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DISPATCH: July 9, 2019 (2)

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July 9, 2019

DAR donation

Community Project Leads to National WWI Memorial Donation from Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Chapter of the DAR 

The effort to build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC has brought partners from many different parts of the country, and from many different groups of people. The stories they bring are extraordinary -- their personal/historic ties to World War I, their belief in remembering our veterans, their commitment to giving the lessons to future generations. Among the most extraordinary stories of support comes from Kalamazoo County, Michigan -- specifically from the Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Their members created a special project to mark the centennial of the end of World War I. As part of that project, they included a fundraiser aimed at helping build the memorial in the nation's capital. We had the opportunity to speak to Elizabeth Kraatz, Vice Regent of the Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Chapter, to hear the full story.

If your historical, patriotic, or community organization is interested in doing a fundraising project to support building the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, while at the same time raising funds for your group's own activities, take a look at the Commission's WWI Poppy Seed Program here.

Iowa Middle School teacher visits WWI sites in France via National History Day

Ann Jackson

Iowa teacher Ann Jackson landed in France recently for a history-filled trip to explore World War I sites as part of Memorializing the Fallen, a National History Day program sponsored by the US World War I Centennial Commission, and supported by Commission Founding Sponsor The Pritzker Military Museum and Library. The program included 16 other U.S. teachers. Jackson was chosen out of 334 applicants to take the trip. Along with American cemeteries, the group also checked out German war trenches, chapels, monuments and more. Click here to read the entire interview with Jackson, who discusses seeing the areas directly impacted by World War I, and thinking about how decisions made 100 years ago have shaped future events.

Professors dig through history to prove WWI hero deserves a Medal of Honor

William Butler

Sgt. William Butler served with the renowned all-black 369th Infantry Regiment during World War I. His heroism made headlines after he rescued five Americans who had been taken prisoner, while killing at least five Germans. The 369th got a parade on their return, and Butler received the Distinguished Service Cross and France's highest military honor, but not the U.S. Medal of Honor. In a CBS TV News interview, Professor Jeffrey Sammons of New York University said that's largely because of a concerted and well-documented effort by senior white officers to denigrate the performance of black soldiers. Sammons has joined forces with professor Timothy Westcott of Park University in Missouri as part of the World War I Valor Medals Review initiative to right what many see as a terrible wrong. Click here to read the entire CBS interview, and watch video to learn more about the Valor Medals Review.

"Number, please?" 'Hello Girls' answered the call in World War I

Grace Banker

Grace Banker of Passaic, NJ served in some very high places during World War I. For 20 months, she lived like a soldier at a time when the Army didn't allow women in the ranks. She wore a U.S. Army uniform with three stripes on her sleeve and carried a helmet and a gas mask to the front lines in France. And like any soldier, Banker had to keep her cool under fire, working the switchboard at Gen. John Pershing's headquarters amid the thunder of artillery shelling. After the war, Banker eventually moved to New York state, never to return. Recently her granddaughter came to Passaic to see the house where Banker grew up. Click here to read the interview with Banker's granddaughter, and learn more about efforts to recognize the contributions made by the Hello Girls to the U.S. war effort a century ago.

Austin World War I exhibit shows how U.S. peace turned to near anarchy

Austin WWI exhibit

The United States entered the European showdown of doomed empires late but with enormous impact, especially back at home, as a densely organized and visually sharp exhibit, “WWI America,” argues at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The exhibit runs through Aug. 11. This exhibit, which originated with the highly regarded Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minn., includes a fair share of personal stories, such as ones about “doughboys” like Charles Whittlesey, part of a “Lost Brigade” caught behind German lines, and José de la Luz Saenz, who fought for democracy in France and against racial segregation in the U.S. Click here to read more about the Texas exhibit, and see more photos from the museum.

"Students often discover WWI to be far more interesting than they expected."

Reston VA school exhibit

A major reason why the US World War I Centennial Commission does what it does is to ensure the stories, and the lessons, of World War I are given to our coming generations. So, last month, we were delighted to hear from Mr. Hugh Gardner, and Ms. Lachlan Dodge, who work with the IdeaVisions Academy in Reston, Virginia. There, they helped their high school level students to create and carry out a World War I research project that took place over this entire school year. We wanted to hear more, and sent them a number of questions about the project -- and they asked students Daniel Heintz and Nolan Powers to be the spokespersons for the effort.  Click here to read the responses from the students, and learn more about their ambitious educational undertaking.

Camp Sherman versus the Mound City Earthworks in Ohio

Soldiers on mound at Camp Sherman

The Scioto Valley in South Central Ohio is home to numerous important Pre-Contact American Indian earthworks. The visible heritage of Ohio's Pre-Contact American Indians are the mounds and earthworks that dot the landscape in Southern Ohio. One of the most important Pre-Contact earthworks is the Mound City Earthworks, part of the Hopewell Cultural National Historical Park near Chillicothe, Ohio. One hundred years ago, the Mound City Earthworks were partially destroyed by Camp Sherman, a World War I cantonment. Click here to read the entire article by Paul LaRue of the Ohio WWI Centennial Committee, and learn more about the conflict between war preparation and historical preservation during World War I.

