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

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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December 26, 2017

December 26th, 1917: U.S. Government takes over control of nation’s railroads

Railroad poster

Eight months after the United States enters World War I on behalf of the Allies, President Woodrow Wilson announces the nationalization of a large majority of the country’s railroads under the Federal Possession and Control Act. By the end of 1917, it seemed that the existing railroad system was not up to the task of supporting the war effort and Wilson decided on nationalization. Two days after his announcement, the United States Railroad Administration (USRA) seized control. Read more about why and how the railroads came under Federal control, and how they emerged as private entities again after the war.


The Christmas Truce in World War I is an enduring historical memory 100 years on

Truce 1

The gruesome carnage of the War that Changed the World is a dark memory that a century later civilization is still trying to comprehend, let alone understand. But out of that darkness, one episode of light continues to fascinate: the 1914 Christmas Truce. Described by the Washington Post as "The Christmas Truce Miracle," it began when "a melody drifted over the darkness of No Man’s Land. First “O, Holy Night,” then “God Save the King.” German and British soldiers emerged from their trenches to share cigarettes, wine, and song, in a too-brief, and not-to-be-repeated interlude of peace and soldierly fellowship in the midst of the brutal killing that preceded and followed it.

Truce 2

This Washington Post article on the Christmas Truce describes how the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City has published an online gallery of hundreds of accounts of such Christmas truces — letters home from soldiers telling of the extraordinary events. Another essay discusses Why the Christmas Truce endures in historical memory so vividly. The light of the truce has even touched the virtual world of WWI, with the competitors in the wildly successful Great War-themed online game Battlefield 1 stirred to action by the "story so powerful that, even today, it still almost sounds like a myth."

Truce 3


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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

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

Christmas Truce 1914

Holiday Special

This Special episode is a 1-hr+ Holiday music compilation from the WWI era. It features a special homily from Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben - Chief of Navy Chaplains, with words of thanks and prayer from all of us here today - back to those who were serving in 1917, in recognition and appreciation for their service and their sacrifice in the War That Changed the World!


Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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Christian Carion’s  Film, Joyeux Noël: A Place of Memory

Winter 1914. WWI’s first major battles have stagnated in the trenches. In an icy field in the North of France, French, Scots, and Germans spy on each other until Christmas Eve when the nostalgic song of bagpipes escapes from the underground while the sound of a Berlin tenor’s Lied rises and spreads in the night. Soon the two melodies harmonize, and the soldiers from all sides emerge from the trenches and meet each other in No Man’s Land. Strategic enemies become war brothers. Christian Carion, captures this battlefield miracle in his 2005 film,Joyeux Noël,now a WWI classic. Don't miss this moving interview with the famous French director!


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Marine devil dog statue

Limited Edition Marine Devil Dog Statue - $175

Inspired by the WWI Marine Chauchat gunner, this 12” cold cast bronze collector statue is a tribute to those who fought in The Great War.

Imagine a scene somewhere in France late 1918. The term “Devil Dog” has its origins at Belleau Wood where a dispatch from the German front lines to headquarters described the fighting abilities of the Americans as fighting like “Teufel Hunden”- “Hounds from Hell.” The Marine gunner wears the AEF M1917 khaki drab uniform typically worn without collar insignia. His primary weapon is the French Chauchat (CSRG) machine gun, while a Colt .45 pistol serves as his sidearm. His backpack is lightly loaded for the assault and he carries extra 20 round magazines for the Chauchat in a French-made haversack. His gasmask, worn in the “ready” position, helmet and gear are all U.S. issue.

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 national WWI Memorial to be built in Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., commemorating the valor and sacrifices of all U.S. WWI soldiers.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


Henry Abraham Lincoln Nichols

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

Henry Abraham Lincoln Nichols

 

Submitted by: Alan Leventhal, Tribal Ethnohistorian, Muwekma Ohlone Tribe

 

 

Henry Abraham Lincoln Nichols was born around 1895. Henry Nichols served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Fireman 1st Class Henry Abraham Lincoln Nichols

U.S. Navy, Battleships USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma.

Henry Nichols was born in Niles on February 12, 1895 to Charles Nichols and Muwekma Ohlone Susanna Flores Nichols.

Henry enlisted on May 23, 1917 and first served on the USS Albatross. By December 31, 1917 he was transferred to the Battleship USS Arizona, and later on March 26, 1918 he was transferred again to the Battleship USS Oklahoma.

