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DISPATCH: January 23, 2018

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January 23, 2018

First dollar sale

The first official purchase of a World War I Centennial Silver Dollar was made by Colonel Gerald York (right), grandson of WWI hero Sergeant Alvin York. With him at the U.S. Mint gift shop is Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint David Motl (left),

U.S. Mint opens sales of new 2018 WWI Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar

World War I Centennial 2018 Uncirculated Silver Dollar

The United States Mint has opened sales for their new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. This new coin honors the 100th anniversary of American participation in World War I.  The World War I Centennial Silver Dollar was authorized by statute in 2014 with bipartisan Congressional support. Surcharges from the sale of these coins are authorized to be paid to the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centennial of World War I. Also on sale by the Mint in conjunction with the Centennial Silver Dollar are five military medals, honoring the U.S. armed forces who served in WWI. Read more about the coins and how to purchase yours here.

Designer of national WWI memorial visits Joplin, Missouri for Scouting event


Weishaar at Joplin Scout event

The Boy Scouts of America and the country's efforts in World War I are closely intertwined. Even 100 years ago, Scouts planted gardens to feed soldiers, collected fruit pits and shells to be used in gas masks, gathered wood for weapons and more. Perhaps it makes sense then that a 27-year-old Eagle Scout will be in charge of memorializing America's World War I service members a century later. Joe Weishaar, a Fayetteville, Arkansas, native and Chicago-based architect, was selected in 2016 to lead the design of the World War One Centennial Commission's memorial in Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. Read more about Weishaar's message to the Scouts here. Read more about the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC here. 

"The U.S. Navy was a key contributor to the German decision to end the war."

Dr. Dennis Conrad

The role of the U.S. Navy in the Great War is one that is, at times, debated, but mostly forgotten, primarily due to the lack of large-scale naval warfare and victories comparable to the Spanish-American War and later World War II. However, the Navy did provide crucial functions, including transportation of over 2.5 million soldiers, supplies, service as aircraft carriers, and more. Dr. Dennis Conrad, Historian at the the Naval History and Heritage Command, visited the Centennial Commission on Friday, December 1, 2017, and gave a presentation on the various operations performed by the U.S.Navy throughout World War I. Dr. Conrad holds a P.h.D from Duke University in history and has done extensive work for the NHHC researching and documenting Navy history from the American Revolutionary War up to the Spanish American War. He is currently working on a biography of Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy during World War I. We asked him a few questions after his presentation to the Centennial Commission staff.

True Sons of Freedom: African-American veterans of WWI were "pivotal figures"

Dr. Jennifer Keene

Often forgotten today, the African-American veterans of World War One were pivotal figures in the modern American civil rights movement who fought valiantly to break down racial barriers within the military and at home. Returning home with their heads held high, they inspired the next generation of black servicemen to continue the struggle against racial discrimination. Dr. Jennifer Keene, member of the Historical Advisory Board of the United States World War One Centennial Commission, tells the story of these largely-unsung Civil Rights heroes on the American Legion web site here.

When the Great War reached Wisconsin, Free Speech was the First Casualty

Wisconsin senator Robert LaFollette caricature mug

Once the United States joined the fight against the Kaiser in WWI, Congress and President Wilson’s administration implemented legislation and surveillance programs designed to keep America safe by ferreting out subversive activity and crushing dissent—especially in states like Wisconsin with a significant population of ethnic German-Americans. Even Wisconsin senator Robert LaFollette was accused of working for the Kaiser against America. The chilling effect of the both official and unofficial repressions of free speech in Wisconsin is explored thoughtfully on the Smithsonian Institution's What It Means to be American web site here.

Flu killed more American soldiers in World War I than any single battle

Fort Riley hospital clip

The second flu wave of 1918 coincided with the Meuse-Argonne Campaign of World War I, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Over 1 million U.S. troops participated, and it was our largest front-line commitment of the war. Statistics vary, but NIH reports that 26,277 American soldiers died during this campaign, the deadliest World War I battle for U.S. troops. However, the flu killed more U.S. soldiers than did any Great War battle: 15,849 U.S. soldiers in France and another 30,000 in stateside camps. That’s 45,849 killed by the flu versus 26,277 killed at Meuse-Argonne — documenting that the flu was by far our most deadly battle. Read more about how the great influenza epidemic wreaked havoc with American troops here.