369th Experience Band ties HBCU musicians to WWI Black history

369th during Fleet Week

Leonard E. Colvin of  the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper put the spotlight on the 369th Experience this week via their close connection to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States. Cohen noted that "In 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles ended World War I, two years after the U.S. entered the fight with France and Great Britain against Germany, 44 Black colleges existed. Today, 100 years later, there are 101 public and private HBCUs, and they and their students are playing an important part in reclaiming the role African-American troops and artists played in that conflict." Click here to read the entire article on the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper web site.

Learning the wrong lessons from WWI?

Gabriel Glickman

Gabriel Glickman is an adjunct professor of history and is currently writing a world history book provisionally titled, “The Rise and Fall of World History: Avoiding Historical Amnesia in 21st Century Classrooms.” Writing an OpEd in the Washington Post recently, Glickman posits that America and the world may, during the centennial of the end of World War I, be getting the wrong answers to the key question about WWI: "What lessons can we learn from it to stop future localized crises from spinning out of control?" Click here to read Glickman's entire thoughtful essay reflecting "on the cause of a war that sucked in established and aspiring powers alike during a time of peace."

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Ike's Big Road Trip

Ike during 1919 convoy

In July 5th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 129, host Theo Mayer recalls a big story from 1919, as a young 28-year-old Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight David Eisenhower joins a convoy of military vehicles on a test trek from Washington, DC to San Francisco, California - not in a matter of days, but over the course of more than two months. Eisenhower, who  volunteered to accompany the convoy as an observer for his tank division, takes away some big lessons that still share our transportation infrastructure and traveling habits today. Click here to read the entire story of the Cross National convoy of 1919, including how young Dwight Eisenhower even pulled a rabbit of of his hat along the way.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

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

Truck stuck in the mud during Ike's Big Road Trip

Episode #130
Ike's Big Road Trip

Host - Theo Mayer

100 Years Ago This Week: Ike’s Big Road Trip -
Host |@ 01:50

Remembering Veterans: Veterans History Project - Col Karen Lloyd USA (ret.) |@ 11:15

Spotlight On the media: Ernst Jünger Documentary - Elsa Minisini |@ 22:20

Articles & Posts - Weekly Dispatch - Host |@ 33:55

Doughboy MIA for week of July 8

Richard Parks

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is Supply Sergeant Richard Parks. Enlisting at 19 at Columbus Barracks, Ohio on 11 September, 1916, Richard A. Parks was the only child of Thomas C. and Clara B. Parks of Ellijay, Georgia. Assigned to Company L, 9th Infantry, he served on the Border with them before going overseas on 18 September, 1917, as a Supply Sergeant. Part of the 2nd Division, the 9th saw considerable action in France, including at Belleau Wood. As a Supply Sergeant, Parks’ job was an extremely important one, making sure that the needs of the troops on the front line were met. He couldn’t fail. Lives were on the line. The 2nd Division launched an attack in the Soissons sector on 18 July, 1918, with the aim of eliminating a German salient aimed straight for Paris. It was on this first day of the attack that while on a supply mission forward, Sergeant Parks was severely wounded in action. He later died of his wounds and it appears that his battlefield grave was never located. Very little else about this case is known at this time.

Want to help shed some light on Sergeant Parks’ case? Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise


World War I Collector's Bundle!

Collect all commemorative coins and lapel pins in one purchase!

  • Coins: Each piece is die-struck, bronze alloy, with nice gravity (unlike cheaper zinc coins)
  • Enamel inlay provides premium detailing and finish
  • Each coin and pin comes with its own commemorative packaging, adding value and gifting appeal.

This collection includes a WWI Centennial Coin, Centennial Lapel Pin, Bells of Peace Commemorative Coin, Bells of Peace Commemorative Lapel Pin, and U.S. Victory Lapel Pin.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.  A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the Uni

Jurian (Jerry) J. Dykstra

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


Jurian (Jerry) Dykstra

Submitted by: Janna Dykstra Smith {granddaughter}

Jurian (Jerry) J. Dykstra was born around 1896, Jurian (Jerry) Dykstra served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Jurian (Jerry Joe) Dykstra, a son of Dutch immigrants, was inducted into the U.S. Army at the age of 21 on July 26, 1918, in Orange City, Iowa. He left the farm, near Middleburg (Sioux County), using an old cardboard suitcase and travelled to the newly built Camp Pike, north of Little Rock, Arkansas. His military training consisted mostly of close order drill.

He corresponded with Cynthia Meerdink, a young girl from Hull, Iowa, whose own brother, Henry, was already in France. Jerry’s October 6th letter from Camp Pike was written 36 days before the Armistice. It was a “lonesome Sunday” and he was sitting outside with a number of other letter writers. “Someone is shaking the table.” He finished the letter inside “with my tablet on my knee for table.” Jerry compliments Cynthia on a photograph that she has sent him, “That is surely a handy picture you sent me as it is very handy to carry around this way.”

Read Jurian (Jerry) J. Dykstra's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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