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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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August 22, 2016


Commission welcomes Alabama state site
The ‪Alabama‬ World War I Centennial Committee’s web site is now live at ww1cc.org/alabama. The site features a rich body of Alabama-specific WWI content including a blog, a calendar of centennial events, a detailed map of ‪WWI‬ monuments, memorials, and historic sites found throughout the state, and an extensive list of readings and resources. Check back every other Wednesday for new blog posts highlighting Alabama's role in the Great War. Congratulations to the Alabama team for a job well done! To see this and other states’ sites, click the “Participate” drop-down menu at the top of any page.

American Legion hosts WW1CC at convention
By American Legion invitation, the World War 1 Centennial Commission will be actively participating in the American Legion’s 98th Annual Convention, Aug. 25-Sept. 2, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.WW1CC is sharing a booth with American Legion staff in the main exhibit hall (Th-Mon). Representatives from from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library and the WW1CC will be staffing the booth during the convention, filling in attendees on the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials project and other WW1CC activities. Read more about the Legion Convention here. Come see us if you are at the convention this week!

Texas goes over the top with statewide meeting
The first state-wide Texas World War I Centennial planning conference was held on August 12 at the Bullock Texas History Museum in Austin. The conference was designed to help Texas organizations and individuals plan commemoration activities for the 2017-2019 centennial period. Over 70 people attended in person, and more via webinar. Organizations there included museums, county historical commissions, universities, libraries, military bases, and state agencies. Find out more about this great meeting, hoped to be the first of many statewide planning meetings across the nation this year.

Recreating a legendary WW1 fighting machine
The tireless work of three Indiana men with a passion for history is instantiating an almost vanished mechanical marvel from World War 1: an unerringly accurate replica of the M1917 Light Tank, the first American-manufactured tank. While the M1917 did not see action in the Great War (the first M1917 tanks would not reach France until November 20th, 1918, a full nine days after the guns fell silent along the Western Front), they hold a great and special significance in U.S. military history. Find out more about this labor of love and steel here.

Golden Gophers win in 1916, go to war in 1917
Sports blogger Ryan Barland is revisiting the story of the great 1916 University of Minnesota football team that traded their football gear for Army and Navy uniforms when the U.S. entered World War 1 in 1917. From gridiron stardom to military service, Barland will be telling the stories of these not-quite-forgotten Golden Gophers who were twice heroes. Check out his article here.



100 Cities / 100 Memorials Webinar #1: “Memorial Restoration 101”


SAVE THE DATE:
Thursday September 8, 2016 at 2pm Eastern, we will hold the first in a series of informational webinars for our $200,000 matching grant giveaway to restore ailing WWI memorials.
This first webinar focuses on how to find and identify the WWI memorials in your area and how to plan your project - with an emphasis on the do's and dont's in restoration.
Registration for the webinar will be open on Thursday August 25. The webinar will feature conservator experts and project team members to help you get going with your planning.
Sign up for the 100C/100M BLOG at ww1cc.org/100Memorials and stay informed about all the program events and opportunities.



Black Pique Polo Shirt - $35.95
polo shirtThis polo features: Black with white doughboy embroidery. 100% combed cotton pique, 6.2 oz. pre-shrunk fabric. Shirt has 3 wood-tone buttons, and side seam design for shape retention. Mens’ sizes available L – 2XL. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This and many other commemorative items are available in the Official Merchandise Shop

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The Alabama in World War 1 web site is now live on the WW1CC web site
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August 15, 2016


New Commissioner Tod Sedgwick sworn in

Ambassador (Ret.) Tod Sedgwick has been sworn in as the newest Commissioner on the United States World War One Centennial Commission. The event took place in Martha’s Vineyard, where the oath of office was administered by Federal Judge Mark Wolf of Boston. Sedgwick was appointed by President Obama. Read more about the new Commissioner here.


$200,000 available to rescue ailing WW1 memorials

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library continue to promote the $200,000 matching grant challenge offering awards for up to 100 local WW1 memorial restoration projects around the nation. Is their a memorial in your city or town that needs restoration? Find out more about the program here.

"A window through which we may look" at WW1

The First American on the Western Front is a narrative history written around the letters of a young US serviceman in WWI who carried the first official US Government flag to the Western Front in 1917. Author Patrick Gregory answers questions about his new book, and how the letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber, written a century ago and published for the first time, help illuminate the history of America's entry into WW1. Check out Gregory's answers here.

