The Doughboy Foundation’s mission is to keep the story of "the War that Changed the World" in the minds of all Americans, so that the 4.7 million who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWI will never again be relegated to the mists of obscurity. LEARN MORE
The Doughboy Foundation’s mission is to keep the story of "the War that Changed the World" in the minds of all Americans, so that the 4.7 million who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWI will never again be relegated to the mists of obscurity. LEARN MORE
"You personally have been of material assistance in proving the success of the experiment of utilizing women with the Army."
One Particular 'Hello Girl' — The Story of 1LT Janet Jones
By Doug Stout Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site
Note: The U.S. WWI Centennial Commission began advocating in 2018 for the 'Hello Girls' to be recognized for their extraordinary WWI service with the Congressional Gold Medal. As such, we helped to create Senate Bill S. 206, and House Bill H.R. 1953, both collectively known as the “Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019". We need your help to gather supporters & sponsors from the members of the U.S. Senate. and the U.S. House of Representatives. We are joined in this advocacy effort by some of the nation’s largest Veterans Service Organizations, including the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, together representing 3.2 million former service members. We hope that you will join us -- and ask your elected officials in Washington to sponsor S. 206 and H.R. 1953.—Chris Isleib, Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
Janet R. Jones was born in Newark on August 12, 1883, the third child of five born to John David Jones and Rachel Giffen Jones. Her mother died in 1889 when Janet was just 15 years old. In 1892, her father married his deceased wife's younger sister Jesse. The family lived in Granville where Janet attended Denison University receiving, a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1904. Her passion wasn't Zoology however, but the French Language. In 1912 she began her teaching career at Newark High School as a French teacher. She furthered her education in the summer months, attending Columbia University in New York City. As a part of her studies, in 1913 she traveled to France and lived for two months in Paris.
Janet JonesJanet lived at 40 West Locust Street in 1917 when the United States entered World War I. In the fall of that year, as American troops began arriving in France, the commander of the American Expeditionary Force General John "Black Jack" Pershing encountered a problem that he wasn't expecting with his communications. The troops on the front line depended on telephones to communicate with their commanders and also with their British and French allies. The phone lines were tied into switchboards located throughout France. When a call came in, it was answered by an operator, the operator then transferred the call to the next appropriate operator by plugging the cord into the appropriate spot of the switchboard. Many times, the operator needed to phone the next switchboard operator and translate into French what the caller needed before transferring the call.
It was very labor intensive and important to move these calls as quickly as possible, men's lives depended on it. Pershing discovered that the soldiers from the signal corps were woefully slow in transferring calls and couldn't communicate with the French operators. He was informed that female operators in America could transfer a call many times faster than their male counterparts. Pershing asked his superiors for approximately 240 woman operators who were fluent in French to join the Army Signal Corps and be shipped overseas as soon as possible. The request was approved and advertisements were placed in major papers seeking woman for this assignment.
On December 10, 1917, Janet sent a letter to the address in the paper. "Having seen in the New York Times the notice that woman with a knowledge of French and English are wanted as telephone girls in France, I am writing for information and an application blank. I have had no experience as a telephone girl, but doubtless, I could learn the duties in a short time, and I know French. I teach French in the Newark High School, and I am 34-years-of-age and a graduate of Denison University. I have studied French in Paris and I take lectures in French every summer at Columbia University. I did not have time to communicate with the professors there, but if desired I can refer to those under whom I take work there."
Janet received the application she asked for and returned it, but by January 21, 1918, she had only received a letter her application had received a "favorable notice." Her struggles with the U.S. Army were just beginning.
Miss Janet Jones wasn't prepared to sit and wait for a response to her application for the Signal Corp. On January 21, 1918, the 34-year-old wrote checking on her application. The letter reads, in part, "since that time of application I have heard nothing from it, and the fact that my references have not been consulted leads me to suspect that the letter did not reach your office it is for that reason that I am writing."
Centennial Commission welcomes the National Football League as Newest Donor for the National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C.
By Chris Isleib Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission announced today that the National Football League (NFL) has contributed $1 million to the construction of the first-ever National World War I Memorial in Washington D.C.
The U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission which was enacted by Congress in 2013, has spent the last five years working towards the goal of building an eternal tribute to our veterans who served overseas over 100 years ago. The Memorial goal of $40 million has been funded primarily by private fundraising efforts, and is anticipated to be completed by Veteran’s Day 2021.
The NFL is now one of the lead donors to the Memorial, joining the Commission’s founding sponsor the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, as well as the Starr Foundation, General Motors, FedEx, Walmart, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the Lounsbery Foundation, and several other corporations and foundations.
