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World War I Centennial News


 

 

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Commission activities honor America's World War I Veterans during Fleet Week 2019 

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

NEW YORK, NY — The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, in partnership with the U.S. Navy, will host a number of cultural activities, and commemorative events, during the U.S. Navy's upcoming Fleet Week New York, from 22-27 May 2019.

Commission Fleet Week LogoA full list of the WWI-related activities can be found at ww1cc.org/fleetweek. These events will help tell the story of the 4 million American men and women -- many from the greater New York area -- who stepped forward to serve during World War I, 100 years ago.

The activities include:

  • Performances by the '369th Experience', a jazz tribute ban that honors the original 369th Infantry "Harlem Hellfighters" Regimental Band of World War I.
  • Free copies of the "WWI Genealogy Research Guide", with special appearances by the author, for questions and advice, to help people connect to their WWI heritage.
  • Appearances by Sawyer the Sea Dog, mascot of the U.S. Navy Museum, in Washington, DC.
  • A special Time Square tribute to the Navy cruiser USS San Diego, which was sunk by an enemy sub, just off of Fire Island
  • World War I exhibits by the U.S. Navy History & Heritage Command
  • Displays by World War I-period Navy and Marine Corps reenactors, including the Living History Crew of the USS Olympia museum ship, in Philadelphia.
  • Many other activities!

All these are free, open to the press, and open to the public.

Specific times and places are as follows:

May 21

Miller Field Youth Day, Staten Island
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: 722-734 New Dorp Ln, New York, New York 10306
Description:
World War One living history will be part of pre-Fleet Week activities with a two-hour exhibition at Miller Field in Staten Island. The U.S. WWI Centennial Commission will have exhibition space with WWI living historians presenting period displays, equipment, uniforms, and more. Learn more about New York’s role in WWI, from recruiting to training.

Fleet Week New York will have active duty U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps personnel on hand, with aviation units, to include include military displays of aviation and personnel equipment, static displays, demonstrations. New this year will include a combined team of members from U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) will present a fast rope demonstration showing how an EOD team can be inserted into an area too dangerous for ships to navigate. The U.S. Fleet Forces "Brass Band" will perform.
All events are free and open to the public.

Read more: Commission activities honor America's World War I Veterans during Fleet Week 2019

 

100 Years Ago “Hello Girl” Grace Banker receives Distinguished Service Medal 

By Carolyn Timbie, granddaughter of Grace Banker
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site

IMG 0662Grace BankerIn 1917, General Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in WW1, made a request for women telephone operators in France. It was apparent that Doughboys, inexperienced in telephony, could not efficiently complete this vital task. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women telephone operators to France. These women became popularly known as the “Hello Girls”

Grace Banker was the Chief Operator of the first unit of 33 bi-lingual women who embarked for France to support the telephone systems of the American Expeditionary Forces. After spending the first 5 months at General Army Headquarters in Chaumont, Grace banker and a small group of women were chosen to operate the switchboards in the advanced section at First Army Headquarters during the AEF battles of St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.

The women worked tirelessly during the drives. Grace states in her diary on Sept 25th:

“Busy again. Don’t believe anyone not here can realize what busy means. 11:15 pm, the new drive is on......The cannons are roaring. 12 midnight. Capt. Scott, Miss Russell and myself went outside for a minute to look at the sky. There are great flashes of light all along the horizon like Northern Lights. 2:50am, the night railroad guns are beginning to roar.....such a noise. Worse than a heavy surf in a storm and here there is a beautiful moonlight. The old flimsy barracks shake and the beds rock as though in a miniature earthquake.....”

Grace took great pride in “her girls“. “Resting up after the drive. Never spent more time at the office and never enjoyed anything more. My girls work like beavers” she states in her diary.

Read more: 100 Years Ago “Hello Girl” Grace Banker receives Distinguished Service Medal

 

wwi memorialThis battle scene is part of the design of the World War I Memorial, which is to become part of Pershing Park along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.  

Fall start envisioned for WWI tribute; concept for monument in D.C.‘really coming along,’ says Arkansas designer 

By Frank E. Lockwood
via the Arkansas Democrat Gazette newspaper's arkansasonline.com web site

WASHINGTON — With many of the bureaucratic hurdles overcome and much of the fundraising complete, supporters of the new World War I Memorial say they’re hopeful they can break ground this fall.

“We’re getting close to wrapping up the design. We’re about 75% of the way through,” said Joseph Weishaar, the project’s architect and a Fayetteville native. “It’s really coming along.”

