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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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the united states world war one centennial commission

May 30, 2017

World War I was well-represented across the nation on Memorial Day 2017

Chicago parade

General Pershing would have been proud - our American World War I veterans were well-represented and well-honored this Memorial Day, thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteers across the entire country. The U.S. National WW1 Centennial Events Register on the WW1CC web site showed over 50 Memorial Day Weekend events/exhibits/activities/parades on our Events Calendar, shared by groups and individuals in Arkansas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Ohio, and Florida. The Centennial Events Register is open and interactive, and we welcome the addition of World War I-themed input from all sources. Check out some of the events on Memorial Day that put the spotlight on World War I around the nation.

"It is our job to create a memorial that will bring visitors to the site."

Sabin Howard

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts recently gave approval for the design-concept for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. This vote of support was a huge milestone in the creation of the memorial, and came as great news to the World War I Centennial Commission, and to the Memorial Design Team. Now come the challenge of making the We spoke to the memorial's sculptor, Sabin Howard, about the approval, and what it means for the project. Read what he had to say about the Way Ahead for the Memorial here.

NOAA Corps' century of service to the nation started in WWI


With America’s entry into the World War I, a commissioned service of the Coast & Geodetic Survey (C&GS) was formed on May 22, 1917 to ensure the rapid assimilation of C&GS technical skills for defense purposes. During World War II, officers and civilians of the C&GS produced nautical and aeronautical charts, provided critical geospatial information to artillery units, and conducted reconnaissance surveys. Today, the work of the C&GS—and more—is conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps—one of the seven uniformed services of the United States—are the direct descendants of the C&GS of WWI. David Hall, Public Affairs Officer of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations unit of NOAA, talked with us about the centennial, and the roles and missions of NOAA today.

Doughboy MIA discovery garners national media attention, articles

Laplander mug

This has been a big month for our friend Robert Laplander. He is the leader of a small group of volunteers called Doughboy MIA, a group doing research into the 4,224 missing service members from World War I. They try to bring accounting for those missing, as the U.S. Department of Defense is only able to support MIA research going back to World War II. Laplander had a breakthrough discovery on the case of Seaman Herbert Renshaw, a U.S. Navy sailor who was lost at sea during an anti-submarine combat patrol, off the coast of Virginia on 22 May 1917. In the Renshaw case, the seaman's name was evidently omitted from those MIA's named on the chapel wall at Brookwood Cemetery. The Brookwood chapel is an American Battle Monuments site, in the UK, which bears the names of missing US sailors, soldiers and Coast Guardsmen who died at sea during World War I combat operations. Laplander's success with the case has brought him significant media attention, which may help the Doughboy MIA group's efforts. Robert spoke to us about the efforts, and what this new attention means.

"Official Bulletin" headline placeholder

Wwrite Blog Logo

This Week's WWrite blog Post: University of Kansas Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures Associate Professor, Lorie A. Vanchena, discusses:  WWI American Immigrant Poetry: A Digital Humanities Project, an impressive and original project about WWI American poetry. The poems are written in response to World War I by immigrants in the United States and constitute a broad range of commentary on the war—for, against, and much more.

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100 cities 100 memorials

17 days until the grant Application Submission deadline.

If you have a project planned - don't forget to submit it in time. No late submissions will be accepted. If you have any questions - please contact us via the program's "submit a question" link.

We are here to help!

Features from our State web sites





Rush University Medical Center in WWI

Lee C. Gatewood, MD, (1889-1950) served on the medical staff of Presbyterian Hospital, Rush University Medical Center’s predecessor hospital, and served on the faculty of Rush Medical College. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Gatewood joined Presbyterian Hospital’s Base Hospital No. 13, a unit based in Limoges, France, serving the wounded during the war. Before Unit 13 traveled to France, however, Capt. Gatewood was responsible for training medical officers in several base camps throughout the country. He photographed his experiences at Camp Douglas, WI; Camp Funston, Fort Riley, KS; and Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

In World War I, 104 African American doctors joined the U. S. Army to care for the 40,000 men of the 92nd and 93rd Divisions, the Army's only black combat units, both of which served in France during the war. Gatewood served as an instructor for black medical officers at Fort Des Moines. Read the rest of the story and see the other photos here.




