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WW1 Centennial News for April 13 2018 - Episode #67

Charlie Chaplin among the stars who helped raise financing for WWIFinancing WWI by Reaching for the stars - Charlie Chaplain helps

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Highlights - Financing WWI

  • Financing WWI - Reaching for the stars | 01:55
  • The 369th hits the front lines | 08:30
  • The British Struggle continues - Mike Shuster | 10:40
  • The Yankee Division learns at seicheprey - Dr. Edward Lengel | 15:10
  • A century In the Making - The maquettes get busy | 21:00
  • “Lest We forget: The Great War” -  Kenneth Clarke & Michael Robbins | 25:05
  • How to teach about WWI - Dr. Ian Isherwood | 32:30
  • Speaking WWI - Pilates | 38:25
  • 100 Cities / 100 Memorial in Jackson, TN - Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls | 40:25
  • WWI War Tech - Carrel-Dakin Antiseptic | 45:55
  • The Weekly Dispatch Newsletter overview | 47:50
  • The Centennial In Social Media - Katherine Akey | 50:25 

NEW FEATURE - Interactive transcript with "Search & Play".

With the new WW1 Centennial News Interactive Transcript, 1. click on any word in the transcript and the audio will begin to play from that word. 2. Use Control+F, or Command+F on a Mac and put in any search term to highlight in the transcript for quick "Search & Play". 3. Copy sections of the transcript for articles.

 View the PDF transcript


Welcome to World War 1 centennial News - episode #67 - 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.

This week our guests include:

  • Mike Shuster, from the great war project blog updates us on what the UK Forces are up against both on the front and in recruitment
  • Dr. Edward Lengel with the story of the US Yankee Division as they enter serious battle.
  • Kenneth Clarke and Michael Robbins introduce a pictorial book, a perfect souvenir of the centennial from the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and the US WW1 Centennial Commission -  Lest We Forget: The Great War
  • Dr. Ian Isherwood shares his experience in creating a WW1 educational programme structured around a soldier’s letters
  • Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, the project instigator for  the 100 Cities/100 Memorials project from Jackson, Tennessee and the local research the project spawned
  • Katherine Akey keeps us in Tennessee with a social media post about a great commemoration event.

All this and more... 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.



Just one year after the declaration of war, 100 years ago, it is time for the third Liberty Loan drive to raise money to pay for the war effort.

Let me put the Liberty Loan drive into perspective for you.

In early 20th century thinking, Woodrow Wilson’s government was completely clear that the war would be financed by money raised specifically for it. And a majority of that money was to come from the American People - ordinary citizens.

By contrast, today in our late 20th /early  21st century, money for our wars and military expenditures are financed from a big boiling cauldron called the national debt. Today the average American Citizen feel little or no real connection with or responsibility for our military expenditures.   

Not so in 1917 and 1918.

In those two years, during four Bond drives, twenty million individuals purchase Liberty War bonds. 20 million investors is pretty impressive given that there were only twenty-four million households in America at the time.

More than 17 billion dollars are raised. In addition, taxes are collected to the sum of 8.8 billion dollars… in short, $26 billion dollars is gathered to finance the fight in WWI.

Now that’s in 1918 dollars. Today that equates to nearly ½ a TRILLION dollars raised in bonds, largely from citizen, specifically for a purpose.

With that as background, let’s jump into our centennial time machine a take a look at the national fundraising effort and a whole lot more 100 years ago this week in the war that changed the world.

World War One THEN

100 Year Ago This Week

On April 6th 1918 - President Wilson makes a speech to launch the third Liberty Bond Campaign. Here is his declaration as reported in the pages of the Official Bulletin - The government’s war Gazette published by Wilson’s propaganda chief George Creel.


Dateline: SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 1918

The headline Reads:

The President delivered the following address at

Baltimore to-night on the occasion of the opening

of the Third Liberty Loan Campaign:

“Fellow Citizens: This is the anniversary of our acceptance

of Germany's challenge to fight for our right to

live and be free, and for the sacred rights of free men

everywhere. The Nation is awake. There is no need to

call to it. We know what the war must cost, our utmost

sacrifice, the lives of our fittest men and, if need be, all

that we possess. The loan we are met to discuss is one of

the least parts of what we are called upon to give and to do,

though in itself imperative. The people of the whole country

are alive to the necessity of it, and are ready to lend

to the utmost, even where it involves a sharp skimping

and daily sacrifice to lend out of meagre earnings. They

will look with reprobation and contempt upon those who

can and will not, upon those who demand a higher rate

of interest, upon those who think of it as a mere com-.

mercial transaction. I have not come, therefore, to urge

the loan. I have come only to give you, if I can, a more

vivid conception of what it is for.”