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts signed off Thursday on the monument’s “interpretive elements,” including the quotation that will be carved in dark granite above the “peace fountain.”

In April, commissioners had weighed in on the site’s walkway configuration and its “lighting strategy” as well as an updated version of the bronze sculpture that will be the memorial’s centerpiece.

The commission will discuss the memorial again at its July meeting, the 13th time the memorial has been on the agenda since November 2015.

Officials say they don’t know how many more meetings will be necessary.

“It’s progressing toward a likely approval later this year. But, of course, the commission has the final say,” said longtime fine arts commission secretary Thomas Luebke.

The memorial elements will be added to Pershing Park, named for the leader of U.S. forces in World War I, Gen. John J. Pershing.

Read more: Fall start envisioned for WWI tribute; concept for monument in D.C.‘really coming along,’ says...

 

Roman High School hallwayFirst-floor hallway at Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High School. Fourteen boys who walked these halls died in the Great War.

In search of Roman’s ‘lost boys’ of World War I 

By Chris Gibbons
via the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper's philly.com web site

"I resolved to find what remained of Company D for (my grandfather), and for (his fellow soldiers), and for myself, as well, and complete a story begun on a hot July day so long ago, when young men raced across open fields toward machine guns and disappeared into history."

— From "The Remains of Company D: A Story of the Great War" by James Carl Nelson

As I recently walked down the first-floor hallway of my old high school, located at Broad and Vine, my footsteps sharply echoed off the walls, a stark reminder that it was late afternoon and that I was alone in the normally bustling, but now deserted, corridors.

Before that day, I had been poring over old yearbook photos, and I immediately noticed that the interior, with its beautiful early 20th-century architecture, looked strikingly similar to the way it had looked in 1917. Sunbeams escaped through open classroom doors, and their ribbons of light streamed across the hallway. Dust motes hung motionless within their illumination, but then suddenly swirled into motion. Just an errant draft? Or do the spirits of the boys I had been searching for still walk these halls?

I stopped at the end of the hall and looked up at the plaques that display the names of Roman Catholic High School alumni who had lost their lives in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf wars. As I stared at the long list of names, well over a hundred of them, I knew that the young men who had been eluding me would not be found there. However, I hoped that my visit would serve as motivation to not give up on what had now become a very difficult task.

I touched the raised metal letters of the names on the plaques and could only shake my head in frustration. "Who were the boys from World War I?" I softly whispered. I futilely hoped that the ghosts of the past would somehow miraculously answer my question, but the deserted hallway remained silent.

Roman was founded by Irish immigrant Thomas Cahill in 1890, and was the first free Catholic high school in the country. By the time the United States had entered World War I in 1917, the school was already more than a quarter-century old. Yet many alumni, myself included, had long assumed that there was no commemorative plaque for World War I because no Roman alumni had died in that war. However, as my interest and knowledge of the Great War deepened over the years, I began to doubt this assumption. After I read James Nelson's brilliant book The Remains of Company D, I resolved to finally learn the truth regarding World War I and the lost boys from Roman.

Read more: In search of Roman’s ‘lost boys’ of World War I

 

Bronze Sculpture of ‘America’s First War Dog’ To Be Unveiled at the AKC Museum of the Dog during Fleet Week 2019

By Brandi Hunter
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site

New York, NY — The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog is pleased to announce that the official bronze statue of Sgt. Stubby, a distinguished World War I war dog will be housed permanently at the AKC Museum of the Dog. The sculpture will be unveiled on May 23, 2019. Commissioner Dr. Libby O'Connell of the United States World War I Centennial Commission will perform the unveiling.

Stubby sculpturePhoto courtesy Romie DeCosta/ American Kennel ClubThe statue, “Stubby Salutes,” created by renowned sculptor Susan Bahary, is a life sized bronze of the bull terrier mix. Stubby is widely regarded as the U.S Army’s first service dog. His service began in 1917 when he wandered on to the camp of the 102nd Infantry Regiment of the 26th Yankee Division at Yale. He formed a bond with a young solider named Robert Conroy who named him “Stubby.”

Conroy subsequently smuggled Stubby on his ship when it was time to ship out. Stubby served in France for 18 months and a total of 17 battles. His heroic feats included: warning his unit of looming mustard gas attacks, locating wounded soldiers on the battlefield and sitting beside them until help arrived, and capturing a German spy by grabbing at the seat of his pants. Over the course of his service, he was injured by mustard gas and a grenade.

