Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: January 2018 (Page 1 of 3)

A New Look at Quentin Roosevelt

Perhaps you may remember the 1980’s TV detective Thomas Magnum, who used to step out of character and say this voice-over at the change of a scene: “I know what you’re thinking”.

“Yet another (yawn) piece about Quentin Roosevelt”. Indeed, there have been quite a few – I’ve even written one myself, posted about two years ago in another venue. more

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: January 1918

It’s January 1918.  As a new year begins, President Wilson outlines his vision for a postwar world in an address to Congress.  His “Fourteen Points,” which follow Prime Minister Lloyd George’s statement of British war aims by only three days, are based on study and analysis conducted by a group of intellectuals called the “Inquiry,” a precursor of the Council on Foreign Relations.  The Bolsheviks walk away from the talks at Brest-Litovsk, but the reality of Russia’s military situation forces them to return.  Workers demanding an end to the war go on strike in Austria-Hungary and Germany.  The popularly elected Russian Constituent Assembly holds its first and only session before being shut down the next day by the Red Guards.  In the Mediterranean, the Ottoman Navy loses the two German cruisers it gained in the early days of the war.  In the United States, the government curtails manufacturing industries to conserve fuel.  The House of Representatives approves a woman suffrage amendment to the Constitution.  Americans enjoy music by Jerome Kern and George M. Cohan. more

Royal Aircraft Factory SE-5

The Royal Aircraft Factory SE-5 was a British airplane that, like the French SPAD XIII and the German Fokker D-VII, epitomized the third generation of fighters (in the day called pursuit planes) in WW1. Compared to its forebears the SE-5 was bigger, heavier and not as nimble, but it was much more stable, easier to fly, faster and a better climber, due largely to the powerful in-line engine which enabled the use of a gear-driven four blade propeller. Although designed to be fighters, unlike their predecessors these aircraft could also carry bombs. The SE-5 entered service in March 1917, first equipping the newly formed No. 56 Squadron RFC, which was created to hunt down German Aces. more

Gassed is coming to KCMO

John Singer Sargent’s huge (in its frame 9 ft. x 21 ft.) painting Gassed will be at the National World War 1 Museum in Kansas City, MO from February 23rd  to June 3rd, one stop on a North American tour that was made possible by renovation work at the Imperial War Museum in  London. This work is an icon of WW1 art and shouldn’t be missed. You can read more about the visit here and about the painting here. more

The Old Perfessor

It’s a little early for baseball season, but we’ll get started early with someone with a World War I connection, but not a Kansan.  Close though — a native of Kansas City, Missouri, Charles Dillon Stengel.  He’s remembered by the nickname provided by the initials of his hometown — KC — “Casey.” more

The Annals of Kansas, #36

100 years ago in Kansas, January 29 – February 3, 1918:

January 29, 1918 — Kansas Day

  • Uniform rules for saving coal were issued by Emerson Carey, State Fuel Administrator.  He fixed the hours during which various stores would be open; curtailed street lighting and banned dancing.  Drugs could be sold any time.
  • The Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas met at Topeka for the first joint annual meeting of the two societies.
  • more

    C-SPAN3, January 27-28

    Once again, we only have one World War I program airing this weekend on C-SPAN3, although after a show airs, it can be seen anytime on the network’s website.  As usual–all times are Central.

    The program that airs is American Artifacts:  World War I & American Art.  Art and film historian David Lubin discusses the images featured in his book, Grand Illusions:  American Art & the First World War.  It airs at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, January 27th, and repeats at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Sunday the 28th. more

    Nurse Helen Fairchild

    One hundred years ago yesterday, January 18, 1918, US Army Reserve Nurse Helen Fairchild passed away while serving with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF),  one of five American nurses so seconded to die in WW1. Statistical firsts can be hard to verify, but she may have been the first US Army Nurse to die in France in WW1 and she may also have been the first to die as a result of contact with the enemy. more

    C-SPAN3, January 21

    This weekend C-SPAN3’s American History TV does not give us much WWI to view.  The only program has been shown the last two weekends–American Artifacts World War I, with National World War I Museum and Memorial Curator of Education Lora Vogt discussing artifacts in the collections. more

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