Sync Call for Wednesday October 28 at Noon EDT
Help the WW1CC!
- Donate! Go to our donations page.
- Send a letter to the USPS Stamp Committee! Use this template.
- Send us interns! Direct anyone you know who is interested to our Internship webpage.
- Help with state and regional organization! 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.
News and Announcements:
No Sync Call on November 11
We will not host a Sync Call on November 11 (the call after next), which is Veterans Day. We hope you’ll all take the opportunity to have a “day-on” on your day off and volunteer for a veterans service organization.
Update from the States
Volunteer for state outreach. Contact Andrew McGreal if you are willing to help.
November 5 Collaboration Call
On November 5 at Noon EST, we will hold our first State Outreach Collaboration Call in the new format. The focus of this call will be veterans history projects and their letter and artifact collection programs. We have three expert panelists for this topic: Bob Patrick from the LOC, Andrew Bullen from the Illinois State Library, and Christine Pittsley from the Connecticut State Library. Subsequent calls will take place on the first Thursday of the month. Reminders will be sent out two weeks before and the day of. The call-in number will be the same as past calls - contact a State Outreach Coordination Team member to get on the roster.
The next Virgnia WW1 Centennial Committee meeting will take place on Monday, November 2 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond. Contact Meredith Carr for more information.
Susan Mennenga and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library hosted a meeting of Upper Illinois volunteers and interested parties today to plan their way forward for commemorating the state's contributions to and experience of World War 1.
You can check out all the below upcoming events on the Commission Calendar.
National WWI Museum Symposium (November 6 - 7)
On November 6 & 7, the National WWI Museum in Kansas City will host its 2015 Symposium--Global War, 1915: Empires at War, Churchill’s Gallipoli & America Divided. This event will explore the rising tensions in America and the globally escalating conflict that defined the world in 1915. It will feature several prominent WWI scholars. Registration and a fee are required.
Tennessee Great War Commission Kick Off (November 7)
On November 7, the Tennessee Great War Commission will hold its 2015 Kickoff Commemoration events across three venues in Nashville. Events at these venues will include lectures, a symposium, a living history programs, and the opening of a new exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum. All of these events are free and open to the public. Check out this flyer for more information.
Connecticut and the Great War Symposium (November 7)
The Connecticut and the Great War Symposium will take place on November 7 at Central Connecticut State University. This day long conference will examine the people and events that made the First World War a transformative experience for Connecticut's peoples, its industries, and its communities. Registration and a fee is required.
Head over to CountDownToVeteransDay.org. It’s a Commission supported one-stop shop for Veterans Day volunteer activities and opportunities. You can go there to add volunteer opportunities - just click “Link In My Organization” - or to plan your own day of service on November 11.
Remember to use the handle #CountDownToVeteransDay on your social media to get the word out. One day isn’t enough to honor our veterans. We encourage everyone to look at Veterans Day not as a ‘day off’ but as a ‘day on’ to volunteer for a Veterans’ organization and to help the community.
Storm the Hill 2.0
Yesterday, thanks to Congressman Ted Poe and his staff, our staff met with key leaders in both the House and Senate. Commission volunteer Major General Bill Matz (USA Ret.) accompanied Congressman Poe and Rebekah Wilson on these calls. Next week we will have a senior delegation from the Commission on Capitol Hill calling on of our friends with an updated briefing.
The National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park- Design Competition Update
Phase II of the Memorial Design Competition proceeds apace. Next week, our finalists will be back in Washington, DC for their second phase II meeting with our Design Oversight Committee. As always, you can check out the finalists (and every other submitted design) on our webpage.
Please remember that even if we get the perfect design we can’t build it without donations. Every dollar counts double thanks to the generosity of our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, which will match your donation. You can make this memorial a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund. The veterans of this bygone war deserve a memorial. We can build it.
To Virginia Dilkes, for going out of her way to set up commemorative bodies in not only GA (where she lives), but in Washington, Oregon, and, now, New Mexico. You’re a rockstar, Virginia!
MG Bill Matz for spending yesterday on Capitol Hill with us - thank you, sir!
To everyone who came out to Marvin last night for cocktails and an in-depth look at the 5 final design concepts for Pershing Park. We had a great turnout- White House, Dept. of Defense, Pentagon, C-Span, and George Washington University. Thanks to everyone for your support!
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 latest videos are:
Why Didn't They Learn Anything From the American Civil War?: OUT OF THE TRENCHES
Published on Oct 24, 2015. Indy is sitting in the Chair of Madness again to answer your questions. And this time we are answering one big question that we get a lot: Why didn't they learn anything from the American Civil War and its carnage?
