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WW1 Centennial News for Wednesday September 27, 2017 - Episode #39

Food Will Win The WarFood Will Win The War

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  • Food Will Win The War |@01:15
  • Anti-war sentiment and the IWW Union - Mike Shuster |@05:35
  • “Those Draftin’ Blues” Maceo Pinkard timely tune |@10:00
  • Terry Hamby elected Chair of the US WW1 Centennial Commission |@12:50
  • US Mint to introduce their memorial coin design |@14:00
  • Re-dedication of the Bernado Cardeens Baseball Field in RI |@14:40
  • Speaking WWI - OMG! Really!? |@16:15
  • 100C/100M First 50 “WWI Centennial Memorials” announced |@17:40
  • 100C/100M Project Profile - Swanton, OH with Mayor Ann Roth |@18:45
  • Researching Stories of Service with author Christy Leskovar |@24:00
  • Underwater Archeology - The WW1 Cruiser the USN San Diego |@29:30
  • WWrite Blog - Poet James Seamon Cotter Jr. by Connie Ruzich |@31:00
  • A BIG BUZZ this month |@32:00  

View the PDF transcript


Welcome to World War 1 centennial News - It’s about WW1 THEN - what was happening 100 years ago  - and it’s about WW1 NOW - news and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.

Today is September 27th, 2017 and our guests this week are:

  • Mike Shuster from the great war project blog,   
  • Mayor Ann Roth from the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials project in Swanton, Ohio
  • And Christy Leskovar, author of One Night in a Bad Inn and Finding the Bad Inn

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 Commission and your host. Welcome to the show.

World War One THEN

100 Year Ago This Week


We’ve gone back in time 100 years to explore the war that changed the world! It’s the last week of September 1917, let’s take a look at what happened this month:

The pages of the Official Bulletin are overflowing with articles about food, the food administration, and their impact on the war effort, with articles about food appearing every day this month. Here are a few of note:



Dateline: September 12th, 1917

Headline: Government not to seize food supplies held in homes

There is no truth in a widely circulated statement that the Government expects to take food supplies from any family. Both the Food Administration and the Department of Agriculture join in a statement to counteract, what seems to be deliberate propaganda to the effect that the Government intends to take from every family all canned goods put up, in excess of 100 quarts.

TM - Apparently this was only one of many variations of rumors about the government seizing food



Dateline: September 15th, 1917

Headline: Government licenses for manufacturers, refiners and importers of sugar, sirups, and molasses required

From time to time, whenever the President shall find it essential to license the importation, manufacture, storage, mining or distribution of any necessaries… The president is authorized to issue such licenses and to prescribe regulations of the issuance of licenses.


Dateline: September 17th, 1917

Headline: Slogan “food will win war--don’t waste it” emblazoned on huge signs throughout country

Through the cooperation of advertising companies, the Treasury Department, municipal authorities and electric-light companies, the US Food Administration is, without cost, putting on a national outdoor advertising campaign that is probably the biggest thing of the sort ever undertaken. The slogan “Food will win the war -- don't waste it” is being emblazoned in every large city in the country on immense signs on public buildings. These signs are uniform in general design, in paint for daytime display and illuminated by electric light for night.



Dateline: September 20th, 1917

Headline: American people can have full diet and still supply pressing needs of allies

The supplies in the world’s larder for the next twelve months are now known. They are too short to support our allies unless every man, woman and child enters National service by conserving food and supporting the Food Administration



Dateline: September 20th, 1917

Headline: Big european demand upon america for meat will continue after war

The immediate problem is to furnish increased meat supplies to the allies to maintain them during the war… the impact of european demand upon our animal products will be maintained for a long period of years after peace. We must undertake to meet the demand not only during the war, so as to enable our allies to continue to fight, but we must be prepared to meet the demand after the war.


TM: So food is a big topic of national discussion during the month of September 100 years ago this week.

Also in the news,  casualty reports start to trickle into the Bulletin this month. Only a few thousand American soldiers have made it to Europe, and their primary tasks is training, preparing, training and preparing. Despite their small numbers and their relative distance from the front, war is war and casualties start to become an ever more frequent occurrence.


