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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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Dispatch header 800 - 061217

July 5, 2017

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and World War I

Baseball snip

The 4th of July means friends, family, fireworks, firing up the grill and, if you're like millions of Americans, baseball. Americans celebrated Independence Day with the "Star-Spangled Banner" ringing from the loudspeakers at Major and Minor League ballparks across the nation, or from radio and TV speakers at home. A fine article from the Associated Press this week recalled why the National Anthem became part of sports events in the first place: it happened due to World War I. Elsewhere this year, baseball games in the International League have provided great WWI learning opportunities for fans. Check out the results of those games, and where WWI history will go come to the plate in baseball stadiums during the rest of this season.

President Trump to attend Bastille Day Parade in Paris honoring WWI the U.S. soldiers arriving in France 100 years ago


Colors July 4, 1917 Paris

U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to attend France’s Bastille day celebrations as the two men put aside differences to pay tribute to the U.S. soldiers who fought in France 100 years ago. Trump will attend the traditional July 14 military parade where American troops will march alongside French soldiers to commemorate the centenary of the U.S. entry into World War I, the offices of both leaders said. Read more about the President's homage to America's WWI soldiers here.

"The episodes of the war speak for themselves in all their tragedy, triumph, irony, and absurdity."

Gene Fax

Author Gene Fax spent seventeen years combing archives in Washington, Baltimore, Paris, West Point, and Carlisle, Pennsylvania. to research the story of the U.S. 73rd Division in World War I. He specifically wanted to learn about their pivotal role during the Battle for Mountfaucon -- one of the most bloody and fiercely contested battles of the entire war. Part of his drive to learn this story was the fact that Gene Fax's grandfather, Corporal Oscar Lubchansky, served in that division, in that battle, as a member of the division's 313th Infantry Regiment. WW1CC's Paul Burgholzer heard about Gene Fax's remarkable book, and reached out to the author to hear more.

U.S. Embassy in France hosts “Lafayette, we are here!” 4th of July celebration

Signage at U.S. Embassy France

On June 29, the U.S Embassy in France hosted an early Fourth of July celebration at the Residence of the U.S Ambassador to France. The day was marked by these famous words: “Lafayette, we are here!” In celebration of the Franco-American friendship, the event commemorated America’s 241st birthday and its centennial entry into World War I. The celebration events started with a World War I-themed garden party, and also included a period vehicle display at Rue du Eaubourg Saint Honoré, and a ceremony in front of General Marquis de Lafayette’s tomb in Picpus Cemetery, the following day. As French visitors took pictures in front of the famous Uncle Sam poster at the U.S Official Residence, it was clear that the two nations shared something further: common gratitude and friendship. Read more about the event here.

WW1 Centennial News Podcast

Podcast logo

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

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn. 

Highlight of Episode #26 include:

  • Feature: The Red Cross we know today | @01:45
  • Guest: Mike Shuster - The anti-war resistance “over there” | @11:00
  • War In The Sky: Louis Bennet | @15:30
  • Guests: Richard Rubin & Jonathan Bratten - General Robert Nivelle | @19:00
  • Feature: Keith Colley’s Mobile WW1 Museum | @26:15
  • Guest: Jerry Meyer bringing back Chautauqua | @27 :45
  • International: Many events in France last week | @33:00
  • Introduction: Harley Davidson in WWI - Part1 | @35:00

And much more…


"Wwrite Blog" Exploring WWI’s Influence on Contemporary Writing and Scholarship.

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Ernst Junger: The Modern War Story by Elliot Ackerman

This week, in an interesting flip on convention, the  WWrite post steps out of the current narrative in war literature to exploreour culture's allure not to peace, but to violence. 

Rather than glorifying war, recent memoirs and books have concentrated on its debilitating and destructive effect on the returning soldier. 

In this post, award-winning veteran writer Elliot Ackerman gives us his take on Ernst Jünger's seminal war memoir, Storm of Steel, and the ways in which it assigns a redeeming quality to combat violence.

Don't miss this most interesting post.

Features from State & partner web sites

Georgia original Doughboy


To honor those who served and commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice

With its 1921 Georgia State Memorial Book, Georgia became the first state to publish an official memorial book to those who died in World War I. But under the racial practices of the time, the book contained only the names of white personnel. Through the diligent research of retired state librarian Dr. Lamar Veatch, who works as an associate with the GWWICC, the names of hundreds of soldiers of African American, Native American, and other descent have been identified and added to the expanded version housed on the GWWICC website. As a result of this significant effort, today the names of some 1,300 Georgians are on the rolls as part of the national centennial program to find and record all such tributes to Americans who fought and died in World War I.