Most highly decorated African American soldier from Indiana in World War I


During the First World War, millions of Americans answered the call to serve the United States with unwavering loyalty to their nation. This number included thousands of African Americans who bravely stepped forward to fight and die for the United States, in spite of the prejudice they so often faced from the country they loved. Despite the uniquely high level of adversity they faced, many black soldiers would see combat on the battlefields of France and would perform their admirably, earning many awards and commendations. Among these decorated soldiers was Aaron Fisher, a young man from Lyles Station in Southern Indiana. Read his inspiring story here.



Eddystone Munitions

The manufacture of artillery ammunition in Eddystone, Pennsylvania during World War I is forever associated with the fatal explosion of April 10, 1917. Numerous articles have been written on this tragedy. Less known are details of the ammunition plant it self and its subsequent role during the war. The Baldwin Locomotive Works created the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation to produce 76.2mm (3 inch) shrapnel shells for Russia under a contract with Britain. Construction of a factory began in 1915. The contract for 2.5 million shells was to be completed in December 1916, but was extended because of delays in acquiring machinery. The contract was completed in August 1917. In September, 1917, the U.S. government bought the machinery and equipment of the of the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation. Read more about the Eddystone ammo plant and the 1917 tragedy there.

John Brancy and Peter Dugan

A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song $14.95

Baratone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan created this wonderful album.

They were guests last week on the WW1 Centennial News Podcast. You can hear some musical clips from the album and learn about how the project came to be. Go to WW1CC.org/cn to listen to the podcast. Their interview begins around 25:30.

The album is now available through the official WW1 Centennial merchandise shop along with a wonderful collection of official WW1 centennial merchandise.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

John Wespe


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

John Wespe

Submitted by: MCPO Michael J. Norrod, USN (Ret.) {grandson}

John Wespe served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known WWI 1917 to 1919.


My grandfather, John Wespe, served in the U.S. Army in WWI.

He was born 1887 in Louisville, Kentucky, orphaned and raised in a Catholic Orphanage. 

He worked as a candy maker at the National Candy Company in Louisville from 1900 to 1917.

He went from Private to 1stLt by the end of the war.

He enlisted May 8th, 1917 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Subsequently serving in Company M of the 30th Infantry Regiment. Initially at Camp Syracuse, New York and then at Camp Greene, North Carolina. He departed for Europe February 27, 1918 and was attached to the 359th Infantry Regiment. Serving in Europe from then until June 7, 1919. His company commander was Capt. Mark Clark, later to gain fame as a four star general in WWII and the Korean War. They remained life long-friends and my mother remembered meeting him several times as a young girl. 

Read John Wespe'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

May 23, 2017

CFA approves updated Memorial design concept -- "Now the real work begins"

Vice Chair Edwin Fountain

At a hearing on May 18, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) approved the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission’s design concept for a national World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in the nation’s capital. The approval was a significant milestone in the progress toward building the memorial, on a site authorized by Congress in 2014. CFA is one of the two Federal agencies with responsibility for design approval of memorials in Washington, D.C., along with the National Capital Planning Commission.Members of the CFA commented that the designs have come a long way and are moving in a good direction. Edwin Fountain, Vice Chair of the Commission, took some time to share his thoughts about the outcome of the hearing, and the way ahead for the Memorial.

WWI heroes bravely wore the uniforms of the FDNY and the United States military

FDNY Plaque

Veterans and families were in attendance on May 9 as the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) rededicated a plaque honoring 43 FDNY members who made the supreme sacrifice in World War I and World War II. The ceremony, marking the 100th anniversary of World War I and 75th anniversary of World War II. Of the 43 names on the plaque are eight men who died in 1917-1919 in World War I. Read more about the solemn FDNY event here.

Prima Vista Quartet pays unique French tribute to Americans who served in WWI

Baudime Jam

Many World War I commemoration events took place last month across the country, marking the April 6th centennial of the U.S. entry into the war. One that stood apart, as a very special and unique tribute, was a concert tour provided by the Prima Vista Quartet, a group of world-class musicians from France. To honor the Americans who served during the war, they employed their incredible musical talent to create a live score for the World War I-themed film WINGS. the first film ever to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. Wings was directed by William Wellman, a combat veteran pilot for the American Expeditionary Forces in France during the war. Baudime Jam is the founder, composer, artistic director and violist of Prima Vista. We talked to him about World War I, about the tour of the United States, and about Prima Vista's future efforts.

