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WW1 Centennial News for February 09, 2018 - Episode #58

Library of Congress image of a US Army Soldier in the trenches from 1918Image of a US Army Soldier in the trenches from 1918.

 The player below allows you to share and download the show from here as well. See buttons on the top right. Contact us if you have any questions.


  • Food Will Win The War - an overview | @01:55
  • History through the lens of Food - Dr. Libby O’Connell | @05:40
  • War in the sky | @10:30
  • America Emerges - Dr. Edward Lengel | @11:45
  • Great War Project - Mike Shuster | @17:25
  • Great War Channel on Youtube - Indy Neidell & Flo Wittig | @21:05
  • Family’s History - Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun | @29:25
  • Remembering Veterans - Dr. Richard Slotkin | @34:30
  • A Century in the Making - Maquette on Fox and Friends | @42:45
  • Speaking WWI - Hooverized Recipes | @44:45
  • States - Ohio web site - Amy Rohmiller | @46:10
  • The Buzz - Katherine Akey | @52:25

View the PDF transcript


Welcome to World War 1 centennial News - episode #58 - It’s about WW1 THEN - what was happening 100 years ago this week  - and it’s about WW1 NOW - news and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.


Today is February 9th, 2018 and our guests for this week include:

  • Dr. Libby O’Connell, talking to us about the food administration’s rationing directives 100 years ago this month
  • Dr. Edward Lengel, with a story about an interesting military demonstration by the doughboys at New York’s Hippodrome
  • Mike Shuster, from the great war project blog with the AEF’s first military engagements of 1918
  • Indy Neidell and Florian Wittig from the Great War Channel on YouTube talking with us about producing this long running video series
  • Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun telling us about her family’s connection to WW1
  • Dr. Richard Slotkin who examines the shifting ethnic and cultural landscape in America during WW1
  • Amy Rohmiller introducing the Ohio WW1 centennial effort and their new website
  • Katherine Akey, with some selections from the centennial of WWI in social media


All that and more --- this week -- on WW1 Centennial News -- a weekly podcast brought to you by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and the Starr foundation.

I’m Theo Mayer - the Chief Technologist for the Commission and your host. Welcome to the show.



Food will win the war!

That was the rallying cry for Herbert Hoover…

A mining engineer by training, an entrepreneur by character and a public servant by circumstance.


Herbert Hoover was in Europe in 1914 when it all hit the fan. He stepped up and helped organize the return of around 120,000 Americans who got stranded. He led 500 volunteers in distributing food, clothing, steamship tickets and cash to get the Americans home.

Hoover, who would become the 31st President of the United States remarked: QUOTE: I did not realize it at the moment, but on August 3, 1914, my career was over forever. I was on the slippery road of public life."  


And so It is no surprize that President Woodrow Wilson tapped the young Hoover to run his wartime food administration…


And what a challenge food production and management had become. The men who farmed put on uniforms. Armies of them needed to be fed, shiploads of food needed to be transported and in europe after 3 ½ years of devastation and fighting the populations were starving.


With that as an overview, let’s jump into our wayback machine and go back 100 years to the war that changed the world!

World War One THEN

100 Year Ago This Week


It’s late January 1918 - President Wilson issues a proclamation in the "Official Bulletin" - the government’s war gazette published by George Creel’s Committee on Public Information for the administration.

[Sound effect]

DATELINE: January 28, 1918


President’s Proclamation Calls Upon People of Nation to Reduce Consumption of Wheat and Meat Products in Order to Feed America's Associates in the War

Wilson’s proclamation opens with:

"MANY causes have contributed to create the necessity for a more intensive effort on the part of our people to save food in order that we may supply our associates in the war with the sustenance vitally necessary to them in these days of privation and stress. The reduced productivity of Europe because of the large diversion of manpower to the war, the partial failure of harvests, and the elimination of the more distant markets for foodstuffs through the destruction of shipping places…  the burden of their subsistence very largely rests upon our shoulders.

The Food Administration has formulated suggestions which, if followed, will enable us to meet this great responsibility, without any real inconvenience on our part."

