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

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 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.


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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

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

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

Wwrite Blog Logo

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

Wwrite Blog Logo

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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December 25, 2018

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A Doughboy’s Christmas, Germany 1918

George and Johann

In December of 1918, the 353rd Infantry, 89th Division, was assigned to the area of Prüm, Germany, as their final area of occupation, after a long march of two hundred forty kilometers through snow and cold, beginning on November 24th, from Stenay, France, through Belgium and Luxembourg into Germany. Billets for the officers and enlisted men of the regiment were found in local German civilian homes, and a certain amount of resentment from the local population was anticipated by the U.S. forces. But on December 25, 1918, George A. Carlson, a young American soldier from Denver, Colorado, found that the violence and suffering that the war had brought to the tiny village of Philippsheim had not extinguished the Christmas spirit there. Nearly a century later, George's grandson visited Germany to follow his grandfather's footsteps in the war. Click here to read about the amazing encounter that took place in Philippsheim, an unlikely gift from a Christmas observance that took place 100 years ago.


About the WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar & how it helps build the National WWI Memorial

Coin

The U.S. Mint's collectible 2018 World War I Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar is only officially available for two more days after Christmas: The coin goes off-sale at the Mint on December 27, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.  Buying this collectible coin helps the United States World War I Centennial Commission to build the new National WWI Memorial in Washington DC. Here is how it works. Congress authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time. As well as commemorating important aspects of American history and culture, these coins help raise money for important causes. Part of the price of these coins is a surcharge that goes to organizations and projects that benefit the community. Click here to read more about how your purchase of this historic commemorative coin will help build the long-overdue national memorial for our WWI Veterans in the nation's capitol.


"We owe a considerable debt to the veterans of the Great War."

Olympia color guard

The World War I-era Battle Cruiser USS Olympia (actually built in the 19th Century) played a significant role in WWI, providing naval support, helping with convoy duty, and bringing the Unknown Soldier home from France. The ship continues in her duties, as she uniquely tells the American World War I story in her role as a museum ship in the City of Philadelphia. Last month, Olympia played host to a special Armistice Centennial ceremony that included participation in our Bells of Peace effort. We had a chance to hear about it from Denise Krepp, who is part of the Cruiser Olympia’s staff.


Westford crafters create poppies for World War I remembrance

Westford poppies

The Westford (MA) Museum knew they wanted to honor the past with their annual contribution to the local Festival of Trees, so they chose a colorful and solemn expression of remembrance, 100 handcrafted poppies. The poppies were crocheted and knitted by 15 crafters, Westford residents and volunteers known to the museum. Westford Museum’s newest director Linda Greene said having the poppy Christmas tree featured at during the Westford Regency’s festival was not only a way to embrace the holiday season, but pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Click here to read more about this innovative yet traditional approach to remembering the service of American in WWI.


Kluge Center Symposium Marks the Centennial of the Paris Peace Conference

Versailles painting snip

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress will host a panel discussion to mark the 100th anniversary of the Paris Peace Conference, “The United States and the World: Legacies of the Paris Peace Conference.” The symposium will be held at 3 p.m. in room LJ-119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. This discussion will explore the legacies of a pivotal period in world history, including themes of Wilsonianism, the ideological origins of the United Nations, the projection of American power and a new international order. Click here to read more about this upcoming event, and how you can secure your free tickets.


"It was incredibly gratifying for all of us involved."

Mark Simone

Mark Simone is a successful young post-production specialist in Hollywood. He was the lead for his company, Stereo D, in their work with the Peter Jackson WWI documentary, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD. Mark's job was to bring the film alive in 3-Dimensional imaging. Mark's company, Stereo D is an award-winning, recognized leader in high-quality conversions of 2D theatrical content into stereoscopic 3D imagery, working with major award-winning motion picture studios and filmmakers to bring their vision of 3D storytelling to the screen. We got a chance to talk to Mark about the film, and his experience working on it.


Movie Poster

Only one date left in December to see
this remarkable World War I film!

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" to select cinemas on  December 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it.  For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com.


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

2018 holiday music special

Episode 102:
2018 Holiday Music Special:

This is our 2018 Holiday music special. We have compiled a collection of WWI era holiday music. It includes popular Holiday music of the time including some German, French, British and Italian pieces and even a modern day rendition of I’ll be home for Christmas courtesy of the contemporary WWI musicians, Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan.

(photo: "Saluting Santa" Magazine cover created by Joseph Christian Leyendecker published on December 7, 1918 for Saturday Evening Post)


Literature in WWI This Week

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Mediated Memory, Myth, and Legend: The Christmas Truce of 1914 and the Great War in Modern Thought

By Anna Rindfleisch

Mediated memory is a term that means representations of the past that are transmitted through modern media and affect the construction of personal and/or collective memory.