Read Henry Abraham Lincoln Nichols's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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December 19, 2017

The Secretary of the Navy who saved America's Christmas in World War I

Daniels

Josephus Daniels, one of the most prominent North Carolinians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, played a key role in a story that often circulates around Christmastime. He’s not exactly its hero, but in the end Daniels makes the right call — and thus helps to save the celebration of Christmas during wartime. While serving on the Council of National Defense, a federal panel which, among other things, supervised private industry’s contribution to the war effort. Daniels had a decision to make when the Council staff drafted a rule to limit the production of Christmas gifts. Read more here about how Daniels saved the Christmas season.


In 1917, N.Y. Guard soldiers celebrated Christmas before a legendary march

Valley Forge March

By Christmas 1917, the 42nd division's elements were located in a number of villages northeast of the city of Chaumont, about 190 miles east of Paris. By all accounts, most had a warm and well-fed Christmas. But after Christmas, Division elements marched through the snowy French countryside in what became known as the "Valley Forge Hike", 100 kilometers in the snow from the Vaucouleurs to Rolampont France. Today you can drive the route in an hour. In 1917 it took the Soldiers four days to get there.  Read more here about the December hike that "made Napoleon's retreat from Moscow look like a Fifth Avenue Parade."


Dunning sworn in as a new member of U.S. World War I Centennial Commission

Dunning swearing-in

Last week, Commander Zoe Dunning, USN (Ret.) was sworn in as a new member of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. The ceremony took place prior to the Centennial Commission's quarterly meeting in Washington DC. "I am honored to be part of this commission" Dunning said. "As a veteran, I will do everything I can to ensure that the Centennial Commission's activities ring loudly, in the name of all of America's veterans." Read more about the newest World War I Centennial Commissioner here.


"People will get a chance to see this legendary Tankgewehr, and learn about its extraordinary history"

Tankgewehr

Our friend David O'Neal has an interesting specialty -- he restores artifacts from World War I. His latest project is certainly one of his most unique -- it is the ground-up recreation of one of the most extraordinary weapons from World War I -- a Mauser Tankgewehr anti-tank rifle. This enormous rifle was designed to shoot at allied tanks and armored cars, with a huge bullet that could penetrate even their thickest steel hulls. The full story of his restoration, which is still underway, can be followed at http://www.ww1history.com/parking-lot.html. David came across a collection of parts from one such rifle, and accepted the challenge of restoring it for museum use. We spoke to David to hear about the challenges that he has faced to bring his vision to reality.


New video from Sabin Howard, sculptor of America's World War I Memorial

Sabin Howard

Sculptor Sabin Howard has provided us with a great present for the Holidays -- a video that provides an update on his incredible work on America's World War I Memorial. This new video shows, in great detail, a small-scale maquette for the memorial's sculptural element, and also provides a great explanation on Sabin's choices for the artistic vision, narrative, and symbolism, of the ultimate piece. Click here to watch the new Memorial video.


Illinois WWI National Guard unit became known as 'the Fighting Black Devils'

Emmett Thompson

When the early Chicago train pulled into a Quincy, IL train station on Feb. 25, 1919, it was met by both a band and a cheering crowd. The Daily Whig paper reported that hundreds "of men and women of his own race and all the other citizens of Quincy" had come out to welcome Sgt. Emmett Thompson home from the World War. The Daily Herald recorded that "when Thompson swung down from the coach he was caught up by many willing hands." For conspicuous bravery in France, Thompson, an African-American, had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the U.S. military's second highest medal for valor, the first soldier from Quincy to have this honor bestowed on him. Read more about Thompson, and how the all-black Eighth Illinois National Guard Infantry earned its fearsome fighting reputation in France during World War I.


Pritzker Military Museum & Library exhibit tells personal stories of World War I

Pritzker exhibit

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s new original exhibit, Lest We Forget: Sailors, Sammies and Doughboys Over There in World War I, explores the experiences of those who served in World War I and the role the United States played in ending the first global conflict. This incredible new exhibit will feature photographs, maps, posters, rare books, artifacts and footage from the era. Read more about this outstanding new WWI exhibit at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library here.