The proclamation goes on to explain the details and concludes with -

"I, therefore, in the national interest, take the liberty of calling upon every loyal American to take fully to heart the suggestions which are being circulated by the Food Administration and of begging that they be followed. I am confident that the great body of our women' who have labored so loyally in cooperation with the Food

Administration for the success of food conservation, will strengthen their efforts and will take it as a part of their burden in this period of national service to see that the above suggestions are observed throughout the land."

President Woodrow Wilson

Libby O’connell interview

With us again today is Food historian, author and WWI Centennial Commissioner,  Dr. Libby O’Connell

[Libby - thank you for taking the time to join us again --- as our go to expert on WWI and food!]

[So Libby - The cry was “Food Will Win The War” and this particular program came to be known as Meatless Monday / Wheatless Wednesday - Can you give us some perspective? Was it effective?]




[Thank you once again for your wonderful insights - ]

[So long]

Dr. Libby O’Connell is former Chief Historian for the History Channel, author, food historian and US WW1 Centennial Commissioner - Follow the link in the podcast notes to learn more about Dr. O’Connell and how “Food Will Win The War!"

Link: http://uvamagazine.org/articles/the_peoples_historian







War in the Sky

100 years ago this week in the War in The Sky there are two events worth noting.

First: The Lafayette Escadrille - the famed squadron of American Flier who flew for the french before America entered the war are officially transferred from the French Army to the US Army and re-designated the 103rd Aero Squadron.

Also the US replaces the insignia on all US planes with what is called the roundel  - an outer red ring, then a blue ring, and a white center.

The Allies had requested the change out of a fear that the white star in the center of the old design might be mistaken for a German cross in the fog of battle. The roundel remains in use until the US reverts to its former markings in August of 1919.  

Fine tuning the army air service 100 years ago this week for the War in the Sky.

Follow the war in the sky with our comprehensive nearly day-by-day timeline curated by RG head - you’ll find it at at ww1cc.org/warinthesky - one word - all lower case - or follow the links in the podcast notes.

Link: www.ww1cc.org/warinthesky

America Emerges: Military Stories from WW1

This week for: America Emerges: Military Stories from WWI… Dr. Edward lengel is going to tell us about a very interesting military demonstration by US forces at New York’s Hippodrome.

Let me set this up: Large numbers of troops are wrapping up their stateside training and preparing to ship out. The pace is accelerating and multiple divisions are shipping out simultaneously - most of them from the greater New York City area - logistics for  juggling railways, encampments, embarkation and debarkation facilities, ships, food, fuel and weapons is ever more challenging. But the Doughboys are pumped and gripped with excitement as they prepare to “take it to the Kaiser”. Their adventure is about to begin. This is where Ed picks up the story in New York...


Thank you Ed. Next week, Dr. Edward Lengel will tell us about the 32nd Red Arrow Division, made from the Michigan and Wisconsin National Guard.

Some of the division’s first contingent drowns in the sinking of the Tuscania on February 5, but most of the Red Arrow Doughboys travel on the massive ship - the USS Leviathan, which used to be the German Ship ---
Die Vaterland (the fatherland) - but as we declare war - we confiscate her in NY harbor and turned her into a massive troop ship to send doughboys to fight it’s original namesake. Kinda ironic.

Dr. Edward Lengel is an American military historian, author, and our segment host for America Emerges: Military Stories from WWI.

There are links in the podcast notes to Ed’s post and his website as an author.






Great War Project

Now on to the Great War project with Mike Shuster - former NPR correspondent and curator for the Great War project Blog….

Mike: Your post this week is titled - The Americans are in it! And by that you mean the trenches and the fighting. I don’t think your story this week needs more introduction than that, Mike!


Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.




The Great War Channel

Every week we tell you about these wonderful videos on Youtube from The Great War Channel -- The channel has some pretty impressive stats - it launched in May of 2014, has published over 515 episodes, has over 800 thousand subscribers on youtube and has earned over 120 million video views.

Earlier this week I called Indy Neidell, the show’s host and Florian Wittig the series producer at their studio in Berlin to learn a little more about their experience in producing the Great War Channel.

Indy - Flo welcome!

Gentlemen - I wanted to bring you on the show - not to talk about WWI but to talk about ----  telling the story of WWI!

[Indy - this project came together in the spring of 2014 - can you tell us with who and how that happened?

[Flo - how did you get involved in the project?]


