previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
next arrow

World War I Centennial News



WWI home front featured at Lindbergh site for one more summer 

By Tyler Jensen
via the Morrison County Record newspaper (MN) web site

Over the last several summers, visitors to the Charles Lindbergh Historical Site have had the chance to take a look into the lives of people on the home front of World War I, thanks to volunteers and staff reenacting life on the Lindbergh property at the time.

5cfe9c9de1d63.imageVolunteer Margaret Lundberg portrays Mrs. Stevenson at the Lindbergh Historical Site and shows a wartime meal schedule including meatless and wheatless days.That will come to an end after this summer.

In its final year, visitors can come enjoy the program Saturday June 15, July 6, July 20, Aug. 3, Aug. 17 and Aug. 31.

Among the people guests will run into is Margaret Lundberg, who among other characters, has acted as area resident Mrs. Stevenson.

Through a tour of the Lindbergh home, Lundberg shows some of the things people went through during the war.

For instance, due to rationing, food schedules were developed where families planned for days when there would be no wheat and/or meat served, Lundberg said.

This led to eating habits that continue to today, she said.

“This is when they started serving potatoes at breakfast. You wouldn’t have eggs and toast because you were going wheatless,” Lundberg said.

Another food trend that developed from the war was eating chicken. At the time, chickens were scrawny and viewed as only good for laying eggs, Lundberg said.

“We did not eat chicken in 1917,” she said.

Read more: WWI home front featured at Lindbergh site for one more summer


Cathedral Of The Rockies Music Director Takes WWI Tribute To Belgium

By Gemma Gaudette
via the Boise State Public Radio (ID) web site

20 years ago, Cathedral of the Rockies music director Paul Aitken composed a choral piece that captures the hope and despair felt by World War I soldiers on the fields of Flanders in Belgium.

This month, Aitken will travel to Flanders to conduct a performance of "Flanders Fields"  on June 23. He recently joined Idaho Matters to talk about the importance of the piece and performing it at the site of its inspiration. 

Read more: Cathedral Of The Rockies Music Director Takes WWI Tribute To Belgium


5Living History Reenactors Phillip Dye and Larry Dunn perform wreath laying at memorial 

One Hundred Years of Victory Memorial Grove, Flag Day, 2019 

By Bill Betten
California WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director

If one had taken a short hike on Flag Day in Elysian Park in Los Angeles on the one hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the park and passed by the World War One monument there, your heart surely would have taken a patriotic beat at what you witnessed. A proud display by a striking color-guard, a moving rendition of our National Anthem, and heroic tales of bravery in the field all added to the remarkable feeling of dignity and gratification at being an American.

7City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, providing remarks about his own family's connection of the military.This would have been enough, but the moment you met the tall and lanky president of the United States in his signature dashing outfit of navy blue sport coat and white tie, white slacks, white shoes, and white celluloid collar, topped off with a 1920's style straw skimmer, strolling up the path with his wife Edith in arm, one was struck with the added emotion of nostalgic serendipity.

As one of the Co-Directors of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force, I felt honored to be invited by fellow Co-Director Courtland Jindra, but our importance was clearly overshadowed by the attendance of dignitaries, such as Consul Generals, post commanders, and a Los Angeles City Council Member.

The morning remained overcast as the program proceeded, which made for fine weather for sitting outside without shade. The attendees remained comfortable and attentive.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department Honor Guard was asked to present the colors, which they did with distinction and proper decorum, but the rendition of The Star Spangled Banner sung by their baritone, Humberto Agurica, was flawless and emotion-filled, while still being gratifyingly seasoned with just enough respectful coloratura to give the piece an individual flare.

Few commemorations of this manner are blessed with the presence of striking personalities, but when President Woodrow Wilson himself, took the lectern he heartily received the plaudits of the audience. The president, recreated by Robert Tidwell, presented excerpts from his July 4th speech of 1914 and June 14th proclamation of 1916, where he first proposed and proclaimed the initiation of Flag Day.

Recognitions and presentations were made to the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, while later City Council Member Mitch O'Farrell, of District 13, gave a rousing and informative presentation to those in attendance.

Tom Ohmer, Historical Narator, introduced the narratives that lay out the background of the monument and Jennifer Campbell, Commander of Hollywood American Legion Post 43, Phillip Murphy, Co-President of the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, and Gay Storm of the Los Angeles-Eschscholtzia Daughters of the American Revolution read excerpts from dedication resolutions, LA times articles, and the dedicatory address from one hundred years ago.