"War & Art: USA in Italy" World War I exhibit goes up at the Pentagon

Tom Christianson

The Pentagon, home to the U.S. Department of Defense, is in many ways, a city-like community all unto itself. The Pentagon structure is huge, considered the largest low-rise office building in the world, with some 25,000 people working there ever day. Over the past dozen or so years, there has been a significant effort to build the sense of community among the people in the Pentagon -- by using its endless hallways as exhibit space, in order to tell stories from the Defense Department's remarkable history. The latest Pentagon hallway exhibit has a World War I theme, and centers on the story of America's activities in Italy during the war. The exhibit was curated by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and presented through the Embassy of Italy. We spoke to Defense Department Historian Tom Christianson about the exhibit, and its stories.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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

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

Horse Heroes

Episode #50
Highlights:

The role of coal in WWI America - Dr. Sean Adams | @ 03:00

Coming Attractions - Preview of podcasts | @ 09:50 

The Halifax Explosion - Mike Shuster | @ 11:10   

Commissioner Zoe Dunning is sworn in | @ 16 :00

Gold Star Mothers special tour - Candy Martin | @ 16:55

Speaking WWI - "Chatting" - A lousy deal | @ 23:50

New issue “Understanding The Great War” Education Newsletter | @ 25:00

100C/100M - Portland, Maine - Brandon Mazer | @ 25:50

Sgt. Stubby new trailer | @ 30:40

Horse Heroes - BrookeUSA - Jo Ellen Hayden | @ 32:25

WWrite Blog - What if there had been no Balfour Declaration | @ 39:30

Buzz - Signal Corp & drip rifles - Katherine Akey | @ 40:15

Xmas Soldier

COMING ATTRACTION - Podcast Holiday Special

Available starting this coming Friday, 12/22, 2017

For our Holiday Special episode we have created a period 1917 holiday music mixtape. Put on the podcast for a WWI holiday ambiance in memory of those who spent Christmas 1917 apart from their loved ones!

It includes a special message from Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, Chief of Navy Chaplains, as we send words of thanks and prayers from us here today, back to 1917 in recognition and appreciation for the service and sacrifice that is the legacy from the war the Changed the world!


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coffee Mug

White Ceramic Mug

You can get these in time to ring in the new year. Get a whole set of WHITE CERAMIC COMMEMORATION MUGS ($12/ea.) 

Then... add some strong fresh brew coffee, some heated egg nog, and maybe a nice generous splash of Amaretto. 

Get mugs for the whole team, the post, the office or just the family and help build America's WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


Daniel Sylvester Carroll

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

Daniel Sylvester Carroll

 

Submitted by: Natilie

 

 

Daniel Sylvester Carroll served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known January 1918-December 1918.

Daniel Sylvester Carroll was a member of the United States Marine Aviation Force, Northern Bombing Group, Foreign Service, Field D., France.

Daniel Sylvester Carroll’s War Experience as told by his daughter, Doris Carroll Simper:

Dad was inducted in Vernal - He went instead of Uncle Roy because one of them had to stay home and run the farm. Dad said he would rather die than be stuck on that farm. He was sent from Vernal to Salt Lake City where he was sent to Vallejo, California for his Basic Training. From there he was sent to Miami, Florida where he trained to be a mechanic and machine gunner in the first planes ever used in combat.

He was then shipped directly to France. Upon arriving there because of the shortage of planes he was assigned to be a motorcycle dispatch rider. During this assignment he had five cycles blown up. Two while he was on them. He was not critically injured or so they thought at the time but a small fragment of shrapnel somehow had become lodged in his head. It travelled around doing its thing and caused all kinds of problems for a long time.

Read Daniel Sylvester Carroll's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here. 


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December 12, 2017

WWI American Horse Heroes "served with heart, with obedience, with loyalty"

Horse Heroes logo

For three years prior to the nation's entry into World War I, the United States shipped approximately one million American horses and mules to Europe, to assist the war effort as they worked for the British and French armies. These animals carried men into battle, and wounded men to safety. They carried food, water, medical supplies, ammunition, gun carriages and other supplies to the front lines across difficult terrain, in brutal weather, often surrounded by dead and dying men and animals. For peace-loving animals, the sights, sounds, and smells were as dreadful as they were for the men.

