WW1 Centennial News for Wednesday May 17, 2017 - Episode #20
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- New Feature: Now publishing the 1917 Official Bulletin daily at ww1cc.org/bulletin | @ 00:45
- History: “You want to send American troops to FRANCE!?!” | @ 05:00
- Big News: National WW1 Memorial gets nod and OK from CFA | @ 11:30
- Helping out: Peer-to-peer fundraising video for Memorial day | @ 12:30
- Sports: Randy Mobley - President of the International League | @ 15:00
- Education: St. Mary’s University, Texas students making WW1 Mini Docs | @ 22:15
- Theater: New WW1 play in Los Angeles | @ 24:15
- Television: Nat Geo TV WW1 Special to air Memorial Day weekend | @ 25:00
- Music: 369th experience | @ 25:45
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WW1 Centennial News - Weekly Podcast
World War One Centennial News:
May 10, 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 17th, 2017 and I’m Theo Mayer - Chief Technologist for the World War One Centennial Commission and your host.
World War One THEN
100 Year Ago This Week
We have gone back in time 100 years - and the united states government launches the “The Official Bulletin” the country’s war information newspaper. It is published daily under order of the - President of the United States - published - by the Committee on Public Information, George Creel - Chairman
We have introduced you to George Creel previously. Creel is a journalist, friend and staunch supporter of Woodrow Wilson - especially during the election of 1916.
So it’s not surprising that President Wilson appoints Creel to head the newly minted Committee on Public Information - the CPI - as a part of the new war effort. The CPI’s mission is to swing public sentiment and backing in favor of the U.S. war effort. Effectively George Creel is the head of America's propaganda and war information bureau.
This includes all aspects of the U.S. media, including print, film, posters, music, paintings, cartoons… everything.
One of the key products of the CPI is the Official Bulletin, largely forgotten and gone unnoticed - in the century since.
Starting this week, We are re-publishing each issue of this daily historically newspaper on the centennial date of its release. This archive is a wonderful cultural resource that illuminates this dynamic period in our country’s history.
Fortunately, the entire archive has been digitized by Google Books and we are very excited to bring it to you as a daily serial on our web site - at ww1cc.org/bulletin - all lower case.
The editorial team at WW1 Centennial News is going over the 120 or so weekly articles, bringing you some of the interesting headlines and digging into a story or two.
This week, some of the headlines read:
“Urgent need of ships for coastal defense is outlined”
This article includes the interesting note: A number of the finest yachts in the country have been tendered to the Government by the owners for use during the war, either free or on a nominal lease basis”
In the article - the Assistant Secretary of the Navy writes - “We need coastal defenses. The present war is showing that the submarine is a weapon that has an important bearing on the final result.”
That astute assistant secretary of the navy in 1917 will become the 32nd President of the United States in 1933 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Another headline reads - MISSION TO RUSSIA.
The Department of State authorizes the members of the special diplomatic mission of the United States of America to Russia - our close allies during this war.
REGISTRATION DISTINCT FROM THE DRAFT,
STATEMENT BY WAR DEPARTMENT EXPLAINS
This article that explains that all young men between 21 and 30 must REGISTER for the draft - but that being drafted is a separate and different issue.
This is the first selective service moment in our nation’s history and there is a lot of interest and confusion about how it works.
In fact - in the May 12, 1917 issue of the Official Bulletin - there is a great article looking at the number of men in the US who will be subject to QUOTE “selective conscription”.
They estimate that around 10 million men between ages 21 and 30 need to register. That is around 10% of the US’ estimated population of 103-104 million people in 1917.
Based on state populations, they are looking at around 1 million young men from New York, 875,000 from Pennsylvania, half a million from Illinois, Texas and Ohio,
Remember a few weeks ago we talked about the fact that the US had virtually no national military - that in fact the state militias totally outnumbered the federal army.
The building of that army is a story we will be following over the coming weeks.
Great War Project
Joining us now is former NPR correspondent Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog. This week Mike also focuses on the domestic struggle to get a handle on what it means - now that we have declared war. Mike - It sure doesn’t sound like the nation is of one mind on this!?
That was Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.
War in the Sky
Let’s take a look at the Great War in the sky one hundred years ago this week. Our story is about the first allied flying boat that managed to down a german Zeppelin.