North Carolina DOT plants acres of red poppies to honor WWI veterans

NC poppies

Red poppies are blooming along North Carolina highways in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of our nation’s entry into World War I. To help honor those who served, NCDOT’s Roadside Environmental unit planted 70 acres of red poppies, an internationally recognized remembrance of sacrifice by our military veterans. “We want to honor those who have served and do it in a way that’s dignified as well as beautiful,” said Jerry Hester, a member of the U.S. World War One Commission. “People ask, ‘Why the poppies?’ It is to honor our servicemen and women, not only North Carolinians, but all over. We’ve had many international visitors who come and see these poppies and remark to us, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this in the world.’” Read the whole story and check out more poppy photos here.

World War I to be well represented in 2017 National Memorial Day Parade

WWI Truck

The National Memorial Day Parade, the nation’s largest Memorial Day event, will take place along Constitution Avenue in Washington DC, from 2-4 PM this Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017. The parade, held annually, is organized by the American Veterans Center & World War II Veterans Committee. It is now celebrating its 13th year. For the fourth year in a row, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will be cheering on the volunteers who will represent the American veterans of World War I in this national event. Click here to read the whole story and see photos of the volunteers.

"Official Bulletin" is a unique daily look at World War I American government

Official Bulletin

George Creel, a journalist, friend and staunch supported of Woodrow Wilson during the election of 1916, was appointed by the President  to head the newly minted Committee on Public Information (CPI) as America declared war in 1917. The commissions job was to get public backing for the U.S. war effort. The CPI writ covered all aspects of the U.S. media, including print, film, posters, music, paintings and cartoons. But one of the key CPI products, gone largely forgotten in the century since 1917, is the Official Bulletin, published  throughout the war. We are publishing this daily newspaper again as a part of the WW1 Centennial Commemoration. This archive is an amazing cultural resource of this period in our country. Look at the back issues already published,  and check back daily to see the latest "official news" of 100 years ago today.

100 Cities / 100 Memorials: Countdown to submission deadline!

100 cities 100 memorials


As of the publish date of this issue, there are exactly 24 days left to the submission deadline for the 100 cities / 100 Memorials project.

If you have a project planned - don't forget to submit it in time. No late submissions will be accepted. If you have any questions - please contact us via the program's "submit a question" link.

We are here to help!

Support America's WW1 Memorial in our nation's capital this Memorial Day week

Promotion Toolkit - Panetta video

This Memorial day week, we need your help with some Peer-to-peer fundraising. We are asking you to ask your friend to help!
It's easy.

1. Select one of the 5 Memorial day donation appeal videos and download it.

2. Post the video on your Facebook page, website or other social media site.

3. When you post the video, ask you friends to support America's WW1 Memorial in our nation's capital.

Select your spokesperson - or post a new one each day until Memorial day.

Secretary Leon E. Panetta - Former Secretary of Defense

Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun - Former US Senator and US Ambassador

General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.) - US Military commander, television spokesperson and consultant

Ms. Sandra Sinclair Pershing - step-granddaughter of General of the Armies Black Jack Pershing

Vinton Cerf - Tech guru, internet pioneer and google senior fellow

Help America raise a tribute to it's veteran doughboys by raising the money to build it! Donate yourself and ask your friend to help as well!

Features from our State web sites

Opha May Johnson



First Woman to enlist in the Marine Corps

By the summer of 1918 however, the Marine Corps was in need of more soldiers, many of whom occupied vital administrative and clerical positions throughout the war department at the time. The idea was circulated and eventually approved to allow women into the Marines to fill these non-combat positions, relieving this men to head for the front. From Kokomo, Indiana, Opha May Johnson was first in line when the recruiting station in Washington D.C. opened its doors to women and would become a legend as the first woman Marine. Opha demonstrated the willingness of women to step up and fill these roles just as earnestly and to perform them just as capably as their male counterparts. Read more about Opha May Johnson here.





The Life and Letters of World War I Aerial Observer Lt. Mortimer M. Lawrence


Lt. Mortimer Lawrence was from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He enlisted in the Army Air Service shortly after the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, and was sent to aerial observer school to be trained to fly planes to photograph German positions. Mortimer wanted the chance to prove himself as both an aerial observer and a warrior. Little did he know that on November 10, 1918 he would earn his place in the footnotes of military history when he shot down the last German plane of World War I. Read his amazing story here.