The president goes on to explain the situation on the ground in europe and the dire need for America as a nation to take a stand, take a lead and defend all that the nation holds dear.

And so kicks off the third Liberty bond campaign.

A few days later the Official Bulletin reports on the Cabinet’s Liberty Bond appeal

Dateline: TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 1918

The Headline reads:




The article goes on with a number of cabinet members presenting their appeal of the importance and patriotic imperative for buying bond.. But my favorite part comes at the end of the full page article with a subheadline of:



The article reads:

Eighteen thousand dollars invested- in

Liberty bonds will equip an infantry battalion

with rifles.

Fifty thousand dollars will construct a

base hospital with 500 beds, or equip an

infantry brigade with pistols.

One hundred thousand dollars will buy

five combat airplanes, or pistols, rifles.

and half a million rounds of ammunition

for an infantry regiment.

Just like today - contributors to a cause want to know exactly what their contribution is buying! These guys know exactly what they are are doing!

In another smart move, presumably pulled off by George Creel - the campaign cleverly recruits four of the most popular movie stars of the day and puts them on the road to help raise money.

The headline reads:


And the story opens with:

Today we are announcing The itineraries of Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Marguerite Clark for their speaking tours during the forthcoming Liberty loan campaign!

And the article continues with the schedule of appearances by the stars.

Then on Saturday April 13th 1918, just one week after launching the campaign, the headline in the official bulletin reads


It’s a big week on the home front - raising money 100 years ago, for America’s participation in a war that changed  the world!

Links: https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/liberty_bonds







Liberty Loan articles from Times:







Americans needed by allies as action on front continues.








And it is also a very big week on the fighting front!

Here is a story that is not covered in the government press - and doesn’t really pop up in the popular press either -

But 100 years ago this week,

The 369th US Infantry Regiment goes to the front lines to fight --- but with the French! - on April 8th 1918 the 369th is amalgamated into French Army.

But wait a minute….. - Didn’t General Pershing insist on keeping the American Expeditionary Forces together as a distinct American fighting force.  

Well yea - he did - but Pershing’s insistence on keeping all American forces together didn’t extend to the black troops in the segregated US Army.  

Among them were the 15th New York National Guard Regiment, redesignated the 369th Infantry Regiment but better known as the Harlem Rattler or the Harlem Hellfighters.  

Now Pershing presumably didn’t have any problems with black soldiers per se, but the question of how to use black troops in the front lines, where they’d have to rely on the full cooperation of white units on either side, was really gnarly.

The online blog “today in World War 1,  posted a quote from Hamilton Fish - a New Yorker, who served as one of the regiment’s white officers: Quote:

The French were crying out for U.S. regiments to go into the French Army.  So I guess Pershing figured he could kill two birds with one stone–solve the problem on what to do with us and give something to Foch.  From then on we spent our entire service in the French Army. Oh officially we were still the 369th U.S. Infantry, but to all intent and purposes we were francais.

The post goes on with a quote from Noble Sissle, who served in the regiment’s famous band:

We were fully equipped with French rifles and French helmets.  Our wagons, our rations, our machine guns and everything pertaining to the equipment of the regiment for trench warfare was supplied by the French Army.

The 369th went on to serve with great distinction spending more time on the front line that any other US forces… with a fierceness and bravery that never gave ground to the enemy.

A proud combat service started 100 years ago this week, in the war the changed the world...



Great War Project

Continuing to explore the story on the front, we are going to go to Mike Shuster former NPR correspondent and curator for the Great War project Blog….

Mike: Your post this week speaks to what can only be thought of as moment of total desperation for the British lines… It has just been exactly two years since they brutally put down Ireland’s Easter Uprising - Now they are trying to conscript them - They are not having much luck drafting more Canadian either - General Haig puts out his out his inspirational “Backs To The Wall” Order - and at this very moment of do or die - Well… you story this week closes on a note of hope.

Fill it in for us Mike…

[Mike Shuster]

Mike Shuster from the Great War Project blog.




America Emerges: Military Stories from WW1

And one last story from the front for our segment -  America Emerges: Military Stories from WWI with Dr. Edward Lengel.

As Mike indicated, this is the time when the American infantry does arrive on the front… The boys are fresh, healthy and eager when compared to their battle weary allies. They’re also green. The Germans want to -- Maybe they NEED TO discredit them. The school of combat is now is session for the Americans. And the lessons begin 100 years ago this week in Seicheprey - lessons for all sides. And Ed is here to tell you the story:

[Ed Lengel]


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 web sites as an author.  




