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WW1 Centennial News for Wednesday May 24, 2017 - Episode #21

French Soldiers in mutinyFrench Soldiers in mutiny

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  • Bulletin: Hear headlines and stories from the “Official Bulletin” |@ 02:15
  • Guest: Mike Shuster on the mutinies in France |@ 06:15
  • America’s WW1 Memorial: what CFA approval means from Edwin Fountain |@ 10:35
  • Memorial Day: History, significance, observance and links to activities |@ 12:00
  • States: Indiana article on Opha May Johnson, Alabama on National League for Woman’s Service |@ 14:30
  • Education: National History Day |@ 16:15
  • Media Spotlight: Robert Laplander / Doughboy MIA in the news |@ 19:00
  • Guest: Richard Rubin on his new book: “Back Over There” |@ 20:45
  • Guests: John Brancy and Peter Dugan on their WW1 music album |@ 25:30

Much more...

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View the PDF transcript

WW1 Centennial News - Weekly Podcast

World War One Centennial News:
May 24, 2017

Welcome to World War One Centennial News. It’s about WW1 news 100 years ago this week  - and it’s about WW1 NOW - news and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.
WW1 Centennial News is brought to you by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. Today is May 17th, 2017 and I’m Theo Mayer - Chief Technologist for the World War One Centennial Commission and your host.

World War One THEN

100 Year Ago This Week

We have gone back in time 100 years to May 18, 1917. Today is quite a day. It’s all Pomp and Circumstance as Wilson signs the Selective Service Act into law - ending the debate about an all volunteer army - Instead - it will be the combination volunteer and conscripted army.
All men between the ages of 21 and 30 will have to register for the draft by June 5th.  
There is still a big question about who is going to head the huge new army… Wilson also answers that question today.
It’s a big fat NO to Roosevelt’s plan to raise a division of volunteer troops - which, of course, HE would lead to Europe. This really ticks him off! Some think that he probably misses the glory days of the “Rough Riders” pounding it out in Cuba.
It’s also a NO to General Leonard Wood the former US Army Chief of staff. Apparently, Wilson thinks he has too many ties to the opposition Republican Party.
Instead, today’s second big announcement by president Woodrow Wilson is the appointment of General John J. Pershing to head the US Army’s Expeditionary Force. Pershing - is politically non-partisan. He is publicly popular - as the former commander of what is known as the “Punitive Expedition” sent out to spank Mexico’s Pancho Villa for sneaking up north and attacking the town of Columbus, in New Mexico.
May 18th is a big day on the hill.
What else is going on this week in 1917? For interesting details, let’s look at the Official Bulletin. Here are some of the stories running in America’s official war gazette.

The Bulletin

Saturday May 19, 2017: Storyline: “Regulars will be First Troops Sent to France”:  
President Announces in Statement Issued After Signing the Selective Conscription Bill

Also Saturday May 19: Storyline: US ARMY UNIT ARRIVES IN BRITAIN
The first unit of the United States Army is now on foreign soil.
Yesterday marks the arrival In England of Ruse Hospital No. 4, of Cleveland, Ohio, under command of MaJ. Harry L. Gilchrist, of the Medical Corps of the United States Army, This Is the first of six army base hospitals which have been ordered abroad - for service In France.

Secretary of the Navy Daniels announces that a regiment of US Marines (2,600 men) will accompany the first expedition to France. The regiment will be commanded by Col. Charles A. Doyen :
Quote "In being among the first on the firing line In France, the marines will be upholding their historic record," said Secretary Daniels.

The United States Government has adopted as the insignia for all its aircraft a white star with red center on a circular background of blue. All American aeroplanes, seaplanes, captive balloons, and dirigibles will bear this star of the Flying Corps, which combines the red, white, and blue of the national flag.

Secretary of the Navy Daniels,  introduces the Hon. Arthur James Balfour to the Cotton Manufacturers' Association in a session in Washington DC, Daniels declares:
Cotton is still king.

