Sync Call for Wednesday March 30 at 12pm EDT
Click to play the webinar
News at a Glance
1. World War I: A Centennial Exploration
2. Centennial Countdown Blog - March 1916
3. Battlefield Tours Collaboration Call - April 7
Read more below!
Help the WW1CC!
- Donate! Go to our donations page.
- Send us interns! Direct anyone you know who is interested to our Internship webpage.
- Help with state and regional organization! Let Andrew McGreal know and he will send you information on how to get involved.
- Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization.
- Wear official WW1 commemorative merchandise with pride! Head over to the Commission shop for a full selection.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: New Sync Call Platform
We now host our Sync Call on a new platform - GoToWebinar. We have exceeded the technical capacity of our previous platform and this transition will resolve many of the technical issues we have faced in past calls.
To join us for the Sync Call you must register here (name and email are all that are required). You need register only once - doing so will sign you up to join next week's call and every call thereafter.
Thank you for working with us as we make this transition! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via ww1cc.org/contact using subject line "Sync Call"
News and Announcements:
Updates from the States
Volunteer for state outreach. Contact the National Coordination Team if you are willing to help.
State Outreach Collaboration Call - April 7
The next State Outreach Collaboration Call will be held next week on Thursday, April 7 at 12 pm EDT. This call will focus on Organizing Overseas Battlefield Tours. Panelists include representatives from from the French and Belgian Tourism Boards as well as a very experienced US-based tour guide. We will also have ABMC representatives on-hand to answer questions about ABMC cemeteries. We encourage you to join the call if your organization plans to operate or otherwise associate with battlefield tours during the centennial - the call promises to share alot of great information. If you would like to be added to the Collaboration Call roster, email Andrew McGreal. We will post a recording of this call and a report on it on ww1cc.org/State-Outreach.
Arkansas will announce a WWI Centennial Commission tomorrow, March 31 with Governor Hutchinson. We’ll have Commission representatives there with Joe Weishaar and Sabin Howard in conjunction with various events this week in Joe’s home state. See the 'National Memorial' section below for more information.
New York City
The Greater New York City Committee is up and running thanks to Commissioner Libby O’Connell. They will officially announce the kick off of NYC’s commemorative activities on Wednesday, April 5 with a press conference in the city. Stay tuned for more details on that event.
Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Affairs Francisco Urena will issue a proclamation announcing the establishment of a Massachusetts WWI Centennial Committee on Wednesday, April 6. A special thanks to volunteer Stephen Taber, who took the initiative to get a state commemorative body established for the Commonwealth.
California’s Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary has formally requested the governor of California to issue an executive order creating a WWI Centennial Commission. The hope is to have this order issued by April 6, the 99th Anniversary of US Entry into the war. Thank You to our California team of volunteers whose diligence made this possible!
Mississippi has set a date for its Bicentennial Celebration, which will include commemorative events for the WWI Centennial. The dates are April 7 -9, 2017 and the events will take place at Centennial Plaza in Gulfport, MS.
- Educational experiences for teachers and students with lesson plans and hands on activities
- A Military Ball (1 in 4 people on the Mississippi coast are connected with the military)
- A production on the Story of the State (which includes Mississippi’s involvement in WWI)
- A Sunday Service to honor the fallen in WWI with some students performing excerpts from Remembrance
During the upcoming Pennsylvania Museums Conference to be held at The Vanguard of the Museum Revolution in West Chester, PA, there will be an informal titled “Pennsylvania at War: Commemorating WWI & II”. This discussion is set for April 12 at 12:45 pm. Rusty Baker, Executive Director of PA Museums, and Beth Hager, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will lead the informal discussion and will detail an online effort to highlight World Wars commemorative activities in Pennsylvania. Visit the PA Museums website to view the preliminary program and register for the conference.
Brooks City Base will break ground today on a $2.8 million project to rehabilitate the nearly century-old Hangar 9, a national historic landmark and the oldest structure of its kind on its original site. Read more here.
