WW1 Centennial News for Wednesday April 26, 2017 - Episode #17
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- 1917 - It turned into the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing @ 6:57
- Events - Colleges & Universities commemorate @ 9:15
- Events - Virginia International Tattoo @ 10:15
- Interview - Randal Dietrich WWI Specialist from the Minnesota Historical Society @ 11:00
- International - Anzac Day, what is it and what does it commemorate @ 16:30
- WWrite Blog - Ernest Luke McClees on WWI-era propaganda @ 18:30
- The Buzz - WW1 explained as a bar fight - social media meme @ 19:45
Get links below - listen to the podcast above
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WW1 Centennial News - Weekly Podcast
World War One Centennial News:
April 26, 2017
Welcome to World War One Centennial News. It’s about WW1 news 100 years ago this week - and it’s about WW1 NOW - news and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.
WW1 Centennial News is brought to you by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. Today is April 26th, 2017 and I’m Theo Mayer - Chief Technologist for the World War One Centennial Commission and your host today.
World War One THEN
100 Year Ago This Week
America has declared war and we now face the reality - that we actually doesn't have an army. It’s true.
It’s 1917, the US federal army is just barely over 120,000 men. In fact, the combined STATE militias totally outnumber the federal military with over 180,000 men.
Remember - this is only 1 generation after the civil war - - America is a UNION of separate states - the UNITED STATES of AMERICA - and the power of the Federal Government is relatively weak.
Our military thinkers estimate that we need a national army of at least a million soldiers -
President Wilson thinks that he can do it with volunteers - but… six weeks after the declaration of war… it is going to turn out that we only have 73,000 new volunteers. This is not gonna work.
So 100 years ago this week, President Wilson grabs his newspaper buddy - George Creel - Remember him from last week - our official war propagandist - and they head over to congress to let them know we are going to need a draft…
So here comes the selective service act of 1917… and Wilson will get it… in less than a month - stand by!
And our final US domestic note for this week 100 years ago may be just a little less dramatic for the average joe - but it is duly noted that the prestigious New York Yacht Club drops Kaiser Wilhelm and his brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia as members. YOU’RE OUTA HERE….
Great War Project
Joining us to tell us what is happening on the fighting fronts rather than here in the US is former NPR correspondent Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.
Mike -- It’s not going well for the Allies.
France, in particular is pushing into a new offensive - led by French General Robert Nivelle. He comes up way short on gain --- and way long on losses at a disastrous level. He loses 700% more men than anticipated.. He faces mutiny.. While his british allies hesitate to jump into this horrific meat grinder - and they - the brits - are getting nowhere in Gaza in the middle east.
Tell us about it Mike.
That’s Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.
War in the Sky
That’s the story on the ground - let’s find out what was happening this week 100 years ago, in the Great War In The Sky.
It is April 24th, 1917. The british are deeply engaged in the battles of Arras north-east of Paris and near the Belgian border.
This is when a German commanding officer and pilot named Hauptmann Eduard W. Zorer, is on an escort mission when he decides to drop down to 60 feet above ground and to strafe the British trenches. Under fire from hundreds of British rifles and machine guns, he and his pilot spray the British - trenches with 500 rounds of ammunition before a hit on their engine forces them to withdraw.
This incident 100 years ago represents the birth of close air support as a mission and tactic in military combat.
On the home front, there is a small and unnoticed event - of world changing proportion. Last week Katherine Akey pointed you to a blog post that shows the airplane manufacturing of 100 years ago. If you followed the link you saw that it all began with lumber cutting.
That is where our story starts 100 years ago - Up in the - currently - very remote American Pacific Northwest - there is a timber man. He has done well in the business, but like so many young men of this time - he is fascinated with airplanes. He hooks up with a US Navy engineering nerd who has a degree from MIT. Together they build a prototype seaplane stimulating our timber man to launch a new company - the Pacific Aero Products Company. That was in 1916.
100 years ago this week - just days or weeks after President Wilson declares war - this entrepreneurial timber man clearly sees an opportunity with the war effort - and he decides to rebrand his company from a component supply company - the Pacific Aero Products Company - to a supplier of actual airplanes themselves - so using his own name - On April 26 - 100 years ago this week - William Boeing - our timber man - announces the Boeing Airplane Company. And that is the birth of the biggest aerospace company in world - 100 years ago this week in the great war in the sky!
You can follow these events on our site with RG head’s comprehensive timeline at ww1cc.org/warinthesky
The Great War Channel
If you are ready to watch some great video about WW1 history - go to The Great War channel on YouTube.
This week - our friends at the Great War Channel have posted new episodes that include:
- The Nivelle Offensive - Carnage at the Chemin des Dames
More on the story we talked about with Mike - and for the hardware geeks a great post on the tech of
- Flamethrowers and Artillery Fuzes
World War One NOW
Activities and Events
VPI and Penn State: Colleges remember WW1
This week we want to highlight WW1 activities taking place at colleges here in the US.
The first is a collaboration between the Virginia Tech - History Department and University Library. They created an online project and database about the Virginia Tech’s alumni who served in WW1. It was called the Virginia Polytechnic Institute at the time and they have an exhibit about this on campus through May 15th. The event is in the National WW1 Events Register at ww1cc.org/events and the direct link is in the podcast notes and in the chat room.
Second, At Penn State’s All Sports Museum, a new exhibit called “Field to Front” which tells the story of Penn State student athletes who served in all branches of the military during the conflict. They are being honored and remembered with this exhibit that is opening April 21st and runs through April 2018.
Both these stories remind us of how lives were changed and disrupted in so many ways during this period. Thank you Virginia Tech and Penn State for remembering and honoring your vets.