And in closing from the May 23 issue: Here is an article that talks about the Official Bulletin itself.
The headline states:

The article goes on the read:
Many misunderstandings have arisen with regard to the Official Bulletin,
which is being issued by the Committee on Public Information under order of the President.
This publication is not a newspaper in the accepted sense of the word.
Its single purpose is to assure the full and legal printing of the official announcements of Government heads in connection with governmental business. Exclusive publication Is neither the thought nor ambition. It will not interfere with the legitimate functions of the press in any manner, nor will official news be delayed or withheld In order to give the Bulletin any special news significance.
The article goes on the explain what types of information the Official Bulletin Publishes.
These include:
Proclamations and Executive orders of the President ;
rules and regulations of the executive departments;
administrative orders;
official bulletins and official statements of policy;
AND statutes enacted relating to war matters of which
the public should be officially informed.
It’s interesting to note that the cost of this publication is really expensive. An annual subscription is $5 - that is equivalent to over $100 Today.
They do have a comp list though- this includes:
The President, the cabinet, members of the Senate and House, the Diplomatic and consular corp, foreign diplomats and consuls, Officer of the military services, every post office got a free copy to post, governors, mayors of all cities, all newspapers, magazines, colleges and universities, and major trade organizations. Industry and the rest of the nation has to pony up.
The articles concludes with an unusual paragraph: Quote:
Should there someday be a WW1 Centennial News podcast - each issue of the Official bulletin shall be republished on the centennial anniversary date of its original publication date and provided free on something to be called the internet at an address designated as: ww1cc.org/bulletin - all lower case
Though the source of last paragraph cannot be officially confirmed.
Check it out at ww1cc.org/bulletin
Link: ww1cc.org/bulletin

Great War Project

Joining us now is former NPR correspondent Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.  Mike - in the first few paragraph of your post, Historian Martin Gilbert also notes the arrival of the first base hospital unit sent to Europe - in secret by the war department as the first US military to arrive - BUT as your post makes really clear - Apparently their arrival is in the midst of a pretty dire situation for the French army - Tell us the story Mike:

[Mike Shuster]

Thank you Mike. That was Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.

The Great War Channel

If you’d like to watch interesting and informative videos about WW1- 100 years ago this week - check out the new posts from our friends at the Great War Channel on Youtube. This week their new episodes include:

  1. The Ally From The Far East - Japan in World War 1
    Indie Nydell walks you through Japan’s role in WW1 - including a great perspective of “who was Japan” in 1917.
  2. Also new this week - The Hero Of Tannenberg - Paul von Hindenburg
    This video profiles a german war commander and hero of the time - Paul Von Hindenberg.

Follow the link in the podcast notes to the Great War Channel on Youtube.

World War One NOW

We have moved forward into the present with WW1 Centennial News NOW  - News about the centennial and the commemoration.


At the WW1 Centennial Commission, the team is still buzzing about last week’s nod from the CFA -  on concept approval of America’s National WW1 Memorial in Washington DC.
Edwin Fountain, the vice chair of our Commission and the project leader for the Memorial explains more specifically what happened and what it means.
Edwin notes:
Thursday’s decision by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (the CFA) was a significant milestone for the WWI memorial project. Federal memorials in Washington, DC are subject to design approval by the CFA. They gave us “concept approval”, which means the CFA has endorsed our proposal to establish a memorial at Pershing Park - near the White House -  in the form of a large bronze bas-relief sculpture that evokes the story of WW1. This sculpture will be the centerpiece of a trio of memorial elements, including the existing statue of General Pershing - The America’s General of the Armies, as well as a ceremonial flag stand that will offer additional opportunities for commemoration of the war.
To learn more - see the latest designs - and to help BUILD America’s WW1 Memorial in Washington DC - go to ww1cc.org/memorial. Honor our WW1 veterans with a donation for this project on memorial day. They can’t - but we CAN thank you for your support.

Memorial Day

So what IS memorial day - besides a day off work in early summer and a lot of car sales. What does it means? Where did it came from?
Memorial day was originally called Decoration Day and traces back to the civil war as a time to decorate the Union soldiers’ graves with flowers.
By the 20th century, there were competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days. These eventually got merged into Memorial Day to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
It also marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create convenient three-day holiday weekends.
On Memorial day, many people visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
This year - activities include the annual Washington DC parade - but have gathered a bunch of links and information for you about Memorial day activities all over the country. You’ll find them in the podcast notes and on our WW1 Centennial News web page at ww1cc.org/cn
Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

