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WW1 Centennial News for Wednesday August 2, 2017 - Episode #31

The mud battleMud was one of the true horrors of WW1

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  • Civil rights march in NYC 100 years ago |@ 01:15
  • Draft dodging, bobbing and weaving |@ 03:15
  • Passchendaele the battle of the MUD |@ 08:45
  • “The Song of Mud” by Mary Borden |@ 12:40
  • The Storyteller and the Historian |@ 17:00On being an intern at the US WW1 Centennial Commission |@ 23:00
  • Event Picks of the week |@ 27:00
  • 100C/100M Profile - Memorial Park in Mobile Alabama |@ 29:00
  • Motorcycles and Memorials |@ 34:15
  • Working on America’s WW1 Memorial |@ 41:30
  • Dazzle Camouflage and Peach Pits |@ 42:40



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.

Today is August 2nd, 2017 and this week we joined by

Mike Shuster from the great war project blog,

The Storyteller and the Historian, Richard Rubin and Jonathan Bratten  - Paul Bergholzer a sociology student from Catholic university

Cammie Israel, from the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials project in Mobile, Alabama -

and Lamar Veatch, Retired State Librarian at the Georgia Public Library Service.

WW1 Centennial News is brought to you by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. I’m Theo Mayer - the Chief Technologist for the World War One Centennial Commission and your host.

World War One THEN

100 Year Ago This Week


Our wayback machine has transported us back 100 year and It’s the week of July 29rd, 1917

The Silent Protest Parade

Earlier this month July 2, 1917 simmering labor tensions between white and black workers explodes in St Louis.

For 24 hours, white mobs indiscriminately stab, shoot and lynch anyone with black skin. Men, women, the elderly, the disabled even children – horrifyingly --- no one is spared. Homes are torched and occupants shot down as they attempt to flee. Police and White militiamen stand idly by as the carnage unfolds. The death toll is as high as 200 and the city’s surviving 6,000 black residents become refugees.

In protest, the NAACP the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People organizes a large demonstration in New York City.

This week, 26 days later, during the saturday afternoon of July 28, nearly 10,000 African-Americans march down Fifth Avenue, in silence, protesting racial violence and white supremacy in the United States.


The only sounds are those of muffled drums, the shuffling of feet and the gentle sobs of some of the estimated 20,000 onlookers. The women and children are all wearing white. The men are dressed in black.

New York City, and the nation, has never before witnessed such a remarkable scene.

The “Silent Protest Parade,” as it come to be known, is the first mass African-American demonstration of its kind and marks a watershed moment in the history of the upcoming civil rights movement.  Just one generation after the end of slavery, this somber and powerful event conveys both a mournful dignity and stern determination for the black community to stand up for the rights of its citizens.

For those who always believed that the birth of the civil rights movement was in 60’s - it’s foundation was actually forged 100 years ago this week during the war that changed the world!





Official Bulletin - Draft dodging

[sound effect transition to the morse code]

This week from the Official Bulletin…. the government war gazette published by George Creel, President Wilson’s Propaganda Chief >

The pages seem to be buzzing with articles about who is, who did, who must, and who didn’t respond to the call to arms known as the American Selective Service Act.


Dateline: Monday July 30, 1917


The Attorney General Gives Directions for Sweeping Investigation He declares that  “Those Apprehended Will Not Escape the Draft.”


Dateline: Also Monday July 30, 1917


The story goes on to explain that although certain Federal Employees may be exempt from the draft, such as postal workers, workmen in armories, arsenals and navy yards their supervisor’s affidavits will be under close scrutiny and review.


Dateline: Wednesday August 1, 1917

Headline: Exemption Claims of Men Married Since July 20 Will Be Scrutinized Closely

“Mary… Let’s get hitched so I don’t have to go to France!” Well - maybe not….

Apparently there is a rapidly spreading belief that if are married your family is dependent on you, and therefore you can claim an exemption to be discharged from the draft.

Although there is language in the law that creates an exemption for men whose families are depending on them, the government effectively argues that this NOT VALID in many cases!

Provost Marshal General Crowder - the head of the draft - sends the following telegram to governors of all States explaining his ruling concerning dependency on the grounds of marriage….

“ I direct you to please call the attention of local boards to the fact that a soldier's pay is not less than $30 a month and that all clothing, subsistence, medical treatment, and housing are furnished him.

Under the law he may allot any portion of his pay to a dependent.

Many soldiers receiving $30 a month are easily able to allot $25 monthly to the support of their dependents.

“ In case of death-in-the-line-of-duty the Government will pay to the beneficiary designated by the soldier -- presumably his dependents - six months’ pay.

The discretion of local boards may well take - the facts recited above - into consideration in deciding claims for discharge due to dependency with a view to determining whether, as a matter of fact, the person claiming such exemption will not be in as good or better position to support his dependents after selection for military service than he was before.

If such is the case, of course, the discharge should not be granted.


In other related headlines this week:


Passports Issued by State Department to Persons Subject to Draft Only When Application is Accompanied by Permit From Provost Marshal General to Leave the Country

Service In Red Cross Is Not Valid Claim for Exemption


Balance Must Be Struck and Kept Between Military and Industrial Needs of the Nation, Asserts General Crowder—Necessary Sacrifice Must Be Distributed With Scientific Accuracy.