[So gentlemen - for us this is podcast episode #58 - and you are somewhere near episode 520! That leaves me in awe - but also with a question for you Indy:

WWI is such an incredibly... insanely…  bizarrely… surreal…  story - How do you think that immersing yourself in it so deeply and for so long -- has affected your worldview?]

[Flo - you and I have been chatting every month for a few years now - and I have really enjoyed watching you guide the project to where it is today - One thing that struck me is how incredibly dedicated to your audience you are  - Tell us about them]

Last question - really to both of you --- Starting this month the US troops start to actually engage in the fighting and their involvement accelerates rapidly - Do you have any special plans for how to cover this part of the story?
Gentlemen - Thanks for spending a little time with our listeners. You have created a really important body of work with your series and as always we encourage our listeners to search for The Great War on youtube or follow the link in our podcast notes.

Thanks gents....

[Say goodbye]

Indy Neidell, the host, and Florian Wittig, the producer of the Great War Channel on Youtube.


World War One NOW

It is time to fast forward into the present with WW1 Centennial News NOW -


this section is not about history, but rather - it explores what is happening NOW to commemorate the centennial of the War that changed the world!

Commission News

Interview with Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun


It is a privilege to joined today by a genuine social pioneer… An amazing person of many honors, distinctions and firsts - To start with Carol Moseley Braun was one of the first black women to graduate from the law school at the University of Chicago; She was an Assistant United States Attorney; an illinois state legislator; a US State Senator; an ambassador; and my favorite - she was adopted as a member of a maori tribe; She’s also an entrepreneur - and on the Diplomatic Advisory board to the US WWI centennial commission,

Welcome Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun.


[Ambassador Braun, I want to ask you about your Grandfather - Thomas Davie and his cousin both of whom served in WWI. Could you tell us about them? ]

[Did Thomas Davie talk about his experience when he came home?]

[Ambassador Braun - why do you think America needs a WWI memorial in the nation’s capital?]

[I have to ask - Who inspired you to become the accomplished and amazing person you are?]

[Ambassador - Thank you for sharing your family’s story with us.]

[thank you/goodbyes]

Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun is a pioneering politician, former US Senator from Illinois, she was the Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa-- and she also serves on the Diplomatic Advisory Board of the WW1 Centennial Commission. Read more about her at the links in the podcast notes.





Remembering Veterans

Interview with Dr. Richard Slotkin

We will start this week in our Remembering Veterans section with Dr. Richard Slotkin, historian, professor emeritus of English and American studies at Wesleyan University and author of the book Lost Battalions: The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality

Welcome, [Dr. Slotkin]


[Dr. Slotkin, your book looks at the changing American cultural identity as experienced by two different units-- the 369th, a black regiment, and the 77th, the “melting pot” division. Why did you choose these two units for your book?]


[How did the experience of these two units differ, in terms of being marginalized ethnically? ]


[In your opinion, why should American students be taught about the exploits of these soldiers? ]




Dr. Richard Slotkin is a historian, professor emeritus and author. Follow the links in the podcast notes to learn more about him and his books.



A Century in the Making

Now for: A century in the making - the story of America’s WW1 Memorial in Washington DC.


In this segment we take you on an insider’s journey that explores this grand undertaking, and the people behind it.

In the summer of 2017, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission unanimously approved the conceptual design for the memorial, centered on a monumental work of bronze sculpture.

Sculptor Sabin Howard then embarked on an eight-month effort to bring the memorial to life. And as we’ve heard from Sabin himself in our podcast episodes #54 and #55 --- the sculpture has evolved from his original sketches and drawings into 3D images and 3D models.

Sabin’s efforts at the Weta Workshop in New Zealand culminated in late January, with creation of a sculptural maquette of the proposed design - essentially that is the sculpture at 1:6 scale.

Last week you heard an audio documentary on this show as this striking model, which is around 10 and a half feet long by around 1 foot high, arrived in Washington DC last week.

The maquette serves as the “first draft” of the Memorial’s sculptural design and development and is scheduled to be presented to the Commission of Fine Arts on Thursday February 15th for their review and feedback.

On Friday February 16th, the maquette will be unveiled to the public for the first time on the Fox and Friends television show.

