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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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January 29, 2019 

January 1, 2019 Memorial Header

Revamping Pershing Park: Giving World War I Remembrance Its Due

Federal City Council

The United States World War I Centennial had the opportunity last week to brief the Federal City Council (FC2 ) in Washington, DC on the new National World War I Memorial in the nation's capitol. Commissioner and Vice Chair Edwin Fountain, and Commissioner Tod Sedgwick led a discussion with FC2 Trustees about plans to build the Memorial in Pershing Park. Click here to read the extremely positive response from the FC2 on the briefing, and the organization's call for FC2 members to "get involved" in the Memorial project.


Senators Tester, Blackburn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Honor "Hello Girls"

Blackburn-Tester

U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are honoring the groundbreaking service of the women who connected American and French forces on the front lines of World War I. The Senators introduced the bipartisan Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act to award the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, dubbed the "Hello Girls," with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service and subsequent 60 year fight to be recognized as veterans. The Hello Girls were recruited after male infantrymen struggled to connect calls quickly or communicate with their French counterparts. Despite their outstanding service and the military oath they took, the Hello Girls were denied veteran status and benefits when they returned home. It wasn't until 1977, 60 years after the first Hello Girls took the Army oath, that Congress passed legislation to retroactively acknowledge the military service of the women in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Click here to read more about this new legislative initiative to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the "Hello Girls" that will "honor their service as well as their fight for recognition.”


American Legion supports review of minorities' World War I valor medals

Valor Medals review web site logo

The American Legion magazine's February 2019 issue will carry a full-page article detailing the Legion's support for the United States World War I Centennial Commission-sponsored Valor Medals Review Task Force. This is the first systematic  review of World War I veterans who may have been denied a Medal of Honor due to racial or ethnic discrimination. The Valor Medals Review Task Force is starting with the records of approximately 70 African-American soldiers -- in particular, those worthy of the nation's highest military award who may have been downgraded to a Distinguished Service Cross or received a French Croix de Guerre with palm. Click here to read more about the Valor Medals Review Task Force, and the Legion's full support for its efforts.


Philadelphia Family Gets Back Grandfather’s World War I Keepsake Thanks to Purple Hearts Reunited

2nd Lt. Donald A. McClure

Three weeks ago, the nonprofit Purple Hearts Reunited reached out to the McClure family in West Chester, PA, letting them know that they found something that belonged to them. In a letter home to Pennsylvania, 2nd Lt. Donald A. McClure (left) described the severe leg injury he had suffered in World War I. The letter came from France. The year was 1918. McClure was 22. McClure's descendants weren't aware that Lt. McClure received a WWI Wound Certificate, and like many, don’t know how it left the family. But inside of a West Chester home, the honor was returned. Click here to read the entire story, and watch the video as a bit of World War I history was returned to a veteran's family.


How the flu wiped out 675,000 Americans after World War I

Libby O'Connell

Commissioner Libby O'Connell of the United States World War 1 Centennial Commission is the chief historian emeritus at the History Channel. She picked up her historian's pen to craft an article last week for the New York Post newspaper about the still mystifying outbreak of influenza during World War I that killed millions worldwide, including some 675,000 Americans, 43,000 of them Doughboys. Click here to read more about the viral carnage of the influenza pandemic, and how the specter of a pandemics like the World War I episode, in new and virulent forms, isn’t a remote historic footnote 100 years later.


Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” marches on: Warner Brothers releasing widely across North America

The Shall Not Grow Old Title poster

Warner Bros. Pictures is widening the front for Peter Jackson’s widely acclaimed World War I documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old.” The studio will expand the release of the film to 500 theaters across 150 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada, beginning on Friday, February 1, 2019, with special pre-shows the evening before.  The Warner Bros. release comes following the film’s hugely successful Fathom Events dates, which yielded record-setting results. “They Shall Not Grow Old” took in $8.34 million, making it the highest-grossing U.S. Cinema Event release ever. Click here to read more about the broad release of this epic World War I documentary, including how to buy tickets.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

A Century in the Making: An Interview with National WWI Memorial creative team Joe Weishaar and Sabin Howard

Weishaar-Howard

In Episode 105 of the WW1 Centennial News Podcast, which aired on January 11th, 2019, we heard from two people who are integral to the creation of the National WWI Memorial: lead designer Joe Weishaar (top left) and sculptor Sabin Howard. We honor the veterans of every other major conflict of the 20th century in our nation's capital, except World War I. To fix that, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission's capstone project is the creation of the memorial. During the centennial of the armistice, we held events in D.C. at the site of the future memorial. At one of these events, Weishaar, and Howard spoke about the evolution of the project and how they got together. Click here to read a transcript from the event.