The Great War Channel

For videos about WWI 100 years ago this week, check out our friends at  the Great War Channel on Youtube.

New episodes this week include:

  • Operation Michael Runs out of Breath
  • France before WW1 -- La belle epoque?

See their videos by searching for “the great war” on youtube or following the link in the podcast notes!


World War One NOW

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


This part of the podcast focuses on NOW and how we are commemorating the centennial of WWI!

A Century in the Making

The Maquette and it’s Travels

We have an update for our segment: A century in the making - America’s WW1 Memorial in Washington DC.

As our regular listeners know, we are building a national WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in the nation’s capital. It’s a big project. And It’s been a long time coming.

We spoke with sculptor Sabin Howard back in episodes #54 and #55 about a new process. Sabin combined advanced 3D printing technology at the WETA Workshop in New Zealand with traditional classic sculpture techniques to create a 10’ miniature draft the sculptural centerpiece for the memorial. The result is called a maquette. We made two of them to show America and to help us raise money for this strictly publicly funded memorial.

One maquette was on display at the Visitor's Center in the Tennessee Bicentennial Mall, in downtown Nashville --- right in front of the state capital. It was quite a hit at the Tennessee Great War Commission's event this last Saturday, where it was featured as part of the presentation from Terry Hamby - the WW1 Centennial Commission Chairman.

Both Maquettes are being prepped for a busy schedule of showings at special events and fundraisers around the country. We will keep you updated as the schedule evolves…

Katherine - You went to a fundraiser on wednesday and got your first look at the sculpture that is called “A soldier’s Journey” - what was your first reaction?

[Katherine’s reaction to seeing the Maquette]

Learn more about the memorial and follow the incredible journey of a project that has been a century in the making - Go to ww1cc.org/memorial or follow the link in the podcast notes


Remembering Veterans

Lest We Forget: Book and Exhibition

And while we are speaking about the Memorial - we have a brand new way for you to help build America’s WWI Memorial in Washington DC and at the same time, get yourself a very special, colorful, inspiring and lasting souvenir of the centennial!

This week marks the release of a new visual pictorial table book called  “Lest We Forget: The Great War” - The book is dedicated to the centennial and produced by The Pritzker Military Museum and Library along with the WW1 Centennial commission -

When you get this visual remembrance  - a full ½ of the proceeds go building the Memorial!

With us to tell us more about “Lest We Forget” which also has a companion exhibit in Chicago at the Pritzker - are Kenneth Clarke, Former President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, and Michael Robbins, historian. Ken was the executive and creative director for the book and exhibition and Michael was writer for the text.

Welcome, Gentlemen!


[Ken, can you give us an overview of the project and the concept?]

[Insert questions if it fits] Ken there are nearly 350 images in this book -- how did you select them?]

[Michael -- you were the writer on the project - What story are you telling and how do the words and the pictures interact?]

[Ken -- Sir Hugh Strachan (STRAWN) - who has been on the show - did an introduction for the book. What was his emphasis?]

[Ken -- In closing - Who is this book for?]

The book is available in bookstores nationwide, but the easiest place to get it is in the commission’s Merchandise shop. Look under Commemorate at ww1cc.org and we have link to the commission's shop in the podcast notes .. Thank  you both for coming on the podcast and introducing us to this beautiful “must get” souvenir of the Centennial!

[goodbyes/thank you]

Kenneth Clarke and Michael Robbins the creative director and writer for the Lest We Forget: The Great War - available through the links in the podcast notes.






Teaching WWI - A great approach

Now for our Education segment -- A story of a teacher and his approach to teaching WWI!

Collections of soldier’s letters and diaries from the war continue to be discovered and rediscovered one hundred years after they were first written. As we have learned from a number of museum curators, they offer an amazing opportunity to help understand this event in history as they bring in  a first person point of view.

Today, we’re joined by Dr. Ian Isherwood, Visiting Assistant Professor at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania who is doing exactly that.

Welcome, Dr. Isherwood!


[Dr. Isherwood-- you’ve been using Wartime letters from Lieutenant Colonel Jack Peirs, a British Soldier as the foundation for teaching history to your students. For context, can you tell us briefly about the soldier, and how you came across his letters?]

[Did you build up a following? ]

[At the commission we are really interested in the techniques for teaching this subject - What advice do you have for others who may want to undertake an educational programme like this?]

[Would this work for younger student educators?]