Book & TV to tell story of Scotland-born American soldier who died on ship sunk by U-boat in World War I 100 years ago

The Drowned and the Saved

On February 5, 1918, German submarine UB-77 sank a British troopship, SS Tuscania, between Scotland's Rathlin Island and Islay. More than 200 men died – most of them young American ‘Doughboys’ on their way to the trenches of World War One. But one of the lost ‘Americans’ was actually born in the  nearby town of Bute, who had emigrated to the USA and had got caught up in the war in 1917, just after American joined the Allied cause. Scottish writer and documentary film-maker Les Wilson discovered the story of how  Bute’s Alexander McAlister became a soldier and victim of a U-boat. Read more about how Wilson has brought the century-old tragedy to a book and upcoming television program 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.

This is a typical diving suit of the period. A variation of this deep sea diving suit called the Mark V was used from 1916 all the way until 1984

Episode 55

Government shuts down US Industries, shocking nation | @01:40

America Emerges: Military Stories From WWI - Dr. Edward Lengel | @11:25

Wilson’s 14 points examined - Mike Shuster | @17:05

US Mint releases commemorative coins and service collector sets | @22:40

A Century In The Making - Sabin Howard Part 2 | @24:50

Speaking WWI - Conk Out! | @30:55

Eagle Scout Memorial Project - Benjamin Woodard | @32:15

The Sunken Gold - Joseph A. Williams | @37:25

Erik Burro’s “Legacy of Remembrance” photo exhibit | @44:30

The messenger birds of WW1 | @45:25

Centennial of WW1 in Social Media - Katherine Akey | @46:30

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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Listen to the silence. 
This is what Yoshi Oida, director of the unprecedented performance of Britten's musical masterpiece War Requiem at the Lyon Opera, asks of his spectators. 

Read about Oida's connection with WWI through stories about Hiroshima, the experience of children in war, and his latest film with Martin Scorcese. Don't miss this follow-up to last week's interview with Paul Groves, the tenor of Oida's show!

World War I Centennial 2018 Silver Dollar and Army Medal Set

Army Service medal

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: These combination coin and service medal sets will only be available until Feb. 20, 2018. 
ORDER NOW. $99.95

The COIN design, titled “Soldier’s Charge,” depicts an almost stone-like soldier gripping a rifle. Barbed wire twines in the lower right hand side of the design. Inscriptions include “LIBERTY,” “1918,” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

The SERVICE MEDAL design depicts a soldier cutting through German barbed wire while a second soldier aims a rifle amid a shattered landscape of broken trees and cratered earth. A shell explodes in the distance.

The reverse design depicts the United States Army emblem, which was also in use during World War I. Inscriptions include “OVER THERE!,” “CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I,” “2018,” and “UNITED STATES ARMY.”

These sets are limited to 100,000 units across all five medal product options, and can be ordered only unitl 3 p.m. ET on February 20, 2018, unless the limit is reached prior to that date. Production will be based on the orders received within this window. Fulfillment of these sets will begin in late May 2018.

Produced by the US Mint, the World War I Centennial 2018 Uncirculated Silver Dollar, the Proof Silver Dollar and the 5 service medal combination sets are all available for a limited time directly from the US Mint.

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Edward Ball Cole 

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Edward Ball Cole


Submitted by: Carolyn Cole Kingston {granddaughter}



Major Edward Ball Cole, Commander of the 6th Battalion of the 4th Marine Brigade, died from wounds received in the Battle of Belleau Wood on June 10, 1918. He is buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France.

My grandfather, Edward B. Cole, entered the Marine Corps in 1904 as a 2nd Lieutenant. Over the course of the next 13 years he served in Porto Rico, Mexico, and the Philippines. Beginning in July of 1917, Major Cole spent several months in command of the 1st, (later renamed the 6 th), Machine Gun Battalion of Marines training at Quantico, Virginia. Highly respected for his knowledge of the machine gun, he had by then invented a tripod to hold one and a portable cart to carry one. He had also published a book, A Field Guide for Machine Gunners, and served at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

By the time of his departure for France on December 14, 1917, he was married to Mary Welsh, and had two sons: Charles H. Cole 2nd (my father) age 10, and Edward B. Cole Jr. age 8. Arriving in the port of St. Nazaire, France, he traveled by train to the Bourmont training area, where he and Captain Curtis (co-author of The History of the 6th Machine Gun Battalion) were housed in the village of Germainvilliers. In mid-March they moved to the Verdun sector where they were encamped at P.C. Moscou.

Read Edward Ball Cole's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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