For over seventy years, the Pershing Park Memorial Association (PPMA) has dedicated itself to keeping the memory of General of the Armies of the United States John J. Pershing alive. Our mission is to construct a living and lasting memorial to the extraordinary service and sacrifice of General Pershing.
One strategic component remains. We have nearly reached our goal with the 2011 purchase of a 7,800 square foot building in Laclede, Missouri. This structure will be the Pershing Memorial Museum and Leadership Archives.
The Pershing Memorial Museum and Leadership Archives will interpret Pershing's life for visitors - from the time young Cadet Pershing arrives at West Point Military Academy through his life, career, and ascension to the highest rank and title ever awarded to a United States Military Officer while alive, General of the Armies of the United States.
The museum will interpret history in a way that is accessible to today's scholars and students. The modern exhibit gallery will display educational, hands-on, and interactive displays spanning General Pershing's life and military career. A flexible theatre space will accommodate small groups or expand for larger audiences. We anticipate the viewing of restored World War I film footage, lectures, conferences, and book signings. The main gallery and a classroom space will allow the facility to feature special exhibits and traveling displays.
Explore a piece of America’s military history at Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site and learn about the experiences that molded a Laclede country boy into one of the nation’s legendary generals. Pershing and his family moved into the nine-room Gothic-style house in Laclede when he was six. Prairie Mound School, where Pershing taught prior to his admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is also on the site and includes a unique exhibit that allows visitors to pass through many of the same doorways Pershing passed through on his journeys from Missouri to Mexico and France.
When citizens of Laclede first expressed an interest in honoring Gen. John J. Pershing, commanding general of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, the most suitable tribute seemed to be a park encompassing the land that Pershing loved to roam in his youth. In 1937, the state purchased the first tract of land, setting in motion the preservation of what is considered a rare natural jewel in a predominantly agricultural landscape.
In the middle of the day-use area sits a monument to all the mothers who gave their sons to war. Dedicated by the American War Mothers of Missouri in 1940, the marble statue is a fitting tribute to the memory of those who gave sons to World War I and all wars. John Schlitz, an inmate in Leavenworth, Kan., carved the statue, which was dedicated the same year the park opened.
Gen. Pershing spent many boyhood days playing and hiking in the area that now makes up the park, and today visitors can enjoy similar experiences.
The Battleship TEXAS is the last dreadnought in existence in the world, a veteran of Vera Cruz (1914) and both World Wars, and is credited with the introduction and innovation of advances in gunnery, aviation and radar. Having been designed in the first decade of the 20th century, (keel laid in 1911 and completed in 1914), and having seen action in some of the most intense and critical campaigns of WWII, she is an important piece of our naval and maritime history.
After the United States entered World War I, she spent the year 1917 training gun crews for merchant ships that were often attacked by gunfire from surfaced submarines. Texas joined the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet early in 1918. Operating out of Scapa Flow and the Firth of Forth, Texas protected forces laying a North Sea mine barrage, responded to German High Seas Fleet sorties, fired at submarine periscopes observed by multiple ships, and helped prevent enemy naval forces from interrupting the supply of Allied forces in Europe. Late in 1918, she escorted the German Fleet en route to its surrender anchorage and escorted President Wilson to peace talks in France.
The SS Wisconsin was a steamboat that sank in Lake Michigan off the coast Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States. In 2009 the shipwreck site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Wisconsin was built at the Dry Dock Complex in 1881. During World War One, she served as a convalescent hospital ship named the General Robert M. O'Reilly after Robert Maitland O'Reilly, a former Surgeon General of the United States Army. In addition to Wisconsin and General Robert M. O'Reilly, the vessel was also named the Naomi, the E. G. Crosby and Pilgrim. The Wisconsin foundered in October of 1929 after a leak occurred during a violent storm. The wreckage site is a popular location for historians, archaeologists and divers. It lies in 90 to 130 feet (27 to 40 m) of water, 6.5 miles (10.5 km) south-southeast of Kenosha.