That same website also includes an online inventory, with photographs, of the war memorials and plaques located throughout the state — there is one in virtually every county seat. Some are elaborate; others are simple. Some have separate listings for “white” and “colored,” while others omit African Americans altogether. The GWWICC website will become a lasting legacy of these efforts as a part of the National Archives collection on the WWI Centennial.

Read all of Georgia World War I Centennial Commission guest contributor Tom Jackson's  looks at the many memorials to WWI soldiers in the Peach State here.

Machine Gun


A War by Invention

Commonly referred to at the time as the "War to End All Wars," World War I was in fact not a "last" but a "first." Innovations in technology, tactics, and equipment ushered in a new era of warfare that defined how wars were fought for the next one hundred years.

While most people associate World War I with the start of trench warfare, it was by no means a new strategy or idea. Employed at great lengths during the American Civil War, trench warfare was a siege tactic that had been around for centuries. So what then was "new" about World War I and how did it shape warfare in the 20th Century?

Read all of the article by Kevin Hampton, Curator of History, Wisconsin Veterans Museum, looking at the technology innovations (good and bad) spawned by WWI.

Official Commemoration Merchandise

Poppy Pack

Raise money for your organization,
While helping us build America's WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC.

The WW1 Centennial Commission has created “WW1 Poppy kits”. You receive one kit with each $64.99 contribution. Each kit neatly packages 60 poppy seed packets that you can distribute or use to raise money for your organization. 
The cost of the kits allows you to double your money or more. 

This is a terrific fund-raiser for veteran service organizations, state WW1 centennial organizations, 100 Cities / 100 Memorials projects, or even scout troops, school and churches.

FREE SHIPPING  with no extra shipping or handling fee. 

These kits and many other commemorative items can be found at the Official WW1 Commission merchandise shop.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

 William J. "Bill" Murphy

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

William J. "Bill" Murphy




Submitted by: T. J. Cullinane

William J. "Bill" Murphy served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known June 14, 1918 - July 3, 1919.

By all accounts, William Joseph “Bill” Murphy was a good and kind man and an excellent soldier. Hailing from Lynn, Massachusetts, the small-statured Irishman was employed as a leather sorter in the shoe industry. He enlisted in the United States Army at age 26 on June 14, 1918 and received the serial number 2795649.

After completing basic training, Bill was assigned as a cook with the 4th Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop and shipped to France. With supply lines stretching across the U-boat infested North Atlantic, it was imperative for the Army to have the ability to repair broken weapons and artillery pieces in France and return these essential tools to the front line as fast as possible. This was the mission of Bill’s unit.

The 4th Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop (M.O.R.S) was divided into two sections, the equipment section and the machinery section. The equipment section, with three repair trucks and two supply trucks, focused their efforts on repairing small arms; mainly machine guns, rifles and pistols. The machinery section, with three artillery repair trucks and three supply trucks, repaired mortars, field guns and howitzers. Keeping this hardworking team fed was Bill’s job.

Read William J. "Bill" Murphy's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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Dispatch header 800 - 061217

June 27, 2017

Centennial of U.S. forces arrival in France marked by ceremonies, trans-Atlantic race

The Bridge

The first U.S. ground combat troops in World  War I arrived in France on June 26, 1917. A century later, ceremonies and activities marking the historic occasion took place in St. Nazaire, where the initial shiploads of U.S. Army units came ashore, and Brest, center of U.S. naval activity in the conflict. But the centennial of U.S. forces getting "over there" in 1917 is also being observed by a flotilla of ships racing "over here" from France to the United States.

Chillicothe, Ohio will commemorate centennial with Camp Sherman Days


Camp Sherman Days

Just north of Chillicothe, Ohio, Camp Sherman lies nestled on the banks of US-23, once the largest WWI training camp in the nation. Now a National Guard training facility, it will be part of a nine-day celebration (July 1-9) in honor of the former Army training center, and the contributions made by all those who served in the Great War. Check out the schedule of commemorative events and activities here.