Activities and Events

US Army Birthday Ball
In other activities and events -  
This week we picked one for you that is one coming up next month in Orlando, FL.
In 2017 -  the US Army turns 242! Quick - it’s 2017 - the army turns 242 - so what year was the US army established? [tick tock sound and buzzer] 1775!
To celebrate, the Sunshine Chapter of the Association of the US Army in Orlando, FL is hosting a Ball on June 17th. The ball will feature a World War I Centennial theme “Over There: A Celebration of the WWI Soldier”
Dr. Monique Seefried, one of the World War One Centennial Commissioners, will be the featured guest speaker. Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Kennedy will present a short talk on the augmentation of WWI Army leadership - for an Army that grew 20-fold. For more information, see the link in the podcast notes

Updates From The States

Indiana: First Woman in Marine Corps
On the Indiana State Commission website at ww1cc.org/indiana, there is an article about Opha May, the first woman in the Marine Corps. By the summer of 1918 the Marine Corps was in need of more soldiers, many of whom occupied vital administrative and clerical positions. The idea was circulated and eventually approved to allow women into the Marine Corps to fill these non-combat positions.
From Kokomo, Indiana, Opha May Johnson was first in line - when the recruiting station in Washington D.C. opened its doors to women. AND -- she would become a legend as the first woman Marine. Opha demonstrated the willingness of women to step up and fill these roles just as earnestly and to perform them just as capably as their male counterparts. Read more about her life - and service at ww1cc.org/indiana or by following the link in the podcast notes.

link: http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/2432

Now another story about the service of women in the war, this time from the Alabama’s State Commission site at ww1cc.org/alabama.
The Motor Corps was one of eight divisions of the National League for Woman’s Service established on January 27, 1917 - Their charter?
“To organize and train the great woman power of the country for specific and economic service; to be prepared to meet existing needs; to be ready for emergency service; and to supplement the work of Governmental Departments and Committees—Federal, State, and City”
And so at least 78 Motor Corps units were established across the country. The one in Montgomery was activated in April 1918 You can read more about the women that made up the corps and the supporting role they played throughout the war by visiting ww1cc.org/alabama - all lower case. .

Education Update

National History Day
In our education section
Today we are going to talk about National History Day, that offers year-long academic programs for middle- and high-school students around the world.
Each year, the National History Day - Contest - encourages more than half a million students to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice.
They enter their projects at the local and affiliate levels, with top students advancing to the National Contest;
WW1 Centennial Commissioner, Dr.  Libby O’Connell, will be giving a special award for best WW1 history project at the finals.
The students are provided guiding articles and support materials - so the National WW1 Museum’s Curator of Education, Laura Vogt, provided a wonderful reference guide about African American soldiers in WW1 and how that experience shaped the stand for equal rights after the war.
Laura did a great job providing a sample essay for participating students and teachers but frankly - I took a look at it and it’s a great read for all of us.
We going to expand the discussion next week, when we will be joined by Dr. Cathy Gorn,  the executive director of National History Day and an adjunct professor of history at the University of Maryland at College Park.
http://nhd.org/sites/default/files/2017_Themebook_0.pdf - Page 46 onwards

International Report

Jazz in Brest
And following Laura Vogts theme, This week in our International Report we turn our eyes, and ears, to France.
Last week we talked about the 369th experience and how they brought Jazz to Europe. In a follow up, we have a story from the french town of Brest -  a harbor town in Brittany on the western coast… famous for fine chow in a country of great cuisine!
Here - a group of middle schoolers wrote a radio drama about the “sammies” who brought Jazz to their town in 1917.
Students researched the life of these American soldiers, including Lt. James Reese Europe, then the director of the Harlem Hellfighters’ 369th regimental band.
By studying archives and other source, the students collaborated with a local musicians to create a jazz musical outlining these soldier’s lives in France as well as the struggles they faced - on returning to America.
Follow the links in the podcast notes - to watch video clips of the live performances . The website is all in french but the music is all jazz! Enjoy.

DNA allows a soldier to be reburied under his own name
Now from the UK - A story about how one of the thousands of anonymous dead in France was given back his name. The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre of the UK’s Ministry of Defence helped identify the bones of Private Henry Parker, whose remains were found in France in 2015. By using DNA, they were able to find a match to his great-nephew, who, along with 25 of his other family members, attended - the reinterment of Private Parker at a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery where he was buried with full honors - and -  importantly, with his name.
Learn more by following the link in the podcast notes.