This week, at WWrite, English Research Historian and social media expert, Anna Rindfleisch, discusses this concept in the context of WWI through an analysis of a British Sainsbury's advertisement featuring the 1914 Christmas Truce.

In her post, she explains that the massive outpouring of social media postings and institutional centenary events over the past four years suggest that the 100-year-old trauma attached to the iconic image of the Front Soldier has been transmitted down generations and shaped our contemporary understanding of the Great War.

Read this inventive post about the Christmas Truce, revisited, at WWrite this week!


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Commemorative Hat

Commemorative Hat

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA hat. The poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago. The Navy hat with white Doughboy embroidery is a 100% cotton, structured with contrasting pancake visor, sweatband and taping, and pre-curved bill. The velcro closure features U.S. flag emblem. A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included. Order your Doughboy Commemorative hat here.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.  Proceeds from the Official WWI Centennial Merchandise help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.


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


Pritzker Book Sale 2018

John William McGrain, Sr.

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

John William McGrain, Sr.

Submitted by:John W. McGrain, Jr. {son}

My father worked as a civilian employee of the Quartermaster Corps forwarding supplies to the front. They took over the Candler Building in Baltimore and also shipped material through Fort Holabird.

The Candler Building belonged to the Coca Cola Company founded by Asa Candler. They called it the "Battle of Coca-Cola."

That building still stands as far as I know on Market space near the inner harbor. I still have a badge my father wore.

Read John William McGrain, Sr.'s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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December 18, 2018

Personalized Display

Limited Edition Coin Display will honor
your relative's World War I military service

You have only nine days left to purchase the limited edition US Mint World War I Commemorative Coin from the U.S. Mint. You can also buy the coin in combination with our specially-designed display stand, personalized with information about your WWI ancestor. This will make a wonderful collectible Christmas 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 have 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 here. Supplies are limited. Proceeds from the sale of the coin and display stand go towards funding the building of the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC.


"They Shall Not Grow Old" Special U.S. National Archives video posted on YouTube

NARA logo

The premiere screening of the Peter Jackson WWI film "They Shall Not Grow Old" in the United States took place last week at the U.S. National Archives in Washington, DC, on Monday, Dec. 10th. The screening was hosted by the British Council, the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. As part of the event, a remarkable after-screening panel-discussion took place. That panel discussion has been made available by the U.S. National Archives. Click here to read more, and to watch the video of the insightful panel discussion.


"All they would ask is that we should never forget what they gave."

Peter Stassen

You may remember meeting Peter Stassen in another article earlier this year.  SGT MAJ Peter Stassen is a retired member of the Belgian Army, who lives near the American Cemetery in Flanders Field. Some time ago, he and his family volunteered to adopt the grave of one of the soldiers buried there, SGT Willis Burnworth, from Bremen, Ohio. That simple act of kindness has turned into an incredible adventure for SGT MAJ Stassen and his family. They have done deep research into unit histories, genealogy, they have looked into the stories of people who served and died with SGT Burnworth. They have recruited others to help with the volunteer program, etc. A great culmination of their effort came this autumn, when SGT MAJ Stassen and his wife traveled to the United States to participate in commemoration events for SGT Burnworth in his hometown. We had the opportunity to meet with SGT MAJ Stassen at the Commission office during his travel, and to talk to him about this remarkable journey.


Muskogee, Oklahoma Doughboy statue is restored, rededicated for WWI Centennial

Muskogee, OK Doughboy statue

A Doughboy statue in Muskogee, Oklahoma originally brought to memorialize the service of the Five Civilized Tribes during World War I has been restored and re-dedicated. Located at the Montgomery VA Medical Center, the restoration included adding a small monument extending that memorialization to all veterans who have served in all wars. The restoration of the Memorial was welcomed by area residents and veterans, who gathered at the re-dedication ceremony for the statue. "We have to make sure our children and their children understand what this statue means," said State Representative Chuck Hoskins at the ceremony.  Click here to read more about the restoration process for the sculpture, and the support of local individuals and organizations for the project.


"The monument is a lasting cultural testament to the early pioneers of military aviation"

WWI Aviation Memorial

After two years of intensive effort, the League of World War I Aviation Historians dedicated a monument to World War I Airmen at the Memorial Park of the National Museum of the United States Air Force (NMUSAF) near Dayton, Ohio on 21 September 2018. The League initiated the project in 2016 after noting there was no monument at the Park to the U.S. Airmen who served at the Front during the Great War. Robert Kasprzak of the League has written a thoughtful retrospective of the two-year project, the challenges met and overcome, and the dedication ceremony which brought the League's effort to fruition.


"I'm very proud of what we produced."