Forgotten WW1 mentor to America's WW2 heroes

Today, the officer whom Dwight Eisenhower called “the ablest man I ever knew” remains a historical enigma. Major General Fox Conner wrote no memoirs and ordered all his papers and journals burned after his death. Only 28 letters survive. Most of what can be determined about Conner derives from the writings of his three famous World War II protégés and of his old boss, General of the Armies John J. Pershing, under whom Conner served in World War I in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). “I could have spared any man in the AEF better than you,” Pershing told Conner. Read the fascinating story of the man who made generals of Eisenhower, Patton, and Marshall.

“Nothing Stops These Men” – Custom Key Tag
Key TagInspired by an original World War One poster, this key tag features the dramatic image of a bayonet advance on the enemy, with the United States flag in the upper corner.
A real conversation piece as you pull out your keys, and a great way to show your support, this 1-1/4” long, custom key tag has a bright gold finish, with color-fill, and is offered exclusively through the World War One Centennial Commission - Only $9.95 each set.

It's useful, practical and looks great. Get a half-dozen and give them to colleagues you'd like to introduce to the WWI centennial.

This and many other commemorative items are available in the Official Merchandise Shop.




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Commissioner Tod Sedgwick (right) being sworn in
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August 01, 2016


Coca-Cola Foundation grant to 369th Experience

The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded a grant of $200,000 to go towards the 369th Experience Project. This program, sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, and led by Executive Producer Stephany Neal, is designed to honor the 369th Infantry Regiment, and their famous musical ensemble, with a slate of public performances and art exhibitions during the centennial period of World War I. The 369th Experience will bring the music and art of the era into the 21st Century, and tell modern audiences about the experiences of African-Americans during the turn of the 20th Century. Read more about the generous grant and the 369th Experience here.



Black Tom explosion nudged nation toward war
One hundred years ago, on July 30th, 1916, New York City was rocked by one of the largest explosions in history. On this night, two million pounds of explosives ignited simultaneously, reducing the great munitions depot on Black Tom Island to rubble. The horrors of World War I had arrived in the United States before the country would officially enter the War. Like so many events in World War 1, the reverberations of that explosion lasted long after the smoke had cleared, and still affect the nation today. Read about the big bang and the mystery around its cause here.

“The Great War” to premiere on PBS in April 2017
PBS and American Experience have announced that “The Great War,” a six-hour, three-night event, will premiere in April 2017 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917. Drawing on the latest scholarship, including unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters, “The Great War” tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “Doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native-American “code talkers” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. Find out more about this major WW1 television event here.

Camp Sherman dig in Ohio reveals WW1 surprises
Camp Sherman, the third-largest U.S. Army training base in World War 1, was built in record time in 1917 near Chillicothe, Ohio. The camp's 2000+ acres covered a large part of a previously quiet valley. The new cantonment was the training site for many thousands of young men, with all the energy and activity that implies. Yet, after less than two years the war was over and so was the recruit training mission of Camp Sherman. Almost 100 years later, excavations at the camp's site ahead of a road project are revealing surprising insights and remarkable artifacts, and raising awareness of the Great War's heritage. Read about the finds, and the urgency to save the site, here.

Make a significant donation while getting a genuine limited edition commemorative collector's item.Collectible Ships Clock

Genuine Commemorative Chelsea Ship's clock: $2,975
Chelsea is pleased to offer this Limited Edition 4-1/2” Ship’s Bell Clock in honor of those who have served in the military since the first patented Ship’s Bell left the factory in 1900. This Limited Edition handcrafted timepiece signals the passing of the time with gentle, rich-sounding chimes – eight bells at 4, 8 and 12 o’clock to mark the end of the mariner’s four hour watch.
Its classic 364 precision brass parts and an 11-jewel movement, all of which are made in Chelsea, Massachusetts, ensure accuracy in time and enduring quality for years to come. Each Ship’s Bell Clock will also be engraved with the WWI Centennial remark with the WWI Doughboy design on the face of the timepiece.
In addition, each Limited Edition Ship’s Bell Clock is engraved with its personal number (1 of 100, 2 of 100, etc.) and packaged in the Chelsea blue gift box.
This and many other commemorative items are available in the Official Merchandise Shot





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July 25, 2016

Oshkosh Airventure 2016 takes off today
The World War 1 Centennial Commission team is on site in Oshkosh for the start of the annual Airventure air show, this year featuring a focus on World War 1 aviation history. To chronicle the Commission's participation, we have published "The Osh-16 Adventure Gallery” - a pictorial diary of the WW1CC team's journey to, participation in, and return from the premiere aviation event. The trek to Wisconsin stopped at a number of World War 1 Memorials en route--check out the photos here.

