In February 1917 the World War comes to the doorstep of the United States. Following Germany’s resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, President Wilson severs diplomatic relations with Germany but stops short of declaring war. Announcing the diplomatic break to a joint session of Congress, he adheres to a policy of “armed neutrality” and declares that the United States will not go to war in the absence of an “overt act.” As the submarine threat causes American shipping to grind to a halt, President Wilson proposes legislation authorizing the arming of merchant ships. The month ends with another major step toward American belligerency as Great Britain, which has intercepted and decoded the Zimmermann Telegram, delivers it to the American Government and President Wilson releases it to the press. German submarines torpedo and sink two British ocean liners, taking the lives of two Americans. In Mesopotamia, the British Army drives the Turks out of Kut-Al-Amara. German forces in France begin a withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. Mata Hari is arrested in Paris.
This past Sunday the Kansas City Star carried an article about the remembrance of black soldiers in World War I: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article134779824.html
The point of the article is well taken. Black soldiers in the Great War are too easily forgotten. We’ve tried to do our part with articles about African American soldiers. The biographies are brief, but we do encourage those who may have additional information about those who are featured to provide it. Likewise, if there are other African American soldiers from Kansas that have a story that needs to be told, we encourage you to provide that as well.
In the mid-1950s the Kansas State Historical Society published The Annals of Kansas, 1886-1925. It appeared in two volumes, with the first published in 1954, the second two years later in 1956.
The Annals are an almost daily account of life in the State of Kansas. Most entries are only a sentence or two and deal with organizations meeting somewhere within the state, special events, crimes, and more. For the World War I years, they provide snippets of life on the home front.
Here are two recent posts on other sites about Native Americans in the First World War.
Soldiers Unknown is a historical novel by Chag Lowry which deals with the voluntary service of tribal members from Northern California. You can read about it here.
You can read here about Pvt. Thadius Sittingdown, Co. G, 2nd Bn., 358th Regt., 90th “Wild West” Div., who was a member of the Cherokee Nation.
Depicted above is the second tallest Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial to the missing. The CWGC calls this the ‘Delhi Memorial’, as it’s located in the Indian capital city of Delhi (the name New Delhi has gone out of favor). This monument is 42 meters tall, while the Thiepval Memorial in France is 54 meters.
This week, the only WWI programming on C-SPAN3 comes on Monday and early Tuesday morning. It’s the same program — “World War I Combat Artists,” a short program regarding pieces in the collections of the National Archives. The first showing is at 3:15 p.m. CT Monday afternoon the 20th; the second showing is exactly twelve hours later at 3:15 a.m. CT early Tuesday morning the 21st.
You’re right, these aren’t WW1 biplanes, although they have been used as such in low-budget movies. They were designed by Lloyd C. Stearman (1898-1975), who was born at Wellsford, Kansas, which is today a mostly abandoned town in Kiowa County, about 120 miles west of Wichita.
One hopes this might flush out some information, because it doesn’t seem to be forthcoming as far as the World War I connection.
Louis Shipshee was born on the Potawatomi reservation near Mayetta on August 11, 1896. A self-taught artist, his work has enjoyed some popularity over the years. This link will take you to a little biographical information: http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/cool-things-shipshee-painting/10338
Going to Kansas City?
On April 6th the national observance of America’s entry into the First World War will be held at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. This should be no little affair.
Rather than repeat much of the news, here are two links. First, the story as reported by the Kansas City Star: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article131323354.html
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is organizing a symposium in October. Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance, and Civil Liberties in World War I through Today will take place October 19-22, 2017 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, KC, MO.