“This donation is a major boost to the memorial's fundraising efforts,” said Dan Dayton, Executive Director, U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission. "Words cannot express how touched we are by this pledge and the support the NFL has shown to the Commission. Veterans of all wars deserve the best we have to give. This commitment will ensure that we can provide a site that will tell the world of the sacrifices these men and women made for our liberty a century ago."
Memorial Day Weekend Events Honor Nation’s Heroes at the National WWI Museum and Memorial Friday-Monday, May 24-27
By Mike Vietti Director of Marketing, Communications and Guest Services, National World War I Museum and Memorial
Commissioner Dr. Monique SeefriedAs the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National WWI Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day weekend.
Admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while general admission for the public is half-price all weekend (Friday-Monday, May 24-27).
The Museum and Memorial offers a wide variety of events during the weekend for people of all ages, including a free public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day featuring musical performances from Kansas City native Casi Joy (recording artist from NBC’s “The Voice”) and a keynote address from U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Commissioner Dr. Monique Seefried.
Support for Memorial Day is provided by the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Mo., and 810 WHB.
Memorial Day Weekend Activities
FLAGS OF FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS DISPLAY When: All Day; Friday-Monday, May 24-27 Where: Walkway Terrace near Main Entrance at the National WWI Museum and Memorial What: The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that every 72 minutes, a service member takes his or her own life. This moving display of 140 U.S. flags calls attention to the fact that 140 veterans are lost to suicide every week. FREE to the public.
WORLD WAR I RESEARCH STATIONS When: All Day; Friday-Monday, May 24-27 Where: Outside J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby inside the National WWI Museum and Memorial What: Find your connection to World War I during Memorial Day weekend through research stations at the Museum. With access to multiple databases including, Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum and Memorial’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives, discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and much more. FREE to the public. (To help you Find Your WWI Ancestors, click here get your FREE “WWI Genealogy Research Guide" from the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.)
100 Years in the Making: National Memorial Lead Designer Joe Weishaar
In April 26th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 120, host Theo Mayer spoke with Joe Weishaar, the lead designer of the National Memorial in Washington, D.C. Joe has been dedicated to bringing the memorial to fruition for nearly four years, from the design competition up through the present day. In the interview, Joe catches us up on the status of the memorial as it goes through both the design and regulatory processes. The following is a transcript of the interview, edited for clarity:
Theo Mayer: For a century in the making, on April 18, 2019, it was a big week for a national World War I memorial in Washington, DC. The memorial team's development of the project was once again going before the very important Commission of Fine Arts, Washington's CFA, for a review of design updates and developments. This is all part of the rigorous process for creating a memorial in the nation's capital. Everybody on the team was very excited about the refinements and the detailed developments that they were bringing forth, but they were also collectively nervous. This is crunch time. To tell us what happened and how it went is the man whose vision and design for the overall memorial was selected in an international design competition that kicked all this off. Joe Weishaar, the lead designer for the national World War I memorial in Washington, DC. Joe, welcome back to the show.
Joe Weishaar is the lead designer of the National WWI Memorial.Joe Weishaar: Thanks for having me, Theo.
Theo Mayer: Well, Joe, you've been on the podcast before several times, but our audience just keeps growing and growing, so for our new listeners, how old were you when you entered the design competition and what happened?
Joe Weishaar: I was 25 at the time. I'm 29 now, and coming up very close on four years in June, so I'm sure looking forward to that anniversary. By then, we'll be really close to being done with the design, actually.
Theo Mayer: How many people are on the whole team, if you were to add up everybody who's sort of working on the designs and the details and the lighting and the construction development, all that stuff. About how big of a team do you think that is?
Joe Weishaar: Adding in everybody, we're about 15-20.
Theo Mayer: Well, I would venture to guess that you probably had no idea of what you were getting yourself into, and that in the last four years you've probably grown and experienced a couple of decades.
Joe Weishaar: I had no idea what I was getting into, and yes, absolutely. The experience has been eye opening but also wonderful at the same time.