Soldiers get killed during a german air raid on a hospital, others in an air raid on an encampment; two aviators die in a mid-air collision during training while a third dies of an undisclosed accident; others die from meningitis or heart disease. Though tragic, these deaths are just a glimpse of what’s to come: life in the trenches, artillery fire, bombings, gas and the 1918 flu epidemic are challenges yet to come.


- Go to our website to catch up on all the stories from 100 years ago this month. You can read the full daily issues of the Official Bulletin the government’s war gazette published at the order of President Wilson as the government’s voice of the war - you will find daily issues that we re-publish on the centennial anniversary of their original publish date at ww1cc.org/bulletin.



Great War Project

Outside of the Official Bulletin, which is essentially the government’s propaganda machine  - other reports appear of a continuing and steady rise of anti-war sentiment.

We are joined by Mike shuster, former NPR correspondent and curator for the Great War Project blog, to tell us more about the on-going and perhaps ever more active anti-war movement in the US.
Welcome, Mike!




Thank you Mike. That was Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog with a look at the anti-war sentiment of some Americans 100 years ago this month.


The growing anti-war movement in the US




“Those Draftin’ Blues”

Whether they are pro-war or not, America’s entry into this global conflict is now touching the lives of most every Americans.

Reflecting this, On September 24th 1917, composer Maceo Pinkard publishes “Those Draftin’ Blues”, a sorrowful tune with a message that resonates with many across the country .


Count Basie orchestration and re-recording of the song from 1940

Link: http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/movies/music_life_02.html#



The Great War Channel

If you would like to see videos about WW1, we invite you to visit our friends at the Great War Channel on Youtube -  They have been covering WW1 since the centennial of when war broke in 2014 - and from a more European perspective.


Highlights from the last few weeks include:

  • We are coming to Italy and Slovenia! - Which is an announcement of their plans to produce episode on their next road trips through Europe.
  • Inside a British WW1 Airbase - Which comes from their last road trip to the UK.
  • A history and battle story: British Advance at Passchendaele
  • And an interesting episode - The Serbian Uniforms of WW1

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



World War One NOW


We have moved forward in time to the present…

Welcome to WW1 Centennial News NOW  -

This part of the program is not about history. Instead it is about how the centennial of “the War that changed the world” is being commemorated today.

Commission News

We will begin our September 2017 wrapup with some news from the commission… on September 13th, during the Commission's quarterly meeting, in Washington, DC, Commissioner Terry Hamby as elected as the new Chair of the Commission.  

Commissioner Hamby follow Chair Robert J. Dalessandro, who has led the US World War I Centennial Commission since 2014.

"This is a huge honor for me," Commissioner Hamby said during his acceptance.

"Both my father and my great uncle served in World War I. My great uncle was lost in the Battle of the Meuse Argonne. I will put my whole heart into this job."

Commissioner Hamby is a Vietnam-era veteran, serving in the Navy during that war, and later in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1993, after 26 years of service. Learn more about this great veteran, entrepreneur and the new Chair of the US WW1 Centennial Commission by following the link in the podcast notes.


Coin Rollout

Early next month on October 9, The United States Mint is going to unveil their design for a WW1 Commemorative Coin -  The design was selected by the mint, with a juried competition, resulting in thier selection of a 2018 World War I American Veterans Centennial -  silver dollar. The press announcement revealing their design will coincide with the A-USA - the Association of the United States Army - conference in Washington DC.


Also coming in 2018 will be five silver medals honoring the individual branches of the U.S. military — the Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force and Coast Guard.


Activities and Events


Cardines Field

For our Activities and Events Segment, we’re going to profile our pick of the week, 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.

Our pick of the week is from Newport, Rhode Island.  Here is the story… In 1917, when America declared war on Germany, Bernardo Cardines (cardeens) was a tailor living peacefully in Newport, RI. Cardines was an immigrant from Venafro in Italy, who emigrated alone to America in 1909 at the tender age of only fourteen.

Cardines, like many American immigrants, registered for the draft and went on to serve with the 78th Division in the American Expeditionary Forces. He fought at St. Mihiel and was killed in action during a raid on German positions on September of 1918.