Stubby is remembered for his bravery and also as a treasured mascot who brought joy to embattled soldiers. As a veteran, he was awarded a medal for his bravery by General John J. Pershing and met three presidents.

This April marked the 100th anniversary of Stubby’s return to the US to a hero’s welcome.

“We are very excited to welcome “Stubby Salutes” to our Museum collection,” said Alan Fausel, Executive Director of the AKC Museum of the Dog. “His courage and dedication to our country has laid the foundation for today’s military working dogs and we look forward to sharing him with the public and educating them about his place in history.”

Read more: Bronze Sculpture of ‘America’s First War Dog’ To Be Unveiled at the AKC Museum of the Dog during...

 

Ft Wayne MemorialFt. Wayne World War I Memorial Shrine

Exhibit to highlight WWI veterans' shrine rededication 

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez
via the Fort Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette newspaper web site

An exhibit chronicling World War I will be one highlight of this year's Memorial Day weekend rededication of Fort Wayne's Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum.

This Shrine is a recipient of a 100 Cities/100 Memorials grant. Info on the restoration project for this memorial can be found here. 100 Cities/100 Memorials is a joint program of the United States World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

DisplayDetail of exhibition of "The Great War: From Ration Lines to the Front Lines""The Great War: From Ration Lines to the Front Lines," a traveling exhibit curated by the Indiana Historical Society, will be on display at the shrine and museum, 2122 O'Day Road, beginning Friday through June 13.

The display features Indiana's contributions to the effort dubbed "The War to End All Wars" and its lasting effects, according to the IHS.

The exhibit details the economic and social effects of the war on the Hoosier state -- including how the demand for steel and machinery built industry in Gary, South Bend and Indianapolis, the discrimination faced by those of German heritage and the contributions of black Americans and women.

The roots of the war and the lasting memorials to the fallen are also highlighted.

Eric Johnson, spokesman for the shrine and museum, said that although no American veterans of the war remain alive, interest in the war has not died.

"A lot of the families are really interested in where and how their relatives fought," he said.

The Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended the war, was signed June 28, 1919. The centennial of the U.S. entry was marked April 6, 1917.

Johnson said the exhibit, which will open at 11 a.m. Friday, will serve as a backdrop to the rededication of the shrine and museum May 25. More details about that event will be released in upcoming days, he said.

"The (shrine) fell into neglect for some time," Johnson said. "Now there is a tremendous resurgence in interest in the rebirth of the shrine and museum."

Read more: Exhibit to highlight WWI veterans' shrine re-dedication

 

Golden Gate National Cem day 3 Social Media 48Daniel Bernardi's film crew on location at Golden Gate National Cemetery. 

Filmmaker Daniel Bernardi and his historical documentary series for the National Cemetery Administration 

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

Daniel Bernardi is a remarkable young filmmaker, and a very busy person. He is a Navy Reservist, a professor of film at San Francisco State University, and he manages a film production company specializing in documentaries. Daniel's current project, as a filmmaker, is a series of pieces for the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), which manages the nation's veteran cemeteries across the United States. These National Cemeteries are amazing historical sites, and are home some of America's greatest military heroes. -- In fact -- The Centennial Commission worked with the NCA for the Wreath Laying Ceremony for World War I heroes buried in NYC's Cypress Hills National Cemetery on May 2nd. Daniel's biggest film of this series, the WWI-themed WAR TO END ALL WARS, will premiere during Memorial Day Weekend at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. Much of the new video work done by Daniel and his team can be found on their YouTube channel. We took some time to talk to Daniel about his work, and hear his thoughts on why these stories are important.

Tell us about this documentary series you are producing. What is the focus?

DanielBernardi 400x400 1Daniel BernardiVeteran Documentary Corps at San Francisco State University makes profiles, short films and feature-length documentaries that tell the story of the veteran community. In the last five years, we have made over three feature-length documentaries, 40 short films and numerous profiles on vets from a range of nations, eras, wars and branches of services. We have made films about the buffalo soldiers, for example, a Civil War actress turned spy, the Harlem Hell Fighters of WWI, the first American in the first WWII concentration camp discovered by the allies in WWII, the Vietcong, a pioneer of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” PTSD, TBI, and a Ranger that turned conscientious objector. Our films reveal the veteran community’s challenges and success. We love when vets watch our films, of course, but our primary audience consists of global civilians that might not know anybody that has served in uniform. They’re distributed through El Dorado Films.

Tell us about the WWI-specific stories in the lineup. Who are they about?