In April 26th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 120, host Theo Mayer interviewed Leah Tams, a Program Associate based at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, about a very interesting animal contributor to the American war effort. The following is a transcript of the interview, edited for clarity:
Theo Mayer: Of course, Sergeants Stubby and Rags are legendary, and Sergeant Stubby was recognized with his own animated feature film, Sergeant Stubby, An American hero. Cher Ami, the messenger pigeon of the last battalion saga has been a favorite, and we've featured a couple of segments on how pigeons have been revered and reviled throughout history. What about legless and wingless friends who served in World War I? What am I talking about? Is it snakes? Nope, it's not snakes. Here to tell you about a very unexpected friend from the animal kingdom who served in World War I is Leah Tams, Program Associate at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. She's working on a number of programs, including an initiative to develop multi-campus team talk distance learning liberal arts seminars. Before that, she was a James Lollar Hagan intern at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where she did some interesting study about animals in World War I. Leah, welcome to the podcast.
Leah Tams: Hi, Theo. Thanks for having me.
Leah Tams (right) is a Program Associate at the University of Mary Washington. Theo Mayer: Leah, you're at the University of Mary Washington. What do you do there?
Leah Tams: I am the program associate for a grant funded project called COPLACDigital. COPLAC is the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, and so that speaks to sort of the multi-campus team taught project that you mentioned before. So essentially, I have helped train a small group of faculty from different public liberal arts colleges across North America, and we taught them some digital history tools and methodologies and then helped them develop courses together and then offer those courses to students at all of these different public liberal arts institutions.
Theo Mayer: When you were an intern at the National Museum of American History, you had a chance to do some research on World War I. How'd you wind up focusing on animals?
Leah Tams: Well, it was purely by accident, because I was actually there to research the different roles that American women played in World War I, but as I was looking through the Smithsonian's collections and identifying objects that we could use in the online exhibit I created, I kept coming across a lot of objects and archival materials that featured animals very prominently. I myself am an animal lover, so of course I wanted to do a small side project about animals in World War I.
Dozens of Harlem Hellfighters parade on Fifth Avenue In New York City in full uniform and holding their rifles after returning home from the Great War in Europe. African-American recruits were told they would not be eligible to serve with the Marines when American joined the war effort in 1917. There were also very limited roles available for black men in the Navy.
Remarkable photos reveal how African-American soldiers fought bravely shoulder-to-shoulder with their white comrades in WWI
By Faith Ridler via the Daily Mail (UK) newspaper web site
Incredible images from the end of the First World War show brave African-American soldiers as they keep up morale in France – and the infamous Harlem Hellfighters as they return to New York after 191 days at war.
The remarkable shots, which were taken in around 1918, depict a proud father holding up eleven stars, one for each of his sons serving; a soldier entertaining his comrades in Orleans, France; and rapturous crowds welcoming the Harlem Hellfighters home.
The 369th United States Infantry regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters, arrived in France to provide support to their army’s 16th Division on the Western Front after the US joined the Great War in April 1917.
Recruited largely out of New York, the infamous, all-black unit spent more time in combat, 191 days, than any other American regiment in the war.
It earned a reputation from its German opponents as fearsome fighters, and was nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters because the regiment ‘never lost a man through capture, lost a trench or a foot of ground to the enemy.’
The entire regiment received the Croix de Guerre medal for their ‘acts of heroism’ in France after it became the first American regiment to cross into Germany over the Rhine.
Almond-Bancroft teacher to eulogize WWI soldier from Wild Rose who died in 1918
By Keith Uhlig via the Stevens Point Journal web site
ALMOND, WI — Pvt. Sylvester Mushinski was married and the father of three children when he died during World War I.
Joseph NowinskiHe was a farm boy who grew up in Wild Rose, moved to the Chicago area and then enlisted in the Army in June 1917. He served in the 52nd Coastal Artillery Regiment, and his unit operated artillery guns mounted on railway cars. Mushinski died from disease on Oct. 22, 1918. He was 24 years old and buried in the St. Mihiel American Cemetery in Thiaucourt, France.
He was one of the 116,516 Americans who died in military service during the war, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
Now, a century after Mushinski's death, an Almond-Bancroft High School social studies teacher will deliver the soldier's eulogy in France.
Joseph Nowinski will speak about Mushinski at the St. Mihiel American Cemetery during an educational journey that he and 18 other teachers will take to France between June 18 and June 29. The journey is tied to the 100th anniversary of the formal ending of the war on June 28, 1919, when Allied forces and Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles. The educator was chosen last year to be part of a program called "Memorializing the Fallen," designed to help teachers develop professional skills and pay homage to the heroes who died in the war.
"We want to honor those who served us," Nowinski said. "We want to honor those who gave everything they could."
Sergeant Stubby, a short brindle bull terrier mutt, was officially decorated a hero of World War I. Regarded as the greatest war dog in the nation's history, he earned one wound stripe and three service stripes.
