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WW1 Centennial News for Wednesday July 05, 2017 - Episode #27

WW1 Nurses"The Nurses of WW1 were not young girls" - Ellouise Schoettler 

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  • History: Pershing’s 4th of July 1917 |@ 01:30

  • History: Race riots in East St. Louis |@ 03:45

  • Feature: US Official Bulletin - Logistics |@ 06 :00

  • Guest: Joe Johnson, Logistics Expert: Defense Acquisition University |@ 10:30

  • Guest: Mike Shuster, Espionage Act attack on bill of rights |@ 15:50

  • News: President Donald Trump heading to Paris for WW1 Franco/US commemoration parade |@ 20:30

  • Event: Commissioner O’Connell “Feeding The Fight” with WWI culinary event in NYC |@ 22:00

  • Guest: Ellouise Schoettler “Ready to Serve” - one woman show about WWI Nurses |@ 23:15

  • States: Texas exhibit: “From Cowboy to Doughboy” & Jim Hodgson article |@ 29:15

  • International: London mail tunnels reopen as museum attraction |@ 30:10

  • Feature: 16-year-old teenage girl flies 100-year-old Jenny |@ 31:20

  • WWrite Blog: New post flips on convention with writer exploring redeeming qualities of combat violence!? |@ 34:00

And more….


View the PDF transcript


Welcome to World War 1 centennial News - It’s about WW1 news 100 years ago this week  - and it’s about WW1 News 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 July 5th, 2017 and I’m Theo Mayer - Chief Technologist for the World War One Centennial Commission and your host.


First, a quick correction from last week’s episode #26.

In support of our article on Harley Davidson in World War 1, we posted a picture of a line of tough looking soldiers, goggles over their eyes, weapons places on thighs, and gas masks at the ready.

It’s a great picture - BUT….. It turns out that this image was not actually -  from WW1 but a bit later. So…  we have replaced that image at ww1cc.org/cn with an equally interesting photo of a Harley - This time definitely from WW1 - and this bad boy is fully equipped with a machine gunner side-car.

World War One THEN

100 Year Ago This Week

[sound transition]

We have moved back in time 100 years ago.

It is the morning of July 4th 1917.

At his residence in Paris, General John J. Pershing comes to his window as he hears the musical peals of the “Star Spangled Banner”.

The music being played outside by the 4th mounted band of the French Republican Guard having arrived at the residence with a large crowd of people to honor the General and the members of the 2nd battalion, 16th infantry who had just arrived in Paris from Saint Nazaire the previous day.

At a critical time during America’s Revolutionary War against Britain, the French had come to the aid of the United States, and today on the 4th of July, 1917, the French citizens of Paris are showing their gratitude and respect for the alliance renewed and the favor returned.

Pershing, with soldiers from the 16th Infantry, begin a full day of events.  This includes the descendants of French officers of the American Revolution who present their banners to Pershing.

The symbol of Franco-American friendship is not lost on Pershing. He notes that Napoleon declared days of national mourning after the death of George Washington.

Pershing will recall this event warmly in his memoire.  Quote “No other occasion that I recall was more significant or more clearly indicated the depth of French sentiment and affection for their old ally.”

Afterwards, the American and French battalions and a military band march to the Cemetiere de Picpus to visit the grave of the Marquis de Lafayette, a French hero of the American Revolution.

On the route, hundreds of thousands throng the parade, giving particular attention to the marching American soldiers.

French ladies push into the ranks walking arm in arm with the soldiers.

Arriving at the cemetery,  Pershing is coaxed into some brief remarks but soon turn it over to  Lt. Colonel Charles Stanton who’s remarks include a line that will echo through history  - “Lafayette, we are here!”

This account of the 4th of July 1917 come from an article published by the American Battle Monuments Commission  - the link to the article is in the podcast notes:



Dateline: July 2nd, 1917

Headline: Race riots in East St. louis

There is tension leading to violence in East St. Louis this day.

The massive industrial expansion brought on by the war effort in the North and the Midwest, are drawing in new sources of labor including African Americans from the rural south.

The newcomers are not universally welcomed by the white population. Certainly there are concerns about job security - but there is also the deep seated and pervasive racisms of the time.

On July 2nd, 1917 the situation goes out of control!

It begins as several white men in a car shoot into a crowd of black pedestrians and drive off.

When an hour later a similar car comes back into the neighborhood, locals fire back and two plainclothes police detectives - inside the car - are killed.

The situation escalates as white mobs descend on East St. Louis -- while the police look the other way.

Over the next day, reports are that 150 black people are shot, beaten to death or lynched.  Rioters torch large section of the neighborhood as over 7,000 people lose their homes.