Mike Hanlon

Historian Mike Hanlon has been a WW1CC volunteer since the Commission's earliest days. He has been a frequent contributor to the weekly Sync Call and Podcast, and social media postings. A noted Battlefield Tour Guide, Mike led dozens of tour groups and official staff rides through the major sites in France, Belgium, Italy, and Germany during the Centennial period. He is also a formidable publisher, with a number of web sites and magazines focused on World War I. Mike has been interviewed previously in these pages (see here and here). Now, with the Centennial of the Armistice passed, he takes a look back the five-year World War I Centennial commemorative period, and reflects on the activities therein. Click here to read Mike's thoughtful retrospective on the Centennial Commemoration.


The Khaki Road of Yesterday: Lessons
from my grandfather's World War I book

John B Kane

Gus Zimmerman's grandfather, John B. Kane, an architect who lived in the Philadelphia area, died when Gus was twelve years old, having never discussed his time in the service during WW1 with Gus or his mother, Sashie. But when Sashie was an adult, she discovered a book he wrote to her when she was ten years old. The "little story" was typed on fragile onion skin paper, written as though he were telling his young daughter stories about his military service. Now Gus, his wife LaWanda, and Sashie have brought the faded typed text into the twenty-first century in a book titled The Khaki Road of Yesterday. Click here to read more about the unexpected volume, and the lessons John learned in WWI that still resonate today.


Jackson poster ad

Only one date left in December to see
this remarkable World War I film!

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" to select cinemas on December 17 and December 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it.  For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com


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

peace conference

Episode #101
Highlights: The Aftermath Part II

Part II of a special 2-part series examining the immediate aftermath of the Armistice signing.

Preview of coming attractions - Host | @00:35

Gold Star Mothers - Candy Martin  | @02:45

American Battle Monuments Commission - Mike Knapp | @10:35

Three Key impacts of WWI - Sir Hew Strachan | @18:00

The Cost of a Seat at the Table - Mike Shuster | @24:55

The effect of WWI on tUS policy - Professor Michael Carew | @28:55


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

1918. The Peace Christmas.

By Connie Ruzich

During the last two years of the WWI Centennial, Connie Ruzich and her blog Behind Their Lines, which shares lesser-known poetry of the First World War, have generously teamed up with WWrite with timely posts.

Ruzich excels at drawing the past and present together by linking current events with pivotal moments from 1914-1918. Her archival work into the lost poetic voices of WWI has served as an incredible resource, providing discussion and research on international lost voices, poems written by those on the home front, and poetry that has been neglected in modern anthologies. In 2020, Ruzich will go from digital to print as she publishes her anthology, International Poetry of World War I: An Anthology of Lost Voices, with Bloomsbury Academic Press.

This week, we have come together once more and WWrite has the pleasure of featuring her important post on a VAD nurse on duty in France, who writes of "Christmas, 1918", the "Peace Christmas". Read this powerful post that discusses the soldiers remaining on overseas duty and the devastated countryside "feeling for her frozen heart."


Doughboy MIA for week of Dec. 17

Samuel Roach

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is Private Samuel Roach. Born February 12th, 1886, in Bradford, Ohio, Private Roach was an employee of the E.C. Atkins Saw Works in Indianapolis when he enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 16th, 1917. Sent to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky for muster, he took his training at Washington D.C., where he was assigned to Company D, 6th Engineer Regiment, 3rd Division. He left for overseas on December 6th, 1917, and was killed in action on March 29th, 1918 near Villers Bretonneux. He is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Somme American Cemetery, Bony, France. Interestingly, he was initially reported to the state of Indiana as having been returned and interred at Arlington national Cemetery.

Would you like to help us delve further into what happened to Samuel Roach? Why not donate '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

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.


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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


George Ormond, Sr.

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

George Ormond, Sr.

Submitted by: Valerie Ormond {granddaughter}

George Ormond Sr. was born around 1899. George Ormond 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

Lessons from a Humble Warrior

by Valerie Ormond

George Ormond’s pale blue eyes watered until the day he died. But he never complained about the Great War. Word was that mustard gas got him, but in those days, people didn’t talk much about injuries, follow-on treatment, or post-traumatic stress. My grandfather died when I was 21, about the same age he was when returning from the war. I wish I’d had adult conversations with him about his experiences, but it’s obviously too late. He likely didn’t realize how interested people might be in a blue-collar kid from Brooklyn’s renditions of his encounters on the front lines.

One of my earliest memories of my grandfather taught me a valuable lesson. I was five-years-old, in my front yard, and he watched me kill a bug.

“Why did you do that?” he asked.

“Because it was going to bite me,” I answered.

“But it wasn’t bothering you.”

And I realized he was right. I felt so ashamed, but I learned from his short training session. This war-hardened man taught me in a few sentences to be sensitive to each life.

Read George Ormond, Sr.'s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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