The United States Lightship LV-87 (also known as AMBROSE) is a lightship built 1907 and served at the Ambrose Channel station until 1932. Lightship LV-87 was built as a "floating lighthouse" to guide ships safely from the Atlantic Ocean into the broad mouth of lower New York Bay between Coney Island, New York and Sandy Hook, New Jersey-an area filled with sand bars and shoals perilous to approaching vessels. During World War One her navigation lights helped guide US warships and military convoys into and out of New York Harbor.
LV-87 was decommissioned on March 4, 1966 from the Coast Guard after 59 years of service. In 1968 she was given to the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan. Currently she is moored at Pier 16 on the East River and is used as a floating exhibit. In 1989, the lightship was declared a National Historic Landmark.
The Ohio World War Memorial was erected in 1930, the work of Arthur Ivone and marks Ohio's participation in the First World War. Referring to rank and file soldiers as "doughboys" is closely associated with World War I but the term goes back further and has several possible explanations. The most common of these explanations is that the large buttons on the men's uniforms looked like the doughy dumplings eaten in soup. A sweeter story is that the name is connected to the enthusiasm that soldiers had for fried dough-doughnuts!
The Virginia War Memorial is dedicated to the memory of those citizens of Virginia who died in service in three major American wars. Inside the memorial are their names, and in bronze coffers war artifacts are displayed. The memorial is heralded by many as the premier state memorial to honor its veterans in the United States. With its monthly patriotic programs, educational programs for students and teachers, research library, exhibits, documentary videos to teach history, and near virtual reality film, Virginia’s War Memorial honors our fallen heroes by passing their stories of sacrifice forward to future generations.
Between 1924 and 1928, the Virginia General Assembly acted to create a World War Memorial Commission and build a lasting memorial to the heroic efforts of Virginia's World War I servicemen and servicewomen.
The City donated a building site in Byrd Park. The War Memorial Carillon is 240 feet high and The Carillon instrument was built by John Taylor Bell Founders of England.
The Carillon Tower originally carried sixty-six bells, but played fifty-three notes - the top thirteen notes had duplicate bells in an unsuccessful effort to produce a louder sound. When the carillon was renovated in the early 1970's, the thirty-four bells which played the highest twenty-one notes were recast into twenty-one new bells with thicker profiles than the originals, producing a better sound. Now there are fifty-three bells for fifty-three notes.
American military history unfolds at the Virginia War Museum. Outstanding collections of personal artifacts, weapons, vehicles, uniforms, posters and much more trace the development of the U.S. military from 1775 through the present.
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. Service to country is the common thread that binds all who are remembered and honored at Arlington.
The National Guard Memorial Museum is the only national museum dedicated to telling the story of the citizen-soldier and the National Guard. Free and open to the public, the museum is an integral part of the National Guard Educational Foundation's (NGEF) community outreach and educational programming.
This museum maintains an important piece of history about California's involvement in World War I; the Book of Gold. Military records were searched to identify the war dead of California, and a calligrapher then wrote each name into the Book of Gold. There is a PDF download available on their website where the public can view, and research, its contents. In November of each year, the book is put out on display in the museum. The rest of the year, the Book of Gold is stored safely away.
Founded in 1845 by Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft, the Academy started as the Naval School on 10 acres of old Fort Severn in Annapolis. Since then, the history of the Naval Academy has reflected the history of the United States. As our country has changed culturally and technologically, so has the Naval Academy.
In only a few decades, the Navy has moved from a fleet of sail and steam-powered ships to a high-tech fleet with nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships and supersonic aircraft. The Academy has changed, too, giving midshipmen the up-to-date academic and professional training they need to be effective naval officers in their assignments after graduation.
Fort Meade became an active Army installation in 1917. Authorized by an Act of Congress in May 1917, it was one of 16 cantonments built for troops drafted for the war with the Central Powers in Europe. The present Maryland site was selected June 23, 1917 because of its close proximity to the railroad, Baltimore port and Washington D.C. The cost for construction was $18 million and the land sold for $37 per acre in 1917. The Post was originally named Camp Meade for Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade, whose victory at the Battle of Gettysburg proved a major factor in turning the tide of the Civil War in favor of the North.