Maine’s WWI Committee, which is comprises the Maine Association of Archives and Museums, is well on its way to planning activities for the centennial. The Committee opened an art exhibit this past weekend and is planning large exhibits for 2017. Right now they are spending time raising awareness and engaging historical societies, civic groups, and women’s groups. They will soon be engaging Veterans Service groups.
The New Jersey Historical Commission is collaborating with over 100 organizations to gear up for the centennial. New Jersey plans to tie the WWI centennial with the 100th anniversary of Fort Dix, now known as Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The NJ Historical Commission is meeting with the art community, namely theater groups, to have staged readings of WWI literature written by New Jerseyites. They also are aiming to have their portion of the website live in 2 to 3 months.
World War I: A Centennial Exploration
The Library of America has been awarded a $550,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support World War I: A Centennial Exploration Through the Words of Americans Who Lived It, a national program marking the centenary of America’s entry into the war in 1917. The project will be undertaken in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum, the World War I Centennial Commission, the Wounded Warriors Project, and other organizations.
In order to foster greater appreciation of the nation’s history, the World War I program will bring members of the veteran community together with the general public in libraries and museums around the country to explore the transformative impact of the First World War by reading, discussing, and sharing insights into the writings of Americans who experienced it firsthand. The aim is to create structured opportunities for those who served in more recent conflicts to bring their experiences to bear on historical events and texts, illuminating for a wide audience the similarities and differences between past and present.
Centennial Countdown Blog - March 1916
The March installment of Dennis Cross' Centennial Countdown blog is now available. In March 1916, Pancho Villa was raiding American towns along the southern border, the 1916 presidential election was heating up, and the German attack on Verdun was increasing in intensity as the Allies mounted simultaneous offensives and counter-offensives. Read more about what was going on in 1916 here.
Next WWICC Meeting May 4 in Kansas City- National WWI Museum and Memorial
The Commission will hold its next meeting on May 4 in Kansas City at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. We’ll share more information on this as it becomes available.
Midway Village Museum - April 9-10
Two Incredible Days of Military History Largest World War I Public Event in North America
Midway Village Museum in northern Illinois will host the 4th annual Great War Event on April 9 & 10. The event will feature re-enactors portraying soldiers and civilians from the United States, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary in the museum’s 13-acre Village. Visitors will engage in history with the opportunity to tour a reproduction three-bunker trench, talk to over 220 re-enactors about life as a soldier, learn about the war’s military equipment and combat techniques, and watch large-scale narrated battle reenactments. It truly promises to be a spectacular event! Our own Commissioner Col Tom Moe will be there as a special guest. This event will be open to the public for 2 days. Read more here.
US Mint Coin Design Competition - Feb 29 - Apr 28
The United States Mint is calling on American artists to design a WWI commemorative coin, to be issued in 2018. The coin will serve as a tribute to the bravery, actions and sacrifices of Americans a century ago, while providing a tangible touch point for generations to come. The competition is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are at least 18 years or older. During Phase One of the competition, which is open from February 29–April 28, 2016, artists are encouraged to submit their contact information and three to five work samples using the online form on the Mint website. Up to 20 applicants from Phase One will be selected to participate in Phase Two, where they will create and submit designs and plasters for the final coin. The winner will not only have his or her initials on the final coin, but will also receive a $10,000 prize. The Coin Design Competition is an opportunity for American artists to inspire people with the bravery, actions and sacrifices of Americans, as well as encouraging future generations to remember and appreciate the history of World War I.
National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park
Our main focus this month is on a reception in Fayetteville, Arkansas on April 1st in support of the Memorial. As you know, Joe Weishaar is a Fayetteville native and University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture alum. We’re reaching out to business leaders in Arkansas and surrounding states for support. We’ll be at Blessings Golf Club for an exclusive showing of the design renderings- Joe and Sabin will be in attendance along with the Honorable John Boozman, Senator from Arkansas.
Visit ww1cc.org/design to check out the winning design team and their design concept.
You can make this memorial a reality by donating $11.11 today to the Memorial Fund. These veterans deserve a memorial. We can build it.