Over the last three years we have received funding from the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) to tell the story of veterans interred at National Cemeteries across the U.S. and some interred at American Battle Field Monuments overseas. In the first year of funding, NCA asked us to tell the story of twelve different veterans interred at San Francisco and Gold Gate National Cemeteries. Last year, our second year of funding, NCA encouraged us to tell the story of the WWI veteran, which took as to Hawaii, France, New York, California and Pennsylvania.

We made a feature-length documentary on the American experience of WWI, including the Bonus Army March and the founding of the VA, and five shorts: 1) a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, John Henry Balch; 2) a Nurse who died close to the front lines, Helen Fairchild; 3) a Sailor and future governor of Hawaii, Samuel Wilder King; 4) an ACE who died in aerial combat, Raul Lufbery; and 5) a Harlem Hell Fighter, Noble Lee Sissle.

Read more: Filmmaker Daniel Bernardi and his historical documentary series for the National Cemetery...

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Events: Richard "Corky" Erie and Beth Baker on Fleet Week 2019 in NYC 

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In May 10th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 121, host Theo Mayer interviewed Richard "Corky" Erie and Beth Baker about Fleet Week New York. Richard is the director of Fleet Week New York and Beth is the Director of Public Affairs for the Navy in the Mid-Atlantic and Fleet Week New York. The two of them have plenty to say about the logistics, scale, operation, and impact of Fleet Week on the city- as well as how this year's event incorporates WWI. The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

Theo Mayer: We've been featuring stories about the Navy and its role in WWI for weeks now, and clearly we've seen how the WWI story is intimately connected to both the Navy and to New York. So, Navy and New York. Well that adds up to Fleet Week. Since 1984, US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard ships have landed in New York for Fleet Week, with events and celebrations in May that run through Memorial Day. It's become a traditional New York celebration of our Maritime Services and their special relationship with the city. To tell us more about Fleet Week New York, its history and what's happening in May of 2019, including WWI-themed activities, joining us are the Navy's Richard Erie, Director of Fleet Week New York, who's also better known by his fighter pilot handle as Corky, and Beth Baker, the Director of Public Affairs for the Navy region Mid-Atlantic and Fleet Week New York. Both of you, welcome to the podcast.

Beth Baker: Thank you. It's great to be here.

fleetweek 1Theo Mayer: So Corky, let me start with you. Fleet Week is something the Navy has been doing now for decades, not only in New York but other cities like San Diego. What's the history of Fleet Week in the Navy and what's the idea behind the effort?

Richard Erie: Well Theo, that's correct. The Navy has been doing events like Fleet Week around the country for decades. And right now the principal Fleet Weeks are up in Portland, Oregon with the Rose Festival, Seattle Seafair, Los Angeles has a Fleet Week, San Diego, and then on the east coast of course we've got Port Everglades, Florida. Every other year I believe we're doing New Orleans, and of course there's the Superbowl of Fleet Weeks up in New York. And it's an important effort because the Navy is, as they say, America's away team. So when we're doing our job, we're not really being seen by the public too much because we're all overseas doing that hard work. So, it's important for the Navy and the Sea Services to get into the cities to highlight the capabilities of the ships and hardware and everything, but more importantly to showcase the Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. Whenever we do a big event like a Fleet Week New York, that is always the biggest and most important thing we do. And in fact that's the biggest crowd responses from just that average Sailor, Marine or Coast Guardsman walking around interacting with the public. So that's an important part of the Navy's outreach mission.

Read more: Podcast Article - Fleet Week 2019

 

636427278902358443 WC1 Group shotGraduation of African-American U.S. Army officers trained at Fort Des Moines, IA in 1917. 

Fort Des Moines exhibit honors African-American men who served in WWI

By Keith King, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
via the Des Moines Register newspaper (IA) web site

Over a century ago, the first African-American officers trained at Fort Des Moines. On May 4, local members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity unveiled a display honoring members who received their commissions there in 1917 and served during World War I.

8127967d 8265 4e6e b871 a99416726d93 SigmasMembers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity pose with the new display unveiled at Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center. The display honors members of the fraternity who received their commissions at Fort Des Moines in 1917 and served in World War I. The Fort Des Moines training camp was first and only established for African-American officers and non-commissioned candidates.

What began as a question from Matt Harvey, president of the Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center committee — "Did Phi Beta Sigma have any members who were commissioned here" — turned into a three-year project that uncovered 20 men from the fraternity who served in WWI, including nine who received their commissions at Fort Des Moines.