Jo Ellen Hayden

The story of these animals is one of courage, and also of tragedy. Brooke USA,  a Commemorative Partner to the WW1CC, is charity dedicated to improving the welfare of horses, donkeys and mules in the developing world. They have a special project to honor and remember the story of these horses, and this week their new section on our website, honoring the Horse Heroes, goes live. We discussed Horse Heroes, and the efforts by Brooke USA, with Jo Ellen Hayden, Brooke USA's Horse Heroes Special Project Volunteer.


After a long search, US Army Nurse's WWI bracelet is returned... to Ireland

Josephine Heffernan

A bracelet that had belonged to an Irishwoman serving with the US Army Nurse Corps in France in World War I has been returned to her relatives in Bray, Co Wicklow. Found fifteen years ago by an eight-year-old boy in a schoolyard in Rimaucourt in northeastern France, the bracelet prompted a teacher to begin a long, and ultimately successful search for the descendants of Josephine Heffernan, which led from France to the United States and then to Ireland. Click here to read more about the quest, which has spawned a documentary film in France.


How friendship and love turned a little homeless dog into an unlikely WWI hero

Sgt STubby

The animated movie, SGT Stubby: An American Hero, is a WW1CC Commemorative Partner, and will come to theaters nationwide on 13 April 2018. The film is based on the remarkable true story of the 26th "Yankee" Division's legendary mascot, SGT Stubby, a stray dog who became a hero of World War I. The film features the voices of actors Helena Bonham Carter, Gerald Depardieu, and Logan Lerman, among others. Sgt. Stubby's new teaser trailer arrived this week in select theaters across North America.  We talked about SGT Stubby with the film's writer/producer, Richard Lanni.


Hilton Village in the Virginia Tidewater: An enduring sense of place for 100 years

Homer Ferguson

Prevented from hiring the shipbuilders he needed to build U.S. Navy warships because of the severe war-driven housing shortage in the Norfolk, VA region, the Newport News Shipbuilding Chief Homer L. Ferguson began looking for solutions even before America entered World War I in April, 1917. Not until he dressed down a Senate subcommittee in early 1918 did Washington grasp the depth of the housing crisis, leading in hours to the funds for historic Hilton Village. Designed and built for workers, 100 years later it has been cited by planners and architectural historians as a landmark achievement. Read more about Hilton Village here.


"How ironic that many issues from 1917 continue to resonate long after the 'war to end all wars.' "

Harold T Andrews

On Nov. 30, 1917, Cpl. Harold T. Andrews of Portland became the first Mainer in the American Expeditionary Forces to die in combat in World War I. This son of a prominent Portland educator died when his engineering unit was called into combat to fight a German offensive on the Cambrai front in France. Writing on the Portland Press Herald newspaper web site, scholar Donald Zillman notes that "the study of the American experience in World War I reminds us of is how the issues of 1917 still resonate a century later." Read Zillman's entire thoughtful article here.


Chronicling Major Leaguers who served in WWI ‘From Dugouts to the Trenches’

Baseball

Major League baseball in America went to war in WWI with the rest of the nation. By spring 1918, 76 Major Leaguers were in the military, 48 from the American League and 28 from the National League (there were only 16 Major League teams then). There were 120 players in the military by July 1918. Jim Leeke’s book “From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War” tells the story of two seasons 100 years ago when professional baseball players, executives and sportswriters enlisted, waited for the draft to catch up to them or went to work in steel mills or shipyards. Step up to the plate and read more about Leeke’s book here.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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

 

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

He is an ace, has lion cubs as pets, can't walk backwards and is obviously way cool. Who is this? Listen to the show and find out.

Mystery Ace - lufberry

Episode #49
Highlights:

The African American saga in WW1 @ | 01:30

11th Engineers Cambrai follow up @ | 08:55

Brits capture Jerusalem from Turks - Mike Shuster @ | 09:40

Millionaire’s Unit & Lafayette Escadrille documentary film producer - Darroch Greer @ | 13:55

AmazonSmile for the holidays @ | 21:35

Speaking WW1- Foxhole, Dugout and Cubbyhole @ | 22:35

100C/100M profile - Carmel By The Sea memorial arch - Ian Martin @ | 23:25

The American in Paris documentary - Antony Easton @ | 30:05

Mexican born, illegal immigrant most decorated Texan soldier in WW1 @ | 38:15

WWrite Blog - German songwriter/soldier found from rediscovering his music @ | 39:05

The Buzz - Katherine Akey  @ | 40:20


Wwrite Blog Post This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

The Balfour Declaration sparks the latest post on the WWrite blog, which explores WWI’s Influence on contemporary writing and scholarship. Enjoy and subscribe!!