Draft enabled U.S. to train, deploy 4+ million military members by 1918

DRaft Registration

When the United States entered the First World War in April 1917, the U.S. Army tallied 128,000 officers and men, along with 182,535 mobilized National Guardsmen. These numbers were insignificant compared to the millions of men who were locked in a titanic death struggle in Europe. Unwilling to play a secondary role in the conflict now joined, the U.S.  would have to train and equip armed forces numbering four million by the end of 1918 – a massive undertaking which would require months of feverish effort, including the construction of a whole network of training camps and, most importantly, bringing back the Draft. Read how the 1917 Selective Service Act, requiring all men ages 21-30 to register for military service, changed everything.

Symposium to recall plight of American Conscientious Objectors in Great War


A group of  Quakers, Mennonites, Hutterites, Bruderhof, Peace History Society scholars, and others has planned a symposium to explore the stories of the American Conscientious Objectors who resisted and dissented out of conscience in WWI. The conference takes place in October 2017 at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO. Read the whole story about "Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance, and Civil Liberties in World War I through Today."

Official Commemoration Merchandise

Victory Pin

U.S. Victory lapel pin: $4.95

Always popular, inexpensive and a great WW1 commemoration accessory to wear, share and give.

Proudly wearing the WWI U.S. Victory lapel pin is a meaningful way to honor the contributions made for our country one hundred years ago. 

Soldiers received Victory buttons upon their discharge from service in “the Great War”. 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 Centennial Commemorative items are available in our Official Merchandise Shop. Visit, browse and buy. A portion of your purchase goes to the WW1 Commemoration Programs.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Virginia Stoddert Moore


From the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

Virginia Stoddert Moore

Submitted by: April Stoddert Martinez {granddaughter}

Virginia Stoddert Moore served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The dates of service are: Known 6/12/1918 to 4/17/1919.


My grandmother, Virginia Stoddert Moore, of Chicago, Ill, b. April 24, 1896, d. March 8, 1982, Service No. 145-64-22, volunteered to join the U S Navy and enlisted on June 12, 1918, at Great Lakes, IL, as a Yeoman First Class.

She was called to active duty, to "volunteer for general service and agree to any assignment to duty on the high seas or to service in any foreign country." Capt Moffett, then Commander of the base there, is recorded as saying she was the "first" there.

Virginia stated she felt like she was the first because of her status as a volunteer, when the first and subsequent women had been 'taken in', or 'conscripted' as secretaries. History records otherwise, I'm afraid. 

Read Virginia Stoddert Moore's entire Story of Service.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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the united states world war one centennial commission

June 20, 2017

100 Cities / 100 Memorials submission deadline extended to Monday, July 10

Doughboy bronze vertical

The 100 Cities/100 Memorials matching grant program has extended the submission deadline. The program will now accept preservation project submissions until July 10th, 2017. "The deadline was extended for a simple reason”, Kenneth Clarke, President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library explained.  "We are in touch with a number of people who needed just a little more time to get their packages in. We don't want to tell them 'No.' Those projects are absolutely important to us." Read more about the new deadline and how it affects teams that just missed the deadline. 

The real story about the World War I chemical weapons in 'Wonder Woman'

Wonder Woman

Chemical warfare plays a key role in the "Wonder Woman" movie currently in theaters. Writer David Hambling in Popular Mechanics says that "while DC Comics may not be the obvious source to look for factual accuracy about military history, the movie's take on toxic weapons is more realistic than the usual Unobtainium-powered McGuffin you'd find in a superhero movie." To read more about Wonder Woman's portrayal of World War I history and poison gas, and whether the villain's super weapon really could have been true, check out Hambling's entire analysis here.

Sabin Howard puts focus on new national WWI Memorial during arts panel in NYC

Sabin Howard

Sabin Howard, sculptor for America's new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, was a member of a lively arts discussion last week, at the Paul Booth Gallery in midtown Manhattan, New York City. He was invited to provide his insights on the World War I Memorial project on a panel entitled "Heroic and Public Art." The event was attended by an enthusiast crowd of artists and arts supporters, and Howard was pleased with the response from the attendees. Read more about the Public Art panel discussion in New York here.

BYU's World War I Document Archive is a national resource for historical research

Richard Hacken

One of America's most comprehensive university archives on World War I is at Brigham Young University. Richard Hacken is the European Studies Librarian at the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. He was kind enough to answer some questions for us about his work developing their World War I Document Archive. His answers show how he feels about this important work, and how important the contributions from relatives of WWI soldiers are to the expansive and ever-growing archive. Read the interview, and find out more about the document archive. 

