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DISPATCH: January 2, 2018

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January 2, 2018 

"The Poppy Lady" Moina Belle Michael: a century-long legacy of helping veterans

Moina Belle Michael

It began with a simple idea from a University of Georgia professor — sell poppy flowers to raise money on behalf of soldiers killed and injured in World War I. Now, nearly 100 years and billions of dollars later, the poppy has become the international symbol of remembrance and support for all military veterans, thanks to the tireless efforts of Moina Belle Michael, affectionately known today as "The Poppy Lady." "During her lifetime, if you adjust for inflation, poppy sales raised $3 billion worldwide, most of which went directly to veterans," said Tom Michael, a great nephew of Moina Michael, who died in 1944. "She championed the poppy as a permanent symbol and reminder of our collective obligation to support our veterans and their families And through all the poppy sales around the world, her legacy of helping veterans lives on." Read more here about  the education professor from Good Hope, GA.

The Four Minute Men, and the U.S. Committee on Public Information in WWI

George Creel

President Wilson established the Committee on Public Information (CPI) soon after the declaration of war in 1917, responsible for interpreting and creating messages about the home front and the war to maintain public support for the U.S. war effort. Committee chairman George Creel, a Midwest newspaper man, embarked on a national propaganda campaign that incorporated nearly every type of medium to spread a positive message about war. But one Creel innovation was much more personal: the Four Minute Man program, involving over 70,000 volunteer speakers. Read more about the impact of Creel's person-to-person program here.

Mt. Airy, PA War Tribute re-dedication

Mt. Airy, PA War Tribute

In the Philadelphia neighborhood of Mount Airy, a ceremony was held in December, 2017 to rededicate the Mount Airy World War I Tribute memorial, with newly-installed bronze plaques. Originally dedicated May 25, 1924 with the names of 34 men and one woman from Mount Airy who lost their lives during the First World War, the original plaques were lost sometime in the 1970s. Read more about the detective work and local dedication that restored the stone tribute to the Mt. Airy WWI war dead.

Christmas Eve road march in NY honors deployed service members, WWI history

New York Road March

New York National Guard Soldiers, Airmen, families and community supporters made up more than 1,200 marchers in Glens Falls, NY on Dec. 24 as part of a Christmas Eve Road March to remember the service of past and present troops overseas. The 2017 march included Soldiers in khaki leading the march instead of the more commonplace camouflage, as a special contingent of New York Army National Guard Soldiers from the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters, based in Troy, led the road march in replica WWI uniforms, commemorating the service of New York's Doughboys of WWI and remembering their arrival in France in 1917 for combat service. Read more about how this event saluted those Doughboys who marched from their initial staging areas in France to their combat assembly areas, covering nearly 100 kilometers over 18 days in extraordinarily bitter winter weather.

In Flew Enza: Remembering the deadly 1918 Plague Year in Berkeley, California

Plague year

In 1918, America was at war and students arriving at the University of California in the fall of that year found their campus transformed. From the Center Street entrance, the view of the hills was now obscured by large new barracks and the dark smoke issuing from the powerhouse gave the place the look of a factory. Everywhere young men wore the khaki uniforms of the various military outfits represented on campus—the Student Army Training Center, the School of Military Aeronautics, the Naval Unit, and the Ambulance Corps.But the military preparations were not the most dangerous new arrivals in Berkley: the flu epidemic had emerged in Kansas in January 1918 soon struck the campus on its way around the world, killing both high and low, young and old. Read more about how the flu devastated Berkley, and how the institution coped with its piece of the global epidemic.

Laurence Stallings used his World War I experience to inspire books, plays & films

Laurence Stallings

Laurence Stallings, who graduated with a Master’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1922, turned his experience as a wounded Marine in the First World War (awarded the Silver Star, and given the Croix de Guerre by the French Government) into inspiration for a career as a journalist, author, and playwright. Read more about how this luminary figure of arts and letters overcame the loss of a leg, and lives on in the legacy of his contribution to literature, film, theater, and journalism—especially his exceptional work capturing the history and experience of the First World War.

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.

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Favorite Stories of 2017 - Part 1

January 4,  Episode #1- our first story! | @ 01:05

February 15, Episode #7 - "Stories of Service" and "Family Ties" introduced by Chris Christopher | @ 02:15

March 8, Episode #10 - War in the sky -The story of Baron von Zeppelin | @ 04:05

March 29, Episode #13 - Special Feature - about horses and mules serving | @ 07:50

April 5 and April #12 - Episodes 14 and 15 - Commission News - In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace - with Ed Bilous and Chris Christopher | @ 11:20

April 26  Episode #17 - 100 years ago this week - The selective service act of 1917 | @ 19:10

April 26 - Episode #17 - War In the Sky - It turned into the world’s largest aerospace company | @ 21:05

May 3, Episode #18 - Spotlight in the media - introducing Sgt. Stubby the animated film with Jordan Beck | @ 23:30

May 3 Episode #18 - From the BUZZ - Moss is mostly good with Katherine Akey | @ 28:05

May 10, Episode #19 - 100 Years ago This week -  For Mother’s day - Mothers in WW1 | @ 29:20

June 6, Episode #23 - Commission News - A brief mission profile from Commission Executive Director - Dan Dayton | @ 35:25

Also June 6, Episode #23 - Special Feature - George Cohan’s “Over There” turns 100 - with Richard Rubin and Jonathan Bratten | @ 36:50

June 14, 2017, Episode 24 - Spotlight in the media - Three theories on why Wonder Woman is set in WW1 |@ 43:20

June 14, Episode 24 - International Report - The Violin of Private Howard | @ 45:40

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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Native Americans: Soldiers Unknown
by Chag Lowry (Yurok/Maidu/Achumawi)

Chag Lowry wants us to feel the experience of Native Americans in WWI. This week's WWrite blog comes from his project working to release these lost voices. Conscripted from their tribal home in Northern California by a country they barely knew - to serve in a war they could hardly call their own - young Yurok men nevertheless demonstrated immense courage and humanity on the battlefields of France in WWI. In his post, Lowry talks about his forthcoming graphic novel, Soldiers Unknown, which reveals the untold story of the native Yurok men who fought and died for the US in 1914-1918. 

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

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U.S. Army “Doughboy” Window Decal: $3.95 each

Remember the Centennial of the "War that changed the world" and remind others all year - with these great 6" tall window decals. Put them in car windows, office doors, shop windows and all other places that will help the conversation about WWI get started.

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

Take advantage of the
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Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Stanley Lionel

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Stanley Lionel


Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo



Stanley Lionel served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Stanley Lionel was born on January 15, 1893 or 1894 in Ceylon, British India. Lionel's birth year is contested because multiple documents list different years. He immigrated to the United States in either 1904, or 1905 or 1914. The exact year of his arrival is contested by his 1930 census and naturalization application. After his arrival, Lionel settled in Manhattan, New York.

Lionel enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 5, 1917. His World War I draft card recorded his race as "Ceylonian" and birth date as January 15, 1893. Lionel started his service at Fort Solcum, New York. He was then assigned to the 13th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Ringgold, Texas. His unit was assigned to the Mexican-U.S. border. On December 17, 1917, Lionel was promoted to Private First Class.

Read Stanley Lionel's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here. 

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