Woman's Service



Montgomery Motor Corps Contributes to War Efforts

The 1918 photo  of the women serving on the home front in Montgomery is filled with an air of patriotism. The uniforms look sharp. The faces of the woman convey a serious demeanor. The photography studio background adds gravitas. The women in it are the officers of the Montgomery Motor Corps and they directed the activities of more than 100 local female volunteers who provided a variety of driving services to Camp Sheridan, the 4,000 acre U.S. Army post a few miles north of town. As was the norm at the time, the Motor Corps volunteers were identified with the convention of “Miss” or, if married, “Mrs.” plus a husband’s name. All but one are married. Read more about the Montgomery Motor Corps and the National League for Woman’s Service here.

Doughboy baseball cap

Here comes summer! Time for a WW1 Commemorative hat: $19.95

Hat features: Navy with white doughboy embroidery.100% cotton, structured hat with contrasting pancake visor, sweatband and taping. 6 panel soft crown, pre-curved bill. Velcro closure features U.S. flag emblem on this exclusive commemorative hat. One Size Fits All. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the America's 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.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Jean Allen Crandall


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

Jean Allen Crandall

Submitted by: Chris Mulholland

Jean Allen Crandall served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917-1919.


Jean Allen Crandall served in the Spanish-American War in Havana, Cuba. Almost 20 years later, at the age of 37, Jean entered service again. On 6 April 1917 the US declared war against Germany and American forces finally entered the “War to End All Wars.” Sometime in late 1917 or early 1918, Jean received a commission in the US Army’s Quartermaster Corps as a Second Lieutenant.

On 29 Mar 1918, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and was listed in the New York Times of 30 March 1918: “Special to the New York Times. The War Department published the following army orders today: Quartermaster Corps. Following promoted to be 1st Lts.: Crandall, J.A.”

Read Jean Allen Crandall'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

May 16, 2017

International League Baseball joins Commission to remember WW1 veterans

International League

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is proud to announce a broad national partnership between the US World War One Centennial Commission and the International League of Minor League Baseball. The partnership includes a series of special game-nights, honoring local World War I heritage, in the hometowns where the games will be played. The 10-night series runs between May 20 (Armed Forces Day) on through Memorial Day, and ending on June 4th. Get the whole story here. Click here for the schedule of games. Now Play Ball!

Updated Memorial design to be presented to the Commission of Fine Arts in DC

Memorial snip

On Thursday, May 18, the Project and Design Teams for the National WWI Memorial will present their latest design concept of Pershing Park to the Commission of Fine Arts. This design concept makes three enhancements to the existing park: first, it enlarges the current fountain at the western edge of the existing pool, which would be restored in its same size. The east-facing side of that expanded fountain would contain the bronze bas relief sculpture depicting a soldier's journey to, through, and from war. Second, it would create a walkway over the restored pool for visitors to access and be able to touch the bronze sculpture; and third, the kiosk would be replaced with a flag pole and other commemorative elements. All other areas of the park would be considered for preservation and restoration.  CFA has reviewed the WWI Memorial twice previously, in fall of 2016 and again in early 2017. Each time, the Design Team has received and incorporated CFA's comments and inputs to further develop the WWI Memorial design. CFA's review this week is just one aspect of broader regulatory reviews. The WWI Memorial design also will be reviewed by the National Capital Planning Commission as well as the National Park Service, which owns Pershing Park as part of the U.S. Interior Department.

Butler to lead 369th Experience band

Dr. Isrea Butler

Dr. Isrea Butler has been announced as band director for the re-creation of the famed 369th Regimental Band for The 369th Experience, part of a series of events endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission and sponsored in part by The Coca Cola Foundation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. A key component of this celebration is the re-creation of the 369th Regimental Band, which in its original form consisted of 65 African American and Puerto Rican gentlemen who charmed the hearts and minds of Americans and Europeans. Dr. Butler will lead the band as they retrace the steps of the original band with performances at centennial celebrations in New York City; Brest and Paris, France; and a host of other historic locales. Read more about the 369th Experience and Dr. Butler here.

