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World War I Centennial News


‘American Art in the Shadow of World War I’ showcases artists’ perceptions of war

By Mario Marroquin
For the Centre Daily TimesI want you poster James Montgomery Flagg's iconic 1917 poster.

PENN STATE, PA -- The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State will showcase 18 different artworks as part of the “American Art in the Shadow of World War I” exhibit from Tuesday, May 17 to Aug. 7.

The exhibit is designed to showcase how American artists stationed around the world during World War I — particularly in Europe — perceived its development from the first open conflict of the war in 1914 until its end in 1918.

The exhibit, which was organized by curator of American art for the Palmer Museum, Adam Thomas, also includes the work of American artists involved in foreign government-commissioned pieces.

The exhibition also showcases the work of American artists prior to, during and after World War I, as well as how these artists adapted their styles in response to the war.

“I hope visitors get a sense of some of the various ways in which artists engaged with, and were affected by, the war,” Thomas said.

“American Art in the Shadow of World War I” also showcases a change in attitude among Americans from the beginning of the war to 1917 when the U.S. became involved through martial action.

Read more: American Art in the Shadow of World War I -- Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State

Batter Up: World War I Amputees Play Ball

One-armed baseball game Walter Reed HospitalOne-armed baseball game at Walter Reed Hospital during World War 1Long before Pete Gray or Jim Abbott stepped up to the plate, veterans of World War I recovering at military hospitals throughout the United States formed amputee baseball teams.

Elbert K. Fretwell, Director of Recreation in Hospitals in the Department of Military Relief with the American Red Cross, insisted that the best recreation for recovering soldiers was their traditional activities modified for everyone to be able to enjoy, and the soldiers seemed to agree. One player at Fort Des Moines exclaimed, “Gee, I’m glad I can still swat the old pill!”

The Department of Military Relief organized field days, where veterans from different hospitals competed. Fretwell wrote, “At Fort McHenry and Walter Reed, the one-armed baseball teams defeated their opponents — two-armed teams that played with one arm tied behind their backs. At Fort Des Moines Field Day, June 17, there was a hot game between the one-armed and the one-legged team.”

Read more: Batter Up: World War I Amputees Play Ball

CA Police recover stolen World War I-era cannon

WW1 CannonRICHMOND, CA (FOX News) -- California police on May 12 recovered a 1-ton, World War I-era cannon swiped from a Veteran's Hall earlier this month.

Richmond police said the cannon was stolen May 1 when nearby vendors were setting up the city's Cinco de Mayo festival. Surveillance video captured two men using bolt cutter to cut a chain securing the cannon and towing it away it on the back of a pickup.

A man who purchased the cannon called police Thursday after seeing a report of its theft. Lt. Felix Tan says it appears the buyer didn't know the cannon had been stolen.

Read more: CA Police recover stolen World War I-era cannon

The Riveters: Ep. 14 - Seriously Historic: Dr. Libby O'Connell

The Reveters logoFor the May 4th episode of "The Riveters" hosts, Sally Smith and Buffy Wicks were joined by US World War One Centennial Commissioner Dr. Libby O'Connell,  talking about how pivotal WWI was for women and in our country.



Play the podcast:

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The Riveters is a weekly podcast that describes itself as an unfiltered ode to the modern woman. "On one hand, we're kicking ass, changing the world, and running things like a boss. On the other hand, we're struggling with some seriously vexing challenges. We think it's time to get real - together - about the good, bad and hilarious that is #ladylife in 2016."

Dr. Libby O'Connell on The Reveters show

Link to "The Riveters" on iTunes












How the machine gun revolutionized World War 1 combatmachine gun poster detail

By Jeremy Bender
from Business Insider

WWI was one of the first truly modern conflicts. Fought mainly along trenches, the war saw the introduction of chemical weapons, tanks, and aerial combat.

Thought of as the war to end war, over 9 million soldiers were killed in the conflict and 21 million were injured. These casualties were largely helped along by the war being the first to feature widespread use of machine guns.

The following graphic shows the destructive impact and history of the machine gun on the war.