World War I During World War I, more than 400,000 Soldiers passed through Fort Meade, a training site for three infantry divisions, three training battalions and one depot brigade. During World War I, the Post remount station collected over 22,000 horses and mules. Major Peter F. Meade, a nephew of General Meade, was the officer in charge of the remount station. The "Hello Girls" were an important part of Fort Meade history. The women served as bilingual telephone-switchboard operators in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. In 1928, the Post was redesignated Fort Leonard Wood, but Pennsylvania congressmen, angry at removing the name of native son George Meade, held up Army appropriations until the Army agreed to name the new permanent installation Fort George G. Meade on March 5, 1929.
Tank Corps Joe Around 1923, the famed tank riding dog, Old Joe, befriended the Soldiers who manned the infantry's light tanks. Joe became the Sixty-Sixth Infantry's official pet by order of the commanding officer of Fort Meade and acquired fame by becoming the Army's only tank-riding dog. Joe died in 1937 in the post hospital. The entire Sixty-Sixth Infantry honored Joe with a military formation and a procession of tanks and military trucks escorted Joe to a grave near one of the tank parks.
World War II Fort Meade became a training center during World War II, its ranges and other facilities used by more than 200 units and approximately 3,500,000 men between 1942 and 1946. The wartime peak-military personnel figure at Fort Meade was reached in March, 1945 70,000. Fort Meade was home to many services. The Cooks and Bakers School supplied bread for the entire Post (approximately 20,000 people including families of married men). In 1942, the Third Service Command opened the Special Services Unit Training Center where Soldiers were trained in all phases of the entertainment field. Entertainers, musicians, and others involved in the entertainment industry, including swing-band leader, Glenn Miller, served in Special Services. Fort Meade was home to a number of German and Italian prisoners of war. In September 1943, the first shipment of 1,632 Italian and 58 German prisoners arrived at Fort Meade. Some of those prisoners, including a highly decorated German submarine commander named Werner Henke, died during their captivity and were buried at Fort Meade. Over 150,000 American women served in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) during World War II. Members of the WAC were the first women other than nurses to serve within the ranks of the United States Army.
The Cold War With the conclusion of World War II, Fort Meade reverted to routine peacetime activities. One key post-World War II event at Fort Meade was the transfer from Baltimore, on June 15, 1947, of the Second U.S. Army Headquarters. This transfer brought an acceleration of post activity, because Second Army Headquarters exercised command over Army units throughout a seven-state area. A second important development occurred on January 1, 1966, when the Second U.S. Army merged with the First U.S. Army. The consolidated headquarters moved from Fort Jay, N.Y. to Fort Meade to administer activities of Army installations in a 15-state area.
The Modern Era In August 1990, Fort Meade began processing Army Reserve and National Guard units from several states for the presidential call-up in support of Operation Desert Shield. In addition to processing reserve and guard units, Fort Meade sent two of its own active duty units the 85th Medical Battalion and the 519th Military Police Battalion to Saudi Arabia. In all, approximately 2,700 personnel from 42 units deployed from Fort Meade during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Aberdeen Proving Ground was established in 1917 as an answer to an immediate need for national defense. The United States Army was not fully prepared to meet its new obligations as a consequence of America's declaration of war on the Central Powers in April 1917. One of the urgent issues was to obtain facilities for testing war munitions.
Due to its proximity to New York’s populated suburbs and busy harbor, the then-Sandy Hook Proving Ground at Fort Hancock, N.J., was unable to expand to test all incoming war materiel. As demands for munitions to fight the war in Europe increased, the Ordnance Department's need to obtain test facilities for munitions and equipment became urgent. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker commissioned Sandy Hook’s commanding officer, Col. Colden L. Ruggles, to find a new site for the Army's ordnance testing.
The qualifications for the new site were specific. It had to be near the nation's industrial and manufacturing centers, yet far enough away from population centers so year-round testing would cause neither community disturbance nor public hazard. Ruggles' search took him to the Chesapeake Bay area.
He first considered Kent Island, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, but encountered so much opposition from the inhabitants that he quickly abandoned the idea.