Finally on July 4th,  the National Guard arrives in force and the riots are put to an end. People call on President Wilson to address the issue but he stays largely silent.

Plans for a 10,000 man march in NY city are being made by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - the NAACP to protest the situation.


Dateline: June 28th 1917


Today the New York Times reports that Secretary of War - Newton Baker is very very upset by the publication of dispatches from France telling of troop movements and Pershing’s men arriving.

This puts him at direct odds with George Creel, President Wilson’s Propaganda chief and publisher of the Official Bulletin, the government’s daily war gazette.

Clearly there is great tension between the desire to “sell the war” and the military needs for secrecy… a tension that is not going away anytime soon.

Speaking of the Official Bulletin - This week - we picked another topic to emphasize through the week’s articles in the bulletin - this week we look at  LOGISTICS


Dateline: Thursday July 5, 1917


Here are some illustrative figures showing the scale of Army operations:

Purchases have been authorized as follows :

Over five million blankets.

Thirty-seven million yards of bobbinette.

Two million cots.

Forty-five million five hundred thousand yards cotton cloth, olive drab.

Twenty-one million three hundred thousand yards unbleached cloth.

Six million pairs of shoes.

Eleven million one hundred and ninety one thousand pairs light woolen socks.

Compared to 1915

In the year 1915, for sustenance for the army personnel $9,800,000; this year, $133,000,000.

In the year 1915, $10,000,000 for regular supplies ; this year, almost $110,000,000.

In 1915, $13,000,000 for transportation ; this year, almost $222,000,000.

“The list goes on… but the scale of change in acquisition and therefore the need to organize that - logistics - is impressive.

In terms of construction - three quick stories this week alone



The story reads: The War Department authorizes the following :

Construction has begun on 16 wooden cities for our new National Army, but this is only half of the military cities which will soon be ready for our soldiers. Steps are now being taken to build 16 cities of tents to receive the National Guardsmen who will be called to the colors soon. It will not take so long to make them ready for the troops, and for this reason - the work on them has been held back until the wooden cities were planned and put under contract.



The American Library Association has been asked by the War Department's Commission on Training Camp Activities to furnish public library facilities to the 32 cantonments and National Guard training camps to be opened by the War Department about September 1, and the association has undertaken to render the desired service.



The story reads: Col. I. W. Littell, Quartermaster Corps,

who is in charge of cantonment construction, in a letter sent to the General Munitions Board in reply to reported delays between the forwarding of invoices for materials shipped on Government order and the date of payment therefor, states :

" It is the intention of the cantonment division to pay contractors for the National Army cantonments daily, covering material inspected and accepted and to which the United States takes title; weekly, for the purpose of their payrolls ; and monthly, on the 9th of the month, for all other bills not settled for in the daily payments.

[Sound Effect]


In The Last Three Months, More Troops Have Been Outfitted Than During Entire Spanish-American War - U. S. Soldiers in France Have Six Months' Supplies With Them.

“The article explains that Secretary Baker went ahead and put in the orders for these massive supplies before there was actually the money to do so - and - the article states

“It saved the day!

The adjournment of Congress March 4, without passing, the urgent, deficiency bill, left the War Department without money to pay for the supplies for future needs, but the orders were placed and a great saving of time was effected.

All this speaks to a level of coordination and process that is unprecedented.. This is called logistics.

Guest  Joe Johnson, Chief of Staff at the Defense Acquisition University

And with us today is an expert on the subject - Joe Johnson, is the Chief of Staff at the Defense Acquisition University.  Welcome Joe!

[Joe - Let me start by asking about the Defense Acquisition University? What is it?]

[Joe: The scale of the war effort ramp up is incredible and actually probably hard for us to fathom today. Was there any precedent to this? ]

[Joe: The subject here -  logistics - is as big as the war effort - and there really are two giant heads on this hydra - here and Europe - so just for today - I want to focus here in the US. How did this logistics capability change our nation - then - and into the following century - to today?]

[what encompasses logistics - for most it’s only a word - but it’s much more than that, isn’t it?]

Joe, if we can I would like to have you back over the coming weeks - though this is not the “flag, glory and fight” part of what happened 100 years ago - this really is a major aspect to the war that changed the world - and our country

That was Joe Johnson, the Chief of Staff at the Defense Acquisition University - Joe does a full length presentation on logistics - If you woudl like to contact joe, send us a note here at ww1cn@worldwar1centennial.org and we will get you in touch.

Link: http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/contact.html


Great War Project

Our next guest is Mike shuster, former NPR correspondent and curator for the Great War Project blog.  