In a unique oration, the Belgian Consul General, Henri Vantieghem, read from a recently published book by Stefan Hertmans. In War and Turpentinethe Flemish author relates the experiences of his own grandfather during WW1. The presentation was exceptional in that Mr. Vantieghem read the words in their original language, while the audience could read along in English. Rarely does one get the opportunity to hear such a creative work as this performed in the power, sonance, and rhythm of its native tongue, while also understanding its meaning.

Read more: One Hundred Years of Victory Memorial Grove, Flag Day, 2019


Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS100)

"Never Forget Garden" initiative represents America’s sacred duty to remember veterans

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

Our Centennial Commission has been partners and friends with a number of organizations over the years. Among them is a very special group -- the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This group has a strong focus -- to make certain that the individuals that made the ultimate sacrifice of their life for our freedom are not forgotten, and that the general public understands this price of freedom. The members of the Society are preparing for the Centennial of the arrival of the first Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. To help us all mark this special anniversary, Society members have developed a new initiative to help us to remember the service of our veterans, and the memory of our fallen. We were able to talk with the Project Director, Richard Azzaro, about the project.

Tell us about this great new initiative!

logos TUS100The Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS100) in Arlington National Cemetery is a nationwide invitation from the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) to plant individual and public gardens as a visual way to represent America’s sacred duty to remember our veterans and their families; now and for all time.

The Society views TUS100 as an opportunity to unite our people around love of Country. We feel that this initiative provides a personal path for individuals, communities, gardening clubs, garden architects, seed and plant vendors and government elements to express their profound love, sorrow, respect, and gratitude to those who have served and sacrificed on behalf of America and their families. In the timeless language of flowers, they will quietly trumpet the message that must never weaken: “We will never, ever, forget or forsake our veterans or the principles that define us as Americans.” Any time that we pause to remember our veterans could not be more serious. On that day, in that place, is the time for reflection and remembrance. A day when personal grief and love for country go hand in hand.

See for information on the complete program.

Our goal is to foster a national movement to create and promote “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Never Forget Garden”, not unlike the popular support of the Victory Gardens of World War II.

Read more: "Never Forget Garden" initiative announced


hilltopImage from the book and upcoming photo exposition "In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War." 

Eight Questions for Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy

"It is we who have had the privilege of talking to survivors of the First World War that must now keep the memory of the Great War alive."

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

An interesting new World War I-themed photo book project will come out later this year. The 640-page book, entitled "„In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War“, the book will be a tribute to the centennial of the First World War, done through contemporary imagery. We spoke to the book project's author, Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy, about the book's photography, and the book's aims. Attila has an interesting background -- he is an economist, a photographer, the founder of Historical Military Photos Ltd, and the former President of the Budapest Stock Exchange.

Tell us all about this interesting book project.

Attila Szalay BerzeviczyAttila Szalay BerzeviczyEver since I was a young boy I’ve enjoyed exploring military history. Growing up in a Hungary occupied by the Soviet Union, I learned a lot at school about how the Red Army “liberated” Central and Eastern Europe from Nazi Germany. I also heard the stories about my grandfathers, who both served on the Eastern Front during the Second World War as officers in the Hungarian Army, fighting on the side of Germany.

But we never heard anything about the First World War. It was simply not part of any private or public discussion, despite the fact that Hungary had played a major role and had perhaps lost more than any other nation as a result of the war. Pushed by Austria and Germany into the conflict, Hungary was obliged to fight from 28 July 1914 until 4 November 1918 on four different fronts. In hostilities against Russia in Galicia, Romania in Transylvania, Serbia in the Balkans and Italy in the Isonzo Valley, over 600,000 Hungarian soldiers were killed out of a population of barely 13 million.

The Paris Peace Conference meted out an incredibly harsh post-war punishment on Hungary. Only when I grew up and started to be more interested in Europe’s tragic 20th century did I realize that the First World War had in fact played a much more pivotal and complex role in shaping the world than the Second World War.

I became even more interested to learn about the 1914–1918 period when I discovered that my great-great-grandfather, Albert Berzeviczy – who during the war was the president of the Hungarian Academy of Science, as well being as a close friend of Prime Minister Istvan Tisza and loyal supporter of Kaiser Franz Joseph – strongly and publicly opposed the declaration of war on Serbia, as he feared that it would only lead to the disintegration of the Dual Monarchy that he very much loved.

In 2013, I moved from Budapest to Vienna, which made me even more motivated to delve into the causes of the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From this point on, I was inspired to contribute in some way to the commemorations of the approaching centennial of the First World War. As a photographer, I knew that nothing expresses itself quite like a finely crafted photography book. So, after a little thought, in April 2014 I launched the “In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War” book project.