Centennial of American Naval forces arriving in Ireland in 1917 marked

Elizabeth Helmer

In May 1917, U.S. Navy Destroyer Division 8, the first group of American destroyers sent abroad during World War I, arrived in Queenstown, Ireland, after a 9-day Atlantic crossing, most of the transit in a severe southeast gale, with orders to cooperate with the British Royal Navy. At a dinner in the Americans' honor the night of their arrival, the RN Commander in Chief of the Coasts of Ireland asked Lieutenant Commander Joseph Taussig, the Division commander "When will you be ready to go to sea?" Taussig famously replied: "We are ready now.”  100 years later, Taussig’s great grand-daughter was among the descendants of those who served with the US Navy in the First World War who gathered in Cobh, Ireland to commemorate the centenary of the American ships arriving there. Read the story of the Navy’s entry into the critical anti-submarine war in 1917, and then check out the centennial ceremony 

"When the call went out for war"

Tanveer Kalo

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission (WW1CC) is blessed to have a number of remarkable people. One of them is intern Tanveer Kalo, who comes to us from St. Lawrence University. Tanveer is a history buff, and also a talented researcher. During his internship period this spring, he decided to use his talents to create something that really didn't exist -- a collection of information on Asian Indian people who served in the U.S. military during World War I. These stories are being published on the WW1CC web site's Vande Mataram in the USA section, as well as in the Stories of Service section.  We spoke to Tanveer about his project, and his motivations for creating this great new resource.

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100 cities 100 memorials

There are three new 100 cities / 100 Memorials project worth noting: 

1. From California, in Santa Monica

2. From Tennessee's Madison County

3. From Pennsylvania's Montour County

Read about them in the 100C/100M blog.

Important Reminder

If you are planning a project, you need to submit your grant application before June 15, 2017. The submission instructions are here.

Memorial Day peer-to-peer fundraising for our doughboy veterans

Promotion Toolkit - Panetta video

If you would like to help out with a little peer-to-peer fundraising for us and our programs, we have some Memorial Day donation appeal videos that you can post on your Facebook page, website or other social media asking for help in raising the money to build the national WW1 memorial in Washington DC to honor our doughboy veterans.

Features from our State web sites

Alabama Nurses


Alabama nurses in WWI

For Alabama’s first generation of professional nurses, World War I provided not only an opportunity to serve their country, but also to define the future of their profession. For nurses who served at home and abroad, WWI served as a proving ground, giving them a chance to test their skills in a challenging environment. Alabama women served with distinction at base hospitals in France and Italy, serving capably as hospital administrators and developing new methods of treatment. Read more about Alabama nurses in WWI here.




Memorial Day ceremony to mark WWI centennial

Hawaii residents and visitors are invited to a Memorial Day Observance on Sunday, May 28 at the War Memorial Natatorium in Waikiki. Music starts at 9:30 a.m.and the ceremony will commence at 10:00 a.m. A paddle-out from the San Souci beach will conclude the event, which honors the 10,000 men and women from Hawaii who served in WWI. Find out more about the ceremony here.




When Emory doctors went to war

Only a small fraction of Americans now choose to serve in the military, many coming from the lower rungs of the nation’s economic ladder, and a declining number of political and business leaders are veterans. Circumstances were very different a century ago, when nearly all Americans, from laborers to professionals, put their lives and careers on hold and answered the call to serve in World War I. Atlanta and Georgia provided an excellent illustration of this patriotism and dedication. In April 1917, shortly after America’s entry into the Great War, a call went out from the U.S. Army and the Red Cross to medical schools across the country. Doctors and nurses would be urgently needed to staff hospitals in support of the hundreds of thousands of newly enlisted “doughboys” who would soon head overseas to join British and French allies fighting Germans in the trenches snaking across Europe. Emory School of Medicine answered the call. Read the entire story here.


Wwrite Blog Logo

This week's post features another installment in the series about WWI censored written works. Jennifer Orth-Veillon, the WWrite blog curator, will discuss two censored yet extraordinary works by Army nurses: Ellen N. Lamotte's The Backwash of War and Mary Borden's The Forbidden Zone.

AND If YOU have a news item regarding WWI and writing, please contact the blog's currator: jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org.

WW1 Era Tent

Authentic U.S. WWI Era Tent,

These tents are proudly made in the USA using the same techniques, hardware and fabrics that were used during The Great War. This Limited Edition tent is enhanced with  a “U.S.” emblem on the top and a fabric garment label commemorating the U.S. Centennial of World War One. 

Natural 13 oz. cotton army duck in khaki color, natural fiber rope, cotton stitching, period slides, cotton fabric tape and brass grommets are all used in the construction of each tent. The end wall is fabricated with a stove pipe opening and decorated with stencils from the original plates.

A portion of the proceeds from thesale of this item goes towards 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. 