This week:

What if there had been no Balfour Declaration? What would the alternative history look like? These are questions that writer, Simone Zelitch, author of the novel,Judenstaat,explores  in this week's WWrite blog. Don't miss this fascinating glimpse at a new past...


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

WW1 Tie

World War One Custom Silk Tie: $59.95

This is a great gift idea for the WWI buff or buddy in your life. And you deserve one too!

This 100% woven silk tie has been custom created for the World War One Centennial Commission.  This red silk tie features World War One era aircraft and the official logo of the Centennial Commission on the back.  This beautiful tie also comes packaged in a 2 piece box with the Doughboy seal printed on the top.

Suit up for your next WWI event... It's like a British School tie - it is a keepsake and badge of membership for years to come!

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


Joseph Miller Duff, Jr.

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

Joseph Miller Duff, Jr.

 

Submitted by: Andrew Capets

 

 

Joseph Miller Duff Jr. born around 1889, Joseph Duff served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918

Joseph "Joe" Miller Duff Jr. was destined to lead men. Unfortunately, like so many brilliant young men of their time, his life was cut short in the killing fields of the Meusue-Argonne. Duff was an Ivy League graduate, the Head Football Coach for the University of Pittsburgh, an attorney for the Allegheny County Bar in Pittsburgh, and a World War I machine gunner.

Joe Duff was an American hero. Despite being rejected by the Army on three different occasions for medical reasons, Duff was determined to serve his country and was eventually able to convince the local draft board to overlook his vision problems. 

Duff was a 1912 graduate of Princeton University. As a standout player on their varsity football team, he was named a 1911 ‘All-American’ and proclaimed to be one of the ‘greatest guards in football history’ according to a 1913 Pittsburgh Press newspaper article.

After graduation he was asked to stay on at Princeton to serves as an assistant football coach. The following year he received an offer to become head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Duff delivered two winning seasons for Pittsburgh in 1913 and 1914. Following the 1914 season, Pitt found an opportunity to hire legendary coach Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner. Coach Warner helped Pitt win the College Football National Championship in 1915.

Read Joseph Miller Duff, Jr.'s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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December 5, 2017

First Strike

Gerald York, grandson of WWI hero SGT Alvin York (front center), holds the U.S. Mint's newly-minted 2018 WWI Centennial Silver Dollar. He is joined by (l to r) Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II ; Daniel Basta, U.S. Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, Congressman Doug Lamborn; U.S. WWI Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby; and Senator Roy Blunt.

United States Mint hosts Ceremonial Strike of new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar 

coin

On November 28, the United States Mint hosted a ceremonial strike of the 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar honoring the 100th anniversary of American participation in World War I. The World War I Centennial Silver Dollar was authorized by statute in 2014 with bipartisan Congressional support. Three of the sponsors of the legislation, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Missouri), and U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) personally attended the strike event, along with other distinguished guests.  Read more about the big event here. Find out more about the Commemorative Dollar and when it will be available here.


Has the US forgotten about WWI?

 

BBC Logo

"Despite its profound impact on what became the 'American Century,'" writes BBC News reporter Jane O'Brien, "World War I remains a marginal war for many in the US." But she sees that situation beginning to change with the ground being broken for the new memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC to the 4.5 million Americans who served in the Great War. Interviewing several members of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, O'Brien shows how the new memorial will fill a void in the nation's capital, and also in America's understanding of "the most consequential event of the 20th Century."  Read the entire thoughtful article here.


"An acknowledgment of the extraordinary sacrifices women were making"

Brooke Kroeger

A remarkable new book has appeared on the World War I scene, one that traces the origins of the Women's Suffrage movement in America, and it's relationship to America's war effort 100 years ago. Specifically, The Suffragents is the story of how, and why, a group of prominent and influential men in New York City, and beyond, came together to help women gain the right to vote. Brooke Kroeger is the author. She is a journalist, author of five books, a professor of journalism at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and director of its MA unit, Global and Joint Program Studies, which she founded in 2007. We spoke to her about this book, and what she found in writing it.


