Sync Call for Wednesday September 02 at Noon EDT
You Can Help the WW1CC!
- Make a donation to the Memorial Fund for the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park We can't build this Memorial without your help!.
- Send a letter to the US Post Office Stamp Committee to encourage them to make a WW1 stamp series. Please feel free to use this template for your letter. Contact Andrew McGreal with any questions.
- We're looking for interns for the Spring semester. If you or someone you know would like to intern, please visit our Internship webpage.
- 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.
- Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization. Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to us at no cost to you!.
News and Announcements:
Operation Doorknock: Volunteer Follow-up
Please reach out to your Congresspeople and ask them to support the WW1CC! A phone call, an email, a letter - any of these will help us more than you know. Congress reconvenes September 14, so we’re running out of time to hit them on the Hill - which our staff has done and continues to do - and at home. A word from a constituent is worth a thousand from our staff. Please help us today!
Call or e-mail those offices and ask them to become active supporters of the World War One Centennial Commission. Use these Talking Points when you contact your Congressperson and fill out and send to us this Form afterwards. You can be incredibly helpful to the Commission by just spending 15 minutes of your time on a few e-mails and phone calls!
Update from the States
Our State outreach efforts are bearing fruit. Commemorative bodies have popped up in several states, the newest of which are in Mississippi, North Dakota, and New Jersey. We want to replicate this across the country by the end of the year. And to do so, we need your help. Volunteer for state outreach. Contact Andrew McGreal if you are willing to help.
Thanks to our friends at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport Mississippi, we are excited to report that a group of volunteers have set up a meeting with the Mayor and other stakeholders on Tuesday, September 8, at 4 :30 p.m.
The State of Mississippi will be celebrating its Bicentennial in 2017, and the hope is that Mississippi will work toward planning a joint celebration of the WWI Centennial as well as its own Bicentennial.
The Virginia WWI Centennial Commission met on Monday at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. Stakeholders from more than 20 different organizations throughout the state were present, including representatives from the VA Dept of Education and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, VA National Guard, MacArthur Memorial, and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum among others.
Additionally, Virginia has successfully established the VA WWI Commemorative Foundation, a 501 c 3 that will raise money for various initiatives throughout the Centennial. They are happy to share the Foundation documents with other states that would like to use it as a template. Email Meredith Carr for more information.
The Pershing Family Remembrance event in San Francisco last Thursday went off without a hitch! A lovely wreath-laying ceremony at the Presidio was followed by a historical talk on the significance of the tragedy on General Pershing and the country as a whole. We’ve posted photos on our Facebook page. Thank you to all our volunteers and everyone who helped out!
Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Are You Going?
September 16th at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library 11am to 3pm CDT
The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in the Upper Midwest Region--that’s Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,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.
At this gathering, the Commission will provide an overview of the staff support options available to state representatives, as well as the status of the WWI Memorial Design competition and updates from the Commission’s leadership. We encourage you to bring along and share examples of ideas that your state is planning. It is our hope to establish new connections and encourage cross-state collaboration.
Please register for this meeting on the Pritzker Military Museum and Library website or contact Susan Mennenga.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can still participate via the Livestream broadcast. Visit the PMML’s Live Stream page on Sept 16 at 11:00 a.m. Central to view the broadcast. You must have a Livestream account to leave questions or comments. You can create your login at Livestream.com.
Design Competition Update
Check out the the five final design concepts for the National WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park on the Stage II Finalist webpage. The designs will continue to evolve as they go through a long development process. They are open to public comment, and the evolved designs will also be put out for public comment prior to jury making a final decision in early 2016.
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 Fund. Share 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!
Centennial Countdown to the Great War - New Blog Entry
Dennis Cross, one of our fantastic Kansas state outreach volunteers, publishes a monthly blog called Centennial Countdown to the Great War. As the name suggests, this blog covers events that took place a hundred years ago this month. This month’s entry covers the continuing Allied slog at Gallipoli as well as events taking place in the US and Latin America. You can read the full blog here.
Upcoming Events at the WW1 Museum
The National WW1 Museum continues its monthly “In the Know” series at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20 when Kip Lindberg, Director of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps Museum, discusses the development of chemical warfare in history. In particular, Lindberg will focus on chemical warfare in WWI, its development and the use of poison gas near the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Loos, when the British deployed gas warfare for the first time.
Additionally, Living History volunteers will bring history to life by discussing trench warfare on Sunday, Sept. 13 as they present accounts and artifacts from World War I.
American Legion Convention
Our Director of Communications, Chris Isleib, has been at our booth at the American Legion Convention all week. We’ve made great connections with Legionnaires all across the country and we feel that it has been a great success. General Pershing was on hand at the booth today, taking “Pershing Selfies” with participants. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for snapshots of that! Chairman Rob Dalessandro will speak to the Convention tomorrow.
Tonya Hays and Carole Lynn Meadows in Gulfport, MI for starting up a Mississippi commemorative body!
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 lastest two videos are:
French Pistols of World War 1 featuring Othais from C&RSENAL: THE GREAT WAR - Special
Published on Aug 31, 2015. Othais explains the problems of manufacturing pistols like the Ruby Mle 1915 on a big scale. The French "Lebel revolver" also known as Model 1892 has a few interesting features like being a single action and a double action revolver at the same time. Particularly, the unusual reloading mechanism has a fascinating military history.
The Battle of Hill 60 - Lunatic Persistence in Gallipoli: THE GREAT WAR - Week 57
Published on Aug 27, 2015. Peter Hart described the state of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 as "lunatic persistence in the face of the obvious" - and the Battle of Hill 60 proved just that. Outgunned and with a lack of artillery support, the battle was one of the bloodiest days on the peninsular near Constantinople. The Ottoman capital was still out of reach for the Entente to capture. Meanwhile, the war spread to the Indian border region and on the Western and Eastern Front the carnage continued in the air and on ground.
The Great War 100 Years Ago
Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com
Sinking of SS Arabic Triggers Another Diplomatic Crisis
The May 7th sinking of the Lusitania had triggered a diplomatic crisis during which the Wilson administration communicated its serious objections to Germany's submarine warfare in three notes. The last, sent on July 21, 1915, stated that further sinkings of neutral ships would be considered to be "deliberately unfriendly" acts. Previous to its transmission, the Kaiser had ordered his admirals to avoid such sinkings in the future.
However, on August 19th in the Irish Sea, the White Star liner, SS Arabic, outbound for the U.S. was under observation of U-24. Apparently, while zigzagging, the ship headed for the submarine, which the Captain considered a hostile act. He fired a single torpedo at the Arabic. The ship sank in 10 minutes killing 44 passengers and crew, including 3 American. While the White House publicly stated that it was awaiting the results of an investigation to determine whether the sinking was deliberate, there was speculation that the U.S. was considering breaking diplomatic relations with Germany.
Behind the door talks were held in which Germany revealed it had issued secret orders to avoid just such an incidence. His diplomats advised the Kaiser to issue orders that attacks on passenger liners be avoided. On 28 August, the German Chancellor issued orders that passenger ships could only be sunk after warning and the saving of all passengers and crew, effectively making attacks on liners unfeasible. Washington was notified of the orders and the crisis passed. Seven months later, however, the attack on the SS Sussex in the English Channel would renew the controversy. While no Americans were killed in the incident, public opinion was raised to an angry level because of the belief that Germany had betrayed its commitment to avoid such attacks.
Book: Arthur S Link's Wilson: Confusion and Crises, 1915-1916
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.)