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Louis Carlton Webster


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

Louis Carlton Webster

Submitted by: Peggy Durack (granddaughter)

Louis Carlton Webster served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 3, 1918 - June 7, 1919.


My grandfather was born and grew up on the farm that had been in his family for 200 years, the legacy of a Revolutionary War veteran who moved from Massachusetts to settle in Ontario County, NY. Grandpa graduated from Cornell University in 1915 with the degree Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and had begun his own veterinary practice when World War I began. When I learned that he served during the war, I believed that he was in the Army Veterinary Corps, but his service record tells a different story.

Known as "Carlton" (his middle name) to his sister, "L. C." (his initials) to some, most called my grandfather "Doc" Webster. He was 'Grandpa Doc' to me and 'Uncle Doc' to his nieces and nephews. Doc enlisted on April 3rd, 1918 and wrote two letters to the Clyde, NY Times which were published that April and explained his experiences getting to, and the induction process at, Camp Dix, NJ (now Fort Dix). They are lighthearted and express his readiness for "new adventures."

Read Louis Carlton Webster '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

May 9, 2017

"How fragile peace can be if prudent voices go unheeded"

Van Hoy

Teresa Van Hoy is a professor at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. She has been working with WW1CC Commissioner, General Alfredo Valenzuela, on a special World War I-themed project with her students. The projects starts with them researching, writing, and producing a series of remarkable mini-documentaries, which are viewable on YouTube. We caught up with Professor Van Hoy, to talk to her about the project, and her students progress. Read here about how the project got started, what the students are learning, and the many ways in which World War I "still powerfully shapes our world."


World War I transformed America’s Army


General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), a Special Advisor to the U..S. World War I Centennial Commission, recently published a guest editorial in Military Times about how the Great War "would reinvent the U.S. Army in such a profound manner that its legacy continues to this day, woven into the very fabric of its fatigues." Faced with the need "to create virtually overnight the organizational structure, staffing and logistics needed to field a modern army," the Army, according to McCaffrey, learned lessons that "would become nothing less than strategic a generation later."   Read his entire analysis here.


Plaque honors female MT WWI veterans


A plaque honoring 23 female Montana WWI veterans who were born, or buried, or entered Federal service in Yellowstone County was dedicated recently on the lawn of the County Courthouse. Ed Saunders, an Army veteran from Laurel who spent six years finding the female veterans and chronicling their service, called his quest “an effort to shine the light and show the road back home for them, as they have been largely lost to Montana history.” The "long-overdue salute," according to Saunders, is a way of saying, “Well done, women veterans of World War I from Yellowstone County. You are forgotten no more.” Read more about the ceremony, and the women honored here.

"Take away a greater appreciation for how WWI has shaped our world"

Douglas Mudd

There is a fascinating & unique new WWI exhibit that opens on May 18th at the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum in Colorado Springs. This show focuses on coinage, money, and medals of the World War I period. The exhibit title is "Trenches To Treaties; World War I in Remembrance" It will run from May 18, 2017 thru November, 2018 at the American Numismatic Association's Edward C. Rochette Money Museum located at 818 N. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO . Exhibit is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:30am to 5pm. Trenches To Treaties will present an outline of the history of World War I illustrated using money and medals to cover a number of themes ranging from financial to propaganda, art and commemoration.We had a chance to speak briefly with Douglas Mudd, who is the Curator / Museum Director. Read the entire interview here.


Features from our State web sites

Apau Kau


Apau Kau, recognized as the greatest Chinese pitcher in the United States

Apau “Sam” Kau was born to Chinese immigrant parents in Kohala, Hawaii on September 9, 1890. His family moved to Honolulu in 1901, and over the next dozen years he became famous as a baseball pitcher, dominating teams both in the islands and on barnstorming tours of the mainland, where he notched many victories against minor league and college teams. By 1917, Kau had moved to the mainland, living in the Philadelphia area. When his country at war with Germany, Kau, aged 27, registered for the draft, and was called to service in September 1917. Read the rest of the story here.




Lewis Institute and Armour Institute of Technology during the First World War

Although Illinois Institute of Technology was not formed until 1940, Lewis Institute and Armour Institute of Technology, its two predecessor schools, were both well-established when the U.S. entered World War in April of 1917. Over the next two years student life on both campuses was temporarily transformed as enlisted students shipped out, campus war training programs were established, and new war effort clubs appeared. Today, we can see the effects of wartime in our collections of student yearbooks, photographs, and alumni correspondence.

