennial 2018 Silver Dollar and Army Medal Set 

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: These combination coin and service medal sets will only be available until Feb. 20, 2018

ORDER NOW. $99.95

The COIN design, titled “Soldier’s Charge,” depicts an almost stone-like soldier gripping a rifle. Barbed wire twines in the lower right hand side of the design. Inscriptions include “LIBERTY,” “1918,” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

Army Obverse

The SERVICE MEDAL design depicts a soldier cutting through German barbed wire while a second soldier aims a rifle amid a shattered landscape of broken trees and cratered earth. A shell explodes in the distance.

Army Reverse

The reverse design depicts the United States Army emblem, which was also in use during World War I. Inscriptions include “OVER THERE!,” “CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I,” “2018,” and “UNITED STATES ARMY.”

These sets are limited to 100,000 units across all five medal product options, and can be ordered only until 3 p.m. ET on February 20, 2018, unless the limit is reached prior to that date. Production will be based on the orders received within this window. Fulfillment of these sets will begin in late May 2018.

Produced by the US Mint, the World War I Centennial 2018 Uncirculated Silver Dollar, the Proof Silver Dollar and the 5 service medal combination sets are all available for a limited time directly from the US Mint.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

William Anderson

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

William Anderson


Submitted by: Nathaniel Jenkins, Jr. {grandson}



My grandfather, William Anderson, a South Carolina native, was a real American War Hero. He was a quiet and warm man, a jack-of-all-trades born in the late1800s, and he lived a humble life in Asheville, North Carolina. He was part of an all-black regiment that fought with French soldiers against the Germans during World War I.


When my mother would take me and my sisters to visit him, he would frequently show us his medal that he had tucked away in an old tarnished tin Sucrets box. The medal, shaped like an Iron Cross backed by crossed swords, was marred with time; and it had an aged green and red ribbon attached. My grandfather would beam with pride every time he displayed the medal, but as little kids we didn’t fully understand the significance of his pride. Apparently, he wanted his grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know what he'd done--and to be proud of him. 

Many years later, I discovered that Grandfather Anderson's efforts on the battlefield earned him a coveted French medal, the Croix de Guerre or Cross of War, for bravery in combat action. That's the same honor given Audie Murphy, the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II.

Read William Anderson's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.