Pending all regulatory agency approvals anticipated by summer 2018, the design and development of the sculpture will enter its final production phase, including casting.

We actually built two of the maquettes to accommodate both public and private displays over the coming months!  

Watch the unveiling on Fox and Friends next Fr iday or come to our website that weekend at ww1cc.org/memorial for a first look yourself.

Follow the link in the podcast notes to learn more.


Link: www.ww1cc.org/memorial



Speaking WW1

And now for our feature “Speaking World War 1” - Where we explore the words & phrases that are rooted in the war  ---

As we talked about at the top of the show, rationing and ingredient substitution became necessary in World War One America.

Special recipes were developed to keep food tasty but also within the rules laid out in the Food Administration’s guidelines.

These new wheatless, meatless and sugarless recipes that strove to keep familiar food on tables of America,  earned their own nickname - which is our Speaking WWI phrase for this week.

These wartime foods and recipes were deemed to have been “Hooverized” in honor of the Food Administration's chief, Herbert Hoover.

There was cake made with potato flour instead of wheat - candies made with molasses or honey instead of refined sugar, and bread using a mixture of potato, rye and corn flour. Actually Hooverized Foods sound like a very contemporary, trendy, gluten free, health food, paleo, vegan-esque diet.

But I think  “Hooverized Recipes” doesn’t sound like a trendy, hip, slick, hook --- even if it IS this week’s phrase for Speaking WWI - See the podcast notes to learn more!

link: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/t9t156s17



Updates from the States

Ohio Website Launch

For updates from the states -- we’re very pleased to announce that Ohio has launched a new centennial website at ww1cc.org/ohio - all lower case!


With us is Amy Rohmiller, World War I Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection, to tell us more about the site and the WWI Centennial commemoration efforts in Ohio.

Welcome, Amy!


Amy, tell us about the Ohio WWI centennial organization -  how is it structured, and what kind of projects are you working on currently?

What was the experience of Ohioans like during the War?

What kind of information should people expect to find on your new Ohio website at ww1cc.org/ohio ?


Amy Rohmiller is the World War I Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection. Visit the Ohio WWI Centennial website at ww1cc.org/ohio or by following the link in the podcast notes.

Link: www.ww1cc.org/ohio


The Buzz - WW1 in Social Media Posts

And 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?

Hi Theo!

Coloring Book

Popular posts on our facebook page this week are all about color! The National World War One Museum and Memorial in Kansas City has started a new project, Color Our Collections. You can follow the link in the podcast notes to download a coloring book drawn from the museum’s collections, including several of Captain Bruce Bairnsfather’s illustrations.




Color Images from the War

Lastly for the week, another collection of color photographs from WW1 is making the rounds online, but these are not black and white images that have since had color added: they’re original color images from 100 years ago. The color process used to create them is called Autochrome, and it used dyed pieces of potato starch to turn a normal black and white negative into the beautiful, velvety color photos you can see at the Slate article in the podcast links.

That’s it this week for the Buzz!




Thank you Katherine -


Thank you everyone for listening to another episode of WW1 Centennial News.

We want to thank our guests...

  • Dr. Libby O’Connell, author, historian and World War One Centennial Commissioner
  • Dr. Edward Lengel, Military historian and author
  • Mike Shuster, Curator of the great war project blog
  • Indy Neidell and Florian Wittig from The Great War channel on Youtube
  • Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, pioneering politician and Diplomatic Advisor to the Commission
  • Dr. Richard Slotkin, historian, author and professor emeritus
  • Amy Rohmiller, the World War I Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection
  • Katherine Akey, the commission’s social media director and line producer for the podcast


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 podcast is a part of that…. Thank you!

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 as well as the Starr foundation for their support.

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

on  iTunes and google play at ww1 Centennial News, and on Amazon Echo or other Alexa enabled devices. Just say: Alexa: Play W W One Centennial News Podcast.

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

Thank you for joining us. And don’t forget

to share the stories

you are hearing here today

about the war that changed the world!



Jeez I need to decide….

The Low FODMAP gluten free diet

the gut health diet

the matcha turmeric, macca diet

The Mediterranean makeover

and Vegan 2.0

Forget it - I’m just gonna Hooverize my recipes!


So long!


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