Remembering Veterans: Erin Fehr

Erin Fehr

On January 11th's edition of the WWI Centennial News Podcast, Episode 105, archivist Erin Fehr of the Sequoyah National Research Center (SNRC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, spoke with host Theo Mayer about the new "American Indians in World War I" section of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission web site. The encyclopedic web site commemorates the service of American Indians in the Great War. Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

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 siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Boarding for the voyage home.

Episode #107
Highlights: New Nations, New World.

Host: Theo Mayer

 

  • The News 100 Year Ago in the Official Bulletin - Host | @02:05
  • Tempestuous Voyage Home - Dr. Edward Lengel | @15:55
  • A Seat At The Table: Yugoslavia - Host | @19:25
  • Communist Revolution in Germany - Mike Shuster | @22:40
  • First into German: Sgt. Roy Holtz - Host | @26:40(Courtesy of Robert Laplander)
  • The Next Step for the Sculpture - Sabin Howard | @34:10
  • National History Day WWI Education - Cathy Gorn | @41:45
  • Speaking WWI: Cup ‘O Joe - Host | @49:45
  • Hello Girls Musical Cast Album - Host | @51:35

Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

WWrite 2-Year Review
Part 5

The last installment of the WWrite 2-Year Review! Since January 2017, WWrite has published a diversity of writers' voices and stories from past and present. This week, part 5 takes a look at the following categories of posts: The Enemy; Allied Memorials; Native Americans; Colonial Soldiers; New WWI Art, Music, Poetry, and Fiction; Scholarship and Teaching. Read the fascinating ways international writers, scholars, and artists have commemorated the centennial at WWrite this week!

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

The Extra

The double suicide of American twin sisters Dorothea & Gladys Cromwell occurred Jan 19,1919. Their deaths provoked widespread public debate concerning the mental effects of war work on women volunteers. Read about Gladys Cromwell's poem "The Extra"


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coin Display

United States Mint WWI Commemorative Coin and Display

The US Mint stopped selling the World War I Commemorative Coin on December 27, but you can still purchase the limited edition silver dollar in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor, from the Centennial Official Merchandise store. This package makes a great collectible gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available at here. Supplies are limited.  And remember: proceeds from the sale of this item go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.

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


Double Donations Ambulances


Dalton Ranlet

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

Dalton Ranlet

Submitted by: Linda Gagen {niece}

Dalton Ranlet was born around 1900. Dalton Ranlet served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1917.

Story of Service

My uncle, Dalton Ranlet, lied about his age to enlist in the 11th Engineers (Railway), which was one of the first regiments to go to France. In November 1917 he died in the Battle of Gouzeaucourt, which was the first time an American unit fought as a unit in World War I. His body was lost in the rubble and not recovered until 1955. He was then buried in the Somme Cemetery, without notifying the family.

My mother was born three years after Dalton’s death and grew up hearing stories of her brother’s service and death. In 2012, I learned that he was buried in France while researching family history. That discovery began a long process of searching for records both in the United States and France to learn more about Dalton.

Over time I met the citizens and officials for Gouzeaucourt, who expressed an interest in creating a memorial to the 11th Engineers. With the help of my friend Leo, we located the 11th Engineer Battalion Association, who gladly funded the construction of a memorial.

Read Dalton Ranlet's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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January 22, 2019 

January 1, 2019 Memorial Header

"We'll have about as much time to raise the funds for the Memorial as the U.S. had in the field 'Over There.'"

Phil Mazzara

This week, we have the remarkable good fortune to introduce our new Director of Development, Mr. Phillip Mazzara. He is a seasoned professional in the fundraising community, with a long history of success. He will lead the campaign to raise the money for construction of the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. We had the chance to ask Phil a few questions about his background, the challenges of his new position, and why remembering the service of America's World War I veterans is important to him.


The Dawn of the Red Arrow book traces the Wisconsin National Guard's role in WWI

Faltinson

Those who have been following the WW1CC newsletter and website know that there has been a terrific weekly series of articles appearing in social media, and on our website, entitled THE DAWN OF THE RED ARROW which traces the history of the Wisconsin National Guard in World War I. The series was created by MAJ Brian J. Faltinson, Public Affairs Officer, Wisconsin National Guard, and shows an amazing amount of teamwork, research depth, and insight. Now, the entire series has been edited together into a great comprehensive eBook. We had a few moments to talk to Major Faltinson about the book, and about his efforts to remember the WWI veterans from Wisconsin.


Convoys celebrate centennial of WWI trip that led to the US Interstate System

Convoy vehicles interstate

The first Transcontinental Army Motor Transport Expedition in the summer of 1919 did make it from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, though it arrived several days late, abandoned nine vehicles and all but one of its kitchen trailers, destroyed 88 bridges, and had more than 200 unintentional off-road incidents, all due largely to the undeveloped (or lack of) roads along the way. Still, as a then-Lt. Col. Dwight Eisenhower wrote in his report, among the people he met while participating in the expedition, “It seemed that there was a great deal of sentiment for the improving of highways, and from the standpoint of promoting this sentiment, the trip was an undoubted success.” Within 40 years, that sentiment became a reality with the country’s interstate highway system, ribbons of road stretching from coast to coast and border to border that have — for better or worse — transformed the country and the lives of the people who live in it. Now, a century after that 62-day cross-country slog, at least two caravans will retrace the steps of Ike and the nearly 300 other men who took part in the expedition.