The display highlights Howard Donovan Queen who achieved the rank of colonel and led the Harlem Hell Fighters; Milton T. Dean who achieved rank of major, the third highest ranking African-American at the time, who was known as a talented officer and leader in combat; and Thomas Montgomery Gregory, who was commissioned as a lieutenant and played an integral role in getting blacks admitted in the Army's Officer Candidate Schools and ensuring that they had black leadership.

There were over 25 guests in attendance to witness the unveiling, which included retired U.S. Navy Commander Zoe Dunning.

"This is where it all started, where first African-American officers were trained and fought for the rights to serve our country, and where they went forward to France to fight in their units," Dunning said. "Many people do not know this started all here in Iowa. It's an honor to come here to witness. I encourage more people to come here and discover more about the role the 92nd Regiment played in World War I, and the role Fort Des Moines played in it."

Read more: Fort Des Moines exhibit honors African-American men who served in WWI

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Centennial News Now: Tom Frezza on the The USS Recruit 

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In May 3rd's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 121, host Theo Mayer interviewed Tom Frezza, Director of Education at the National Museum of the US Navy. Mr. Frezza spoke in-depth about the USS Recruit, a full-scale battleship replica built in New York City in 1917 to encourage people to join the Navy. The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

Theo Mayer: This week for Remembering Veterans, as a lead up to this month's Fleet Week New York and Memorial Day, we have two stories and guests for you. First up is the story of the USS Recruit. She was a World War I era battleship that was built on land in New York's Union Square in 1917- seriously. If you were a New Yorker, as America ramped up for World War I, there was a battleship in the middle of Manhattan, with sailors, mascots, big guns and okay, she was wooden replica, but the USS Recruit was full scale and pretty darn impressive. I have pictures. To tell us about it, we're joined by Tom Frezza. Tom is the Director of Education at the National Museum of the US Navy. Tom, welcome to the podcast.

Tom FrezzaTom FrezzaTom Frezza: Well, thank you for having me, Theo.

Theo Mayer: Tom, before we get to the Recruit, tell us a little bit about the National Museum of the US Navy. Where is it, who runs it and when I go there, what do I see?

Tom Frezza: We are located in Washington DC in the Washington Navy Yard. We've been around since 1963 and we are actually part of the Naval History and Heritage Command. The Command has 10 museums all across the country, but we are the flagship museum. You can see so many great things ranging from the fighting top of off the Constitution to a US Navy railroad gun from World War I and not only are we in one building, we're actually in two. We have a Cold War gallery that tells the story of the US Navy from the Korean War to the fall of the Soviet Union. Not only do we have some great items in the buildings, but the buildings themselves are historic too. The Washington Navy Yard is where they made all of the battleship guns and our buildings took part in that construction.

Read more: Podcast Article - USS Recruit

 

Gone but no longer forgotten: At long last, these four World War I veterans receive memorial service 

By Carisa Cegavske
via the New-Review newspaper (OR) nrtoday.com web site

The cremated remains of four World War I veterans were transported in a horse-drawn carriage, accompanied by Patriot Guard Riders and a police escort, to their final resting place at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex Tuesday afternoon.

The veterans’ remains were forgotten on a shelf at a local mortuary before being rediscovered through the painstaking research of Douglas County Veterans Forum member Carol Hunt and retired Roseburg National Cemetery technician Gigi Grimes Shannon. What the two women found was one of the largest groups of unclaimed veterans remains ever to have been recovered in the state.

In all, 28 veterans will be interred at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex columbarium over three days of memorials this week. The last two memorials are scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday’s procession led out from the Douglas County Courthouse, where the remains have been stored for the past four weeks. It headed downtown to Harvard Avenue and made its way to the cemetery. Once there, the veterans received a memorial service with full military honors, attended by about 100 people. Following the public service, the four were interred in the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex columbarium.

Douglas County Veterans Forum President Larry Hill said at Tuesday’s ceremony that the members of every military branch know that no one is to be left behind.

“These veterans being honored here today were left in dark, dank, moldy, dusty, dirty conditions, in a cold crypt or attic for periods ranging from a little over two decades to over 44 years or longer,” he said. While there, he said, the situation of the formerly lost veterans’ remains were parallel to that of a soldier missing in action or a prisoner of war.

“They too are missing, they too are unable to be with loved ones, they too are unable to join their comrades in arms in their final resting place. I therefore accord them all the love, honor and respect given to a returning POW,” Hill said.