This Thursday April 27th through Sunday April 30th in Norfolk Virginia’s Scope Arena is the Virginia International Tattoo. The weekend-long event includes spectacular performances by military bands, drill teams, and pipes and drums from six WWI allies, the unforgettable music of the WWI era by composers John Phillip Souza, Gustav Holst, Irving Berlin, and more, as well as a signature Tattoo Finale which expresses our collective connection and gratitude to those that fought for our freedom 100 years ago, and all who have followed in their footsteps. Learn more about the event from our national events register at ww1cc.org/events - search on tattoo with two Ts and two Os. We have posted links for you.
Updates From The States
Next, it’s time for some updates from the states.
We started hearing about the great WW1 Commemoration activity happening in Minnesota - So we have invited Randal Dietrich the WWI Specialist from the Minnesota Historical Society to come speak with us today.
Randal - welcome
Tell us a bit more about the WW1 commemoration up in the North Star State….
Fayetteville, AK Poppy Program
From our friends in Arkansas - we have a story about the students from McNair Middle School have been learning and spreading the word about WW1 through our Poppy Program, selling WW1 poppy seed packets to help raise money for the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC.
You see - one of their own - McNair Middle School alumni, Joseph Weishaar, won the international design competition for the memorial.
To learn more about the National WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park go to WW1CC.org/memorial
To learn more about the poppy fundraising tool where you can raise money for you organization as well as us both go to ww1cc.org/poppy
Wisconsin Article on a local Ambulance Driver
From the Wisconsin WW1 web site we have the story of John Pavlik who served as an ambulance driver with the 32nd Division in France and Germany during World War I.
Pavlik enlisted at the age of 16 because he did not want to wait two more years to be drafted. The war gave Pavlik a chance to drive a motorized ambulance, instead of using mules and wagons - a major innovation of the time. Here he describes the experience of operating the new technology:
"No windshields, no side curtains, and you carried eight patients sitting up or for on litters . . . If it rained, it rained in on you, and you put your poncho in front of you to keep water off your legs and feet."
Read more on Wisconsin’s site at ww1cc.org/wisconsin - all lower case and we have a direct link to the article in the podcast notes.
April 25th is ANZAC day - Anzac stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The day is commemorated every year on the anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli. Much as it was for the United States, WW1 was truly formative for the newly independent countries. The Holiday is observed much as our Veteran’s day. These nations have been Allies of the United States throughout the conflicts over the years.
Read the story and learn more about what ANZAC day means to our friends from Oceana.
Naga Corps Monument
This week a new monument was unveiled in Kohima, a city in Nagaland, India. If you don’t know where that is - that’s our point. Nagaland is a remote pocket of India wedged between bangladesh and Myanmar - formerly known as Burma. WW1 reached into every corner of the globe - and is being remembered everywhere as well. In Nagaland - 2000 local men were drafted into the British “Labor Corps” and served in France during the conflict. This month they are being remembered at home with a new memorial. Learn more by following the link in the podcast notes.
Posts and Articles
Stories of Service
First we are going to point you at our “stories of Service” section that you’ll find at ww1cc.org/stories
Meet Sgt. Lau Sing Kee of Saratoga and San Jose.He won the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart from the United States and the Croix de Guerre from France. He earned these for staying 3 days straight at a message center. In spite of his position being shelled and gassed, he refused to leave his post. At one point he was by himself for 24 hours.
Retired Marine Ernest Luke McClees on dehumanizing the enemy
Our WWRITE blog Explores WWI’s Influence on Contemporary Writing and Scholarship.
This week Eastern Kentucky University Veterans Studies and Humanities professor, retired U.S. Marine, and writer, Ernest Luke McClees draws parallels between today and WWI-era propaganda.
He discusses the ways that media demonizes and dehumanizes the enemy. McClees also gives readers another chance to visit Darryl Dillard's February post in which he wrote about the representation of African-American actors during WWI.
Dillard and McClees both address the infamous "Destroy this Mad Brute" military poster that shows a large ape-like creature, supposedly a German, grasping a white woman against her will.
If this conversation interests you, be sure you subscribe to the blog at ww1cc.org/w-w-r-i-t-e.
The Buzz - WW1 in Social Media Posts
WW1 as a bar fight
Shaping Wheels for Artillery wagons
Industrial innovation bent
Mr. Arango’s Airplanes
Remembering him and honoring his passing
That’s WW1 Centennial News for this week. Thank you for listening!
We want to thank our guests
Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog
Randal Dietrich the WWI Specialist from the Minnesota Historical Society
Katherine Akey the Commission’s social media director and also the line producer for the show.
And I am Theo Mayer - your host this week.
Please support us
The US World War One Centennial Commission was created by Congress to honor, commemorate and educate about WW1. We rely entirely on your donations. No government appropriations or taxes are being used.
Our programs are to--
inspire a national conversation and awareness about WW1;
We are bringing the lessons of the 100 years ago into today's classrooms;
We are helping to restore WW1 memorials in communities of all sizes across our country;
and we are building a National WW1 Memorial in Washington DC.
All of this work depends on your support, so please give what you can.
It's easy by texting: WW1Now to 41444. that's ww 1 now to 41444
WW1 Centennial News is brought to you as a part of that effort. We want to thank commission’s founding sponsor the Pritzker Military Museum and Library for their support.
The podcast can be found on our website at ww1cc.org/cn and in the iTunes store at ww1 Centennial News.
Our twitter and instagram handles are both @ww1cc and we are on facebook @ww1centennial.
Thanks for joining us. And don’t forget to talk to someone about the centennial of WW1.
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