Army aviator hero is honored with Distinguished Flying Cross 99 years later

James Miller

Capt. James E. Miller, one of the first aviators in the U.S. military and the first U.S. aviation casualty in World War I, has been named recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross more than 99 years after his heroic actions over France in 1918. On the 242nd birthday of the U.S. Army, during a twilight tattoo ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Acting Secretary of the Army Robert M. Speer presented the Distinguished Flying Cross to Miller's great-grandson, Byron Derringer. Read about Miller's heroic World War I service and the award ceremony here. 

WWI Ghost Fleet in Mallows Bay is largest shipwrecked fleet in Hemisphere

Mallows Bay

Forty miles south of Washington, DC, off of Maryland’s Charles County shoreline near a little town named Nanjemoy, the weather- and water-beaten remains of more than two hundred ships lie in their final resting places in the shallow waters of the Potomac River’s Mallows Bay. “Mallows Bay is the richest marine heritage site in the United States,” according to Samuel Orlando, Chesapeake Bay Regional Coordinator at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) office of National Maritime Sanctuaries. “In addition to being reflective of America’s emergence as a naval superpower during World War I, the Ghost Fleet provides the structure for a unique marine ecosystem.” Read how the industrial complex and economy that grew out of World War I led to the fleet’s demise. 

Golfer Bobby Jones, the Red Cross, and the 1917 U.S. Open that didn't happen

Bobby Jones

One-hundred years ago this week, the 1917 US Open was cancelled due to the recent American involvement in the First World War. Even though he wasn’t playing in the Open, Bobby Jones made some of his most important contributions to the war effort and to the game of golf. Through the two years spent touring, Jones earned $150,000, all of which he donated to the war effort. Read more about how Jones put the war effort number one here.

"Wwrite Blog" new post

Wwrite Blog Logo

In our WWRITE blog, this week's post is: "Echoes of Sassoon: A Conversation with Matti Friedman". 

The post is written by Brian Castner, co-editor of "The Road Ahead"  author of All the Ways We Kill and Die and The Long Walk. 

In this post, Castner interviews award-winning author and journalist, Matti Friedman, who is both Israeli and Canadian. He wrote and they discuss his  memoir, Pumpkinflowers.

As Friedman and Castner point out, more Canadian soldiers died in the Great War than in any other conflict, and its influence can be felt throughout Pumpkinflowers.  

This puts Friedman at odds with many contemporary American veteran-authors, who often reach to other conflicts for comparison when writing about their wars. —Vietnam for Iraq, and Korea for Afghanistan, 

Don't miss this fascinating post about how and why WWI would color a Canadian’s view of a very different war in Middle East 

WW1 Centennial News Podcast

Podcast logo

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


Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Highlight this week include:

100 Year Ago: Flag Day 1917 like no other 
100 Year Ago: First Liberty Bond drive big success
Guest: Mike Shuster - Pershing Arrives in Europe
Guests: Eileen Dumont & Paul Callens on Ralph Talbot
Feature: The Storyteller and The Historian: on the selective service
PTSD Month: Charles Whittlesey’s Suicide
Education: Edu-Newsletter “Animals at War” comes out 
Feature: The Violin of Private Howard
Media: Wonder Woman - Three theories on why it’s set in WW1
Instagram: Pershing Pic hit on social media

And much more….


Features from State & partner web sites

Maine rifles




These Maine men answered the call when the US entered the Great War

On April 6, 1917, the United States entered the Great War. Six days later, a telegram from the War Department arrived at Camp Keyes in Augusta: The 2nd Maine Regiment was ordered into active service.

“I am, in consequence,” the letter from Secretary of War Newton Baker read, “instructed by the President to call into the service of the United States forthwith, through you, the following units of the National Guard of the State of Maine.” President Woodrow Wilson and Congress had exercised their right to mobilize the National Guard in a state of war for the first time since the signing of the National Defense Act of 1916.

The 15 companies of the 2nd Maine began recruiting to wartime strength in towns across the state. On July 5, the companies began to assemble at Camp Keyes in Augusta.

Who were the men who made up this 2,002-man organization?  Find out more about the 2nd Maine here.

Official Commemoration Merchandise

Doughboy statues

Limited Edition Doughboy Statue: $175.00

Inspired by the WWI U.S. Army infantryman, this 12” cold cast bronze collector statue is a tribute to those who fought in The Great War.