Spotlight on the Media

Here is the US, unfortunately our Department of Defense has ceases looking for our MIAs from World War 1.
So in our “Spotlight on the Media” section this week, we would like to profile a very special fellow today - Rob Laplander. Rob - as a private citizen - is a tireless advocate for America’s WW1 MIAs - and there are over 4,400 of them - We proudly host Mr. Laplander’s Doughboy MIA project website at ww1cc.org/mia - all lower case. Here you’ll find their story and a searchable database that you can explore to find WW1 MIAs from you state, town or family.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal broke a story about Rob. The headline reads:
Missing WWI Servicemen Getting Full Recognition With ‘Doughboy MIA’ Project
The article is about the project’s recent success in the case of Seaman Herbert Renshaw fell overboard, off the coast of South Carolina during a naval patrol 100 years ago this week on May 22, 1917. But probably due to a clerical error by Navy officials, he was never listed on a monument to the missing at Brookwood American Cemetery in England. Now he will be.
Thank you Rob Laplander and the Doughboy MIA project for your great service for our WW1 veterans. As your motto says: A man is only missing if he is forgotten.
You can go to the web site at ww1cc.org/mia. You can support Rob Laplander and his great work by doing yourself a favor and buying his book - Finding the Lost Battalion. A link to the book site is also in the podcast notes.

Richard Rubin
And speaking of books and authors - We have a special guest with us today. Richard Rubin is a premiere author and storyteller about WW1. Someone said to me once - “you know, if you are only going to read a single book about WW1 - then you should read “The Last of the Doughboy” which was Richard Rubin’s first book. Now Richard has just released a second book on WW1 called “Back Over There” which just came out.

Welcome Richard!
Richard - tell us about the new book?
Richard - you and I have been talking about a weekly feature here on WW1 Centennial News called The Storyteller and the Historian - You are the storyteller and Jonathan Bratten - a military historian from Maine is your cohort on the project. We are hoping to launch the feature in the coming month… What can you tell us about it?

John Brancy and Peter Dugan
It’s time to talk about MUSIC and WW1!
[music clip]
With us today are Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan - they  debuted their recital - A Silent Night - at the Kennedy Center in 2014 which was hailed by The Washington Post as " refreshingly, marvelously different," The program pays homage to the centennial of World War I through the music of composers who lived through, fought in, and died in the Great War. The songs have now come out as an album -
Welcome gentlemen.
Thank you - Tell us about the project and what inspired you to create the program!
That was Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan and their WW1 music album - a Silent night - thanks for talking with us today.  you both for being here. We put a link in the podcast notes for where to find their web site and how to find the album.

The Buzz - WW1 in Social Media Posts

That brings us to the buzz - the centennial of WW1 this week in social media with Katherine Akey - Katherine - what do you have for us this week?

Newly digitized Red Cross Photos
A newly digitized collection of images from the Red Cross offers a glimpse into the rehabilitation of amputees and wounded veterans after WW1.

Weather and WW1
A Quaker Mathematician developed the field of mathematical weather modeling during his service in an ambulance service during WW1, fundamentally changing how we predict weather.

Is your dog an ally of the Kaiser?
Food was expected to be scarce in 1917 and 1918, but it seems that finger pointing may have started at the expense of sweet puppy dogs everywhere.


That’s WW1 Centennial News for this week. Thank you for listening!
We want to thank our guests
Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog
Richard Rubin, Writer and Author
John Brancy and Peter Dugan, Independent Musicians
Katherine Akey the Commission’s social media director and also the line producer for the show.
And I am Theo Mayer - your host this week.

The US World War One Centennial Commission was created by Congress to honor, commemorate and educate about WW1.
Our programs are to--
inspire a national conversation and awareness about WW1;
we are bringing the lessons of the 100 years ago into today's classrooms;
We are helping to restore WW1 memorials in communities of all sizes across our country;
and of course we are building America’s National WW1 Memorial in Washington DC.
We rely entirely on your donations. No government appropriations or taxes are being used, so please give what you can by going to ww1cc.org/donate - all lower case
Or if you are on your smart phone text  the word: WW1 to 41444. that's the letters ww the number 1 to 41444
We want to thank commission’s founding sponsor the Pritzker Military Museum and Library for their support.
The podcast can be found on our website at ww1cc.org/cn  
on  iTunes and google play ww1 Centennial News.
Our twitter and instagram handles are both @ww1cc and we are on facebook @ww1centennial.
Thanks for joining us. And don’t forget to talk to someone about the centennial of WW1 this week.
So long.



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