Read more: How the machine gun revolutionized World War 1 combat

U.S. poster art inspired by the World War 1 on exhibit at LOC

An exhibit showing how American artists galvanized public interest in World War I opened May 7 at the Library of Congress (LOC), in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Uncle Sam PosterWorld War I: American Artists View the Great War” features 25 fine prints, drawings, cartoons, posters and photographs drawn from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division. An additional 70 photographs will be shown in a monitor slide show.

The works on display reflect the focus of wartime art on patriotic and propaganda messages — by government-supported as well as independent and commercial artists. In the fall, an exhibition rotation will occur and 27 new items will be placed on display. A total of 40 artists will be represented.

Read more: LOC exhibit of US poster art inspired by the World War 1

Sargent’s monumental painting headlines major PAFA exhibition exploring effect of WWI on U.S. artists

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Coinciding with the centenary of America’s involvement with the war, World War I and American Art at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) will be the first major exhibition devoted to exploring the ways in which American artists reacted to the First World War. The exhibition will run from November 04, 2016 to April 09, 2017.

Detail from GassedDetail from John Singer Sargent’s Gassed, to be on exhibit at PAFA.The exhibition at PAFA has been endorsed by the U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission. 

World War I and American Art seeks to revisit a critical moment in American history through the eyes of artists in order to show how they responded to what was an unprecedented global experience.

The exhibition includes numerous high-profile loans, among them, John Singer Sargent’s monumental painting, Gassed: The Dressing Station at Le Bac-de-Sud, on the Doullens-Arras Road, August 1918 (1919), from the Imperial War Museums in London. This painting, which has not been seen in the United States since 1999, was part of a commission to demonstrate British-American cooperation during the war.

Read more: PAFA exhibit on effect of WWI on U.S. artists

Memorial Day Events - 2016

Below is the listing of Memorial Day Events as published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We invite you to use it to locate events in your area.

External Web Site Notice: This page contains information directly presented from an external source. The terms and conditions of this page may not be the same as those of this website. Click here to read the full disclaimer notice for external web sites. Thank you.


Vice Chair Edwin Fountain addresses 2nd Annual “In Flanders Fields” Commemoration

Edwin speakingVice Chair Edwin FountainWASHINGTON, DC – On Sunday, May 1st, the In Flanders Field Fund presented the second of its annual commemoration events marking the anniversary of the famous World War One poem “In Flanders Fields”.

The commemoration honored the poem’s author, Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D. as well as all those who gave and lost their lives in WWI.

The event was held at the DC War Memorial at noon, starting with a ceremonial remembrance. The Color Guard from the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Hoya Battalion from Georgetown University presented the colors.

After welcoming remarks by Matthew Carnovale, President of the In Flanders Fields Fund, Executive Director Thomas Florczak updated attendees on the Fund's activities over the last year.

The Vice Chair of the U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission, Edwin Fountain, then delivered remarks providing historical context for the ceremony, and updates on the WWI Centennial Commemoration in the United States.

Following Fountain's remarks, Commander William Brooks, USN,  recited In Flanders Field and also discussed America's reaction to the poem during World War 1.  He spoke about Moina Michael's popularization of the poppy, and read her poem We Shall Keep the Faith.

Closing remarks by Carnovale ended the event.

The In Flanders Field Fund supports the Lt. Col. John McCrae M.D. Fellowship for Veterans in the Arts. The fellowship will support retired servicemen and servicewomen in their pursuit of work in the arts, and the curation of their art in and around Washington D.C. More information is available at the organization's web site, http://www.inflandersfields.org/.

 Annual “In Flanders Fields”
Annual “In Flanders Fields”
Annual “In Flanders Fields”

Commission website wins Communicator Awards

Communicator Award of DistinctionWASHINGTON, DC: Last week, the website for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission garnered national-level recognition from the world of public affairs.

