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DISPATCH: December 25, 2018

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December 25, 2018

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A Doughboy’s Christmas, Germany 1918

George and Johann

In December of 1918, the 353rd Infantry, 89th Division, was assigned to the area of Prüm, Germany, as their final area of occupation, after a long march of two hundred forty kilometers through snow and cold, beginning on November 24th, from Stenay, France, through Belgium and Luxembourg into Germany. Billets for the officers and enlisted men of the regiment were found in local German civilian homes, and a certain amount of resentment from the local population was anticipated by the U.S. forces. But on December 25, 1918, George A. Carlson, a young American soldier from Denver, Colorado, found that the violence and suffering that the war had brought to the tiny village of Philippsheim had not extinguished the Christmas spirit there. Nearly a century later, George's grandson visited Germany to follow his grandfather's footsteps in the war. Click here to read about the amazing encounter that took place in Philippsheim, an unlikely gift from a Christmas observance that took place 100 years ago.

About the WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar & how it helps build the National WWI Memorial


The U.S. Mint's collectible 2018 World War I Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar is only officially available for two more days after Christmas: The coin goes off-sale at the Mint on December 27, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.  Buying this collectible coin helps the United States World War I Centennial Commission to build the new National WWI Memorial in Washington DC. Here is how it works. Congress authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time. As well as commemorating important aspects of American history and culture, these coins help raise money for important causes. Part of the price of these coins is a surcharge that goes to organizations and projects that benefit the community. Click here to read more about how your purchase of this historic commemorative coin will help build the long-overdue national memorial for our WWI Veterans in the nation's capitol.

"We owe a considerable debt to the veterans of the Great War."

Olympia color guard

The World War I-era Battle Cruiser USS Olympia (actually built in the 19th Century) played a significant role in WWI, providing naval support, helping with convoy duty, and bringing the Unknown Soldier home from France. The ship continues in her duties, as she uniquely tells the American World War I story in her role as a museum ship in the City of Philadelphia. Last month, Olympia played host to a special Armistice Centennial ceremony that included participation in our Bells of Peace effort. We had a chance to hear about it from Denise Krepp, who is part of the Cruiser Olympia’s staff.

Westford crafters create poppies for World War I remembrance

Westford poppies

The Westford (MA) Museum knew they wanted to honor the past with their annual contribution to the local Festival of Trees, so they chose a colorful and solemn expression of remembrance, 100 handcrafted poppies. The poppies were crocheted and knitted by 15 crafters, Westford residents and volunteers known to the museum. Westford Museum’s newest director Linda Greene said having the poppy Christmas tree featured at during the Westford Regency’s festival was not only a way to embrace the holiday season, but pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Click here to read more about this innovative yet traditional approach to remembering the service of American in WWI.

Kluge Center Symposium Marks the Centennial of the Paris Peace Conference

Versailles painting snip

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress will host a panel discussion to mark the 100th anniversary of the Paris Peace Conference, “The United States and the World: Legacies of the Paris Peace Conference.” The symposium will be held at 3 p.m. in room LJ-119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. This discussion will explore the legacies of a pivotal period in world history, including themes of Wilsonianism, the ideological origins of the United Nations, the projection of American power and a new international order. Click here to read more about this upcoming event, and how you can secure your free tickets.

"It was incredibly gratifying for all of us involved."

Mark Simone

Mark Simone is a successful young post-production specialist in Hollywood. He was the lead for his company, Stereo D, in their work with the Peter Jackson WWI documentary, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD. Mark's job was to bring the film alive in 3-Dimensional imaging. Mark's company, Stereo D is an award-winning, recognized leader in high-quality conversions of 2D theatrical content into stereoscopic 3D imagery, working with major award-winning motion picture studios and filmmakers to bring their vision of 3D storytelling to the screen. We got a chance to talk to Mark about the film, and his experience working on it.

Movie Poster

Only one date left in December to see
this remarkable World War I film!

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson’s poignant WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" to select cinemas on  December 27 only.

The film is presented in 2D and RealD 3D. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it.  For tickets, visit FathomEvents.com.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

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The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

2018 holiday music special

Episode 102:
2018 Holiday Music Special:

This is our 2018 Holiday music special. We have compiled a collection of WWI era holiday music. It includes popular Holiday music of the time including some German, French, British and Italian pieces and even a modern day rendition of I’ll be home for Christmas courtesy of the contemporary WWI musicians, Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan.

(photo: "Saluting Santa" Magazine cover created by Joseph Christian Leyendecker published on December 7, 1918 for Saturday Evening Post)

Literature in WWI This Week

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Mediated Memory, Myth, and Legend: The Christmas Truce of 1914 and the Great War in Modern Thought

By Anna Rindfleisch

Mediated memory is a term that means representations of the past that are transmitted through modern media and affect the construction of personal and/or collective memory.

This week, at WWrite, English Research Historian and social media expert, Anna Rindfleisch, discusses this concept in the context of WWI through an analysis of a British Sainsbury's advertisement featuring the 1914 Christmas Truce.

In her post, she explains that the massive outpouring of social media postings and institutional centenary events over the past four years suggest that the 100-year-old trauma attached to the iconic image of the Front Soldier has been transmitted down generations and shaped our contemporary understanding of the Great War.

Read this inventive post about the Christmas Truce, revisited, at WWrite this week!

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Commemorative Hat

Commemorative Hat

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA hat. The poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago. The Navy hat with white Doughboy embroidery is a 100% cotton, structured with contrasting pancake visor, sweatband and taping, and pre-curved bill. The velcro closure features U.S. flag emblem. A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included. Order your Doughboy Commemorative hat here.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.  Proceeds from the Official WWI Centennial Merchandise help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Pritzker Book Sale 2018

John William McGrain, Sr.

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

John William McGrain, Sr.

Submitted by:John W. McGrain, Jr. {son}

My father worked as a civilian employee of the Quartermaster Corps forwarding supplies to the front. They took over the Candler Building in Baltimore and also shipped material through Fort Holabird.

The Candler Building belonged to the Coca Cola Company founded by Asa Candler. They called it the "Battle of Coca-Cola."

That building still stands as far as I know on Market space near the inner harbor. I still have a badge my father wore.

Read John William McGrain, Sr.'s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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