[we've found that the first person POV gives you insight you cant get from just plain facts... do you find that to be true?]

[You’re also personally working on a new, upcoming book -- can you tell us a little about it?]

[goodbyes/thank you]

Dr. Ian Isherwood is a Visiting Assistant Professor and the Chairperson of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We put links for his Jack Peirs website and twitter accounts in the podcast notes.






Speaking WW1

Now let’s head into our weekly feature “Speaking World War 1” -- Where we explore the words & phrases that are rooted in the war  ---

It’s a health fad with real benefits, a gym class pretty much anyone can benefit from -- It’s very popular -- It’s very Hep -- and I’ll bet you had no idea it was from WWI - No.. not Zoomba   Nope… Not kickboxing... Uh uh definitely NOT P90X…

It’s our Speaking WWI word this week - Pilates!

Pilates is named for its inventor, Joseph Hubertus Pilates, who created it in Great Britain during WW1.

Pilates, Interestingly was born a German citizen. He was a frail and sickly child who took to exercise for both his health and self-defense against bullies. He eventually grew into an accomplished boxer and martial artist, and traveled to England in 1912 to find work, picking up a job as a circus performer. When the war broke out, he was arrested as an enemy alien and interned on the Isle of Man. It was there that he came up with his method of mental and physical exertion, which he called “Contrology”, as a way to encourage his fellow inmates to stay healthy.

Many prisoners were bedridden, and so Pilates invented a makeshift resistance-training machine out of springs and straps taken from the beds and attached to the foot and headboards. This use of resistance loads would later become a staple of the Pilates method.

After the end of the war, Pilates emigrated to the US and settled in New York, where he and his wife, Clara, founded the first Body Contrology Studio in 1925. And of course that was the foundation for the trendy “new” exercise method -- known far and wide as Pilates.

Pilates -- created by a German citizen prisoner in wartime -- and this week’s word for speaking WW1.



100 Cities 100 Memorials

World War I Memorial Fountain - Jackson, TN

This week for our 100 Cities / 100 Memorials segment

---  the $200,000 matching grant challenge

to rescue and focus on our local WWI memorials --- It looks like this is Tennessee week - because We  are going to profile the World War I Memorial Fountain project from Madison County in Jackson, Tennessee.

With us tell us about the project is Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, the Tom Elam Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Martin, and member of the Tennessee Great War Commission.  

Welcome Dr. Carls!


[Dr. Carls - your WWI Memorial honors both the women on the homefront in Tennessee and the men on the fighting front in France. That’s a really interesting approach… could you tell us more about that?]

[It is very unique for a WWI memorial to honor both the homefront and the warefront.

[Your project has a large research and community historical society component to it could you tell us about that?]

[Have you been promoting the project locally? What has the community response been?]

[MAYBE QUESTION: The memorial was designed as a fountain - but has been dry for a long time - I know in your grant application you hadn’t yet decided if you were going to get the fountain replumed - I have worked with water features before - It’s very tricky. Where is that idea at now?]

[Are you planning a rededication this year?]

Dr. Carls - thank you for leading this project on behalf of your community and on behalf of the men and women of your county who served both here and abroad in WWI

[goodbyes/thank you]

Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Professor of History at the University of Tennessee, and a member of the Tennessee Great War Commission. Learn more about the 100 Cities/100 Memorials program and about West Tennessee in WW1 by following the links in the podcast notes or by going to ww1cc.org/100Memorials

Link: www.ww1cc.org/100cities



WW1 War Tech

Carrel-Dakin Method

This week for WW1 War Tech -- another technology that saved lives instead of taking them.

In the early months of the war, amputations for wounded soldiers were at the same high levels as those of the civil war. In other words - very high!

But by late 1915 that rate dropped dramatically! So, what happened?

Well… That year, a French physician, Théodore Tuffier, testified to the Academy of Medicine that 70% of amputations weren’t because of the initial injury, but because of a later infection. As we have mentioned on the podcast before the mud-filled and deeply unsanitary conditions of trench warfare were a happy home for the bacteria that cause Gangrene. The antiseptics of the 19th century were inadequate.

But two men: French doctor Alexis Carrel and British biochemist Henry Dakin came together under the cloud of war to combine their two discoveries to create one very effective method of disinfecting wounds.

Dakin created a solution of sodium hypochlorite that managed to kill any bacteria in a wound, but didn’t damage the flesh surrounding it. Meanwhile Dr. Carrel developed a strategy of opening and thoroughly draining wounds.