Marcelino Serna, most decorated Texan of WWI, was first Mexican-American to receive the Distinguished Service Cross

Marcelino Serna

When the U.S. entered World War One in 1917, it is estimated that roughly 500,000 people who joined the United States armed services were immigrants. According to the National Park Service, this amounted to 18 percent of U.S. troops. Among these, one of the most highly decorated was Mexican-born Marcelino Serna. On the battle lines, he proved his courage as a soldier several times, his actions speaking for themselves as to why he was worth all the decorations he later collected. Read more about the heroism that meant Serna returned as the most highly-decorated Texan soldier to serve in World War I.


Support America’s World War I Memorial while holiday shopping on AmazonSmile!

Amazon Smile

The holiday shopping season is officially upon us. As you shop for friends, family, and loved ones this year, you have the opportunity to both shop and support America’s World War I Memorial at the same time through AmazonSmile, at no extra cost to you. Learn more about supporting the Memorial while you shop here.


“I’m not sure how many people even know why we entered the war."

Mary Mannix

Walk through the doors of the C. Burr Artz Public Library in downtown Frederick in December, and you’ll step back in time 100 years. The Library of America’s “World War I and America” project exhibit that lines the interior walkway of the library transports viewers to the American experience during World War I. The traveling exhibit, tied to the 100th anniversary of the country’s entrance into WWI, is available for local libraries and museums, and Frederick County Public Libraries was one of 120 applicants selected to host the exhibit. Mary Mannix, manager of the exhibit for the Fredrick County Libraries, says that the WWI exhibit is important because the conflict “was the forgotten war, in many ways.” Read more about the Library of America traveling WWI exhibit and how it hopes to foster relationships between modern-day veterans and civilians.


"Pay tribute not only to the Unknown of World War I but all who have served"

Hill

We, The Unknown (WETU) is a brand-new musical commission conceived by Rob Hill, a retired Army Lt. Col and third-generation soldier whose paternal grandfather, John G. Hill, Sr., served in World War I. The work is slated to premiere in Kansas City, MO on June 9th & 10th. The idea for the musical work came to Rob after hearing a brief history of how America’s Unknown Soldier was selected. Almost immediately, he wondered, “what if the person selected was gay or African-American or someone else we might not otherwise expect?” Initially, he considered almost every other format possible to tell the story—novel, film, play—but when he moved to Kansas City, home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and joined the Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), he decided that a choral work for men’s voices was the best medium to pay tribute not only to the Unknown Soldier but all who have served, many in silence. We discussed the WETU project with Rob Hill, with Ms. Pat Daneman, Rob's co-librettist, and with Timothy C. Takach, the project's musical composer.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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

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

Chag Soldiers unknow

Episode 48
Highlights:

  • Thanksgiving reflections from 1917 @ | 01:15
  • Tank warfare in the battle of Cambrai - Mike Shuster @ | 11:35 
  • Introducing WW1 Centennial Commissioner Zoe Dunning @ | 15:55
  • Ceremonial Coin Strike at Philly mint @ | 16:15
  • Trench Coat and Wristwatch - Speaking WW1 @ | 17:20
  • 100C / 100M project in Springfield, MA @ | 19:55
  • WWrite Blog article by WW1CC intern Sarah Biegelsen @ | 25:15
  • Yurok Native Americans in WW1 - Chag Lowry & Rahsan Ekedal @ | 26:15
  • Memoire - An adventure in 1914 - Christopher Kelly @ | 32:00
  • DH4 WW1 Aircraft restoration progresses @ | 37:50
  • The Buzz - Katherine Akey @ | 38:30

 

Image credit: A work-in-progress image of a Yurok Native Army soldier drawn by Rahsan Ekedal for the upcoming Graphic Novel "Soldiers Unknown" by Chag Lowry


Wwrite Blog Post This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

When British musicians Patricia Hammond and Matt Redman found and performed German sheet music written by a soldier killed in Verdun, they had no idea the song, "Soon, Too Soon," would also lead to the discovery of the composer's body.

It had been buried in an unmarked grave in France's Meuse-Argonne region.

 Read about the captivating hunt for a man behind a melody in this week's WWrite blog post!