16th Engineers Regiment (Railway)



16th Engineers Regiment (Railway), Michigan's Only All-Volunteer Regiment

The 16th Regiment of Engineers (Railway) was Organized, Mobilized and Trained with in the City Limits of Detroit, Michigan. War had become a gigantic concentration of man power and equipment for the actual waging of offense. This necessitated an unprecedented non-combatant backing of man power to supply the battle line with needed food, munitions, sanitary, medical and surgical care, means of communication and transport, and countless other accessories. The planning of the 6th Reserve Engineer Regiment, later the 16th Engineers, started in early March of 1917. On May 5,1917, Lt. Col. Harry Burgess was directed by the army to organize his regiment. On June 5, 1917 the first of several hundred men mobilized at the Michigan State Fairgrounds at Woodard  Ave. and Eight Mile. Read the rest of the 16th Engineers' story here.


Richard Bachus

This week's post features journalist, writer, and teacher, Richard Bachus. Bachus edits and curates the WWI Centennial Commission blog, Trench Commander, which chronicles his family's military adventures and the ways in which they influenced his generation of Baby Boomers. 

For the WWrite Blog, Bachus will discuss the complex process of writing his novel, Into No Man's Land, inspired by a family archival collection of letters and other artifacts dating from his grandfather's experience in WWI as a Trench Commander in France to the present. 

Additionally, you can read his interview on the site, Four Questions for Rich Bachus, "Bringing the War to Life Through the Details (both Great and Small) of One Soldier." 

AND If YOU have a news item regarding WWI and writing, please contact the blog's currator: jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org.

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Official US World War One Centennial Merchandise

We launched the official merchandise shop almost two years ago.

In that time, the WW1 centennial commemoration has progressed from a grass roots, insider idea into a nationally recognized centennial.

If you have never visited it, we invite you to browse the official merchandise shop.

You will an amazing assortment of ideas from wearables, to collectibles, to replicas - even WW1 housing. Seriously. Check it out.

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Thad Manning Mangum

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

Thad Manning Mangum

Submitted by: Michael T. Mangum {grandson}

Thad Manning Mangum served in Co. K 323rd Infantry Regiment 81st Army Division fighting Wildcats. He was mustered into the Army in front of the Courthouse in Greenville, NC on May 25, 1918 and by 3 am was en-trained aboard the Norfolk Southern in front of 800 crying Mothers, Sweethearts and somber Fathers.

After less than a month basic training at Camp Jackson, SC he was sent to Camp Sevier, SC for further training. By the end of July they boarded the British Ship RMS Melita. The English food was horrid and not fit for livestock as described by the men. Most were seasick on the crossing and for men like my grandfather who could not swim they lived in constant fear of being torpedoed and had the clouds of War hanging over them. After a short stay in England they boarded an old seagoing paddle wheeler and after a rough nighttime crossing of the English Channel were finally in France by August 16th, 1918.

Read Thad Manning Mangum'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

May 2, 2017

New site section looks at Hindu–German Conspiracy Trial, and the service of Indians in the U.S. Armed Forces in WW1

SF Chronicle 1917

The new Vande Mataram in the USA section of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission web site looks at the experiences of Asian Indians in World War I America. Writer Suruchi Mohan will be exploring the intricacies of the great San Francisco trial of Indian Nationalists and Germans accused of violating the United States neutrality laws by conspiring on American soil with Germany to overthrow the British Raj. Her first article in the series lays out the backgound of the conspiracy charges led to the Hindu–German Conspiracy Trial—at the time the longest and most expensive trial ever held in the United States. The site will also feature profiles of Indians who served in the U.S.Armed Forces during WWI -- and there are some great stories to tell. Read how Suruchi got on this story in the first place, then check out the new Vande Mataram in the USA section here.


Bravery at Belleau Wood set the tone for today's United States Marine Corps

Bryan B. Battaglia

Retired Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, who served 36 years in the Marine Corps, including more than four years as the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2011-2015). is now a Special Advisor to the United State World War I Centennial Commission. Writing in a guest editorial published in Military Times, Battaglia takes a look at how the experience of the Marine Corps in the Great War was the crucible that formed the Marines as we know them today; in particular, the epic battle at Belleau Wood. Read his entire historical analysis.