We will offer our partners the opportunity to create and purchase challenge coins with our logo on the obverse and theirs on the reverse. Let Meredith Carr know if you’re interested.
WW1 Commemorative Merchandise
The WW1CC merchandise store is open on our website! Go online to get your own fine-crafted piece of WW1 commemorative merchandise and to support the Commission all at once. We have an exciting and varied line of products available for purchase - check it out today!
The Commission publishes a weekly newsletter, the DISPATCH. If you’re not receiving this and want to, sign up on our Commission Subscription webpage.
WWI Word of the Week
Brought to you by the WWICC Millennial Marketing Interns
This week's word: Chatting
Today it is known to mean casual conversation, but the word "chatting" had a much different definition during WWI. Lice were known as "chats," so men who would talk to each other while picking and crushing lice were said to be "chatting."
Originally from Paris, Marie-Amelie began volunteering for the Commission about a year ago. She assists the commission in any way possible including translating documents and helping with administrative work, specifically processing requests for support. She was interested in historical topics from young age, having grown up in eastern France. She is especially excited to be a contributing member of the team and has been to several American war monuments and battlefields with her grandmother while growing up.
The Great War Channel
Would you like to see some great videos on YouTube about WWI? Check out The Great War Channel. Posting multiple times a week, ‘The Great War’ shows you the history of the First World War in the four years from 1914 to 1918. The host, Indy, takes you back week by week and shows you what was going on in the past. Please subscribe to see these great posts. Their latest videos are:
Russian Spring Offensive - Confusion at Fort Vaux : THE GREAT WAR Week 87
Published on Mar 24, 2016. The Russians want to relieve the pressure of their French allies at Verdun by starting a huge spring offensive near Lake Narroch. But this is not the only reason: The spring thaws are coming and the Germans on the Eastern Front have the high ground. At the same time, the epic struggle at Verdun is continuing: Neither the French nor the German Army can gain a decisive advantage at Fort Vaux. At sea, the British use the depth charge successfully for the first time and the German ship Greif tries to run the British Blockade.
The Russian Navy - Submarines - Trench Mortar : OUT OF THE TRENCHES
Published on Mar 26, 2016. It's chair of wisdom time again and this week we talk about the Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea, submarine warfare and trench mortars.
Audacity & Gold Bars - The First Voyage Of The SMS Möve : THE GREAT WAR Special
Published on Mar 28, 2016. The German raider SMS Möve and her captain Nikolaus Graf zu Dohna-Schlodien were already legendary during World War 1. Their exploits sound like pirate tales of the Golden Age of Piracy: Ever eluding the Allied fleet, the Möve brought down over 30 ships, captured multiple hundred crewmen and brought home over 100.000 Mark in gold bars when they returned the first time.
The Great War Project with Mike Shuster
Food Stores at Kut All But Gone; A Bribe for the Bey.
In Contested Waters, Return of the U-Boats.
(21-25 March) On this day a century ago, the British introduce a new weapon into the war at sea — the depth charge.
A British ship drops an underwater explosive in the waters near Ireland and destroys a German submarine.
Still, writes historian Martin Gilbert, “the balance of naval sinking lay with Germany. On March 22nd one hundred years ago, a German U-boat torpedoes and sinks a British ferry carrying civilians between Britain and the Netherlands.
The Germans believe the ferry is carrying soldiers. It is not. More than fifty passengers drown including three Americans.
The Germans have good reason to believe the ferry could be carrying soldiers. According to Gilbert, “An American appeal to the allies, sent two months earlier not to arm merchant ships or passenger liners was rejected by Britain and France that same day, March 23.”
The war at sea is widening on both sides. In Berlin, the German parliament is about to vote for immediate unrestricted submarine warfare. A German submarine sinks a Russian hospital ship in the Black Sea. Reports Gilbert, 115 patients, nurses, and crew were drowned.
At the same time, in the Middle East, the British position at Kut, on the Tigris River, is now untenable....
Read more at GreatWarProject.org.