"You have to get it right because history demands that we remember it accurately in order to learn from it."

Wayne Stables

Among the most incredible aspects of the ground-breaking new World War I documentary THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD is the restoration and colorization of the original 100 year-old imagery. The colorization process was supervised by Wayne Stables, who is a towering figure in the world of cinematic post-production. Wayne started working at Weta Digital in 1994 and has worked on projects including The Frighteners, Contact, The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG. He has recently worked as a Visual Effects Supervisor on Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall, and is currently working on James Cameron's Avatar sequels. Wayne is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been nominated for a BAFTA and numerous Visual Effects Society awards. Wayne kindly spoke to us about his work with the incredible Peter Jackson World War I documentary.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

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 siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Teddy Roosevelt dies in January 1919

Episode #106
Highlights: Welcome Home, It's Prohibition!

Host: Theo Mayer

The Headlines 100 Years Ago, Host | @02:00

The 308th Regiment’s Journey Home - Dr. Edward Lengel | @12:00

Wilson Goes to Rome - Mike Shuster | @19:10

First into Germany: SGT Roy Holtz - And he did it on a Harley - Host | @23:15(Courtesy of author Robert Laplander)

A Century in the Making: The Winning Team Part 2 - Joe Weishaar & Sabin Howard | @30:50

Introducing Phil Mazzara - Host | @40:00

The Story of a Memorial Hunter - Bob Shay | @42:30


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Not One, But Two Years of WWrite in Review! Part 4: Women Writing WWI

Over 22,000 American women served as nurses during WWI. The Navy and Marines accepted 13,000 women into active duty. Thousands have written about their experience, which has inspired contemporary women scholars and writers to explore the war through research and art. This is the 4th installment of the series, “WWrite Blog: Two Years in Review of WWI and Writing,” that will document and synthesize the 100+ blog contributions from January 2017. This week features posts about women's incredible involvement in WWI as fighters and writers.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Navy Blue ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA ¼ zipper fleece sweatshirt. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “Doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.

Sweatshirt features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery. 80% cotton/20% polyester,  9.5 Oz. High quality heavy weight pre-shrunk fabric. Sweatshirt has ¼  zip pullover with cadet collar and silver metal zipper. Ribbed cuffs and waistband with spandex. Cover-seamed arm holes. Mens’ sizes available Small and Medium. 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 items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


Double Donation Motorcycles


John Ora Johnson

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

John Ora Johnson

 

Submitted by: Kathleen Susanne Johnston {grand daughter}

John Ora Johnson was born around 1898 or so. John Ora Johnson served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

My grandmother, who insisted on being called John Ora, was part of the Emory University U.S. Army Unit that served from 1917-1919, principally in France.

She was enlisted during her nursing training by a Dr. Green, who said she was the best surgical nurse he had ever trained. It seems, from family legend, that she was rather too young to be in the U.S. Army as a nurse, but Dr. Green insisted, and she was shipped overseas via the Canadian Maritimes to escape German U Boats.

I have photos of her at this point and later. She is noted in the official history of the Emory Unit as R.n., a.n.c., and as having enlisted on April 15, 1918. She is listed in the history as available through address to the Davis-Fischer Santarium, in Atlanta, where she was a superintendent.

Read John Ora Johnson's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


 
 
 
 

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January 15, 2019

January 1, 2019 Memorial Header

"We aligned our performance with the WWICC’s mission of remembrance and recognition of the war that changed the world."

Brancy Classical Singer magazine

Vocalist John Brancy was featured this month in a new interview article in Classical Singer magazine. In the brilliant piece by interviewer Mary Claire Curran, Brancy opens up about his unique style, his remarkable commitment to World War I material, and his next efforts.  Click here to read the entire insightful and revealing article about the vocal half of the duo performing Silent Night: A Memorial in Song.


Color of Memory: Fabric Art in WWI exhibit coming to the World War I Museum in KC

Air Base fabric art 1917-1919

"Remember Me.” “Souvenir de France.” “Mother Dear.” “Merci!” These and countless other sentiments are expressed in the fabric art that came from World War I. Romantic and patriotic scenes were created on silk and cotton and wool felt. Many of the objects were made in direct response to those loved ones going to war from every country. Others were made for commercial purposes to serve the clamor for souvenirs. Click here to read more about the new exhibit that illustrates how fabric art became a colorful reminder of how deeply World War I affected those at home and away.