Read more: New WWI-Themed Photo Book, and Related Photo Exhibition

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Remembering Veterans: Hawaii WWI Centennial Task Force Chairman Colonel Arthur Tulak on the upcoming Honolulu WWI Symposium 

CN PodcastLogo Final gray lower

In June 7th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 126, host Theo Mayer interviewed Colonel Arthur Tulak, Chairman of the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force. Colonel Tulak discusses Hawaii's role in the First World War, the activities of the Task Force, and an upcoming academic symposium in Honolulu. The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

Theo Mayer: For Remembering Veterans, we're going to start in Honolulu. Hawaii has had a very active World War I centennial period and stood up a World War I Centennial Task Force, built a website hosted by the Commission, participated in 100 Cities/100 Memorials program, held a major armistice centennial event in Honolulu, and is now wrapping things up with an academic symposium co-hosted by Hawaii's Pacific University, the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, and the Task Force. With us today is Colonel Arthur Tulak, U.S. Army, Retired, who's the Chairman of the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force. Colonel, thank you for joining us.

Col Arthur T.: Thank you, Theo. It's great to be here.

col tulakColonel Arthur Tulak is the Chairman of the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task ForceTheo Mayer: Let's start by talking a little bit about the Hawaii Centennial Task Force, how it came together, and some of the activities that you guys undertook.

Col Arthur T.: Yes, well, this all started in April of 2015 when Governor Ige directed the Hawaii State Department of Defense to put together a committee of some sort to take responsibility and the lead for planning Hawaii's World War I Centennial Commemoration. From May 2015, we got together a bunch of volunteers from academia, from veterans, and patriotic organizations to start developing a concept. This small group eventually became known as the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force, so that we've been working on these things ever since and conducted now over 35 events on the islands of Oahu and Maui.

Theo Mayer: Let me ask you this. Most people don't think about Hawaii's role in World War I because it wasn't even a state yet. How did that all play out?

Col Arthur T.: Well, that's correct. It was a territory, but it had a territorial governor. What's really amazing about Hawaii's World War I history is the fact that we had the highest per capita voluntary rate of service or enlistment rate in the nation, so we had 9800 people who served in uniform either in the Hawaii Naval Militia, the Territorial National Guard or who joined the federal services and even a small number who ended up serving in the uniform of our Allied nations on the battlefields in Europe.

Read more: Podcast Article - Col. Arthur Tulak Interview

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Commission News: Raising Money for the Memorial with Director of Development Phil Mazzara  

CN PodcastLogo Final gray lower

In May 31st's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 125, host Theo Mayer spoke with Phil Mazarra, Director of Development and the Chief Fundraiser for the National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. Read on to learn more about the Mr. Mazarra's experience in the fundraising field, and the ongoing effort to raise enough money for the National Memorial- what he calls "the most meaningful project he's ever raised money for." The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

mazzaraPhilip Mazzara, Director of Development for the U.S. World War I Centennial CommissionTheo Mayer: As everybody but our newest listeners know, the Capstone Project for the US World War One Centennial Commission is the building of the National World War One Memorial in our nation's capital. It's a really huge undertaking that the Commission has managed to put together in literally record time. Congress allocated a space just two blocks east of the White House, an international design competition was held in 2015, followed by several years of design detail and development and interaction with controlling entities in Washington for such things. It has all led to a truly stunning and remarkable design that brings together an urban park environment with a national memorial in a unique and really special way. Of course, a huge part of this is raising the money to build it. To talk about that, we're joined by the director of development for the project, also known as our fundraiser-in-chief, Phil Mazzara. Phil, welcome to the podcast.

Phil Mazzara: Thank you, Theo, happy to be here.

Theo Mayer: Phil, before we get into the memorial, let me ask you about your background. What major projects have you helped to raise money for in the past, and also, how is this project unique?

Phil Mazzara: Well, Theo, I'm at the end of a 40-year career and I'm delighted to say I've been blessed and privileged to have worked with some of our country's best institutions, both at the collegiate level and healthcare, hospitals and medical centers, including two organizations that are known as NGOs. I have, in 40 years, worked in fundraising campaigns totaling around $700 million. I say this in order to provide the background for how one would look at raising money for a memorial which commemorates the service of Doughboys and others who served our country more than 100 years ago, and that's a unique challenge. Perhaps the only thing close to that in terms of uniqueness that I've done is work with a former living US president in raising money and not a lot of fundraisers get to do that. How you go about raising money with a constituency that is long gone is truly unique. We don't have, as a college would have, a cohort of alumni or parents. We don't have, as hospitals have, a cohort of grateful patients, and so we're really working to build a constituency out of people who, either they're businesses or families who were impacted by the war or have developed an interest in the war, like I did some 50 years ago when I was a student and studied the war and the impact of the war on English literature. For me, personally, this is the perfect culmination of a 50-year interest in the Great War and a 40-year fundraising experience.