Put together, the Carrel-Dakin method proved the most effective antiseptic treatment to that date, and the procedure quickly spread into use all across Europe, saving an untold number of limbs from amputation.

The Carrel-Dakin method-- an incredible leap forward in the treatment of field wounds -- and the subject of this week’s WW1 War Tech.

We have put links in the podcast notes to learn more including a link to the commission’s website on medicine in WWI at ww1cc.org/medicine

Link:  https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/02/world-war-i-medicine/517656/       https://www.rtbf.be/ww1/topics/detail_the-carrel-dakin-method?id=8356084


Articles and Posts

For Articles and posts -- we are going to continue with the idea we launched last week of highlighting the features of the weekly dispatch newsletter.  So here we go.



Final fifty “WWI Centennial Memorials” announced in wrap-up of competition phase of 100 Cities / 100 Memorials

Also learn about -- the Memorial Hunters Club, a crowd-sourced effort to create a comprehensive national register of WWI memorials.



"The film needed really really brilliant nuanced, convincing performances"

The interview from this podcast with director Saul Dibb, about the motion picture a Journey’s End - now in wide release -  has been turned into a print article on the website.



"It was a sad but poignant tale."

Two lifelong friends, Now octogenarians , have produced a documentary film about one of their uncle’s service in WW.



Pennsylvania oil and World War I

Remember how important coal was during WW1? Supplement that knowledge by reading about the role of Pennsylvania Oil during the war.



'Over Here' in Michigan, High School Athletes Gave to World War I Effort

Michigan’s high school athletes helped fill the labor shortage created as millions of men shipped overseas.



Break of Day - Poet Isaac Rosenberg

The WWrite blog  features the WWI poetry of British soldier, Isaac Rosenberg, who died on Easter Sunday, 1918 - and who was also mentioned by Mike Shuster in last week’s podcast.



The story of Donald Chapman

This week’s featured Story of Service submitted by his grand niece Tish Wells



Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Finally, this week’s selection from our Official on line Centennial Merchandise store - an authentic classic green US Army woolen blanket from woolrich inc. the oldest continuously operating woolen mill in the US and suppliers of army blankets 100 years ago

Sign up for the Weekly Dispatch newsletter at ww1cc.org/subscribe check the archive at ww1cc.org/dispatch or follow the link in the podcast notes.

Link: http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/communicate/2015-12-28-18-26-00/subscribe.html


The Buzz

And that brings us to the buzz - the centennial of WW1 this week in social media with Katherine Akey - Katherine, what did you pick?

Tennessee Living History and WW1 Literature


Hi Theo --

As we commemorate 101 years since joining the First World War -- incredible events are beginning to take place across the country to remember those who served. Over the last weekend, Tennessee held a massive living history event in Nashville -- the very event that the Maquette recently appeared at! The Tennessee State Park System hosted the event, which included reproduction trenches, encampments and field kitchens, WW1 era aircraft and many reenactors -- including Suffragettes and Salvation Army doughnut lassies handing out freshly made treats.

There was also a large group of reenactors representing the African American troops of Tennessee -- wearing the iconic French Adrian Helmet that was distributed to the troops amalgamated with French units -- and the whole weekend event was capped off with a period baseball game. We shared an article as well as an album of photos from the event on Facebook this week -- you can find links to those in the podcast notes.

Lastly for the week -- we shared an article that instigated some spirited debate on our facebook page: a list of what the author considers 13 essential books on the American Expeditionary Forces. The list is a great starting place for anyone wanting to delve deeper into this chapter in American history -- but be sure to check the link to the facebook post to see all the recommendations made by our community -- there were many!

That’s it for this week in the Buzz.







And that is the second week of April for WW1 Centennial News. Thank you for listening.

We also want to thank our guests...

  • Mike Shuster, Curator for the great war project blog
  • Dr. Edward Lengel, Military historian and author
  • Ken Clarke -- and Michael Robbins creative director and writer for the new souvenir of the Centennial book - Lest we Forget
  • Dr. Ian Isherwood, historian and WWI educator
  • Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, WWI Researcher and member of the Tennessee Great War Commission
  • Katherine Akey, WWI Photography specialist and the line producer for the podcast

Many thanks to the newest member of our team - Mac Nelsen our intrepid sound editor--- a shout out to our intern John Morreale for his  great research assistance...

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; Including this podcast!

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  

Or search WW1 Centennial News on  iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Podbean, Stitcher - Radio on Demand, Spotify or using your smart speaker.. Just say “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!


Welcome to Beverly Hills Pilates - The newest trend in sophisticated exercise!

NO it’s not --- It’s from WW1

So long!


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