Names on a Wall: Documenting an Ohio county's World War I Deaths in Service 

Fayette County Ohio War Dead Memorial

Paul LaRue, a member of the Ohio WWI Centennial Committee, became curious about the sources available to locate or identify his community’s WWI deaths in service. Most Ohio counties honor their community's World War I service members with a list of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Paul's county, Fayette, is no different. On the Fayette County Courthouse lawn is a monument with two plaques containing the names of Fayette County's World War I dead (left). But the process of developing the list was more involved than just looking it up. Click here to read about the sources Paul used to develop a definitive database of Fayette County's WWI deaths in service.


"There remains a lot to be seen on the American battlefields, if one knows where and how to look."

Randy Gaulke

Randy Gaulke is a legendary battlefield tour guide, with particular expertise in World War I. He has been providing living history and tour services for several decades, to audiences here in the United States, and in Europe. He spent some time with us, to talk about his background, his efforts -- and about how our followers can best work with professional battlefield tour guides, on their own trips to World War I sites.  Click here to read the entire interview, including Randy's advice on planning a successful post-Centennial Commemoration tour of the American battlefields in France.


TSNGO poster encore

Encore screenings of Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” announced by Fathom Events for January 21

Back by popular demand! Fathom Events and Warner Bros. Pictures have partnered to bring Academy Award winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary They Shall Not Grow Old to cinemas for an encore presentation on January 21. Applying state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies to century-old footage—carefully chosen from hundreds of hours of original Great War film held in the archives of the Imperial War Museum (IWM)—Jackson has created an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic cinematic experience. The only narration comes from Great War veterans themselves, selected from over 600 hours of BBC and IWM archive interviews, resulting in a gripping account of “The War to End All Wars,” told by the soldiers who experienced it. The Fathom Events showings of They Shall Not Grow Old in December sold out quickly. Tickets for this encore January screening are available at FathomEvents.com and at participating theater box offices.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

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 siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

American Indian Warriors - Pima tribe

Episode #105
Highlights: Looking Ahead at 1919!

Host: Theo Mayer

1919 Overview Roundtable - Dr. Edward Lengel, Katherine Akey, Host | @02:00

Wilson’s Great Challenge - Mike Shuster | @17:40

First into Germany: SGT Roy Holtz - And he did it on a Harley - Host | @22:00(Courtesy of author Robert Laplander)

A Century in the Making: The Winning Team - Joe Weishaar & Sabin Howard | @29:00

“American Indians in WWI”: New Website - Erin Fehr | @39:30

New showings of Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” - Host | @46:40

WWI in education: Memorializing The Fallen - Host | @49:00


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Not One, But Two Years of WWrite in Review! 
Part 3: WWrite Goes to Yale for Armistice Day.

After almost two years of WWrite’s life, the blog had the opportunity to go from writing on the screen to live discussion at Yale University. Why Yale? Nearly 10,000 Yale students served and the campus served as a militarized facility with an officers training camp and artillery training courses. It would have been hard for any Yale student to ignore WWI. For November 2018, The Yale Veterans Association organized a panel "The Literary Legacy of World War I: Screening of Paths of Glory" with featured WWrite contributors Adrian Bonenberger, Peter Molin, Benjamin Busch, Jennifer Orth-Veillon, and Yale Dean, Brianne Bilsky. Read the panel proceedings at WWrite this week, which include analyses of Stanley Kubrick's legendary Paths of Glory pivotal WWI literary works by Siegfried Sassoon, Ernest Hemingway, and Aline Kilmer.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary 300

Honoring the Doughboys Book

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. A segment of the book was recently featured in the December 25 edition of DISPATCH. Lowdermilk followed his grandfather's path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers. Lowdermilk's passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman-- a "doughboy"--in Europe during the Great War.

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


Double Donation Dreadnoughts new


William B. Wilson

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

 

William B. Wilson

Submitted by: Harold G. Delamater {Commander VFW Post 666}

William B. Wilson was born around 1893. William Wilson served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1916 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Beacon’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 666 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of the solider who is the eponym of that organization -- Private William B. Wilson. He was killed in action in Belgium on August 19, 1918, the first soldier from Beacon to die in World War I.

Today, a century after his death on the battlefield, few know of him or the reason why the Wilson Post was so named. History can be fickle and easily forgotten after a generation or two, but Private Wilson’s story of sacrifice needs to be retold and remembered.

Wilson went off to war with two of his best friends, George Van Pelt of Beacon and Herbert Miller of Newburgh. The three, with about 50 other Beacon boys, joined up in Newburgh’s “Company L” of the 107 Infantry Regiment. By late April of 1918, the regiment had landed in France.