Read more: Podcast Article - Phil Mazzara interview

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

An Interview with Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission Executive Director Rebecca Kleefisch

CN PodcastLogo Final gray lower

In May 31st's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 125, host Theo Mayer spoke with Rebecca Kleefisch about the background, mission, and plans for the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission, of which she is the Executive Director. The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

Theo Mayer: Following up on our women's suffrage theme: In April of 2017, Congress passed legislation to create the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission through Bill #S847. To quote, "Ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing for women's suffrage." The original bill was sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and won bipartisan support with each female member of the US Senate acting as a co-sponsor. With us today to tell us about the Commission, the mission, the plans for the centennial commemoration of the passage of the 19th Amendment, is the executive director of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission, Rebecca Kleefisch. Rebecca, welcome to the podcast.
Rebecca K.: Thanks so much, Theo. I'm glad to be here.

kleefischRebecca Kleefisch is the Executive Director of the Women's Suffrage Centennial CommissionTheo Mayer: Rebecca, what's your personal background? How did you get appointed to the role?

Rebecca K.: Well, I'll tell you I would not be here were it not for women's rights to vote, because I held elected office, once upon a time. Well, once just a couple of months ago. I was the lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, which was the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment, which was the Constitutional Amendment that gave women across America the right to vote. This holds a special place in my heart. Initially, I had been appointed to the commission by Speaker Paul Ryan and then, when it looked like I was not going to be able to do as much as I wanted to for this Commission because by that time it had become an absolute passion project for me, I dropped off the Commission and applied to be its Executive Director and I was blessed enough to have been chosen and, boy, do we have an extraordinary year and a half planned for America.

Theo Mayer: What are some of the activities and programs?

Rebecca K.: Well, we've already observed our very first centennial, Theo. That happened on May 21, which is 100 years to the day since the US House of Representatives passed the 19th Amendment. If you noticed anyone from the United States House of Representatives wearing a yellow rose on their lapel on the news that night, or perhaps in the paper the next morning, that's because the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission made sure that every member had a yellow rose in order to commemorate that special day. On that day as well, there was a vote, by unanimous consent, it passed that the house reaffirm the 19th Amendment, which was a really special moment. Then, on top of that, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, held a very special reception in Statuary Hall to honor the suffragists of the past, but also record-breaking numbers of women holding office in the United States Congress this year. The minority leader was there and gave a wonderful speech. The speaker herself gave a wonderful speech, and it was a great honor that our chairwoman, Kay Coles James, and our vice chairwoman, former Senator Barbara Mikulski, were also there and gave speeches.

We're coming up now on our second big centennial, so watch C-SPAN from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on June 4th. That's when you will see the commemoration in the United States Senate, and you're going to see them wearing yellow roses on their lapels, which is the signature flower of the suffragists of yesteryear. That is also the day that you'll see the Library of Congress exhibit opening, so we have so much planned. Plans in the works with the White House, plans in the works with States across this nation, to make this an incredible commemorative year.

Read more: Podcast Article - Women's Suffrage with Rebecca Kleefisch


USC and United Airlines reach agreement to name LA Memorial Coliseum field 

By Amanda Sturges
via the Daily Trojan newspaper web site at the University of Southern California

United Airlines Field web 824x549 450x300Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumUSC and United Airlines have agreed to a new naming rights deal for the Coliseum, after facing some backlash regarding the original name change.

The two parties came to a 10-year deal that will result in a new name for just the field, instead of the entire stadium. The field will now be called the United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum starting August.

USC and United had initially struck an agreement in May 2017 to rename the stadium United Airlines Memorial Coliseum. The 16-year deal provided USC over $69 million to use toward the Coliseum’s renovation, part of a $315 million undertaking.

Shortly after the original naming rights deal was agreed upon, veterans groups protested that changing the name of the stadium would dilute its identity as a memorial to World War I veterans.

“I think there are certain things that we shouldn’t sell,” said Janice Hahn, president of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, who sided with the veterans back in March. “The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was built in an effort to honor those men who were from Los Angeles that marched off in World War I and never came back.”

Read more: USC and United Airlines reach agreement to name Coliseum field


One of the Nation's Oldest WWI Memorials

Reading, PA Rededicates 'Doughboy' Monument

By Tana Weingartner
via the WOSU radio station (OH) web site

The Great War ended on Armistice Day in November 1918; by June 8, 1919, the city of Reading was dedicating a memorial to the 224 soldiers from there and surrounding communities.