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

silent night record

A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song $14.95

A wonderful and totally unique Holiday gift for your WW1 enthusiast friends

The pieces of music you will hear on this disc are, in a sense, living artifacts of the WWI era, Despite the vast contrast in style among the various composers, almost every piece was composed within the ten-year period between 1912 and 1922.  The poetry and the music itself is infused with the emotions of the war, from vengeful violence to solemn mourning, to desperate calls for peace.  

Among the composers represented here are George Butterworth, a British composer who was killed in the Battle of the Somme; Ivor Gurney, a British composer and poet who wrote songs in the trenches; Carl Orff, a German composer who was wounded when a trench collapsed on him; Francis Poulenc, a French composer who fought in WWI as a teenager, then served again in WWII; and Charles Ives, the iconic American composer who wrote Three Songs of War when the US entered the conflict in 1917.

Press Quote from Washington Post:

"This recital was so different - so refreshingly, marvelously different...The goal of a recital is not originality as much as making a statement as an artist. And at this, Brancy and Dugan succeeded superbly."

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


Take advantage of the
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Norman E. McLeod

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

Norman McLeod

 

Submitted by: Rob McGregor

 

 

Norman E. McLeod served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known Jun 1916 - Jan 1919.

At just 16 years of age he joined the Plant City Rifles, Second Florida Regiment (National Guard) on 13 Jun 1916. Was mobilized on 19 June 1916 for service on the Mexican border. Returned to in late spring of 1917 after America's entry into the war and mobilized again as part of the 124th Infantry Regiment, 31st Division (known as the Dixie Division) and sent to Camp Wheeler, GA.

Norman chose to go to France sooner than the Dixie Division was scheduled to go and transferred to L Co, 103rd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division.

Norman's unit was part of the Aisne-Marne Campaign, advancing up the Marne salient and pushing into Belleau Wood, moving 10 miles from 18-25 July 1918. The Germans were heavily engaged in the use of mustard gas and heavy artillery along this front, and the battles were furious and unrelenting.

Read Norman E. McLeod's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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November 28, 2017 

Zoe Dunning named to United States World War I Centennial Commission

Zoe Dunning

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has filled the empty seat on the United States World War One Centennial Commission with Commander Zoe Dunning, USN (Ret.) of San Francisco. Dunning fills the opening on the Commission created by the resignation of former Chair Robert Dalessandro earlier this year. Read more about newly-appointed Commissioner Dunning here.


"I so wanted to create a great design!"

Transfield

 

Later today, in Philadelphia, the US Mint will host a ceremonial strike event for the new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. On hand, will be a distinguished group who were involved with the coin project, to include Congressional sponsors of the legislation that authorized the coin; Don Everhardt, legendary US Mint coin engraver; and Terry Hamby, the Chair of our WWI Centennial Commission. However, no one there for the big event will be more excited than Leroy Transfield - designer of the new coin. He is an experienced sculptor from New Zealand. His design was picked through an open international competition, hosted by the U.S. Mint, and this is his first coin for them. We talked to him about the coin, the inspiration, and his own personal ties to WWI.


Support America’s World War I Memorial while holiday shopping on AmazonSmile!

AmazonSmile button

The holiday shopping season is officially upon us. As you shop for friends, family, and loved ones this year, you have the opportunity to both shop and support America’s World War I Memorial at the same time through AmazonSmile, at no extra cost to you. Learn more about supporting the Memorial while you shop here.


Blinded Veterans UK & BVA/Project Gemini Exchange Visit to California

Blinded Veterans

A remarkable exchange-visit took place in Southern California last month, one with deep roots to World War I. Six blinded military veterans from the United Kingdom, with the organization Blind Veterans UK, spent a week meeting with six American veterans, who are members of the U.S.-based Blind Veterans Association (BVA), and who also have suffered war-related vision loss. Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 as a charity whose purpose was to train and support soldiers blinded in the First World War. Blind Veterans UK conducted training for blind UK service members, and later shared that training with U.S. service members when American Expeditionary Forces members required vision rehabilitation. Read more about a century of helping soldiers who lost eyesight in their nations' service here.


For the Doughboys: How to preserve World War I memorials in Illinois

Victory Memorial Chicago

An important editorial in the Chicago Tribune newspaper has put the spotlight on the plight of neglected World War One Memorials in the nation's third largest city and fifth largest state. The Editorial Board also mentioned both the new national World War One Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, and the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program. Kenneth Clarke, president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum, the Founding Sponsor of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission,was featured in the editorial that urged attention to "this important opportunity at the centennial to reflect on the past and remember the sacrifices, even if the Doughboys are all gone." Check out the entire editorial here.