Read William B. Wilson's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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January 8, 2019

January 1, 2019 Memorial Header

"Connecting Vets" radio network features new National World War I Memorial in DC

Entercom Connecting Veterans logo

The Entercom "Connecting Vets.com" radio platform web site put the spotlight on the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. with an episode that featured the fly-thru video of the memorial design. Click here to view the new Connecting Vets.com page with links to the fly-thru video, and previous coverage of the Memorial as well. Connecting Vets.com has also provided other recent coverage of important United States World War I Centennial Commission projects, with both the Hello Girls Gold Medal initiative, and the Valor Medals Task Force being featured in separate programs.


"American Indians in WWI" site now live

SNRC Shield

A century ago, American Indians went to war for the United States, almost all as volunteers, despite the fact that most were not citizens. To honor and remember their service, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Sequoyah National Research Center (SNRC) has developed the new “American Indians in World War I” section of the United States World War I Centennial Commission web site, which is now live. The section (ww1cc.org/americanindian) commemorates the service of 12,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives who served in the war, both in and out of uniform. The site features articles on all aspects of a soldier’s service and includes a timeline of American Indian history, and a new database of those who served. American Indian women who served as nurses are highlighted in a separate section that includes biographies of each woman. A map of Native American war memorials is also included. Click here to read more about this outstanding new addition to the World War I Centennial Commission web site.


National History Day Selects Eighteen Teachers to Study World War I in Europe

NHD_USWW1CC_Pritzker logos

Eighteen educators from across America have been selected to participate in Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, the program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms. Throughout the program, teachers attend virtual lectures, participate in discussions, and research a service member who never returned home. In June 2019, the educators will venture to Europe where they will walk in the footsteps of history. Click here to read more about this outstanding, innovative World War I education program.


Collaborative project brings forgotten WWI-era stories to a worldwide audience through Virtual Reality technology

Beeson screen shot

Forgotten stories of World War I are being made available to students nationwide through immersive storytelling technology thanks to a collaborative partnership with Google Expeditions, the Friends of the Victory Memorial, and the West Virginia University Reed College of Media Innovation Center. This project, “WWI Through the Eyes of the Chicago Defender,” brings history to life through virtual reality. The VR project takes viewers on a tour of WWI-era United States as seen through the eyes of the nation’s most influential black weekly newspaper at that time. The project has been commissioned for Google Expeditions, a product that allows teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips, immersing students in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life, brings virtual objects into the classroom, and gives students a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom. Click here to read more about this incredible new World War I educational project utilizing 21st Century technology to tell 100 year-old stories.


Connecticut seeks students to help in restoration of World War I American trenches in Seicheprey, France

Christine Pittsley

The Connecticut Heritage Foundation, on behalf of the Connecticut State Library, is hosting an incredible high school education opportunity, “Digging Into History: Trench Restoration In Seicheprey France”. The project is in cooperation with the Communaute de Communes Mad et Moselle, and aims to restore a section of World War I trenches in Seicheprey, France. Student applications are due by January 20, 2019. Project Director Christine Pittsley (left), member of the Connecticut WWI Centennial Committee, and a noted historian and educator, took some time to tell us about her vision for this remarkable hands-on education project. Click here to get all the details about this hands-on history opportunity for students now.


200 Bells: Amazing Armistice Centennial Event hosted by the John J. Morris American Legion Post 62 of Peoria, AZ

Post 62 Bells of Peace

Although the World War I Armistice Centennial took place a few weeks ago, we continue to be amazed by stories that are coming to us from around the country, on local commemorative events that took place to honor our World War I veterans. One such story came to us from our friends at the John J. Morris American Legion Post 62 of Peoria, Arizona, where the Post 62 Auxiliary decided to do something special as part of the World War I Centennial Commission's “Bells of Peace" program. Click here to read what the Post's Public Affairs volunteer Marge Christianson told us about their Bells of Peace event in Arizona.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Dr. Frederick Dickinson on Japan in the Great War

Dickinson

On the World War I Centennial News Podcast, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite segments from 2018. In Episode 84, which aired on August 10th, Professor of Japanese History at the University of Pennsylvania and noted Japan expert Dr. Frederick Dickinson joined the show to elucidate Japan's important but oft-neglected role in the war. Did you know that the Japanese Navy fought U-boats in the Caribbean Sea in WWI? Click here to get more astonishing information in this transcript of the interview.

Kenneth Davis on the Spanish Flu

Davis

On the World War I Centennial News Podcast, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite segments from 2018. On Episode 70, which aired on May 4th, author Kenneth Davis joined the show to discuss the deadly pandemic that swept the world in 1918. Click here to learn more about the phenomena that took more lives than the bullets and shells in World War I, in the complete transcript of this interview.