Imagine a scene somewhere in France mid- 1918. The U.S. infantryman wears standard issue M1917 khaki drab tunic and breeches, is equipped with M1917 cartridge belt, M1910 canteen, haversack and pack carrier, and the U.S. Springfield M1903 30 .06 caliber rifle. A Colt .45 pistol serves as his sidearm and his helmet and gasmask may be British or U.S. made. All other equipment is U.S. issue, right down to the hobnails on his M1917 “Pershing” trench boots.

These finely sculpted limited edition statues are cast and finished one at a time - no two are truly alike. Extensive research and fine sculpting ensures that the over 200 hours of sculpting time, often spanning over two years, result in a statue that is historically and physically accurate as possible. Each limited edition statue is stamped with individual serial numbers and comes packaged in a high quality color presentation box. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will help fund the America's WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C., commemorating the valor and sacrifices of all U.S. WWI soldiers.  

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

This and many other commemorative items can be found at the Official WW1 Commission merchandise shop.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

John D. Guthrie

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

John D. Guthrie

Submitted by: John Robertson

John D. Guthrie served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known July 12, 1917-July 29, 1919.


Prior to volunteering, John D. Guthrie was the forestry supervisor of Coconino National Forest. He was commissioned Captain on June 26, 1917, and ordered to active duty as commanding officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 10th Engineers at Camp American University on July 12th. The 10th Engineers was a forestry regiment, and consisted of volunteers from the US Forestry Service and other lumbermen from across the country.

After several months of training at Camp American University, they departed for Europe on the Carpathia on September 10, 1917. The 10th Engineers arrived in Glasgow on October 2nd, and entrained for Southampton. After a night crossing of the Channel on "La Marguerite", the regiment landed in Le Harve, France on October 7th. They entrained again on French "40 and eights" arriving at Nevers, France and establishing camp on October 9th. 

Read John D. Guthrie's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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the united states world war one centennial commission

June 13, 2017

“I hope it is not too late”: How the U.S. decided to send millions of troops to WWI

Pershing arrives

 In June, 1917 the Allies were desperate for reinforcements, but the U.S. wasn’t quite ready to provide them. It had declared war in April 1917 with only a small standing army. U.S. General John J. Pershing arrived in France just four weeks after the Selective Service Act authorized a draft of at least 500,000 men. Though President Woodrow Wilson intended to send troops to France, there was no consensus on how many. Pershing, visited his counterpart, French general Philippe Pétain, with a sobering message on June 16, 1917: the American Expeditionary Force had hardly any troops to deploy. The United States, Pershing told Pétain, wouldn’t have enough soldiers to make a difference in France until spring 1918.

“I hope it is not too late,” the general replied.

Read the entire story of how Pershing dealt with the crisis.

A Fighting Chance for Veterans: how the Catholic Church and Catholic University supported the troops in WWI and after

John Burke

World War I took place at a time when there were few of the official channels of support for our military members and veterans that we have today – there was no Department of Veteran Affairs, there was no GI Bill, there were only a handful of organized Veteran Service Organizations (VSO’s) to advocate for veterans. Benefits and treatments afforded to Great War veterans were limited. However, there was enormous emotional support for the troops. As the United States entered World War I, public support for the military was very high. Catholic Americans, and major Catholic organizations like the Knights of Columbus, joined the support effort and displayed spirited patriotism. Read more about their activities and efforts here.

Why the new Wonder Woman movie had to be set in World War One

Wonder Woman

The comic book character Wonder Woman has always been closely and explicitly associated with World War II. In her 1941 debut in All Star Comics #8, Diana is specifically sent by her mother Queen Hippolyta into Man's World to help Steve Trevor fight the Nazis. With her origin story is so rooted in World War II, when it was announced that the first Wonder Woman feature film would be set against the backdrop of World War I, fans and critics alike had deep concerns. But read how at least one writer thinks that the WWI setting works effectively both for the heroine and the Great War. 

"Getting the concept approval is a very important milestone in the review process" for America's WWI Memorial

Memorial detail 1

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette published an extensive article on the status of the national World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC last week. The hometown newspaper for Memorial architect Joe Weishaar does a  deep dive into the memorial project, the Pershing Park site, and the ongoing review process. Check out the detailed article here for an excellent status report and overview of the progress the Memorial is making.

"World War I was a significant turning point in history, the study of which should be a key component of any course on Western social history."



