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.
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.
Three eighth-grade students have won an international award for the documentary they produced on Emma Darling Cushman, an American missionary nurse who is credited with saving thousands of Armenian orphans. The award comes from the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas.
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.
In that strange, distant land known as New Jersey, a bell tower is being restored in the community of Upper Montclair. It was erected in 1919, not only as a tribute to seven men from the area who died in the Great War, but as a “thanks offering for the return of those who served.” Seven of the bells bear the names of those who did not return.
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.
During WWI, the Ottoman Empire was divided into what is known today as the Middle East. The borders that were drawn during the turmoil of the war continue to influence the region to this day.
To learn more, join the KU WWI Centennial Commemoration at these two upcoming events:
Please join us at the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka on Friday, October 14, for our next talk in the “Museum After Hours” series. This month Jim Heiman from Metropolitan Community College, Independence, Missouri, will speak on “World War I Memorials and Monuments.” The program starts at 6:30 p.m.
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.
This is the sort of story that we’re pleased to hear about. We hope we’ll hear of more just like it.
Lincoln Elementary School students have for two years been raising funds to restore a 1928 monument placed by the American War Mothers to Geary County World War I veterans. For the full story, let’s quote Dewey Terrill of www.jcpost.com on September 20th: