DISPATCH: November 21, 2017

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November 21, 2017

Celebrating Thanksgiving during WWI

Grocer 1917

For Americans, Thanksgiving is a special annual event, one full of tradition and memories. And the celebration marks the official start of the holiday season. How Thanksgiving was celebrated 100 years ago in in 1917 is both familiar, with family reunions, grocery shopping, large meals and thankfulness, and very different, as there are many things that have definitely changed since 1917. Changes include everything from different cooking styles to improved transportation technologies, but the most important change is that Thanksgiving 1917 took place in the midst of the official American involvement in World War I (1917-1918). Jennifer Crooks of the Thurston TALK web site in Washington State takes a look at how the city of Olympia held its Thanksgiving celebration in 1917, in the midst of mobilization.

The last remaining U.S. battleship to have served in both World War I and II is in danger


USS Texas

Things are not going well for our friends who care for the WWI-era Navy Battleship. They need our help. The museum ship, located at La Porte, TX, discovered a significant hull leak earlier this year, which create a list to the ship. They tried to patch the leak, but found that the hull structure was seriously compromised, and would require extensive repair work. The team recently started a Petition to the Texas state government to provide funds to save the ship.  We connected with the team from the Battleship Texas State Historic Site, and talked to Stephanie Croatt, Assistant Superintendent, and to Andy Smith, the Ship Manager, about their efforts.

Traditional ways of working get a technological boost in creation of the national WWI Memorial sculpture


Sabin Howard, sculptor of the National World War One Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, discusses in a recent blog post about how two long journeys -- one to a 19th Century sculpture studio in Italy, and another to a 21st Century modeling facility in New Zealand -- led him to connect and leverage key technologies of two very different ages to help translate his sculpture design into three dimensions. Read the absorbing story of art, invention, and insight here. 

Pow-wow honors Wisconsin World War I Native American vets, Red Arrow division


About 200 people gathered on Veterans Day to commemorate 28 Ho-Chunk men – known as Winnebago Indians in 1917 — from the area surrounding Volk Field National Guard training base in Wisconsin who joined the Wisconsin National Guard 100 years ago for the “Great War” in Europe. The families of these warriors — known as Descendants of Red Arrow — have met at Volk Field since 1977 to celebrate their service, their memory, and the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division, which continues today as the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered perhaps a mile from the hangar hosting the annual pow-wow. Read about more about the ceremony and  its World War One origins here.

History professor tells of difficulties African-Americans faced in WWI service


On Tuesday, November 14, Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, a military historian and history professor at UW-Eau Claire, presented on African-American service in World War I. Ducksworth-Lawton told stories of the difficulties African-Americans faced before the U.S. entered World War I, the environments the soldiers were put under during their time of service and how they were treated when they returned home. The audience included college students, professors and a Korean War veteran who shared his own war experience with African-Americans. Read more about this WWI historical presentation.

Montana's female WWI Veterans are recognized by the U.S. Senate


Ed Saunders, an Army veteran from Montana who spent six years finding the stories of many of the state's female WWI veterans and chronicling their service,was instrumental in the dedication of a new memorial plaque for the servicewomen in 1917. Continuing his efforts to get the Montana women the the long-overdue recognition they earned and deserve, Saunders requested that Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester read into the Senate Congressional Record a commendation for Montana and America's women veterans of World War One. Read more about how Saunders' senatorial salute efforts succeeded here.

Historic WWI DH4 aircraft will fly again


Nearly 100 years after the end of World War I, a team of aviation enthusiasts in Kentucky is hard at work restoring the first warplane built in America — the Dayton-Wright DH4. "Not many people know about World War I," said Dorian Walker, a member of the Saving Liberty DH4 group. "That doesn't mean it's any less important." Walker and the group members hope to remind the public of that importance by restoring the DH4 in time for test flights by next spring with plans for airshows across the country and a trip to France. "It gives you a chance to witness something firsthand," he said, adding the historic, wooden biplane is a symbol for how far American aviation has come in 100 years. Read more about the ongoing efforts to get the Liberty Plane flying again here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

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

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


Episode 46


  • The Suffragists in WWI @ | 01:20
  • The Battle of Passchendaele ends - Mike Shuster @ | 11:45
  • Ceremonial Groundbreaking episode announced @ | 16:30
  • Meet the designer of the National WWI Memorial - Joseph Weishaar @ | 17:30
  • Speaking WWI - “Snapshot” @ | 24:45
  • 100C/100M in Jackson, MO - Lawson Burgfeld @ | 26:50
  • “Travels with Darley” on the Western Front - Darley Newman @ | 33:25
  • Native American Story of Service - Nick Brokeshoulder @ | 39:00
  • The Buzz - Katherine Akey @ | 48:50


Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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WWI. Russia. What do we really know? 

This week's WWrite post by Michael Carson is "Russian Occupation of Persia, the October Revolution: Viktor Shklovsky’s Memoirs"

The post opens a door to this question by discussing the memoirs of Russian WWI soldier and writer, Viktor Shklovsky. Carson explores several pivotal questions about Shklovsky's writing and its relevance to the Centennial: why read Shklovsky’s Sentimental Journey: Memoirs, 1917-1922 a hundred years after the First World War? Why remember this account of the October Revolution and the Russian occupation of Persia when we have forgotten so many other accounts of the First World War? What does this young Russian commissar have for us today except for yet another account of yet another endless bloody war that few remember now? Don't miss this riveting introduction to an important voice from WWI's Russian perspective.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise


White Ceramic Mug

Availability: 2-3 Days


Hot cocoa, steaming team, strong Java, a Hot Toddy - they all need a home! So order a full set of these mugs in honor of the Centennial of the War that Changed the World! 

They feature the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can enjoy your favorite beverage in this 15-ounce ceramic mug, help us build America's WWI Memorial in Washington DC and honor the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers all at the same time.

A sante!

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

Andrew A. Capets

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



Submitted by: Andrew J. Capets {grandson}



How do you write a 'Story of Service' about a young Doughboy and make it stand out among the millions of men and women who served in the Great War? Do you tell the story about this Private being so cold during a night in France that he had to sleep on top of a manure pile just to keep warm? Do you talk about his pride after returning home from the war, and that he routinely attended Battalion reunions in Erie, PA to commemorate his service with friends?

The answer is yes, you document as much as you know, and write down any story you were told to ensure that the experiences of this young Doughboy will be known 100 years from now.

I went a whole lot farther and released a book in September 2017 called "Good War, Great Men. The 313th Machine Gun Battalion of World War I." The book was written for the same reason this portion of the WW1CC website was created, "The stories of the service of all these Americans should not be forgotten." I wrote the book to commemorate my grandfather's service during the Great War, as well as wanting to help other family members that have descendants of the 313th Machine Gun Battalion read about their own soldier's experiences through the writings of over a dozen men that served together in World War I.

Read Andrew A. Capets's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.