Around the country, more than half a million middle and high school students have been competing in National History Day (NHD) contests. Students conduct rigorous historical research focused around the 2017 theme, "Taking a Stand in History", and they created projects in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. After competing at local and regional contests, the top projects in each category next advanced to one of 58 affiliate contests held regionally. Finally, the top two projects in each category were invited to the National History Day Contest held this week, June 11-15, 2017 at the University of Maryland in College Park. This year's National History Day Contest was special for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, as we were able to sponsor a special prize for student projects on the theme of World War I. We spoke to Gary Pettit, the NHD Director of Communications, about this year's projects, and about the importance of World War I to the students. 

LOC Veterans History Project launches WWI website companion exhibit

Rifle Replacement

The Veterans History Project (VHP) has launched a web exhibit that complements the Library of Congress’s major exhibition “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I.” The three-part web companion, “Experiencing War,” will help tell the larger story of the war from the perspective of those who served in it. Part I is now available; Part II and Part III will be available in July and September 2017. Drawing from nearly 400 personal narratives from World War I, VHP’s archive is an unparalleled source on the individual experience of the Great War. Read more about this new exhibit at the Library of Congress here.

"Wwrite Blog" new post

Wwrite Blog Logo

This week's post, "More Gentile Than Grim: Letters Home from WWI," comes from author, editor, and award-winning teacher, David Chrisinger.

Chrisinger is the editor of See Me For Who I Am, a collection of essays by veteran students that seeks to undermine three main media-create stereotypes that divide them from the American people they have fought to protect: as superhuman; as broken, disabled, and traumatized; or as dangerous, ticking time bombs. 

In this post, he discusses a WWI project he completed with new student veterans at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point using hundreds of letters written by WWI soldiers from the town where the university is located. Don't miss this post describing their surprising, insightful reactions!

WW1 Centennial News Podcast

Podcast logo

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


Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Highlights of Episode #23 - June 7, 2017

  • Official Bulletin: Ships, planes, wood, film, and phones |@ 03:00
  • Guest: Mike Shuster on the big explosion on the Messine Ridge. |@ 10:00
  • The Storyteller & The Historian: George Cohan’s “Over There” turns 100 |@ 14 :00
  • Events: Virginia WW1 Reenactment Day |@ 20:30
  • Special: PTSD awareness month |@ 21:30
  • Guest - 100C/100M: Dr. Steve Kelly on Brownwood texas Post 196 project |@ 28:00
  • Guest: Roy Steinberg on the play “Billy Bishop Goes To War”|@ 33:30

And much more... 


Features from our State web sites

Ralph Moan





An Unlikely War Poet: A Doughboy from Maine

World War I has been noted for the amount of incredibly evocative war poetry it produced, notably from such soldier-poets as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. However, very few of those well-known poets were American. World War I has been noted for the amount of incredibly evocative war poetry it produced, notably from such soldier-poets as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. However, very few of those well-known poets were American. Joyce Kilmer, who went to war with the New York National Guard’s famed 165th Infantry Regiment, the “Fighting 69th,” was a renowned American poet before he was killed at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. Alan Seeger, uncle of American folk singer Pete Seeger, penned the poem, “I Have a Rendezvous with Death,” which was published posthumously after he was killed in action in 1916 while serving with the French Foreign Legion. The poem was apparently a favorite of President John F. Kennedy. Overall, the number of war poets produced by the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) was small, perhaps because the United States did not enter World War I until 1917. That, however, did not stop Corporal Ralph T. Moan from picking up the pen when he returned home to Maine in 1919.





Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the American Poster

One hundred years ago, Americans were reluctant to get involved in what they viewed as Europe's war When the United States finally entered the war in April 1917, public opinion had to be turned around. The U.S. government mobilized an incredible cadre of artists to create "pictorial publicity" for all aspects of the war effort -- from recruiting to war relief to food and fuel conservation. Artists of the caliber of James Montgomery Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy, Charles Dana Gibson, J. C. Leyendecker, and N.C. Wyeth produced an impressive body of art. Unfortunately, all but a handful of these posters have long since been forgotten.

This exhibition combines artifact holdings from the Atlanta History Center with the magnificent poster collection of Atlanta historian Walton Rawls, whose landmark book Wake Up, America! World War I and the American Poster was published in 2001. The result is a fascinating look at American posters of World War I, both as graphic masterworks and as illustrations of a tragic historical episode. Read more about the exhibition here.


