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Sync Call for Wednesday July 22 at Noon EDT
3rd Division Doughboys manning a machine gun , Chateau Thierry, 1918
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News and Announcements:

New Commissioner
We regret to inform you that Commissioner Dr. Mary Davidson-Cohen has stepped down from the Commission. Luckily, she has agreed to remain on the Foundation Board. Her service to us has been tremendous and will continue to be as she works with the Foundation. With her stepping down, a space opened up on the Commission board. Yesterday, that space was filled.

The National WWI Museum has appointed Dr. Matt Naylor, CEO, as the newest member of the Commission. Let's all extend a warm welcome to Dr. Naylor!We look forward to working with him and building our already strong relationship with the National WWI Museum.


IMLS Blog Post
Libraries and Museums are an important part of the roll of education America on this centennial. No one knows this better than the Connecticut State Library who has not only spent a tremendous amount of time on their own exhibits - but has also put together a grassroots effort to create a CT state committee. Their work on these topics is highlighted on the Institute for Museum and Library Science Website. Check it out!


Operation Door Knock
Operation Door Knock is happening right now on Capitol Hill. After the interns provided a packet to every member of the House and the Senate, we set up meetings with over 25 Representatives and Senators that started yesterday and will continue through Thursday. We also held a press conference and media event on the grounds of the Capitol Building to kick off General McCaffrey’s, Commissioner Fountain’s, and Commissioner Moe’s visits to the Hill. We feel the meetings are going promisingly - and we hope this will get us on our way of getting more awareness and support from Congress.

Listen up volunteers - Operation Doorknock is not going to end when these meetings end. We are going to be asking you to meet with your local congressmen and congresswomen while they are summer recess in August. More details will be forthcoming before too long. We need everyone's help if we hope to get our point across.

Also, check out some early press coverage!


Design Competition: Phase 1 has Ended!
The deadline for submissions has passed! We have received over 350 submissions-- the jury is scheduled to meet next week and take that 350 or so and reduce it to 5 or less.

Please remember that even if we get the perfect design we can’t build it without donations. We encourage everyone on this call to consider donating. Every dollar counts double thanks to the generosity of our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, which will match your donation. We will include a link in the minutes. Our Great War men and women deserve a memorial. We can build it.

You can make this memorial a reality by making a donation to the Memorial FundShare this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.


July 15 Commission Meeting
Last week, the quarterly meeting of the WW1 Centennial Commission took place at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City. Our Commissioners covered a large swath of activity reports, reviewed reports from ex-officio members, voted on a several requests for support, and worked on several initiatives including strengthening our educational planning. It was great meeting. If you had something up for a vote, please be patient - our staff has been bogged down and will get to you soon enough, we promise.

Thank you to the Museum for hosting us and for letting us get a sneak peak of A Centenary of Australian War that wasn’t scheduled to open for a few more days.


Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the Date
September 16th at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Upper Midwest Region (in red)The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in the Upper Midwest Region -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin -- to a collaborative meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to increase contact and coordination between these states’ volunteers and to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Additional information will be announced in the near future.



Volunteer Spotlight

Hannah Friedman, WW1CC Summer Intern

Hannah is a rising senior at American University and looking to major in International Relations. She is interested in WW1 because of the effects it had on the international order that can still be seen and felt today as well as how it set the stage for modern globalization. Her favorite period of history is the period from the beginning of the Great War to the end of the Cold War. Hannah appreciates the time and opportunity she has had at the Commission and it has been great to work alongside her fellow interns.


Shout Outs

First, Alec Bennet at ABMC - who went through countless Ancestry.com searches to help us on our operation doorknock campaign. He found the ancestors of congressmen and senators we’re meeting with and some of their documents from the war. This really added a nice personal touch to our meetings. Thank you for your hard-work.

Second, Allison Finkelstein from ABMC - she came out to Kansas City and was instrumental in assisting staff in completing our mission down at the meeting.

Thirdly, Our Memorial Project Team and Todd Butler, the Volunteer Project Manager. Thank you for handling the crazy last minute activity and keeping us afloat as we moved into the end of this competition.

Fourth and finally, Christine Pittsley of the Connecticut State Library who wrote a blog post for us on IMLS which highlighted the role of libraries and museums in public education of WWI and encouraged their support in state organizations.

Thank you all- We have truly amazing volunteers and we really want to thank you for all that you do for us.


How you can help the WWICC this week:

  1. Consider making a donation to the Memorial Fund for the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park.
  2. Help us get a WW1 series of stamps by sending in a letter to the US Post Office Stamp Committee. Email Andrew McGreal for more information and a template for this letter.
  3. If you are interested in helping with state and regional organization, please let Andrew McGreal know and he will send you information on how to get involved.
  4. Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization.


