News for the cinema buffs: The Ottoman Lieutenant, a major motion picture starring the Dutch actor Michael Huisman from Game of Thrones (playing a Turk), journeyman American actor Josh Hartnett, Icelandic actress Hera Hilmar (playing an American) and the veteran British actor with Pakistani ancestry Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), was released on Friday, March 10th. The story is set against the backdrop of the 1915 Russian invasion of Ottoman territory in the Caucasus region, a very little-known campaign of the First World War.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has organized World War I Social Media Day on April 11. Throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook, websites, and Instagram various organizations will have stories to tell about the Great War.
Participating in the program are the Smithsonian museums, Presidential libraries, the National Park Service, English Heritage, National Archives, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and . . . the Kansas Historical Society!
An article about the entry into the war and another on WWI monuments in Wichita grace the pages of the April issue of The Active Age, a monthly paper from that city. You can go to the paper from here, and download it. One story starts on page 1, the other on page 12:
Turner Classic Movies has four WWI-themed movies coming up in April. We make no claims that these are historically accurate movies, but may be enjoyable anyway.
Knight Without Armour (1937). After two years as a Czarist British agent posing as a Russian Commissar, he rescues a Russian countess from her Bolshevik captors. Stars Marlene Dietrich and Robert Donat. 9:00 a.m. CT.
It’s March 1917, the last month of neutrality for the United States and the last month of his reign for the Tsar of All the Russias. In the United States, publication of the Zimmermann Telegram triggers a political firestorm. Pacifists and isolationists at first denounce it as a forgery perpetrated by Great Britain, but Zimmermann himself acknowledges authorship and American public opinion begins to swing in favor of war. The House of Representatives passes the Armed Ships Bill, and seventy-five senators sign a manifesto in support, but a filibuster prevents it from coming to a vote. President Wilson denounces the filibusterers as “a little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own,” and orders that merchant ships be armed anyway. The Senate adopts its first rule limiting debate. Three American merchant ships are sunk by German submarines; twelve Americans die. The Federal Reserve Board revises its advice to member banks: loans to the Allies are now encouraged. The Cabinet unanimously recommends declaring war on Germany, and President Wilson calls Congress into special session. In Russia, Army mutinies and demonstrations in the streets of Petrograd force Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate; he is taken into custody and replaced by a Provisional Government. Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky set out for Russia, Lenin from Switzerland and Trotsky from New York. In Mesopotamia, the British Army occupies Baghdad. Alexandre Ribot succeeds Aristide Briand as Prime Minister of France. The inventor of the Zeppelin dies.
Looks like this weekend, we must be getting closer to an anniversary (all times Central):
-“Woodrow Wilson and World War I” will air three times this weekend. This has aired before; it is a tour of the Woodrow Wilson Home in Washington, and focuses on WWI artifacts. Airs 7:45 a.m. Saturday, April 1; 3:25 p.m. Sunday afternoon the 2nd; and 11:45 p.m. that evening.
April 2-7, 1917: With the war drums beating, interest picks up across Kansas.
World War I Centennial Ceremony
11 a.m. Thursday, April 6 · Kansas Museum of History · Topeka · Special exhibits gallery
President Woodrow Wilson addressed a special joint session of Congress on April 2, 1917, to ask for a declaration of war against the German Empire. Congress declared war on April 6 for “repeated acts of war against the people of the United States of America” and authorized the president to “employ the entire naval and military forces” to bring the “conflict to a successful termination.” Eighty thousand Kansans accepted the call. Lieutenant Colonel Paul Schneider with the Kansas National Guard will be our guest for a wreath laying ceremony. Please join us in remembering those who served.
We failed to post these shows, but they are available on C-SPAN’s website. Both concern the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City
During the weekend of March 18-19, President and CEO Matthew Naylor gave a tour of the exterior of the museum, the Liberty Memorial. It can be seen here:
If you are in the Kansas City area, the National World War I Museum and Memorial has or will open several exhibits.
Posters as Munitions, 1917
Open February 21, 2017 – February 18, 2018
Soon after the outset of World War I, the poster, previously the successful medium of commercial advertising was recognized as a means of spreading national propaganda with unlimited possibilities. Its value as an educational or stimulating influence was more and more appreciated. The poster could impress an idea quickly, vividly and lastingly. Posters as Munitions, 1917 showcases the depth and breadth of the collection through a series of works on exhibition for the first time at the Museum. Posters from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the United States and more are featured, providing a sense of the global nature of this form of communication.