War in the Sky: PTSD Among the Pilots in World War I with Mark Wilkins

Manfred von Richthofen

On the World War I Centennial News Podcast, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite segments from 2018. On Episode 66, which aired on April 4th, historian and aeronautical expert Mark Wilkins joined the show to discuss the prevalence of PTSD in the ranks of WWI pilots and his recent work on the subject of WWI aviation. Did you know that even the most famous World War I pilot, Germany's Manfred von Richthofen (left) -- better known as the Red Baron -- suffered PTSD? Click here to read the entire transcript of the interview, and learn more about how what we think of as a modern scourge of people in combat was first identified in WWI.


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 siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Toasting in the new year with some french bubbly

Episode 104
Highlights: Favorite Segments of 2018 - Part 2:

Host: Theo Mayer

Part 1 came out last week - the last week of 2018, and here is Part 2 published the first week of 2019.


This episode includes:

  • June 29, Episode #78How WWI Shaped the 20th Century with Dr. Jay Winter |@ 01:10
  • July 20, Episode #81
    A two for One combo…. with WWI War Tech and Speaking WWI both about photography! |@ 07:45
  • August 10, Episode #84
    Japan in WWI with Dr. Frederick Dickinson |@ 13:50
  • In the same episode #84
    The 28th Division: Pennsylvania National Guard doughboys fight from Dr. Edward Lengel |@ 21:35
  • October 5, Episode #92
    The Lost Battalion - with Rob Laplander |@ 27:35
  • November 2, Episode #94
    Maneuverings: Both military and diplomatic with Mike Shuster |@ 34:20
  • November 11, Episode #98
    From World War I Armistice Centennial Day Sacred Service - an excerpt: The Last One Down: Henry Gunther, Written by Matthew Naylor Underscored with The Unanswered Question by Aaron Copeland performed by World War I Centennial Orchestra and read by Dr. Libby O’Connell |@ 38:05
  • December 14th, Episode #101
    Three Key impacts of WWI with historian, Sir Hew Strachan |@ 42:35

Literature in WWI

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Two Years of WWrite in Review! January 2017 - January 2019.

Part 2: African Americans in WWI

Over the month of January, to prepare for the remaining months of the blog, WWrite is publishing a series that will document and synthesize the 100+ blog contributions from January 2017 to January 2019.

This week - Tremendous contributions from African Americans helped win WWI.

Unfortunately, their efforts went unrecognized for almost a century as most of the country refused to acknowledge their service. It is estimated that almost 40,000 African American veterans were denied medals of honor during the war.

The centennial has provided the opportunity to unearth these lost voices, but we still have a long way to go. Read this second installment of the series that only scratches the surface of the rich African American WWI experience.


Fathom encore Jan 21

Encore screenings of Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” announced by Fathom Events for January 21

Back by popular demand! Fathom Events and Warner Bros. Pictures have partnered to bring Academy Award winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary They Shall Not Grow Old to cinemas for an encore presentation on January 21. Applying state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies to century-old footage—carefully chosen from hundreds of hours of original Great War film held in the archives of the Imperial War Museum (IWM)—Jackson has created an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic cinematic experience. The only narration comes from Great War veterans themselves, selected from over 600 hours of BBC and IWM archive interviews, resulting in a gripping account of “The War to End All Wars,” told by the soldiers who experienced it. The Fathom Events showings of They Shall Not Grow Old in December sold out quickly. Tickets for this encore January screening will be available soon at FathomEvents.com and participating theater box offices.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coin Display

Mint Commemorative Coin Display

The US Mint stopped selling the World War I Commemorative Coin on December 27, but you can still purchase the limited edition silver dollar in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor, from the Centennial Official Merchandise store. This package makes a great collectible gift for family members and descendants of those who served in World War I. Personalization can include: rank, full name, enlisted date, deceased date, unit/decorations, battles, cemetery, etc. If you already purchased the Commemorative Coin from the US Mint, you can order just the personalized display. Both the combo set and display alone are available at here. Supplies are limited.  And remember: proceeds from the sale of this item go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.

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


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Archie Henry Thomas

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

 

Archie Henry Thomas

 

Submitted by: Gregory Neifeld {Great-Grandson}

Archie Henry Thomas born around 1885. Archie Thomas served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1909 and the service was completed in 1925.

Story of Service

Between April and September 1916, Archie was stationed on the Mexican border in California with the Oregon Third Infantry Regiment, Company I during the Mexican Border War. His regiment was activated into federal service after Pancho Villa’s raid in Columbus, New Mexico.

While on the border, Archie was promoted to Corporal in July 1916 and he was promoted to Sergeant before his return to Oregon in September.

This was an era in which the U.S.-Mexico border was perceived as a potential location for a German-funded invasion by Mexico. Border service went into effect when this threat was exposed by the British interception of the Zimmerman Telegram. This message discussed Germany's alliance proposal for Mexico if the U.S. entered the European war against Germany.