Knox 2


Knox College in the Great War

During World War I patriotic fervor swept through Knox College unabated. Soon after the United States declared war, Knox's faculty and students leapt into the war effort with enthusiasm, expressing support for France and "suffering humanity" and pride in the American military, “responding promptly and generously to the call of the country for men for military service.” Students and alumni both responded to the call, with Knox well represented at "nearly all of the first officers' training camps, the largest delegation being at Fort Sheridan where upwards of 40 men were enrolled." The December 1917 issue of The Knox Alumnus reported that "Knox is somewhat above the average in the number of men in the government service. More than a fourth of the men registered last year are on the honor roll." Read more about Knox College in WWI here.

Official Commemoration Merchandise

Flag At Legion Headquarters

Official 3' X 5' WW1 Doughboy Centennial Flag: $49.95

Surprise you Dad with a Father's Day gift that will also honor those who served.

This WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 3x5'.  This flag has the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it and has 2 brass grommets to hang the flag.    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item are designated for this endeavor. You can show your support, and help promote the efforts, by proudly displaying your custom flag.

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

This and many other commemorative items can be found at the Official WW1 Commission merchandise shop.

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

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George Goody

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

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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the united states world war one centennial commission

June 6, 2017

Rebecca and Charles: A testimony from beyond the Atlantic

Rebecca and Charles

Rebecca Goethe was a schoolgirl in war-ravaged France in 1918. Charles DeVries was a young American who left his studies at Hope College in Michigan, responding to the call for volunteers in the Army with the American Expeditionary Forces. Charles had known Rebecca less than three weeks when he proposed marriage. Their poignant story of war, romance, and a century of history will be in the spotlight when the French village where they met honors the Americans who came to France's rescue in WWI. Read this daughter's tribute to her parents' love and lives a century after the Great War brought them together, and how a French village remembers.

Support America's WW I memorial


Joseph Weishaar, lead designer for America's World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, had an Op-Ed published by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper last week. Weishaar's short but forceful message notes that building the national Memorial in DC "sends a signal to our families, children and grandchildren that courage, honor and sacrifice still mean something. It is a message to our current and future veterans that they will not be forgotten." Read Weishaar's thoughtful Op-Ed here.

World War I-themed Chautauqua event in Seward, Nebraska, on June 12-18

Gerald Meyer

Chautauqua was an adult-education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In those days before film & radio, the Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for a whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America."  A modern version of Chautauqua events are alive and well today -- and there will be a World War I-themed Chautauqua event held in Seward, Nebraska, on June 12th-18th, at the Nebraska National Guard Museum and the city of Seward. There will be speakers, presentations, reenactors, and displays, all talking about the Nebraska Guard, World War I, and present-day. All events are free and open to the public. We caught up with the one of the organizers for the event, Gerald Meyer, to talk to him about what visitors will see there. 

"These pictures bore witness to intense suffering, hope, and sacrifice"

Kelly painting snip

Josef Kelly is a professional artist based in the DC-area. He has recently become inspired by the stories of World War I, and started painting a series of pieces related to many themes found in the war. His work is remarkable, and it has earned him endorsement from the U.S World War I Centennial Commission, as a Commemorative Partner. We spoke with Josef recently about his work, about his inspirations, and about the series he is creating on WWI. 

American "Polonia's Army" fought for a nation that was not on the map in 1917

Polonia ARmy recruiting


In the nation’s great effort in 1917 and 1918 to raise the American Expeditionary Force that eventually grew to some 4.7 million men and some women, the enlistment of 30,000 men to fight for another country which at that time had not been on the map of Europe for some 120 years was overlooked. But the little-known Polish Army in France, principally made up of American volunteers of Polish descent, is a fascinating chapter of the war that deserves to be remembered. Read how the Polish diaspora created the American “Polonia” and how that community rallied to assist the victory that restored the nation of Poland to an independent existence.

"Wwrite Blog" new post

Wwrite Blog Logo

This week's post is: "A Journey of Commemoration: The Great War through the Lens of Art", by Susan Werbe.

Susan is the executive producer of the "The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth", performed in Boston, New York, and Letchworth (UK).

In the post she also discusses the process of weaving voice, dance, theatre, writings, and song cycles to examine the collective memory of war on the individual.

Werbe also talks about her latest project, "Letters You Will Not Get", a libretto, using various genres of women's WWI writing, set to commissioned contemporary music. Read the blog post to learn more about this wonderful showcase of an extraordinary, multidisciplinary project—not to be missed!

100 Cities / 100 Memorials - COUNTDOWN

100 cities 100 memorials

Less than 10 days until the grant Application Submission deadline.