And in a final an article that shows the other side of the massive “sign em up and get ‘em in” mentality is a slight concern that perhaps not everyone getting swept up in the big net may be desirable…


Dateline: Friday August 3, 1917


A Group of I50 Neurologists and Psychiatrists Have Been Organized for the Work. They Will Be Sent to The Cantonments and Later to France to examine cases.

Now… Having now followed the Official bulletin since it’s launch in mid May, the editorial team here at WW1 Centennial News has been struck by how we can feel the issues of the week as thematic drumbeats in the bulletin. This week - with nearly 10 articles on the subject of managing the implementation of the draft,  the evasion and exemption issues are on the government’s mind 100 years ago this week.

You too can read every issue of the Official Bulletin on the centennial anniversary of its original publish date by going to ww1cc.org/bulletin.

More and more historians, students, teachers and folks just plain interested are discover this amazing resource, which is an exclusive feature on the commission’s web site. Check it out - but be careful - it’s addictive. ww1cc.org/bulletin


Great War Project

Now we are joined by Mike shuster, former NPR correspondent and curator for the Great War Project blog.

Today Mike’s post takes a look at another three letter horror of the trench war - last week GAS this week - MUD
If you were a trench warrior 100 years ago - MUD was no joke…

Welcome Mike

[Mike Shuster]


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

The Song of Mud

We are going to punctuate Mike’s post with a poem written in 1917 by Mary Borden and read by Blake Edwards, Joe Kopyt, and Ambre Shoneff, MFA acting students at The Ohio State University - This is “The Song of Mud”:




The Great War Channel

For videos about WW1, we invite you to check out the Great War Channel on Youtube -  they offer great videos about the great war from a more European perspective..

This week’s new episodes include:

Burial and Identification Of The Dead in WW1

Three years of WW1 - an overview retrospective

US Preparation - Alien Enemies Act - Franco-Prussian War

Follow the link in the podcast notes or search for “the great war” on youtube.



The Storyteller and the Historian

To wrap up our history segment of WW1 Centennial News, our intrepid duo - the storyteller and the historian Richard Rubin and Jonathan Bratten are going to explore the federalization of shipping industry in 1917


That was - the StoryTeller - Richard Rubin and The Historian - Jonathan Bratten

The Storyteller and the Historian is now a full hour long monthly podcast. The july issue is now out on iTunes and libsyn look for it there or follow the link in the podcast notes.

Link: http://storytellerandhistorian.libsyn.com

World War One NOW


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

Commission News

Interview with Paul Burgholzer, Intern

In Commission news -

As I mentioned last week we were blessed with an amazing intern team this summer here at the commission. There were 16 of them in total and we thought you might enjoy meeting one of them and learning a little more about what our interns do and experience.

With us is Paul Bergholzer a sociology student from Catholic university - and a member of our summer of 2017 intern team -

Welcome Paul.

[Exchange Greetings]

[Paul - what year are you in your studies and do you have any specific plans after graduating?]


[What made you decide to apply to the WW1 Centennial Commission for an internship?]


[This is a very important question - what was the funniest thing that happened to you during the internship?]


[What kind of advice would you give to someone considering applying for an internship with us?]


[My last question for you Paul - If you imagine yourself 10 years from now - what do you think you will remember most about your intern experience this summer.]


Thanks Paul - and thank to the whole team for the great job y’all did for the centennial commission this past summer.

If there are any listeners who would like to apply for an internship at the commission - follow the link in the podcast notes.

Link: http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/participate/individuals/internships.html

Activities and Events



Next for our Activities and Events Section, we are going profile 2 events -  selected from the U.S. National WW1 Centennial Events Register at WW1CC.org/events where are compiling and recording the WW1 Commemoration events from around the country- not just from major metros but also local events from the heart of the country- showing how the WW1 Centennial Commemoration is playing out everywhere.

Our local event is from Paducah, in the Blue Grass state of Kentucky  

The The McCracken County Public Library Local and Family History Department has an exhibit on view through 2017 called “Paducah During World War 1”.

The exhibit highlights the Paducahn WW1 experience, using photographs and excerpts pulled from their The Paducah Evening Sun which was published from 1906 to 1929. As a small local paper, it’s archives are ideal to highlight the enlisted men from McCracken County and to tell the story of local residents and their life in wartime.

The link in the podcast notes will lead you to more information about this great local event.

Smithsonian postal museum

For our major metro event, we want to profile the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington DC - which currently has the exhibit “My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I”. The exhibit is on view through November 2018 and highlights the personal correspondence written on the frontlines and home front, illuminating the human emotions and thoughts of soldiers, mothers, generals and everyone in between. Included are previously unpublished letters by General John Pershing. The museum is located right next to Union Station, in the nation’s capital. The event link is in the podcast notes.





100 Cities/100 Memorials


Memorial Park - Mobile Alabama

Every week we are going to profile one of the many amazing projects that are participating in our 100 Cities / 100 Memorials national matching grant challenge. This week we introduce you to a group called the Stewards of Memorial Park from Mobile Alabama. They are renovating a local landmark known as Memorial Park.

