WW1 Centennial News for Wednesday May 3, 2017 - Episode #18
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- 1917 - US makes $200,000,000 loan to UK | @ 01:20
- Guest - Michael Lombardi: Profile of William Boeing as an entrepreneur and visionary | @ 07:15
- Events - WW1 gets into the swing of baseball games | @ 12:30
- Guest - Jordan Beck: Sgt. Stubby the animated film profile and update | @ 15:30
- International - ABMC sponsors WW1 education program with American School in Paris | @ 21:00
- Web - Vande Mataram site launches on ww1cc.org | @ 21:45
- Social Media - moss is mostly good | @ 26:00
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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 May 3rd, 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
Although America can’t immediately field a giant fighting force and ship it to the Western Front - the US government is going “all in” in other ways.
No longer limited under a declaration of war, the US Navy gets busy and sends destroyers across the Atlantic to engage German U-boats, which are ravaging allied shipping.
Remember, the US Navy has been a force to be reckoned with for a hundred years - ever since it distinguished itself during the War of 1812 - a war, incidentally, AGAINST the British not for them.
Meanwhile, we not only have an effective Navy but we also have money.
Unlike our European allies and foes, we haven’t depleted our economy through years of war - so, President Wilson’s Treasury Secretary, William McAdoo puts together a ginormous loan for the Bank of England. He hands them a check for $200 million dollars - the equivalent of 4 billion today.. That is the largest single check the US Treasury had ever written.
But we Americans are a pragmatic lot. This is - of course - not a gift. It’s a loan. And - as has become typical with a lot of US international governmental dealings - to this very day - the money is only to be used to pay American companies for products and services on behalf of the UK’s war efforts. So it’s a loan to our allie - to be paid back - and to be used to purchase American goods from US suppliers. War has always been good for business.
One more interesting note… and yet another amazing parallel in history. Mr. McAdoo - our secretary of the treasury - also happens to be President Wilson’s son-in-law. Family in the cabinet is a long standing tradition!
Meanwhile, on the western front in Europe things are near disastrous. The mutinies among the French troops are expanding.
For example, the 2nd battalion of the 18th french regimen suffered two thirds casualties in the Nivelle offensive around April 16th.
Just 10 days later, the general command sends in a new crop of officers, the original ones having been killed 10 days earlier. The men are ordered back to the front. This does not go down well - and Instead of heading for the front, the troops ransack the local stores of wine and get soused - shouting - “Down With The War”. They clearly have had enough.
This was unfortunately not an isolated incident. On the same day in the Champagne region, two hundred men fled into the woods rather than report back to the front.
Great War Project
Joining us to tell us more about how the germans are using the demoralization of the allied troops - not only in France but also in Russia - is former NPR correspondent Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog. Russia is effectively in revolution - costing the allies a crucial partner - and delighting the Germans who happily FUEL the fires of dissent.
Mike what’s happening with Russia?
Thank you Mike. That was Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.
War in the Sky
In the great war in the sky 100 years ago this week, we are wrapping up Bloody April - a disastrous period for the allied flyers where a new pilot had a life expectancy of just 11 days. Two allied aces that are lost in late April and early March are American pilot John J. Malone and British ace Captain Albert Ball who is killed in a crash following a dog fight with Lothar Von Richthoven, the brother of Manfred Von Richthoven, the red baron - both brothers are German pilots.
On the US domestic front, last week we told you the story about the launch of the Boeing Aircraft company. We received a lot of feedback and interest on the story. So with us today is Michael Lombardi, the senior corporate historian for the Boeing company. Michael thank you for joining us.
Michael, re-branding his company, The Pacific Aero Products Company - a component supplier - to the Boeing Airplane Company - a airplane supplier - within days of a US declaration of war carries all the “business acumen”, “entrepreneurial spirit ”, ‘Innovation” and “technology” attributes that define much of the American Character that emerged as a result of WW1. We want to know more about mr. William Boeing. Could you give us some insight?
What did the company do during the 18 months of the war? And what did it do the years following?
WW1 is the war that changed the world - William Boeing and the company he founded are certainly a part of this.
Thank you Michael Lombardi, Senior corporate historian for the Boeing company.
The Great War Channel
For video about WW1 history - our friends at the Great War Channel on Youtube have some new posts for you this week:
- OUT OF THE TRENCHES is another episode of where Indy Nidell answers viewer questions
- Turmoil In The French Army expands on the challenges we have been speaking about. And
- Fight For Air Supremacy - Bloody April 1917 is a great summary of the war in the sky in 2017
The videos are really informative and another great way to follow the history of WW1 from a more european perspective.
World War One NOW
Activities and Events
It’s spring - and the “boys of summer” are getting ready for another season!
We’re happy to announce the first of many collaborations with the WW1 centennial and professional sports.
The Commission has been working with the president of the International League, an east coast minor baseball league. This May and into June, they are going to highlight centennial commemoration during games.
Each park will have a slightly different way of showcasing the history of WW1; In Louisville one of the Commissioners is throwing out the first pitch and in Virginia the state WW1 Commission plans to have a living history truck. The will invite people to bring in pictures of their ancestors who fought in WW1 to be scanned and archived right then and there.
They will also receive help researching the images so the family leaves knowing more about their family’s veteran and service.