Why biplanes were the Warbirds of WWI

Manfred von Richthofen

Manfred von Richthofen isn't exactly a household name, but his alias is. During World War One, von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron, won 80 air combat victories, and he did so while flying biplanes. But why exactly were these two-winged planes (and in the Red Baron's case the three wings of the Fokker DR.I), the aerial weapons of choice during The Great War? This article digs into the topic, exploring the different types of planes flown during the war and the continual progression of these airplanes.

"Every international challenge we face today has roots in that war and its aftermath."


The WW1CC is thrilled to have a new volunteer member on board to help us! Betsy Anderson will be our Volunteer Coordinator, and will manage the contributions from our various friends, who help us with event planning, social media writing, photography, partnerships, administrative issues, etc. She is an amazing person, with a fascinating background, and she comes from a family who was deeply touched by World War I. Betsy took some time to tell us a little bit about her story. Do you have an interest in America in World War I, and some time available? Sign up here to be a volunteer for the World War One Centennial Commission. Going to college and looking for a great internship opportunity in Washington, DC? Look into the Commission intern program.


Features from our State web sites

Atlanta Constitution page


World War I Changed Georgia

In this column, members of Georgia Humanities and their colleagues take turns discussing Georgia’s history and culture, and other topics that matter. Through different voices, we hear different stories.  This week, Tom Jackson, Georgia World War I Centennial Commission, and Laura McCarty, of Georgia Humanities, examine the changes World War I brought to Georgia and efforts across the state to commemorate the war. Read what they had to say.

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Pennsylvania in the
First World War

The Pennsylvania section of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission web site has a tremendous page of Articles and Resources specifically focused on the experiences and contributions of Pennsylvania during Great War. Whatever kind of research you are doing that involves PA and WWI, this is a great place to start.



California Philanthropy Before the War

Though, in general, the western states were less motivated to get into the war than Americans in the east, there were many philanthropic efforts in California to help the victims of the war long before the U.S. declared war. One California magnate, whom had been orphaned at nine years of age, knew well what it was like to be without. But, he had early on made a success of himself and his name was known where he owned offices around the world. In August of 1914, when World War I broke out, Stanford graduate and mining success Herbert C. Hoover had a heart for the victims and orphans of the war, and turned philanthropist. Read the whole story of Hoover's good deeds here.

We Are Looking For a Few Good...

Memorial Hunter Club Logo

This week in the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials blog, we are soliciting volunteers to help us keep up with the submissions for the National WW1 Memorial Register.

Read a bit more about what is perhaps a last, best, chance to create a national record of this fading American cultural heritage.

If you have some time to offer, read about how you can help.



Kirk Douglas

To mark next week's historical election in France, the post comes from blog curator, Jennifer Orth-Veillon, who discusses post-WWI French censorship of Film and literature that portrayed overly-negative images of the war.

The film, Paths of Glory, by Stanley Kubrick as well as  Gabriel Chevallier 's book, Fear, were considered threats to France's vision of patriotism and triumph after the Armistice of 1918.

Read the post in the WWrite blog

AND If YOU have a news item regarding WWI and writing, please contact the blog's currator: jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org.

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Wing and a prayer

They flew on a wing and a prayer, because they flew without parachutes." Metal Sign $14.95

We offer this metal sign this week to honor the recent passing of Javier Fernando Arango,  a board member emeritus of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and a globally recognized expert, collector, restorer and lover of WW1 aircraft. He was lost in California near his Paso Robles ranch doing what he loved the most. Honor his passing with this WW1 aviation remembrance.

Read more about him, his family and their multi-generational dedication to WW1 aviation here.

This and many other official commemorative products are available at the official merchandise shop.

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Milton Rigby

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

Milton Rigby

Submitted by: Thomas Morgan

In the Summer of 1917, Canadian Lieutenant Colonel P. A. Guthrie, a commander in the famed Black Watch Regiment, was evacuated from the front line of combat in Germany after sustaining injuries from nearly being hit by an artillery shell. While recovering, he traveled to New England to recruit Americans to fill the places of his men lost in combat.

Milton K. Rigby of Rhode Island, and 1000 other New Englanders answered Guthrie’s call to service and on July 17th 1917 swore an oath to the king to defend the British Commonwealth and her allies. He was assigned to the 236th MacLean Kilties but was transferred to the 42nd Battalion, 3rd C.E.F. Division, along with other American Kilties, to form a joint Canadian, British and American unit under the command of the Black Watch.


Read Milton Rigby's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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