We’re joined by Cammie Israel, the Patriotic Service Chairman for the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America(NSCDA). Welcome Cammie!

[exchange greetings]

[Cammie - For starters, could you tell us a little bit about the Memorial Park and its history?]

[Cammie - your team formed an organization to do that park restoration - when did you do that and do you think it helped in advocating for the project?]

[How did you learn about the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program?]

[Cammie - for others who are considering a restoration project like this - what has been the biggest challenge?]

Thank you for coming on and sharing your project with us! Congratulations on putting all this together - you are doing a great thing here!

[say goodbye]

That was Cammie Israel on the Memorial Park restoration project in  Mobile Alabama -

We will continue to profile the submitting teams and their projects weekly on the show over the coming months and you can learn more about the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program at ww1cc.org/100memorials or follow the link in the podcast notes

Link: www.ww1cc.org/100memorials



Updates From The States

Interview with Lamar Veatch


Lamar Veatch, is the Retired State Librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service - Among other things… Lamar is with us today to talk to us about two of his great passions: WW1 and motorcycles!

[Hi Lamar!]

Lamar - how did you get involved with the WW1 centennial?

[Lamar replies]

OK I want to switch the topic to memorials and motorcycles - Lamar - I am going to take a minute to explain to the audience - as a part of the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program, we realized that no-one knows where all the WW1 Memorials in America are. There are thousands of them and we have less than 2000 of them catalogued.

So we created the memorials hunters club -

there is this national register map you can look at if you go to ww1cc.org/hunter and if the memorial you found isn’t on it - you get to register it AND include a selfie - So when we launched the Memorial Hunters Club I started getting these great entries of these memorials with selfies of this very cool, beautiful, white, three wheeled motorcycle - from you Lamar ---

Tell us about that!

[Lamar replies]

As a motorcycle-enthusiast and a historical librarian, what do you think is the most interesting thing about motorcycles and WW1?

Thanks for coming on Lamar

Good hunting my friend - That was Lamar Veatch -Retired State Librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service - motorcyclist - and intrepid Memorial Hunter!

Link: www.ww1cc.org/georgia




This week for our updates from the states - We go to the Badger state - Wisconsin! And incidentally - the home of Harley Davidson!!

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum opened an online exhibit called

“The Roses of No Man’s Land”, honoring and commemorating nurses from Wisconsin that served during the Great War.

They are using photos, letters, and personal writing logs, to tell the story. The exhibit focuses specifically on the experiences of two volunteers who dedicated their lives to help the war effort. Read more about this exhibit honoring Wisconsin nurses who served during the Great War by following the links in the podcast notes or by visiting the Wisconsin WW1 Centennial Site at ww1cc.org/wisconsin




America’s WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC

It is time for an update on America’s WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park in our nation’s capital...

Sabin Howard advances WWI memorial sculpture in Weta Workshop sessions

This week in our articles and posts  section we want to feature a great article called “Sabin Howard advances WWI memorial sculpture in Weta Workshop sessions”

With the unanimous design-concept approval by the U.S. Commission of Fine Art and by the National Capital Planning Commission, in recent weeks, our development of the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC is in high-gear.

Our sculptor for the memorials Bas-relief sculpture that tell the story of WWI , Sabin Howard has taken the design artwork to New Zealand, to work with the incredibly talented artists at the high-tech sculpting studio, Weta Workshop - the incredible craft center created by Director Peter Jackson for the Lord of The Ring film series.

Sabin took some time to talk to us, and to show us what they are creating, and how the sculptural development process works. Read about the high tech take on an ancient artistic process and see some amazing images of that process by following the link in the podcast notes.

Link: http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/communicate/press-media/wwi-centennial-news/2931-sabin-howard-update-on-national-wwi-memorial-sculpture.html


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?

Dazzle Camouflage

Some battleships in WW1 got very special paint jobs.


Peach Pit Party

The Red Cross lead a nationwide drive for a life-saving necessity… peach pits!



Thank you Katherine.  


And that’s it for WW1 Centennial News for this week. Thank you for listening!

When we post each episode we also post a notice on our facebook page at facebook.com/ww1centennial. We invite you come by and comment on the current week’s episode. Let us know what you think about what we presented and what you’d like us to also talk about.

We want to thank our guests:

  • Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog and his post about MUD, and the Passchendaele battle
  • Richard Rubin and Jonathan Bratten and their StoryTeller and the Historian segment on the nationalization of the shipping industry in 1917
  • Paul Burgholzer speaking with us about his experience as an intern with the WW1 Centennial Commission
  • Cammie Israel for her profile on the Memorial Park restoration project in Mobile, Alabama
  • Lamar Veatch talking to us about hunting memorials on his motorcycle
  • Katherine Akey the Commission’s social media director and also the line producer for the show.

And I am Theo Mayer - your host.

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; This program is a part of that….

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.

If you like the work we are doing, please support it with a tax deductible donation at 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 texted to 41444. Any amount is appreciated.

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 share the stories you are hearing here with someone about the war that changed the world!


So long!


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