What IS a flying boat. Well It’s different from a pontoon sea-plane that has floats replacing or in addition to landing gear.
Instead - flying boats are like ship hulls with wings - they do have pontoons out on the wings for stability when they land and take off - but they are a very desirable concept because they can be big and use a really long distance to take off and land - this works because they don’t need a runway to operate them just a reasonably calm body of water.
The Curtiss H series is America’s leading flying boat design in WW1 - In fact, you might remember a few weeks ago when Michael Lombardi boeing’s senior historian, told us about an early Boeing contract to build some Curtiss H series flying boats under licence.
Well one hundred years ago this week, a canadian flyer Robert Leike is tooling on patrol around in the north sea near amsterdam with his flight commander John Galpin. It’s nasty and rainy weather and the clouds are low. Around 4:45 am, the weather breaks and they spot a big german Zeppelin - The L-22 about 10-15 miles away.
So they give chase to sneak up on her - the flight commander, Lt. Galpin gives Leike the controls and goes to man the twin Lewis Guns.
They get to within half a mile before the zep spots them - but by then it’s too late. Leike dives down on her like a hawk as Galpin unloads an entire drum of incendiary bullets into the zeppelin - which catches on fire and crashes into the sea. The tiny wasp has stung the giant beast and prevailed.
It’s a win for the allies and the loss of a precious zeppelin for the Germans. Leike is given the distinguished service cross and Galpin the distinguished service order for their action one hundred year ago this week in the great war in the sky.
The Great War Channel
Let’s move on to our friends from the Great War Channel on Youtube. They have produced a library of over 400 videos - about WW1 - over the past few years. The videos provide detailed insights - as well as summaries and overviews - If you want to explore WW1 on video we recommend the Great War channel on Youtube - This week the new episodes include:
- One hundred years ago this week - The Macedonian Standoff - The Five Nation Army Is Repelled
- And another episode which is a special - shot on location in France with the dutch development team from the Battle of Verdun video game. They explore the validity (or not) of teaching about WW1 with video game technology. This is a really interesting discussion.
Follow the link in the podcast notes.
World War One NOW
We have moved forward into the present with WW1 Centennial News NOW - News about the centennial and the commemoration.
We will begin with some breaking news from the World War One Centennial Commission.
As you know, surprisingly, there is no National WW1 memorial in our nation’s capital.
We are very happy to report that on May 18, our concept and design for the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park, in Washington DC received concept approval from Washington’s Commission of Fine Arts, the CFA - a body that needs to approve everything being built in the Nation’s Capital.
You can check out the latest design and learn more about the project at link: ww1cc.org/memorial
We offer our congratulations to WW1 Centennial Commission Vice Chair Edwin Fountain, the designers of the concept Joe Weishaar and Sabin Howard and the WW1 memorial project team that have worked tirelessly to adapt the project vision to the input and requests of the CFA.
Just in time for memorial day, we are now clear to proceed with our missions to honor the WW1 Doughboys with their own national memorial in Washington DC.
So now - We are asking you - our audience to help us spread the word with a little peer-to-peer fundraising for this project. It is really easy for you to help - Some great people have recorded - special memorial day, 20 second donation appeals video for us - You can post on your web sites and social media pages asking to support this important centennial project.
We have 20 second videos specifically for memorial day from former
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta,
Former US senator and ambassador Carol Moseley Braun
The step-grand-daughter of General of the Armies Black Jack Pershing - Ms. Sandra Sinclair Pershing
Retired Army General, news commentator and business consultant General Barry McCaffrey
And Tech guru, internet pioneer and google senior fellow Vinton Cerf
All YOU need to do it to post these videos on your facebook page, your website, or your other social media channels and tell your friends about our project.
You can find the videos and lots of other great resources including an amazing public domain WW1 image library at ww1cc.org/promotion.
Please do it today - Memorial day is coming up on May 29. Help us build a national ww1 memorial in Washington DC
Activities and Events
On to activities and event -
Starting with a livestream from the ABMC. The American Battle Monuments Commission.
On Tuesday, May 16th, two American Battle Monuments historians talked about photos from their collection in the ABMCs first Facebook Live chat. They discussed Memorial Day in 1919 and the role of photography in remembrance and commemoration of the First World War. You can watch the video of the event on their facebook page. We put the link in the podcast notes - Congratulations to the AMBC on your first facebook livestream - we are looking forward to many more.