There are less than 10 days to get  grant applications submitted. The grant application deadline is June 15, 2017.

If you have any last minute questions (and many of you have)  please contact us via the program's "submit a question" link.

We will get you answers immediately. Let us know what we can do to help you succeed.

The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials team!

Features from our State web sites

Wisconsin exhibit


The Wisconsin Veterans Museum Oral History Program

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum's (WVM) mission to affirm, commemorate, and acknowledge the achievements and sacrifices of Wisconsin veterans in America's military past.The WVM Oral History Program honors those who served by recording and preserving their stories and experiences. Since 1994, staff members and volunteers have conducted and collected over 2,100 interviews with veterans from around the state. The collection represents all branches and all conflicts and eras since World War I to the present day. The Museum recently opened a new temporary exhibit, WWI Beyond the Trenches: Stories from the Front. Throughout the next two years the museum will be offering programming and events that feature Wisconsin’s contribution to the Great War – in which 122,000 people from Wisconsin served. As part of these efforts, the Oral History Program will showcase the small but exciting collection of World War I oral history interviews. Read more about this remarkable Wisconsin program here.






Samuel Woodfill: The Outstanding Soldier

Praised as “Outstanding” by AEF commander General John Pershing,1 Samuel Woodfill would be resoundingly praised as a hero following his return from Europe after World War I. For his bravery and heroism, he would receive the Medal of Honor as well as numerous other military honors both from the United States and several European nations. Though Woodfill reportedly disliked publicity, Indiana’s war hero would receive no shortage of it as he met with presidents, was given a standing ovation in Congress, and was chosen by General Pershing to represent the Army’s infantry as a pall bearer in the burial of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Renowned for his incredible feats as a soldier and remarkable humility as a hero, the Outstanding Soldier of the First World War is considered to this day to be one of Indiana’s greatest war heroes. Read more about this extraordinary soldier here.




Pvt. Joseph W. Guyton, First American Soldier Killed on German Soil

Joseph Guyton was born on June 10, 1889 in Evart, Michigan, a small town known for its lumber mills back in its day.  Pioneers were just settling the area back in 1866 through homesteading after the Civil War.  He attended a small school house just outside of town.  At age 20 he married his sweetheart Agnes Winona Baker from Lake City, Mi.  Two years later in 1911 they had a daughter named Olive Clara Guyton.  Life at this point was going very well. In 1914 war broke out over in Europe.  America tried to stay neutral but Germany kept violating our neutral status.  On May 7, 1915 German U-boats sunk the sister ship to the Titanic, The Lusitania.  1198 passengers lost their lives including 128 American's.  America was very upset and cries for war emerged across the country.  Finally on April 6, 1917 the United States of America declared war on Germany.  Some men enlisted and others were drafted.  Guyton was drafted. Under military law Guyton could have refused to go since he only had a daughter and no name sake in case he should die.  Guyton was too proud not to go.  He felt it was his duty to go since he was called to war. Read his whole story here.

Navy recruitment poster

“THE NAVY NEEDS YOU!” Poster - $12.50
June 5, 1917 was Draft Registration Day! So on the 100th anniversary of 10,000,000 young men registering for the draft we proudly offer this Vintage replica WWI 14” x 24” poster inspired by the U.S. Navy’s plea to report to the nearest recruiting station.

A patriotic and distinctive way to accessorize your wall space, this commemorative poster is offered exclusively through the World War One Centennial Commission.

Like the poster suggests, you too can help make American history.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item goes towards funding America's World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.


This and many other commemorative items can be found at the Official WW1 Commission merchandise shop.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Lau Sing Kee

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

Lau Sing Kee

Submitted by: Guy Takamatsu

Lau Sing Kee served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 18, 1918 to April 25, 1919.


World War I hero and highest decorated enlisted man from San Jose, CA: Lau Sing Kee (1896 -1967)

This writer learned of Lau Sing Kee on a visit to the Chinese Museum located at History Park, a subsection of Kelley Park in San Jose. His medals are on the display, courtesy on loan of his relatives. He won the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart from the United States and the Croix de Guerre from France. Lau Sing Kee was born in Saratoga, his family moved to San Jose. He died in New York City.

Sgt. Lau Sing Kee is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

He received his medals for staying 3 days straight at a message center. In spite of his position being shelled and gassed, he refused to leave his post. At one point he was by himself for 24 hours.

Read Lau Sing Kee's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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