Upcoming games with schedule WW1 centennial events include:
May 20 - Scranton [Wilkes Barre Rail Riders]
May 21 - Louisville [Bats]
May 23 - Charlotte [Knights]
May 27 - Pawtucket [Red Sox]
May 29 - Gwinnett [Braves]
June 1-4 Norfolk [Tides]
For a complete list of the league’s games follow the link in the podcast notes.
Updates From The States
Arkansas: On the Fields and In the Trenches: Relics of the First World War
In “The Land of Opportunity” state - Arkansas - at the State Archives in Little Rock, there is an exhibit honoring and exploring the US and state’s involvement in WW1 through artifacts, documents and photographs. Many of these historic items were picked up off the battlefields by Louis C. Gulley, a local working as a postmaster for the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the war.
This month, they are expanding that exhibit - adding a traveling exhibit: The Great War: Arkansas in World War I, that showcases images from the Arkansas State Archives and highlights the achievements and sacrifices of Arkansans in the war. Stop by before May 6th to catch both of these exhibits!
Massachusetts: 104th Infantry Regiment of the 26th Division of the Massachusetts National Guard Memorial
In Massachusetts - where 6,500 Springfield residents fought in WWI, one regiment in particular is being remembered this week.
Brian Willette, of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the city’s Veterans Services Department organized a ceremony, to honor the 104th infantry regiment of the 26th Massachusetts National Guard.
The 104th were the first American military unit to be given a foreign decoration for valor during battle, the Croix de Guerre.
Mayor Domenic Sarno, and Eric Segundo, Massachusetts State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars placed a wreath at the monument to the 104th.
They later raised our World War I Centennial commemoration flag.
Spotlight in the Media
For our listeners who do not know him, let me introduce Sergeant Stubby.
He was a DOG --- who served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. Stubby saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him until human American soldiers arrived. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and decorated with medals. Back home, his exploits were front page news in major newspapers.
Well Sergeant Stubby’s exploits are being turned into an animated film - and with us today for an update on the movie is Jordan Beck, Head of Communications for Fun Academy Motion Pictures. Welcome Jordan.
Give us an overview and update on the project
That was Jordan Beck, Head of Communications for Fun Academy Motion Pictures.
The Monuments Project
Combining our international and education reports - here is a story about the students at the American School in Paris. They recently started a new class assignment—the Monuments Project.
With more than 35,000 Americans buried or memorialized overseas from World War I, there are thousands of untold stories, and the students are uncovering some of these unknown, personal histories.
The project is a collaboration between the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) in the Paris area, the American School of Paris and with Lopez Island Middle High School of Washington State.
100 students in France and Washington State began working together to research the lives of soldiers who entered the service.
Learn more about it by following the link in the podcast notes.
Posts and Articles
Vande Mataram in the USA
There is a new sub-site that went live this week.
Vande Mataram in the USA is a site about Asian Indians in World War I America
When the United States entered World War I, only a few tens of thousands of immigrants from colonial India lived in the nation, most on the West Coast. Yet this tiny community received enormous press coverage immediately after the declaration of war.
The spotlight came from a wave of arrests of Indian Nationalists and Germans accused of conspiring to overthrow the British Raj.
But while the press was focused on covering the plot and trial, many Asian Indian immigrants were serving in the United States armed forces. Their record of service and their struggle for civil rights after WWI led eventually to full citizenship rights for themselves and their descendants.
Check out their story at ww1cc.org/vande V-A-N-D-E all lower case.
100 Cities/100 Memorials
For 100 Cities / 100 Memorial - the $200,000 matching grant program for rescuing ailing WW1 memorials - we want to put out a reminder that there are less than 45 days before the grant application submissions close.
We know this is not enough time to crank up a whole project - but don’t miss the deadline if you are doing one of these project. Also, if you have a WW1 memorial project and you do not know about the program - you still have time to apply at ww1cc.org/100memorials - any restoration project completed after January 1, 2014 and November 11, 2018 qualifies.
Military Times and WW1
The Military Times is running a series of articles about each military branch’s experiences during WW1. This week, there is a great article about the Marine Corps and their bravery at Belleau Wood authored by Retired Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, who served 36 years in the Marine Corps. Read the story by following the link in the podcast notes.
French WW1 era censorship of Film and Literature
In our WWrite blog - which explores WWI’s Influence on Contemporary Writing and Scholarship.
This weeks featured post comes from blog curator, Jennifer Orth-Veillon, who discusses post-WWI French censorship of Films and literature that portrayed overly-negative images of the war.
In her post, The film, Paths of Glory, by Stanley Kubrick as well as Gabriel Chevallier 's book, Fear, were considered threats to France's vision of patriotism and triumph after the Armistice of 1918.
Read the post at ww1cc.org/W-W-R-I-T-E
The Buzz - WW1 in Social Media Posts
Images of Wilson’s cabinet getting in fighting shape for the war, including future president FDR
First Naval Officer Death in WW1
Moss: a humble plant that saved thousands of lives in WW1
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
Michael Lombardi, the Senior Corporate Historian for the Boeing Company
Jordan Beck, Head of Communications for Fun Academy Motion Pictures
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.
The US World War One Centennial Commission was created by Congress to honor, commemorate and educate about WW1.
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.
We rely entirely on your donations. No government appropriations or taxes are being used, so please give what you can.
It's easy by texting the word: WW1Now to 41444. that's ww 1 now to 41444
Or you give online at ww1cc.org/donate - all lower case
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
on iTunes and google play 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 this week.
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