Wilton CT: Archiving
In Wilton Connecticut, the Wilton library will be holding a World War I Memorabilia Digitization Day on Saturday, May 20. Community Members can stop by to have their stories recorded and keepsakes scanned, photographed, and digitized. The results will be added to the State Library’s “Remembering World War One” digital project. They will be focusing on wart front related, home front related, or other war efforts. The library has teamed with the Connecticut State Library, American Legion Post 86 and the Wilton Historical Society to produce the event.
International Baseball League
And as we have been leading up to for the past few weeks - it’s time for peanuts, crackerjack, baseball and WW1 veterans remembrance days.
With us today is the president of the East coast’s International League, Mr. Randy Mobley. Randy, you’ve been such an great supporting partner in this program for the WW1 commemoration - Thank you and welcome to the show!
Your league is supporting a dozen games with WW1 remembrances between now and memorial day - how did that happen?
What are some of the events that are happening?
Tell us about the International League - How did it get it’s name
Thank you Randy Mobley - President of International League [closing]
Updates from the States
Kentucky and slugger stadium
This coming Sunday on May 21st, in Louisville Kentucky at Slugger Field, the Kentucky state and the national WW1 Centennial Commissions are teaming up with the Louisville Bats for a WW1 commemoration day at the park.
Heather French-Henry was on KHAS Channel 11 - the local ABC affiliate - earlier this week where they spoke about the upcoming event at Slugger Field.
[clip from show]
16th Engineers (railroad) an all-volunteer regiment
On the Michigan State Commission website at ww1cc.org/michigan, there is an article this week about a unique regiment: the 16th Engineers (railroad). The regiment was organized, mobilized and trained entirely in Detroit, In WW1 Michigan, uniquely, was made up entirely of volunteers. So while the federal government was focusing on conscription and the draft - Many, many people willingly and enthusiastically volunteered, whether they were men in Detroit or mothers and wives across the county. Read more about the 16th and their accomplishments abroad, including the construction of the largest AEF construction project of the war, by visiting the Michigan State Centennial Commission website at ww1cc.org/michigan - all lower case.
North Carolina Department of Transportation
In North Carolina, Red poppies are blooming along the highways in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of our nation’s entry into World War I.
To help honor those who served, North Carolina’s Department of Transportation Roadside Environmental unit planted an additional 70 acres of red poppies, an internationally recognized remembrance of sacrifice - for our military veterans. The poppies are part of the U.S. World War I Commission’s nationwide efforts to raise awareness and give meaning to the events that took place 100 years ago.
The department spoke with their native son and national WW1 Centennial Commissioner - Jerry Hester.
[Jerry Hester interview]
St. Mary’s University and Commissioner General Alfredo Valenzuela
In our education update section we have a story from Texas:
Professor Teresa Van Hoy’s class - at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, has been given an incredible opportunity to connect with the legacy of WW1.
With the support of WW1 Centennial Commissioner General Alfredo Valenzuela, Van Hoy guides her students to research, write and produce a series of mini-documentaries about the war.
Students get to choose a topic that interests them, allowing for their voice and perspective to enter the work.
The last batch of documentaries will be ceremoniously published online on the centennial of armistice day, November 11, 2018 at 11:11am. BUT you don’t have to wait till then to check out these great mini docs You can watch them now on youtube.
Just follow the link in the podcast notes. I watched a 4 minute student peace that was published yesterday called Shell Shock with actual footage of WW1 soldiers in the post traumatic states. It’s pretty powerful! Thank you professor Van Hoy for putting this program together.
India: Embroidery and rehabilitating wounded soldiers
From India - A story about post war recovery and the healing power of embroidery. In this story about WW1 soldiers who, reluctantly at first, embraced embroidery as a therapy.
Also known as “fancy work” - embroidery was widely used as a form of therapy for British and ANZAC soldiers wounded in the War – challenging the gendered construct of it - as “women’s work” . Themes of the soldiers’ embroidery ranged from military heraldry to scenes from the French countryside to pieces for their sweethearts. You can read more about some individuals who benefitted from embroidery, and see some of their embroidered pieces by following the link in the podcast notes.
