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World War 1 Living History comes to Ft. Jay at Governors Island, NY on September 17

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

Ft Jay NYNEW YORK – There will be a host of World War I-related activities on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at NYC's Governors Island. A platoon of living history reenactors will bring World War I Doughboys to Governors Island National Monument for a free exhibition. See demonstrations and hear stories as reenactors portray famous New York regiments, including the Harlem Hell Fighters, at Doughboy Day at Fort Jay.

The centennial of American involvement in the “Great War” is in 2017 and this group of volunteer reenactors will share the story of U.S. participation. Both men and women will be in full uniform and provide displays and talks about the role America played in World War I. It is free and suitable for all ages.

Participants:

  • Long Island Living History Association (https://www.facebook.com/longislandlivinghistoryassociation), military historians whose main purpose is to educate the public on all wars America has participated in.
  • The Ebony Doughboys (https://ebonydoughboys.org/) a group of African American living historians who are focused on telling the story of the outstanding record of service of African Americans during the First World War.
  • Mark D. Van Ells, author of “America and World War I: A Traveler’s Guide.”
  • Actress Laurie Gaulke will represent women in the war with her show, “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in Neuvilly.”

The events are free, open to the public, and run 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Governors Island National Monument. The displays will be on the Parade Ground and talks in and outside Castle Williams.

"We are proud to be part of 'Doughboy Day' on Governors Island" said Dr. Libby O'Connell, Chair of the World War I Centennial Committee for New York City. "Events like this bring the diverse history of the Great War alive for new generations. "

Colonel Robert J D'Alessandro (Ret.) Chairman of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission observed, "This upcoming living history event on historic Governors Island will raise awareness of the innovations and the sacrifice that characterized America's involvement in this 'War to End All Wars'. I'm pleased that this commemoration will be part of the annual observances during the centennial. "

Schedule:

10:00-4:00: Displays of vintage artifacts, equipment, uniforms, and weapons. Parade Ground.
10:30: Opening remarks on Parade Ground.
11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 2:00, 3:30: “Eugene Bullard, America’s first black fighter pilot” (actor Chadd Gray). Gazebo outside Castle Williams.
11:30 and 3:30: “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in Neuvilly” Castle Williams.
12:00: “Harlem Hell Fighters and the Black Doughboy experience.” Stories of: Pvts. Jenkins Fennell and Lewis A. Taylor. Presented by the Ebony Doughboys. Castle Williams.
12:30: Doughboy March from Parade Ground to Fort Jay and back to Castle Williams.
2:00: “America and World War I: A Traveler’s Guide” author Mark D. Van Ells. Castle Williams.
3:00: “Rediscovering the Doughboy Experience in WW1” artifacts presentation, Randy Gaulke, WW1 Historical Association. Castle Williams.
4:00: Doughboy March from Castle Williams to Meuse-Argonne Point.
5:00: End of event

Getting There:

Governors Island is located in New York Harbor, 1/2 mile from the southern tip of Lower Manhattan and 400 yards west of Brooklyn’s Red Hook waterfront. Ferry service is provided from Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street on the corner of South and Whitehall Streets (next to the Staten Island ferry terminal). Ferry service is provided from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 at the end of Atlantic Avenue. Commercial ferry service is provided by the East River Ferry and serves several points on the East River. Ferries run every half hour. For a ferry schedule: https://govisland.com/info/ferry

Supporting Organizations:

Governors Island National Monument https://www.nps.gov/gois/index.htm manages 22 acres containing Fort Jay and Castle Williams. The U.S. National Park Service provides education and historic interpretation of the island.

World War One Centennial Committee for New York City (wwi100nyc.org) is dedicated to planning, producing, and coordinating events and activities commemorating the First World War in New York City and the surrounding areas.

U.S. World War One Centennial Commission was created by Congress in 2013 to provide public outreach, education programs, and commemorative events for American involvement in World War I. The Commission was also authorized to build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC.

For more information please visit http://governorsislandguide.com/blog/