"Our research says that it's the oldest World War I monument in Ohio and one of the first in the country," says Reading Historical Society President Allan Rettberg. He points to a letter from the Ohio History Connection suggesting the memorial at Jefferson and Vine streets may be one of the oldest in the state and country.

Reading rededicated its World War I 'Doughboy' Monument during a ceremony Saturday, June 8,  the 100th anniversary of its original dedication.

"There's 224 soldiers on the monument and we have a photograph from the 1919 Mill Creek Valley News that shows the memorial was up and standing just two to two-and-a-half months after the war ended," Rettberg says. "But it wasn't dedicated until June 8 and I believe that was because they wanted to wait for the soldiers to return home."

Only 10 of the 224 soldiers died during the war, Rettberg says, and not all while in action. Two contracted the Spanish flu and one died in a Navy accident. Not everyone saw active duty in Europe, according to Rettberg, but all served in the military during the war.

The rifle-carrying Doughboy sitting atop the memorial was created by Michael Roth - a contractor and mayor of Reading during the war - using his son Alfred, a World War I soldier, as a model.

Read more: Reading Rededicates 'Doughboy' Monument, One Of Nation's Oldest WWI Memorials


Teaching the Great War 100 Years Later 

By Chris Davis
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site

When I was asked by the History Department what course I would like to teach for the fall of 2018, there was no hesitation in my response.

Chris DavisChris DavisIn the fourth year of my Ph.D. program in U.S. History at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I had just wrapped up the spring semester teaching a course on the first half of the twentieth century. Since my area is in the WWI era, for a course whose scope spanned both world wars, I devoted the first half of the course to understanding the causes and consequences of the First World War and transitioned into how it connected with the Second.

The students throughout the course often told me that this was the most detail about WWI history they had been exposed to up to that point, and I was glad to have given them a greater appreciation for it, but I still felt limited in having to move on to WWII halfway through. What I really wanted, what I imagined I would someday get to do, was to teach a course that gave The Great War its due.

Shortly after the spring of 2018, I would find out that “someday” was going to be in a few months. I got my wish and, not only would I be teaching a course on my favorite topic, but this course would coincide with the centennial of the war’s end. To say I was excited would be a gross understatement, but the centennial added pressure, as well as opportunities, to make sure I got it right. That summer involved a lot of brainstorming to bring my dream course to fruition.

When the fall semester started, I began the first day of my class (entitled “The Great War”) with a question: How much have you learned about World War I prior to today? The answer was largely what I expected. Very few of these undergraduates were history majors, and their knowledge of World War I was essentially that the name “World War II” implied that there had been one. I reassured them that was okay, because we would spend the next 16 weeks fixing that.

Read more: Teaching the Great War 100 Years Later

WW1 Gen Guide v3.5 cover

Our FREE WWI Genealogy PDF Guide is still being offered! 

By Theo Mayer
Chief Technologist, United States World War One Centennial Commission

During our Fleet Week activities in New York City in May, the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission (WWICC) highlighted a new genealogical tool that has a limited-time offer attached.

The World War I Genealogy Research Guide helps trace American military and noncombatant ancestors. It is provided courtesy of WWICC and the Doughboy Foundation.

This guide is authored by Debra M. Dudek, with a foreword by Col. Gerald York, grandson of Medal of Honor recipient Alvin York.

As well as over 100 pages of information and guidance, it features over 250 links to resources on the Web.

The guide is available in PDF form, free of charge, to the first 5,000 people who download it here:

After the download limit has been reached, it can be purchased in book form online or wherever books are sold.



National History Day Offers Webinar Series Scholarships 

By Lynne O'Hara
Director of Programs, National History Day

National History Day (NHD) has engaged with several partners to commemorate the World War I Centennial. NHD has created resources to offer different perspectives on the war, engage students with unique primary sources, and remember those who served and sacrificed as part of the war effort.

Two LogosNHD is excited to be offering scholarships for LEGACIES OF WORLD WAR I, our World War I Webinar series in the fall.

Free tuition and credit is available for two teachers from every NHD Affiliate.

Through this program, teachers can earn a certificate of professional development hours or three graduate extension credit units from the University of San Diego.

Applications for a scholarship will be accepted through July 30, 2019. All teachers will be notified by August 16, 2019.

Information and the link to apply is

WHO: Teachers and librarians who instruct grades 4-12

WHAT: Webinar series for teachers to learn about the impact of World War I in a national and international context

WHEN: Once a month, from September to December 2019

Read more: National History Day Offers Webinar Series Scholarships

"Pershing" Donors

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo

Starr Foundation Logo