Spotlight in the Media
Rajiv Joseph’s play Archduke
In Los Angeles, Playwright Rajiv Joseph has staged and opened a new play about WW1 called “Archduke”. Commissioned by the Center Theater Group on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Joseph’s slyly relevant new period dramedy ends where most accounts of World War I begin: with the death of the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Ferdinand. The play runs from April 25th to June 4th. You can purchase tickets as well as read a review of the play by following the link in the podcast notes.
National Geographic Television will air their special
“America’s Great War 1917-1918” on Sunday May 28th at 9pm and Monday May 29th at 10:50pm.
Their press release states: “Through unreleased archives and contemporary footage shot in the archeological digs of World War I's battlefields, the show will tell the heroic and tragic tale of the American soldiers in who participated in the conflict.”
Thank you Nat Geo TV for producing the wonderful work! We look forward to in time for memorial day!
Articles and Posts
The 369th Experience
One of the sites you’ll find is for the 369th Experience. Go to ww1cc.org/369 - this is a project endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission and sponsored in part by The Coca Cola Foundation.
The project re-creates the Harlem Hellfighter’s 369th Regimental Band. The band originally consisted of 65 African American and Puerto Rican doughboys who charmed the hearts and minds of Americans and Europeans alike. It is said that they brought Jazz to Europe.
Beginning last November, the program solicited freshmen and sophomore music students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other colleges and universities across America to enter a competition to be selected to join a re-creation of the 369th band.
The band members have now been selected.
And this past week it was announced that Dr. Isrea Butler, will lead the band as they retrace the steps of the original 369th, with performances at centennial celebrations in New York City; Brest and Paris in France; and a host of other historic locales. Dr. Buttler is currently the Director of Bands at The University of Maryland Eastern Shore. To learn more about the program you can go to ww1cc.org/369 or follow the link in the podcast notes.
This week in our WWrite blog - which explores WWI’s Influence on Contemporary Writing and Scholarship, the post is titled “Censored WWI Works Part 2: Mary Borden's Forbidden Zone and Backwash of War by Ellen LaMotte”
In the post, WWrite Blog curator Jennifer Orth-Veillon discusses two censored yet extraordinary works by Army nurses:
Ellen Lamotte's “The Backwash of War” and Mary Borden's “The Forbidden Zone”.
Both Mary Borden and Ellen Lamotte were field hospital nurses who witnessed some of WWI's worst casualties and went on to write about the experience.
The post - discusses how many artistic works were censored after WWI because they seemingly portrayed the conflict, or the countries involved, in a negative light.
Today, many of these previously censored works are considered among the best artistic representations of the war - in part - because of to the realistic way they painted a horrible, gory, corrupt, and anti-triumphant picture of combat and trench warfare.
Read more about these women and their literary contributions at the ww1cc.org/w-w-r-i-t-e. All lowe case.
100 Cities / 100 Memorials
For the 100 cities / 100 memorials project - the $200,000 matching grant challenge to restore ailing WW1 memorials around the country -
there is a new blog post this week profiling some of the recent grant applications to the program -
One from Santa Monica California -
and another from Tennessee’s Madison Country…
MOST important - a reminder for anyone involved in a WW1 memorial restoration project - large or small - it is just ONE MONTH until the submission deadline on June 15, 2017.
You can follow the program and sign up for the blog at ww1cc.org/100 memorials !
The Buzz - WW1 in Social Media Posts
That brings us to the buzz - the centennial of WW1 this week in social media with Katherine Akey - Katherine - what do you have for us this week?
Mother’s Day Dispatch from the Front
An illustrated dispatch from the War Work Council on Mother's Day, 1918
A summary biography of Gen. Pershing, tapped 100 years ago this week to lead the AEF.
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
Randy Mobley, president of the International League
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 as you heard earlier, we received approval on our design for a National WW1 Memorial in Washington DC.
We are not federally funded. We depend entirely on donations for doing this work… You can help by donating any amount at ww1cc.org/donate, you can help us with peer-to-peer fundraising by posting the donation appeal videos from ww1cc.org/promotion and if you are listening to this podcast on your smart phone - you can just text ww1 to 41444 to make a donation large or small.
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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