Influenced by Maj. Edward V. Stockham, who lived in Perryman, Ruggles then shifted his attention to an area along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay near the city of Aberdeen. The site was fertile farming area, partly located along the Chesapeake Bay and the lower Susquehanna River, which had been explored and mapped by Captain John Smith and company from the Jamestown settlement in Virginia in 1608. The entire area was included in a land grant that King Charles I of England gave to Lord Baltimore in 1632.
Tomatoes, wheat, and a sugar corn called "shoepeg," which could not be cultivated successfully anywhere else in the country, were the area's specialties. The canning industry produced more than 300,000 cases of shoepeg corn and tomatoes worth $1.5 million annually; the area's fishing industry had an estimated yield of approximately $700,000. Understandably, the farmers were reluctant to part with their farms, many of which—Poverty Island, Planter's Delight, Shandy Hall, and Swamp Quarter—had belonged to their families for generations.
It took an act of Congress and two presidential proclamations to persuade the farmers to leave their property. The Congressional act provided financial compensation for the 35,000 acres of upland and 34,000 acres of swamp and tidal lands which President Wilson's proclamation claimed for the U.S. government. The farmers received approximately $200 an acre for their land and were assisted in resettling in other parts of Maryland. Approximately 3,000 people, 12,000 horses, mules, sheep, cows, and swine evacuated. Even the family graveyards were moved.
The government took formal possession of the land at Aberdeen on Oct. 20, 1917, and immediately began building testing facilities. The new proving ground at Aberdeen would be used for proof-testing field artillery weapons, ammunition, trench mortars, air defense guns and railway artillery. The mission was later expanded to include operation of an Ordnance training school and developmental testing of small arms.
On Jan. 2, 1918, during a blinding snowstorm, Edward V. Stockham fired the first gun at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Despite the snow, within two hours, the regular work of ammunition acceptance testing was underway. The assigned workload increased very quickly and on March 28, 1918, the Ordnance Department reorganized the proving ground. Four departments were set up to facilitate testing: Proof, Service, Administration and Military. However, just as the newly reorganized APG was effectively performing its wartime testing missions, the war came to an end on Nov. 11, 1918.
The administration building, or post headquarters Bldg. 310, was designed as APG's primary administration building during the fall of 1917. The high-style classical revival south wing of the building, with its imposing portico, came to symbolize APG's importance to the U.S. Army. Bldg. 310 served as post headquarters from its completion in 1918 until 1995, as APG evolved from a proving ground to one of the Army's major ordnance research and development centers to meet military needs during the 20th century.
APG's peacetime mission emphasized research and development of munitions. Much of the work done during this period by the military and civilian personnel was in developmental testing of powders, projectiles and bombs, and the study of interior and exterior ballistics. Some construction continued in the years immediately after the war, but it was limited to facilities that were necessary for conducting tests.
In 1923, two major construction projects were completed. A new hospital, Bldg. 45 on the small golf course, was erected. At the same time an airfield, hangar and quarters for an aviation squadron were created. The airfield was used by aircraft that supported the creation of bombing tables. The techniques these tables provided improved the adequacy of aerial bombing. Phillips Army Air Field was named in memory of 1st Lt. Wendell K. Phillips, who was killed in an aircraft accident at Aberdeen. The original airfield is now a portion of the industrial area.
This memorial lists all of the local veterans who served in World War I and is located at the Wester Maryland Railway Station.
The museum recounts the 20th century stories of the citizen-soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines - the men and women of the Commonwealth who served in defense of their state and nation. The story of modern warfare unfolds in the gallery exhibits which highlights the museum's excellent vehicle and weapons collections. The 65-acre park surrounding the museum includes the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine memorializing the service of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
The 1799 Lazaretto is located on the site of the 1st permanent European settlement in Pennsylvania. Its roles as a quarantine station sixth oldest in the world, 19th century river side resort, religious center, very early civilian 20th century seaplane aviation training center, Chandler Field was a WW 1 US Army Signal Corps base, and 20th century civilian seaplane base and marina arguably makes it one of the most unique Cultural Landscapes in the world.