The website www.worldwar1centennial.org was honored by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) in their 22nd Annual Communicator Awards. The Communicator Awards are the world's largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals.

websites silver 22The Centennial Commission's website received two 'Awards of Distinction' -- one in the 'Government' category, and the other in the 'Non-Profit' category. The site provides a clearinghouse for education resources, public awareness, and event information, regarding the centennial of America's involvement in World War I. The site also provides progress updates on the new national World War I Memorial in Washington DC.


Read more: Commission website wins "Awards Of Distinction"

Commission meeting scheduled April 4, 2016 in Kansas City

WW1 logo v2 circulargraphic 100X100The United States World War 1 Centennial Commission will hold a public meeting on May 4, 2016, in Kansas City, MO, at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

The meeting starts at 9:00 a.m., Central Daylight Time (CDT), and is open to the public. The National World War I Museum and Memorial is located at 100 W 26th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. Persons wishing to listen to the proceedings may dial 712-432-1001 and enter access code 474845614. Note this is not a toll-free number.

For more information on the meeting, check out the full official announcement in the Federal Register.

Commission signs partnership agreement with Government of Flanders

LEUVEN, Flanders, April 26, 2016 -- The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission today signed a partnership of mutual support with the Government of Flanders regarding the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I in a ceremony here.

Flanders agreement signing 04262016Koen Verlaeckt (left), Secretary General of the Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs, and Daniel Dayton, Executive Director of the U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission, sign the partnership agreement of mutual support for the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I. Behind them are U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium Denise Bauer (right), and Danny Pieters, Vice Rector for International Policy at KU Leuven, where the signing took place. The Government of Flanders, which represents the Northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, has set up special programs to provide public education and commemoration for the war. Flanders, and Belgium as a whole, saw some of the greatest loss of life on the Western Front of the First World War, in particular from the three battles of Ypres.

This new agreement calls for the two organizations to share their experience, knowledge, and technical means as they prepare for the commemoration of the American intervention in World War One. Specifically, it identifies four areas for particular cooperation: 1) the identification and planning of the main events, 2) communication, digital and cultural cooperation, 3) education, and 4) remembrance tourism.

Daniel Dayton, Executive Director of the Centennial Commission, and Koen Verlaeckt, Secretary General of the Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs, signed the document in a small ceremony at the University Library of Leuven, a 15th century building which was destroyed in World War I, but was restored with American assistance.


Read more: Commission signs partnership agreement with Flanders

USAF pilot honors grandfather's service in Lafayette Escadrille

By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, USAF

Nick Rutgers

PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. - Growing up in Hawaii, Lt. Col. Nick Rutgers discovered, like most children, the deeper meaning of "The Aloha Spirit" -- the gift of interacting in the natural world with boundless possibilities. This aptitude only nurtured his biggest childhood dream to a grander significance.

"I can't remember wanting to do anything else besides being a pilot," said Rutgers, "and if given the chance, to fly fighter jets."

After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in May of 2000, the trajectory of his flying career first took him to Okinawa, Japan, and later to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, then eventually landing him here in Portland in 2012 with the 142nd Fighter Wing; all the while flying the F-15 Eagle fighter jet.

After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in May of 2000, the trajectory of his flying career first took him to Okinawa, Japan, and later to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, then eventually landing him here in Portland in 2012 with the 142nd Fighter Wing; all the while flying the F-15 Eagle fighter jet.

Prior to graduating from high school, Rutgers had already obtained his private pilot's license and got his first taste of military life at Camp Pendleton, California, with the Marine Corps "Devil Pups" program. The summer youth camp allows teenagers a chance to gain insight into the military lifestyle while learning citizenship skills in personal responsibilities, self-respect and other valuable life experiences.

Yet Rutgers' path toward becoming a military pilot did not inevitably begin at Camp Pendleton or the Air Force Academy. His family lineage is rich in service and sacrifice. Rutgers' grandfather fought in World War II as a member of the Marine Corps, and his father with the Army in Vietnam and later serving in the Hawaii National Guard. The love of flying and sense of service can be traced even further back, nearly 100 years ago when his great-grandfather, James Norman Hall, flew with the Lafayette Escadrille during World War I.

Read more: USAF pilot honors grandfather's service in Lafayette Escadrille

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