The onset of American involvement in World War I prompted all National Guard regiments to reactivate under federal service. This activation included the Oregon Third Infantry Regiment in March 1917. In July 1917, the unit was mustered at Camp Withycombe, Oregon and transferred to Camp Greene, North Carolina for training.

Read Archie Henry Thomas's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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January 1, 2019 

January 1, 2019 Memorial Header

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
"Building a national WWI memorial in Washington proves to be an uphill battle"

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

James Glenday, North America Correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is perplexed. In a recent article about the efforts of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission to build the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, he writes: "To an Australian, the task sounds like it should be simple. Build a national World War I memorial in the centre of Washington DC in time for the 100th anniversary of the armistice. America is a nation that makes a point of honouring its veterans...So, how hard could building it be?" Click here to read how Glenday then answers his own rhetorical question, and get an excellent international perspective on the challenges the Commission has and is facing, and overcoming, to build the Memorial.


"Packard Dave" Lockard earns National Awards for his WWI trucks, storytelling

"Packard Dave" Lockard

"Packard Dave" Lockard, an old, old friend to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, is an antique automobile/truck enthusiast. He owns several World War I-era Packard military vehicles, and serves as a historical expert on the topic of WWI military transportation. As a volunteer educator and history presenter, "Packard Dave" has been involved with telling the story of World War I to huge groups of people at auto-shows, parades, historical events, and special commemorations. Dave's great efforts to remember our American veterans, in his special way, has recently drawn the attention of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). They have bestowed Packard Dave with not one, but two, of their very highest national awards. The Commission's Director of Public Affairs Chris Isleib had a chance to speak to Dave about this latest recognition of his efforts.


Peter Jackson’s WWI Doc ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ Sets New Box Office Records

They Shall Not Grow Old

The Deadline | Hollywood web site reports that the December 27 presentation of Peter Jackson’s WWI documentary They Shall Not Grow Old from Warner Bros. set a brand new record for Fathom Events, making an estimated $3.1 million-plus from two showtimes at 1,122 theaters. That’s the highest-grossing single-day ever for a documentary playing via Fathom, and one of the top-grossing single-night presentations of any kind from the events company. Originally, the Dec. 17 presentation of They Shall Not Grow Old set the record for Fathom with $2.3M. Click here to read more about the record-setting and -breaking performances for the film, and what that may portend for the nation-wide general release of the film in January.


Library of Congress makes Updates to World War I: A Wartime Clipping Service

LOC Newspaper Archive

The Library of Congress has announced that the massive collection, World War History: Newspaper Clippings, 1914 to 1926, is now fully digitized and freely available on the Library of Congress website. The 79,621 pages are packed with war-related front pages, illustrated feature articles, editorial cartoons, and more. You can search by keywords, browse the content chronologically, and download pages. Click here to read more about the tremendous effort that has made the entire collection accessible worldwide only a few weeks after the 100th anniversary of the armistice with Germany ending World War I.


"Pershing’s Own” US Army Band musicians present Chamber Music to Commemorate Armistice Centennial

Staff Sergeant Justin Polybank

On Thursday, January 17th 2019, musicians from The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will present a chamber music concert commemorating the centennial anniversary of the World War I Armistice. The performance takes place at The National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater, located at 701 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20002, at 7:00 PM. The program features classical chamber music of the group of French composers known as “Les Six.” US World War I Centennial Commission intern Madison Menz spoke with Staff Sergeant Justin Polybank (left) of the U.S. Army Band, about the upcoming concert, and its importance.


Re-enacting the Battle of Jutland: U.S. Naval War College tackles lessons from a decisive World War I sea battle

Jutland

A U.S. Naval War College war game based on a much-studied World War I battle was held at the Queen’s House at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, U.K. in November. The participants included officials from U.S. Naval War College, which has long and historic ties to the 1916 Battle of Jutland. The re-enactment employed the same methods and technology used a century ago to understand the maritime strategy of what was the largest naval surface engagement of World War I. The battle was fought between Great Britain and Germany off the coast of Denmark, at the cost of nearly 10,000 lives. Click here to read more about the reenactment, and the organizers and participants learned from the exercise.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

A Discussion with Sir Hew Strachan

Strachan

In December 14th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 101, host Theo Mayer spoke with Sir Hew Strachan (left), an esteemed professor of International Relations, renowned Great War expert, and prolific author from the United Kingdom. This detailed and engaging discussion delves into the global political consequences of the war, including the fate of several broken empires and the ascendancy of the United States on the world stage. Click here to read a complete transcript of the entire interview.

American Battle Monuments Commission

Mike Knapp

In December 14th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 101, host Theo Mayer spoke with Mike Knapp (left), Chief of Historical Services for the ABMC. The conversation covered topics such as the origins of the ABMC, and America's approach to honoring its war dead following the cessation of hostilities. Click here to read a complete transcript of the entire interview.

