Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: September 2016 (Page 1 of 5)

Monuments and Memorials: The Victory Highway Eagles

The Victory Eagle outside the main entrance of Dyche Hall at the University of Kansas

The Victory Eagle outside the main entrance of Dyche Hall at the University of Kansas

The Victory Highway was supposed to be a tribute to the American soldiers who lost their lives in World War I.  It was a transcontinental road, stretching from New York to San Francisco.  Across Kansas it would follow an already established route, the Golden Belt Highway.  An association was formed in 1921 to create and promote the concept of the Victory Highway. more

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: September 1916

This post marks the fifth anniversary of my monthly Centennial Countdown blog, in which I review the events of the month a hundred years ago.  All five years are available in the archive. I started the Countdown with September 1911 not because there’s anything special about that date but because September 2011 was when the idea occurred to me.  The project has been a learning experience for me as I hope it has been for you. I appreciate your interest, and in particular the comments and suggestions (and occasional corrections) the blog has inspired. more

#KU_WWI Twitter Project: Commemorating the #FirstWorldWar through Social Media

On June 28th, 2014, the University of Kansas (KU) Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) and 8 members from the Lawrence community met at the National World War I Museum & Memorial in Kansas City to reenact or rather, “tweetenact,” the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand exactly 100 years after his death. more

A Snapshot Before Leaving #LindsborgWW1 #BethanyWW1 #KansasHistory

Amidst the Draft Board tending to its business of selecting men to serve in the war, a local photographer offered to capture the image of them before they headed toward their uncertain future.  This ad is from the Lindsborg News Record on August 3, 1917.

This blog entry is the first of many that will document the history of Lindsborg and Bethany College during World War I.  The posts are part of a sophomore Honors class on World War I at Bethany College where students are researching the effects of the Great War on one community. more

Aviators: Jerry Cox Vasconcells

Captain Jerry Cox Vasconcells is identified as Colorado’s only air ace of World War I.  That may be true, but Vasconcells was born in Lyons, Kansas on December 3, 1892.  His family must have moved to Denver at an early age, as Vasconcells graduated from high school in Denver. Vasconcells joined the U.S. Army Air Corps at the onset of the Great War.  He was shot down on one of his flights, but was able to land safely–and in this case, that’s a relative term–in no man’s land.  Soldiers were able to rescue him.  Very fortunate, because in shooting down six planes and two balloons, he was an ace. more

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