AKC Museum of the Dog honors Army's Sgt. Stubby, celebrated WWI service dog
By Shaye Weaver via the Stars and Stripes newspaper web site
NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — He was the "goodest boy" of them all. As one of the first U.S. Army service dogs, bull terrier mix Sgt. Stubby endured mustard gas and shrapnel from grenades during his time in World War I France.
The long-treasured mascot's bravery and service will be honored with an unveiling of a bronze statue in his likeness at the AKC Museum of the Dog in Manhattan on May 23, where it will be housed permanently.
Stubby was on the front lines of 17 battles over the course of 18 months, warning his unit of chemical attacks – he had a specialty gas mask to fit over his little muzzle – and incoming artillery shells. He also helped find wounded soldiers and offered them comfort, and even captured a German spy by the seat of his pants in the Argonne — not letting go for anything. It was his role in nabbing the spy that earned him the rank of sergeant.
When Sgt. Stubby returned back from war, Gen. John J. Pershing awarded the four-legged fighter a medal for his bravery. The pooch even met three presidents, Wilson, Coolidge and Harding.
Stubby joined the Army somewhat by accident. In 1917, he wandered onto the camp of the 102nd Infantry Regiment of the 26th Yankee Division at Yale. A young soldier named Robert Conroy took a liking to him, named him "Stubby," and smuggled the dog onto his vessel in an overcoat when it was time to ship out.
Stubby essentially became the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, with fans back in the States.
Personal belongings of Burlington WWI soldier returned to American Legion Post 273
By Rob Fucci via the Burlington Union (VT) newspaper web site
When Claire Lohr was in her 30s and helping her grandmother, Mildred Parker McAleer, clean out her Washington, D.C., home, she rummaged through many items that had familiar names of family members she knew.
Claire Lohr (left), whose grandmother was the widow of Burlington WWI hero Leonard Millican, holds his military bible during a ceremony on Monday, May 6, at the Millican MacKenzie American Legion hall in Burlington. Seated is Post Adjutant Bill Burbridge.But there was one item, a leather Bible that caught her eye. She opened it and saw a name scribbled inside.
“Who’s Leonard Millican?’,” she asked her grandmother. McAleer gave her granddaughter an honest answer: He was her first husband.
“She just didn’t talk about it,” Lohr said to about a dozen locals on Monday, May 6, at the Burlington American Legion hall which is named after Millican and fellow WWI hero Kenneth McKenzie. “All I have are little tidbits that came out sideways. This was very old-fashioned. She was a very conservative person. She would never do anything that would weaken what I thought of my grandfather or thought of them together. She kept it very private.”
Lohr was in Burlington on Monday, May 6, to donate the Millican family Bible, which included an embroidered tissue, to the American Legion Post 273.
A secret no more
The secret of her grandmother’s first husband came out rather matter-of-factly.
“They were living in their house in (Washington) D.C. and didn’t have storage for everything,” Lohr said. “I said I would take care of the Bible. They knew they could trust me with it.”
Lohr said she was 33 years old on that day the Millican name was first uttered.
“It’s a very checkered history,” she said. “I didn’t know about Leonard until I was in my 30s, because my grandmother didn’t want her children and her grandchildren to know there had been a man before my grandfather.”
Iowa's 'Soldiers in White' honored with special ceremony at Capitol
By Jacob Peklo via the WeAreIOWA.com web site
DES MOINES - It has been 100 years since the Treaty of Versailles was signed to formally end World War I. On Sunday, Iowa's 'Soldiers in White' were honored again, with a special tribute to the women who served during the Great War.
A new bronze plaque was dedicated to those nurses next to the World War II Memorial at the State Capitol.
The original dedication ceremony to those soldiers was held in 1921. At the time, 10 birch trees were planted near this spot to honor them. Those trees have since been replaced with white oaks, but the bronze plaque is meant to be a lasting symbol for generations to come.
"Women in World War I served in a variety of capacities," said Michael Vogt of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum. "Whether it's nurses with the YMCA, with the Red Cross, with the army nurse corps and even the Navy nurse corps and so their contributions to the war effort often times have been overlooked with what was vital and essential nonetheless."
Paul Wittgenstein plays Raff - La Fileuse (arrangement for left hand alone) on a Baldwin piano at Salle Pleyel, Paris. Jan 17, 1933.
The remarkable World War I saga of Pianist Paul Wittgenstein
By Dakota White Staff Writer
In World War I, over twenty one million people from around the world were wounded, including the famous left-handed pianist, Paul Wittgenstein.