Pensacola State College students unveil WWI project at Navy aviation museum

Pensacola exhibit

Senior students at Pensacola State College in Florida, and staff members at the Naval Aviation Museum, worked together on a special exhibit that pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the U.S.'s entry into World War I. Through creative designs and exhaustive research, the exhibit tells the stories of World War I, including early aviators, war rations and the Spanish Flu. The project was an eye-opener for the students, as they discovered "how World War I affected the entire world." Read more about the Pensacola exhibit here.


WWI centennial aim: a commemorative tree planted in all 75 Arkansas counties

Arkansas trees

Trees planted around the world a century ago served as living reminders of soldiers who died during World War I, part of a reforestation effort and a way to create distinct memorials. During the centennial observance of "The Great War," memorial tree programs are again underway, with the goal in Arkansas to plant a specific commemorative willow oak in each of the state's 75 counties. Read more about this statewide World War One Centennial program, and check out their progress here.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

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

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

From the  memorial design - podcast - ww1cn

Episode 47
Thanksgiving Fundraiser Special:

  • Web donations: ww1cc.org/donate
  • Text-to-give donations: Text “wwi” to 91999
  • Learn more: ww1cc.org/memorial
  • Being Thankful | @ 00:40
  • Mr. Terry Hamby, Chair of the WWI Centennial Commission | @ 04:00
  • The Honorable Ted Poe, Congressman | @ 10:10
  • The Honorable Emanuel Cleaver, Congressman | @ 14:30
  • General Mark A. Milley, 39th Chief of Staff of the Army | @ 18:00
  • Bob Vogel, director of the National Capital Region (NCR), National Park Service | @ 22:15
  • The Honorable David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs | @ 27:05
  • Keith Harman, Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars | @ 30:10
  • Denise H. Rohan, National Commander, American Legion | @ 32:20
  • The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington | @ 35:45
  • The Honorable Doug Lamborn, Congressman | @ 38:20
  • The Honorable Kevin Yoder, Congressman | @ 40:20

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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The ground breaks. 

As the new WWI Memorial materializes in D.C., it's fascinating to take a look at other war memorials and the narrative of their construction. 

Reading the "story" of the ways memorials are conceived plays an important role in the understanding of public, cultural memory. Delve into the subject this week with WWrite's blog post,"Forgetting to Remember: Making America's Great War Monumental Again," by WW1CC intern, Sarah Biegelsen. Don't miss this fascinating tour of some of America's interesting WWI monuments...and their stories.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Key Chain

“Nothing Stops These Men” – Special WWI Keychain $9.95

This is one of the great little gems in our official commemoration merchandise. It is solid... weighty... substantial... looks great and (editors note) I have had one in my pocket for 15 months now and looks as good today as the day I started using it... to hold my keys and to start conversations about WWI.

This commemorative gem is under $10.00 and is a GREAT Holiday gift for friends, associates and family as a stocking stuffer. Buy several and give a little gift that will provide practical value to the recipient all year and a lifetime of commemoration as part of the proceeds go to build America's National Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


E. Reynold Thomas

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

E Reynold Thomas

 

Submitted by: Margaret Thomas Buchholz {daughter}

 

 

E. Reynold Thomas served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known jan 1918 to early 1920. 

My father, Corporal E. Reynold Thomas, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 4 November 1898. His maternal ancestors were Quaker and came to this country with William Penn.

He enlisted in the Marines (serial # 305258) just after his 19th birthday on 4 January 1918. He left Atlantic City High School a semester before he would have graduated 

Thomas revered his grandfather, J. Warner Kinsey, who had served in the Civil War, and when he was a boy scout went with him to a memorial reunion at Gettysburg (1905).

After basic training at Parris Island he was sent to France in April 1918, and was assigned to the 55th Company, 2d Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. He fought at Belleau Woods through the month of June and at Soissons 18 and 19 July.

It was after Belleau Woods that he wrote the letter to his mother telling how awful it was, “a living hell” – he was one of a small percentage of his battalion to survive. The battalion was at Les Mares Farm on 3 June where they stopped the Germans at the point closest to Paris the Germans would come in the war.

Read E. Reynold Thomas's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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