The Great War Channel

Would you like to see some great videos on YouTube about WWI? Check out The Great War Channel. Posting twice 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 last two videos are:

How do Artillery Shells Work? How Do We Maintain Our Objectivity?: OUT OF THE TRENCHES
July 20, 2015. After a small hiatus it's time for another episode of OUT OF THE TRENCHES where Indy answers your questions. This time Indy explains two of the main types of artillery shells: Explosive and Shrapnel Ammunition. Also what was the role of Papua New Guinea in WW1 and why does he like Smurfs?

The Tumbling Giant - Russia's Army On The Verge Of Collapse: THE GREAT WAR Week 51
July 16, 2015. The German-Austrian offensive on the Eastern Front had undone all of Russia's territorial gains in the last weeks. Lemberg had fallen and the German troops were at the gates of Warsaw. The Russian casualties were in the millions, especially equipment and officers were becoming scarce. And exactly now, the German high command (OHL) prepared an all-out offensive along the entire frontline. At the same time in Gallipoli, one failure followed the other. How long would the Entente be able to continue this exercise in butchery?


The Great War 100 Years Ago

Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon -http://www.worldwar1.com

Ten Great Battles of the AEF

Map of AEF battles on the Western Front, 1918

Division Strength or Greater in Chronological Order

One point to be aware of: the standard American Division of the time was about 28,000 men, which was 2-2.5 times larger that the other combatants. Sometimes this number was reduced about 20% if the divisions fought under French or British command and they provided the artillery support. Generally, though, the commitment of an American division to a battle was the equivalent of a French or British corps.

About 20 years ago, two of the "Talking Heads" (both American Academics) in the PBS television series The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century made the point that the United States military "only fought one battle" in the First World War. The intent was clearly to downplay, and in my opinion, to disparage the effort and sacrifices of Americans in the war. This is a list I developed in response to those assertions.

1. Cantigny

Date: May 28-30, 1918
General Location: Somme Sector
U.S. Units: 1st Division

2. Defense of the Marne River Line

Date: May 31-July 10, 1918
General Location: Immediate Vicinity of Château-Thierry
U.S. Units: 2nd and 3rd Divisions
AKA: B. of Château-Thierry; Inclusive of B. of Belleau Wood and B. of Vaux; Aisne Campaign

Map of the defense of the Marne River Line, May - June 1918

3. Second Battle of the Marne, Defensive Phase

Date: July 15-17, 1918
General Location: Allied defensive line between Château-Thierry and Navarin Farm in Champagne
U.S. Units: 3rd, 42nd and elements of 28th Divisions
AKA: The Rock of the Marne (3rd Division portion); Champagne-Marne Campaign

4. Second Battle of the Marne, Offensive Phase

Date: July 18 – September 16, 1918
General Location: German Salient between Aisne & Marne Rivers, North to South, and Château-Thierry and Reims, East to West
U.S. Units: Nine U.S. Divisions Committed
AKA: Aisne-Marne Campaign

5. Frapelle

Date: August 17, 1918
General Location: Vosges Mountains
U.S. Units: 5th Division

6. St. Mihiel Offensive3rd Division near Moulins, France, 1918

Date: September 12-16, 1918
General Location: St. Mihiel Salient, Southeast of Verdun
U.S. Units: First Army

7. Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Date: September 26 – November 11, 1918
General Location: West and North of Verdun
U.S. Units: First Army

8. Breaking of Hindenburg Line and Pursuit to the Selle

Date: September 27 – October 1, 1918; and October 6-21, 1918
General Location: Somme Sector
U.S. Units: II Corps (2 Divisions, tank battalion, & support units)
AKA: B. of St. Quentin Canal

9. Blanc Mont

Date: October 3-27, 1918
General Location: Champagne
U.S. Units: 2nd and 36th Divisions
AKA: Battle of Champagne, 1918; Some sources include as part of Meuse-Argonne Offensive

10. Lys Offensive in Flanders

Date: October 30 – November 11, 1918
General Location: Flanders
U.S. Units: 37th and 91st Divisions
AKA: Pursuit to the Scheldt; Ypres-Lys Campaign

Other Cases:

93rd Division Operations in the Champagne

The four U.S. segregated regiments fought separately under different French Divisions. However, if their effort in the fall 1918 fighting in the Champagne was aggregated it would be the equivalent of a major battle fought by a full division.

Second Army Offensive of 9 November 1918

Date: November 7-11, 1918
General Location: Woëvre Plain from Metz to Pont-à-Mousson
U.S. Units: Second Army
The next major offensive of the American Expeditionary Force was halted due to the Armistice.

 Soldiers of the 42nd "Rainbow" Division, July 1918

Upcoming Events

If you have an agenda item to include, please email Andrew McGreal by the Monday before the next Sync Call.

If you have an event for our calendar, please submit it here.

For a listing of events and exhibits, please visit the Commission Events Page. (We are in the process of transitioning into this calendar--please bear with us if your event does not appear immediately. Thank you.)


"Pershing" Donors

$5 Million +

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The Lilly Endowment