On month, on Friday, September 29, the Rhode Island World War One Centennial Commission will rededicate the Bernardo Cardines Memorial Baseball Field. The field is one of the oldest baseball fields in the U.S. and was originally dedicated in September of 1936, in memory of Private Cardines.

The re-dedication is free to the public and will include a unique commemorative event: namely - an Army-Navy baseball game that will be played by students from the U.S. Naval War College, and they are going to play the game, dressed in period baseball uniforms. That sounds like great fun! Learn more about the ceremony and Private Cardines by following the link in the podcast notes.






Speaking WW1

And now for our feature “Speaking World War 1 - Where we  explore today’s words & phrases that are rooted in a century ago  ---

This week the word is not really a word, but an abbreviation that you would not have guessed was birthed during WW1… and that phrase is… “OMG”

One hundred years ago this month, on September 9th, 1917, a retired admiral of the British navy, Lord Fisher, fired off a letter to Winston Churchill.

The two men often wrote to one another about various naval aspects of the ongoing war, and in this letter --- on this day --- he wrote:

My dear sir --- I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis–O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)–Shower it on the Admiralty!!” We are not really sure what he was prattling about - but on that day he did coin the term.

And while you may gave always believed that OMG was a texting term from a california 18 year old mall rat -  The first ever documented use of term is between two english gentlemen during world war I - OMG-- That is sooo cray cray - and it’s also this week’s word for Speaking World War One!

We have a link for you to the article where we found this story in the podcast notes.

link: https://www.wsj.com/article_email/omg-it-started-in-1917-with-a-letter-to-churchill-1504882081-lMyQjAxMTA3OTE4MDAxNzA3Wj/



100 Cities/100 Memorials


This was a big week for the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program. On Wednesday September 27th, the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library announced the First 50 official “WWI Centennial Memorials”

That is only half of them - because every since the April 6th centennial of the the US declaration of war, the awareness, interest and focus on local WWI memorials around the country has really blossomed.

So instead of just extending the submission period to give some of these new projects a chance to participate -, the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program decided name the first 50 awardees now, and then open the grant award competition for a second round staring NOW. Everyone who was part of the first round but didn’t get an award -- automatically goes into round 2 - which is already underway and runs till January 15th, next year in 2018.

Meanwhile the first 50 “WWI Centennial Memorials” are officially designated and the grants are awarded..


100C/100M Profile: Village of Swanton OH

We have one of those project with us here today with the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials project from from Swanton, OH.

Joining us to talk about the project is Ann Roth, the Mayor of the Village of Swanton.

Welcome, Mayor Roth!

[exchange greetings]

[Mayor Roth - how did you react to the announcement?]

[So as the Mayor of a community that has undertaken one of these projects, what has been the most memorable effect on your community? ]

[What plans you have for a rededication?]

[what coalition came together to make this happen?]


[were any veterans service organizations involved?]

Mayor Roth - Thank you so much for taking on this challenge - and for being here with us here today!

[Mayor ROth reply]


That was Ann Roth, Mayor of the Village of Swanton, Ohio.

We will continue to profile the submitting teams and their unique and amazing projects on the show over the coming months. See the list of awardees, learn more about the program - at ww1cc.org/100memorials or follow the link in the podcast notes. Maybe YOUR community should go for it!

Link: www.ww1cc.org/100memorials




Stories of Service

Interview with Christy Leskovar

In our “Remember the veterans” section, today we wanted to feature an incredible story that follows our next guest from a career as a mechanical engineer as she turns into a historical sleuth and author.

With us today is Christy Leskovar to tell us more about her books, One Night in a Bad Inn and Finding the Bad Inn: Discovering My Family’s Hidden Past. Welcome, Christy!

[exchange greetings]

[Christy, your interest in your family history and specifically its involvement during the first world war started when you found out about a murder on your family’s ranch in Montana. Tell us about that!?]


[So many people have family ties to the war and find it daunting to conduct detailed research on their own. What advice would you give those who are interested in following in your footsteps?]