"An opportunity to right a historical wrong."
The 100 Cities/100 Memorials Matching Grant Challenge program kicked of officially last week, and the joint effort of the World War 1 Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Library and Museum (PMML) is drawing attention across the nation. In an interview for the World War 1 Centennial Commission web site, PMML President & CEO Kenneth Clarke talks about why the program is important, and his own personal connections to the centennial of the Great War. Read the interview here, and get more information about the program here.

New video highlights WW1's impact on U.S.
The Commission has just published a new promotional video titled Lest We Forget: Lessons From The Forgotten War. This short, 2.5 minute piece offers a context for WWI and what it actually means to us today. It features radio personality and Blogger Mike Shuster, author Max Brooks, Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon Sullivan (Ret.), Commissioner Col. Thomas Moe USAF, Ret.), Senator Richard Burr, NC, Chairman of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, Col. Robert Dalessandro (Ret.) and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. The video can be viewed in the WW1CC website’s video library. There is a link to download the video so you can use it for your own WWI Commemoration promotion and applications (with attribution to the US World War One Centennial Commission).

Time to recall what this war was about
In anticipation of the upcoming centennial of the U.S. entry into World War 1, curators and historians at the Library of Congress, who have spent a lot of time learning and thinking about this period of history and what it means, will be sharing over the next six months some of the stories and collection materials from the LOC that they think are most revealing about World War I. Gayle Osterberg, Director of Communications for the Library of Congress, asked these experts to share their insights in a series of special blog posts on the LOC web site, and highlight the rich array of historical and educational resources about WW1 available at the Library. Read Osterberg's complete post about the special program here.

U.S. Victory lapel pin
Victory PinProudly wearing the World War 1 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 commemorative items are available in the official Merchandise Shop.



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One of the World War 1 Memorials visited on the road to Oshkosh.
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July 18, 2016


"100 Cities/100 Memorials" program has launched
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library have officially launched "100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS" .
In observance of the upcoming centennial of World War I, 100 matching grants of up to $2,000 apiece will be awarded for the restoration of 100 World War I Memorials across the United States.
Any municipal government, individual, or organization may apply.
Learn how to apply and download the Competition Manual at WW1CC.org/100Memorials.

Pershing Park the scene of Pokémon Go-ings-on

On July 6th, video game developer Niantic released Pokémon Go, an augmented reality app giving Pokémon fans a chance to catch Pokémon in real life. This game has taken the world by storm, becoming the most-downloaded app in the world during the three days following its release. The game is especially popular in urban areas, as the placement of Pokémon is closely tied to pre-established locations where people can find them, such as parks or even national landmarks, like, for example, Pershing Park in Washington, DC, home of the National World War 1 Memorial to be dedicated in 2018. Check out what General Pershing saw in his park last week.



WW1 tunnels in France with American carvings
An amateur battlefield explorer in France recently stumbled into a labyrinth of limestone tunnels in France, and discovered hundreds of carvings left by members of the American Expeditionary Force who sheltered there in 1917 and 1918. The carvings included military insignia, portraits of soldiers and their horses, and other etchings in the stone through the eight miles of caverns. See the haunting photos of the carvings and read the whole story here.

Records of Commission of Army Officers in WW1
The latest entry in the Documenting Doughboys series on the Commission web site looks at Army Officer Commission Records,showing the Commission of Officers in the Regular Army, National Guard, and Officer Reserve Corps. One example of a typical record shows a very familiar name of a certain Army Reserve member who got a big promotion later on in life. Check it out here, along with all the other features in the Family Ties section.

Special Commemorative Merchandise Being Created for Oshkosh 2016 Air Show.
With over 700,000 expected to attend EAA Airventures also known as Oshkosh 2016, July 25-31, we are supporting their WWI aviation sub-theme with special commemorative Oshkosh 2016 merchandise. To check out the preview below, click on a thumbnail to see a larger rendition in a browser window.

Oshkosh 2016 sticker

World War One Centennial Oshkosh 2016 3” x 3” Sticker



Lapel PinWorld War One Centennial Oshkosh 2016 Lapel Pin


T-shirt DesignWorld War One Centennial Oshkosh 2016 T-Shirt design


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