Read more: Gone but no longer forgotten: At long last, these four WWI veterans receive memorial service

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

100 Years Ago This Week: The Tragic Death of James Reese Europe

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In May 3rd's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 121, host Theo Mayer reviewed some of the most important headlines from this week, 100 years ago. Among them was the death of James Reese Europe, a legendary African American band leader who was tragically murdered in an altercation with a bandmate. This story was drawn from the issue of the New York Times published on May 10, 1919 (Vol. 68, No. 22386):

 Our final story for this first week in May 1919 is also a New York story involving the legendary leader of the 369th Regimental Band, James Reese Europe. Already famous as an innovator and an advocate for Black musicians in New York, he's often credited for bringing Jazz to France with the 369th. This week, he's in the headlines of the Times.

james europeJames Reese Europe was a renowned African American band leader, and is often credited with bringing jazz to FranceDateline: Friday, May 9, 1919. Headline (May 10): Jim Europe killed in Boston Quarrel; Drummer from Hell Fighters' Band Alleged to have Slashed Leader with a Knife; Won Fame by Jazz Music, Recruited Negro Band and Played for General Pershing and President Poincare. The story reads, "Boston, May 9. Lieutenant James Reese, of New York, died at a hospital here tonight as a result of a wound in the neck alleged to have been inflicted by Herbert Wright, also of New York, and a drummer in the Hell Fighters 369th Infantry Band of which Europe was the leader. The two engaged in an altercation at Mechanics' Hall where the band had been giving a series of concerts. Europe, who was standing in the wings while the band was playing a selection, called out to Wright, 'Hey, put more pep into the sticks.' Wright left his drums and walked hastily over to Europe who retreated to his dressing room. Wright followed him, and after some words, the police alleged he drew a knife and slashed Europe in the neck. Wright was arrested."

"Jim Europe was unknown as a musician about 1910 when he came to New York from Mobile, Alabama, with a strong pair of lungs to jazz the trombone and some ideas about syncopation that most other musicians refused to accept. He impressed the famous dancing pair of the Vernon Castles with the possibilities in his jazz music and they engaged him as their musical director. Both ascribed much of their success as dancers to Jimmy Europe." "When the 15th Regiment was organized, Colonel William Hayward asked Jimmy Europe to become the band leader with the rank of Lieutenant. He accepted but was not able to get together a band of Negro jazz artists in the city and was about to give up the plan when Daniel G. Reid offered $10,000 for a national canvass for the Negroes who fitted Europe's idea of syncopation. 100 men were recruited in a few months, many of them coming from the Hampton Institute." "After Jimmy Europe got his band to France with the 369th Infantry, he found the French clarion could put more jazz into his music and the combination of these horns with trombone and the syncopation made the Negro band so popular among the soldiers that they were kept traveling all the time. They played for President Poincare and General Pershing time and again, and had a request for a concert for the Prince of Wales when they left. It was said that General Gouraud would risk defeat to travel 100 miles to hear Jimmy's jazz band play. The band found equal favor upon its return to this country and a tour of principle cities resulted." James Reese Europe dead in Boston. Those are some of the stories we found were the headlines 100 years ago this week.

Links:

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1919/05/10/issue.html 

 

 

How acoustics detected artillery in WWI

via the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) EurekaAlert! web site

During World War I, William Lawrence Bragg led a team of engineers in the development of an acoustic method to locate enemy artillery, work that was so successful that it was soon used widely throughout the British army.

Wl braggWilliam Lawrence BraggThe method, known as sound ranging, was also adopted by the U.S. Army when they joined the war, and earned Bragg a military decoration from the British armed forces.

Bragg's story will be presented at the 177th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America by ASA Fellow Dan Costley, a researcher in sound ranging with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

The ASA meeting runs May 13-17, at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 1914, two researchers in Paris had begun working on the idea that the difference in the time that sound arrived could be used to precisely locate artillery batteries: Charles Nordmann, an astronomer, and Lucien Bull, a medical researcher who at the time was working on a method to record heart beats.

The pair had already conducted experiments in the woods near Paris, when Australian-born Bragg was shifted from his post in the British cavalry to work on the problem in 1915.

Over the next few years Bragg built a team that improved the technique until it was able to pinpoint the location of enemy guns to within 10 meters.

"It's impressive the way they innovated and solved problems," Costley said.

Some of their creative innovations included wrapping the microphone in camouflage netting to cut wind noise and turning an ammunition box into a microphone that was well-tuned to the low frequencies of the artillery explosions.

Read more: How acoustics detected artillery in WWI

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