This week Mike is going to give us some in-depth on a subject we opened a few episodes ago -  The 1917 Espionage act. It and the following year’s Sedition Act are probably the most draconian assaults on the bill of rights  in our nation’s history.

Welcome Mike.  


[Mike Shuster]

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


The Great War Channel

To watch  WW1 videos on what was happening 100 years ago this week, go visit our friends at the Great War Channel on Youtube.

This week’s new episodes cover a variety of subjects including:

A hardware piece on the Armoured trains of WW1

A fascinating story about Russia’s new offensive - The Russian Women’s Battalion of Death

AND --- Fighting without a country - the Czechoslovak Legions of WW1

The link is in the podcast notes or search for “the great war” 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.


The biggest news for the centennial and the commemoration was announced late last week.

From Bloomberg the headline reads: President Trump to attend Bastille Day Parade in Paris honoring WWI U.S. soldiers who arrived in France 100 years ago

U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to attend France’s Bastille day celebrations as the two men put aside differences to pay tribute to the U.S. soldiers who fought in France 100 years ago.

Trump will attend the traditional July 14 military parade where American troops will march alongside French soldiers to commemorate the centenary of the U.S. entry into World War I,  - the offices of both leaders said.

This is a pretty exciting acknowledgement of the centennial by the white house and we will continue to cover the story both here and hopefully with a live stream of the event on July 14th. We are working on it - Stay tuned!

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-28/trump-accepts-macron-invitation-s-to-attend-bastille-day-parade

Activities and Events

[Sound Effect]

From the U.S. National WW1 Centennial Events Register at WW1CC.org/events - here is our upcoming “event pick” of the week:

Feeding the Fight

On July 18th at the Museum of the City of New York - in Manhattan, WW1 Centennial Commissioner Libby O’Connell will delve into American cuisine both at home and abroad during war years.  

Among her many skills, Dr. O’Connell is also a food historian and author of The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites.

The event, inspired by the museum’s exhibition, Posters & Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York, will feature both well known and lesser known foodstuffs for attendees to sample.

French 75s, a cocktail popular during the period named for the French 75 mm field gun, will be served courtesy of the new wine cocktail company Pampelonne.

Additionally, attendees will receive a copy of an original cake recipe promoted by the Red Cross to send to soldiers overseas.

Read more about the event by following the link in the podcast notes,

Also look for events happening in your area by searching on our U.S. National WW1 Centennial Events Register - where you can submit your own upcoming WW1 events by clicking on the big read button - it is all at ww1cc.org/events all lower case - or follow the links in the podcast notes.




[sound effect]

Capital Fringe Performance “ready to serve”: Interview with Ellouise Schoettler

Another event we want to let you know about is a one woman show happening as a part of July’s Capital Fringe Festival in Washington DC - called “Ready to Serve”. It is about WW1 nurses.

Here with us today is Ellouise Schoettler, spoken word artist, to talk to us about her upcoming performance.

Ellouise, thank you for joining us today!

[Ellouise - I understand you’ve put two years of work into researching and writing this show, can you tell us about it?

[ What was it about the Nurses’ experience during the war that first drew you to the subject?]

[Ellouise - What do you do to engage modern day audiences, who may not be familiar with WW1 at all, with stories of individuals from 100 years ago?


Showtimes at festival: http://wwonenurses.weebly.com/

Updates From The States

[sound effect]

Now for our updates from the states.


From the North Texas World War 1 Centennial Commission -- a new exhibit opens July 9th at the Fort Worth Central Library.

The exhibit “From cowboy to doughboy” looks at the impact of WW1 on Texas and Texan life and on the state as the whole.

We put a link in the podcast notes to an article written by Jim Hodgson, executive director of the Fort Worth Aviation Museum about life in Texas during the war.

Our friends from the North Texas World War 1 Centennial Commission are also has a number of other events, including film screenings like Wings, The Big Parade and All Quiet on the Western Front and lectures about training camps, the Native American and African American experience of the war and much more.

Learn more by following the links in the podcast notes.



International Report

Tunnels in london

In our International Report this week, we’re going to the London Underground, but not to the train tracks you might first think of.

Under London’s streets runs 6.5 miles of train tunnels built solely to help the city transport mail. In the years leading up to WW1, the streets of London became clogged with horse and buggies and, increasingly, the speedy automobile. It became difficult and nearly impossible to successfully deliver mail and parcels above ground, so the Postal service circumvented the congestion altogether. In 1914, construction began and the mail moved from the surface to the tunnels. The tunnels also served a special Wartime purpose during WW1, safeguarding art treasures belonging to the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Gallery, including the Rosetta Stone. In WW2, the tunnels were put back into the war effort as dormitories for troops, and…. flooding a few times during the blitz.