"The Crime That Shook the World" - The Execution of Edith Cavell: THE GREAT WAR Week 65
Published on Oct 22, 2015. Edith Cavell was a British nurse serving in a nursing school in occupied Belgium. She was executed by the Germans for treason and espionage in Brussels. Her death and the surrounding atrocity propaganda caused a public outcry all over the world. At the same time the First World War continued like never before. The Third Battle of the Isonzo didn't bring a decision between Austria-Hungary and Italy, in Gallipoli the troops were slowly withdrawn and the the Champagne offensive of the French army was still in full swing.
The Great War 100 Years Ago
Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com
Notable Americans Who Served Before the United States Declared War
- This list does not purport to be comprehensive. These are some interesting cases I've selected.
- The list only includes individuals who volunteered before 6 April 1917, so many famous names are missing.
- The list – except for those who fell in action before April 1917 – is limited to those who later joined or attempted to join the American military.
- Leo Eloesser
San Francisco surgeon who served in the Kaiser's Hospitals on the Rhine. Returned home in 1917, commissioned Major in U.S. Army, named Chief of Orthopedics at Letterman Army Hospital where the important "Letterman Leg" was developed. Other notable physicians volunteered such as neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing and Cardiologist Paul Dudley White.
- Malcolm Grow, Russian Army
Grow received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1909. In August, 1915 Dr. Grow met Dr. Edward Egbert, Chief Surgeon of the American Red Cross Hospital in Kiev, in Washington, D.C. Dr. Egbert convinced Grow to travel with him to St. Petersburg, Russia, to assist in the Russian war effort. Dr. Grow was commissioned Lt. Colonel in the Imperial Russian Medical Corps and served as regimental surgeon in the First Division of the First Siberian Army Corps in Galicia. Surgeon Grow twice distinguished himself and received the Order of Saint Stanislaus, 3rd class with swords, and was awarded the Order of St. George, 4th class for gallantry in action. Dr. Grow left Russia after the February Revolution of 1917, and entered the U.S. Army Medical Service later the same year. Became a flight surgeon after the war and eventually Surgeon General of the U.S. Air Force.
Ambulance and Truck Drivers
- Malcolm Cowley, American Field Service
Most famous as chronicler of the "Lost Generation." One of the earliest of the "Literary Ambulance Drivers", Lost Generation author Cowley was later followed by such authors as E E Cummings, John dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway, and more. Also, Sidney Howard, Academy Award Winning writer for the Gone With the Wind screenplay.
- Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Toklas and Stein returned to Paris in June 1916, and acquired a Ford automobile with the assistance of associates in the United States; Gertrude learned to drive it with the help of her friend William Edwards Cook. Gertrude and Alice then volunteered to drive supplies to French hospitals, in the Ford they named "Auntie", after Gertrude's aunt Pauline.
- Lafayette Escadrille and Flying Corps
Probably the most recognized group of volunteers including, James McConnell, Raoul Lufberry, Bill Thaw, Nordhoff and Hall. Many of these volunteers later joined the American Air Service and played critical roles in preparing it for combat on the Western Front. Thaw and Lufberry were especially important in this sense.
- Eugene Bullard, French Foreign Legion and Air Service
Known as the "Black Swallow of Death" Bullard saw intense action as an infantryman and transferred to the French Air Service. Application to join the U.S. Air Service was later ignored. Had a very colorful postwar career.
- Arthur Kimber, AFS, 22 Aero Sq, KIA 26 Sept 1918
Stanford Student who had volunteered for ambulance driving and ended up carrying the first American Flag to France after the declaration of war. Inspired to see combat he qualified as a pilot and fell on the first day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Buried at the U.S. Meuse-Argonne Cemetery.
Front Line Service
- Arthur Guy Empey
Empey served for six years in the US Cavalry and was performing duty as a recruiting sergeant for the New Jersey National Guard in New York City when World War I began. He left the United States at the end of 1915 frustrated at its neutrality in the conflict at that point and travelled to London, England, where he joined the 1st London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), Territorial Force, of the British Army, going on to serve with it in the 56th (London) Infantry Division on the Western Front as a bomber and a machine-gunner. He was medically discharged from the British Army after he was wounded in action at the commencement of the Battle of the Somme. Returning to the United States, Empey wrote a book of his experiences titled Over the Top, which became a publishing sensation. Empey had attempted to re-join the US Army in 1917 but was rejected due to his wounds.
- Alan Seeger
Wrote the Most Famous American Poem of the War "Rendezvous"
Killed in action: 4 July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade. . .
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
- Edward Mandell Stone, French Foreign Legion
Son of a Chicago industrialist believed to be the first American to die in combat in the Great War. KIA near Craonne, 15 Feb 1915
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.