[That is some great advice Christy Thanks so much for joining us today! ]

That was Christy Leskovar, author of the books One Night in a Bad Inn and Finding the Bad Inn: Discovering My Family's Hidden Past, which you can learn more about and purchase at the links in the podcast notes.




Articles and Posts

This week in our Articles and Posts segment - where we explore the World War One Centennial Commission’s rapidly growing website at ww1cc.org

Navy to survey wreck of sunken WWI cruiser

From our News section comes an article about an upcoming plan to study a sunken WW1 Cruiser.

The Navy has announced plans to survey the wreck of the WWI U.S. Navy cruiser San Diego, on which six American Sailors lost their lives, when she sank as a result of enemy action off the coast of New York on July 19, 1918.

The survey's objective is to assess the condition of the wreck site and determine if the ship --- the only major warship lost by the United States, was sunk as a result of a German submarine-launched torpedo or a mine.

Ultimately, that data gathered will help inform the management of the sunken craft, which lies only a few miles south of Long Island.

The announcement comes just weeks after the 99th anniversary of the sinking, and the survey, which was planned for Sept. 11-15, is timed to allow researchers to conduct a thorough examination of the site and prepare, then release, their findings around the date of the 100th anniversary.

Underwater archaeology is always so cool!! Follow the expedition by following the link in the podcast notes.



WWrite Blog

It’s time for an update about our WWRITE blog, which explores WWI’s Influence on contemporary writing and scholarship,

this week's post is: “Their Only Crime: African American WWI Poet James Seamon Cotter, Jr.”

"A monster... of war and not of war..." that is how James Seamon Cotter Jr. describes the genocide and racism that make up an important part of WWI's history and memory. You’ll find all this in his poem "O, Little David, Play on Your Harp": the Armenian Genocide, Russian pogroms, the Belgian atrocities, the deadly prejudice against African Americans. This week, WWI poetry-specialist, Connie Ruzich, returns to the WWrite blog to discuss Cotter, a forerunner of the African American cultural renaissance of the 1920s. Don't miss this tribute to a powerful poetic voice at ww1cc.org/wwrite - or go to the link in the podcast notes.

Link: www.ww1cc.org.wwrite



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 - You have a bunch of articles to tell us about today - Take it away!

Thanks Theo! Here are some of the most interesting stories and photos we’ve shared on Facebook and Instagram in the last month!

  • A review we shared highlights a new temporary exhibit at the Met focusing on the impact of World War 1 on visual artist.
  • A photograph we posted on Instagram shows soldiers learning to handle and fire pistols at Camp Upton on Long Island, NY
  • An article from War History Online outlines technologies first developed during WW1 that are still in use by the Armed Forces today
  • We shared the story of Arlington Cemetery holding its first ever service honoring military members who have died by suicide.
  • Another link talks about an exhibit at Bangkok’s National Library explores the Kingdom of Siam’s role in WW1
  • A piece from the Washington Post sheds light on the often overlooked contributions of African American Army Doctors in WW1
  • We also shared some really great photos from the Camp Doughboy festivities on Governors Island as well as a remarkable image of the WW1 Memorial in Memorial Park in Jacksonville Florida during the height of Irma's impact
  • And last but not least, we posted recently the story of a Belgian marine archaeologist begins the long work of excavating a newly discovered WW1 uboat off the shores of Belgium-- a submarine that contains an estimated 23 German bodies.

Check out these stories by following the links in the podcast notes, or go to ww1cc.org/social to view all the great content we’ve been sharing in the last few weeks. And that’s it for the Buzz!












And that is WW1 Centennial News for this week.

We want to thank our guests:

  • Mike Shuster from the great war project blog with a look at anti-war sentiment in the US
  • Mayor Ann Roth telling us about the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials project in Swanton, Ohio
  • Christy Leskovar, giving us insight into her journey to learn more about her family’s service
  • 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.

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.

Thank you for joining us again this week. And don’t forget to share- the stories you are hearing here- with someone- about the war that changed the world!


OMG My dear fellow - I think it’s time to tip a pint or two! - Don’t you?

So long!


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