Gold Star Mothers:
An Interview with Candy Martin

Candy Martin

In December 14th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 101, host Theo Mayer spoke with Candy Martin, past National President of the American Gold Star Mothers, about the history and mission of this special organization- especially as it relates to the War That Changed the World. Click here to read a complete transcript of the entire interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

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 siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

1919 New Year Poster

Episode #103
Favorite Segments of 2018 - Part 1

Host: Theo Mayer

This New Year week, and next week, we have a two-episode special for you.

We have pulled together some of our favorite stories and segments from 2018!

They are presented in chronological order. Part 1 comes out this week - the last week of 2018, and Part 2 will publish next week - the first week of 2019.

This episode includes:

  • January 11,  Episode #54 - "Wilson’s 14 points" |@ 01:10

  • Same week, Episode #54 - “A Century In The Making” with Sabin Howard |@ 05:15

  • March 2, Episode #61 - "March 1917 Preview" with Dr. Edward Lengel, Katherine Akey and Theo Mayer |@ 11:25

  • Same week, #61 - "The Fighting in Russia" with Mike Shuster |@ 22:45

  • March 9, Episode #63 - "Alvin York's Crisis of Conscience" with Dr. Edward Lengel |@ 26:25

  • April 4 Episode #66 - "PTSD Among the Pilots" with Mark Wilkins |@ 33:10

  • May 4  Episode #70 - "The Big Influenza Pandemic" with Kenneth C. Davis  |@ 40:05

  • Same week, Episode #70 - "The Story of Eddie Rickenbacker"  |@ 47:20

Literature in WWI This Week

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Not One, Two Years of WWrite in Review! January 2017 - January 2019
Part 1: WWI and Today's Veteran Writers

By Jennifer Orth-Veillon, Blog Curator

"Every veteran deserves to be remembered" states the United States WWI Centennial Commission in its efforts to construct a memorial in Washington D.C. Since 2013, the WWICC has worked to make sure that WWI veterans secure their place in American's collective memory and history. Over the month of January, to prepare for the remaining months of the blog, WWrite will publish a “WWrite Blog: Two Years in Review of WWI and Writing,” a series that will document and synthesize the 100+ blog contributions from January 2017 to January 2019. Read this first installment of the series that highlights contributions from U.S. veteran authors, who discuss WWI's influence on their life and writing. Robert Olen Butler, Elliot Ackerman, Brian Turner, Tracy Crow, Brian Castner, and more!


Doughboy MIA for week of Dec. 31

Preston Woodward

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is is Private Preston Woodward. Born in Johnston County, North Carolina, Woodard was inducted into the army on October 6th, 1917 at Pine Level, NC, and did his training at Camp Jackson. He received further instruction at Camp Sevier and was assigned to Company D, 119th Infantry, 30th 'Old Hickory' Division before being sent for overseas embarkation with them on May 20th, 1918. Brigaded with the British Expeditionary Force, the 30th Division saw plenty of action in the British War Zone in Northern France and Belgium all that summer and early fall. Woodard was reported killed in action on October 10th, 1918, and was buried where he fell. There is considerable confusion concerning his case, as the British first had charge of his recovery before American Grave Registration personnel took over to bring him to an American cemetery. His remains appear to have gone unidentified.

Would you like to help solve PVT Woodard's case? Then why not give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lapel pin

Centennial Commemorative Lapel Pin

 Proudly Wearing the WWI 100 Years lapel pin is a fantastic way to let folks serving in the military, along with veterans, know that we still honor those who served our country one hundred years ago.

This satin nickel lapel pin is a simple, yet meaningful, way to display your pride and remember those who sacrificed throughout our nation’s great history. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item goes towards funding the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

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


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Irving Alexander Slicklen

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

Irving Alexander Slicklen

Submitted by: Gayle Reynolds {great-niece}

Irving Alexander Slicklen born around 1903. Irving Slicklen served in World War 1 with the United States Coast Guard. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Irving was said to be tall and looked older than his actual age, so being very patriotic he decided he'd try and enlist after school one day. He obviously pulled the wool over the eyes of those in the recruitment office and found himself an instant member of the Coast Guard. Puffed out with pride, he went home and told his mother.

Great-Grandma Slicklen was so appalled that a 15-year old could have been signed up for war that she grabbed her coat and dashed out of the house, forgetting she was wearing her bedroom slippers. She ran all the way to the recruitment office, where she breathlessly begged for Irving to be released from service. Unfortunately she was told that he had signed the official papers, which were already being processed, there was no way he could be released from active duty.

His father, an attorney, was then called home from his office and put his argumentative skills to work to no avail. Since Irving felt so honored to be part of the Coast Guard, giving a better argument for his service than his father had against it, he was reluctantly granted his parents' blessings.

Read Irving Alexander Slicklen's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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