Paul WittgensteinPaul Wittgenstein was born November 5, 1887 in Vienna, Austria. Son of the wealthy Karl Wittgenstein and Leopoldine Maria Josefa Kalmus. Wittgenstein was one of eight children, his younger brother the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. As a young child, his home was visited by many composers, including Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Josef Labor, and Richard Strauss. He would go on to study piano and made a public debut in 1913.
The Great War broke out the following year, and Wittgenstein was among the hundreds of thousands of Austrian males who were called into service. He saw a great deal of front-line combat, and during the battle of Galicia, he was shot and captured. His right arm was severely wounded, and doctors were forced to amputate it.
Nonetheless -- while a prisoner of war in Siberia -- Wittgenstein became determined to overcome this disability, and to play the piano before audiences again.
He first learned how to do the simple tasks, wash dishes, put a button shirt on, later he had drawn a charcoal outline of a keyboard on a wooden crate, so he could practice to perfect his one-hand technique. He wrote a letter to his old teacher, Josef Labor, requesting a concerto for only one hand.
The World War I Memorial bronze tablet honors 81 WWI veterans from Hudson, OH who served their country.
Memorial Day Parade will remember WWI veterans
By Laura Freeman via the MytownNEO.com web site
HUDSON, OH — A hundred years ago Americans traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to fight in the first World War.
The Memorial Day parade May 27 in Hudson will honor those who have served their country with a special speaker for those who served in World War I, which ended in 1919.
The parade will form on Milford Road at 8:30 a.m. and leave promptly at 10 a.m. with approximately 65 to 70 units in the parade, according to Parade Chairman Cindy Suchan-Rothgery.
“This important day is to remember all those who have given their lives so that we could live ours as we wish,” Suchan-Rothgery said.
The Hudson Police Color Guard will lead off the parade with the Hudson High School Marching Band performing the National Anthem at the Clocktower Green and at the Markillie Cemetery. Hudson elected officials and many civic groups including Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will participate.
Participants will have a patriotic theme to honor Memorial Day and no candy or campaigning will be allowed during the solemn event.
The speaker this year is Joyce Hannum, American Legion past 14th District Commander, Suchan-Rothgery said.
“She will be speaking on Hudson during WW I and that the American Legion organization was also started 100 years ago,” Suchan-Rothgery said.
The Hudson Lee-Bishop Post 464 will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary next year, she said. Several of those named on the WW I Memorial were instrumental in starting the post.
“The Lee portion of the name is in honor of David Hudson Lee who served in WW I and died in France after the war,” she said. “He was a direct descendant of founder David Hudson. The Bishop name if for a WW I veteran that was from Twinsburg.”
This postcard shows a troop review at Camp Sherman during World War I. (Photo: Card courtesy of the Ross County Historical Society)
Camp Sherman look back: A proud Chillicothe story
By Tim Vollet via the Chillicothe Gazette newspaper web site
Austin P. Story must have been puzzled when he checked the mailbox at his Caldwell Street home in early November 1975. Peeking out of the top was a large manila envelope addressed to him from Col. James B. Agnew of the Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pa. Tucked away inside was a lengthy 44 question survey inquiring about his experiences in World War I. The 84 year-old veteran had been discharged nearly 60 years earlier.
The Institute had sent out a similar survey in 1967 to 8000 veterans of the Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection and Boxer Rebellion. Unsure of what kind of response it would receive, the Institute was surprised when it received back some 800 completed surveys. It was ecstatic, however, because the old veterans also sent in boxes of photographs, letters, uniforms and countless other items they had kept over the years as personal remembrances.
“What the staff at the Military History Institute had failed to realize,” one historian suggested, “was what these surveys meant to the veterans of a forgotten war; men who were now in the sunset years of life. To them, someone finally cared about their experiences.”
Perhaps that’s what the white-haired Austin P. Story was thinking on that day in 1975 when he sat down and neatly printed answers to questions about his service in the 332nd Regiment during WWI.
Before America joined the war, Story detailed, he was a salesman for the Mead Pulp and Paper Company, but had long believed America “should get into the war.” After Congress finally declared war on April 6, 1917, therefore, the 26 year-old enlisted instead of waiting to be drafted. A graduate of Chillicothe High School and Cornell University, he applied for and was accepted to Officer’s training camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis for what he recorded as “very intensive training for 90 days.”
After successfully completing officer’s training, Story returned to Chillicothe a first lieutenant and was ordered to the newly constructed Camp Sherman and assigned to the 332nd Regiment. By January 1918, the Chillicothe native was promoted to Captain and put in charge of the 250 men who made up Company I of that regiment.