London shut the whole thing down well over a decade ago - but it is now re-opening as a postal museum and attraction - where visitors can see replica locomotives, engineer tools, the bag exchange system and more. Learn about the history of this unique mail system and a new place to visit in London by following the link in the podcast notes.


Spotlight in the Media

High Flying Teen is Awesome

For our Spotlight in the Media segment - we spotted an article from the Air Museum Network. The headline of the article reads: “Pennsylvania Teen Makes Solo Flight in 100-Year-Old Curtiss Jenny”

Meet Caroline Dougherty, a young lady who turned 16 earlier this year. While many soon-to-be 16 year olds are dreaming of a sweet sixteen party, Caroline had her head firmly in the clouds with dreams of flying her father’s pride and joy, his 100-year-old Curtiss JN-4D “ the flying Jenny”. And she GOT to fly the Curtiss - at a Flying Circus Airshow, impressing all spectators including her visibly proud papa.

Paul Daugherty, Caroline’s father, is a bit of an aviation enthusiast, and runs an outfit called Dougherty Airshows with planes he restores. Caroline grew up in the world of aviation and history, with dad serving as the announcer for their family airshows. If her impressive solo-flight is any indication, this high flying lass will continue to be an important part of the US air show circuit for years to come.

Read more about her flight in the Curtiss by following the link in the podcast notes.



Articles and Posts

The Bridge arrives in NYC

It is time for our Articles and Posts segment - where we explore the World War One Centennial Commission’s rapidly growing website at ww1cc.org -

This week in the news section you will find an article following up on last week’s “Bridge Race” commemorating the arrival of US Troops in France.  

The Queen Mary II -- the Cunard Cruise Line’s flagship ocean liner -- made port Saturday morning at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, after taking part in The Bridge 2017 -- a trans-Atlantic trip, themed to commemorate the 100th year of World War I, and 100 years of friendship between France and the United States. You’ll find the article and beautiful images of the Queen in NY harbor on her arrival in an article posted at ww1cc.org/news all lower case.

The Cunard’s historical connection to WW1 reaches back to May 7th, 1915 when one of their ships - the Lusitania - was sunk by the Germany - beginning the shift of US sentiment against war neutrality in WW1.

The US WW1 Commission co-sponsored an event at NY harbor on the centennial of the sinking - you can a link to that story and the video of that commemorative ceremony in the podcast notes.


Link: http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/communicate/press-media/wwi-centennial-news/650-lusitania-commemoration-events-in-nyc-and-dc.html

WWrite Blog

In our WWRITE blog, which explores WWI’s Influence on contemporary writing and scholarship, this week's post is: “Ernst Jünger: The Modern War Story“

This week, in an interesting flip on convention, the  WWrite post steps out of the current narrative in war literature to explore our culture's allure not to peace, but to violence.

Rather than glorifying war, recent memoirs and books have concentrated on its debilitating and destructive effect on the returning soldier.

In this post, award-winning veteran writer Elliot Ackerman gives us his take on Ernst Jünger's seminal war memoir, Storm of Steel, and the ways in which it assigns a redeeming quality to combat violence.

Don't miss this most interesting post.


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?

The Star Spangled Banner and WW1

How did the Star Spangled Banner become a National Anthem -- and an integral part of sporting events?


Polish Americans Signing up

Polish Americans volunteer in incredible volumes.


Thank you Katherine.


And that is WW1 Centennial News for this week. Thank you for listening!

We want to thank our guests:

  • Joe Johnson, Chief of Staff at the Defense Acquisition University talking to us about LOGISTICS

  • Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog and his post about the 1917 Espionage act

  • Ellouise Schoettler, spoken word artist and her one woman show: “Ready to Serve” about WW1 nurses

  • Katherine Akey the Commission’s social media director and also the line producer for the show.

And I am Theo Mayer - your host.


As you know, we are totally supported by donations, and we want to thank the many of you who contributed during the runup and over the 4th of July holiday. It was, in fact, the most successful donor period we have had to date. Thank you for your great support.

We also want to thank the Pritzker Military Museum and Library our founding sponsor! Visit their WW1 website at www.pritzkermilitary/ww1. There is also a link in the podcast notes



The podcast can be found on our website at ww1cc.org/cn  

on  iTunes, google play, and tuneIn - search for ww1 Centennial News.

Our twitter and instagram handles are both @ww1cc and we are on facebook @ww1centennial.

Thanks for joining us again this week.

So long.




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