Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: August 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: August 1918

August 1918 marks the beginning of the 100 days offensive that will bring an end to the war on the Western Front.  An Allied army under British command mounts a successful offensive east of Amiens.  The attack advances up to nine miles the first day, a day General Ludendorff will later call “the black day of the German Army.”  As the Allies follow up with a series of frequent attacks at different locations along the front, the Germans fall back to the Hindenburg Line. In a Crown Council at Spa, the leaders of the Central Powers agree that they must seek a negotiated settlement, but only “after the next success in the west.”  On the recommendation of his Jewish superior officer, Corporal Adolf Hitler is decorated for bravery.  In the United States, outspoken opponents of the draft are sentenced to long prison terms.  The Bolshevik revolution in Russia is under intense pressure as British, French and American troops land in Vladivostok on the Pacific coast of Siberia and in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk in the Russian Arctic, and as British forces move north from Persia and India to secure the Baku oil fields and lines of communication in the Caucasus and Turkestan.  Lenin makes additional concessions to Germany and barely survives an assassination attempt. more

Wolfhounds – and More Polar Bears

The plan for a Siberian Intervention was hatched by the Allied High Command around the same time as the North Russian Intervention, and with a similar mission. The first two objectives were the same as the North Russian Intervention: to protect the Allied war material stockpiles in Siberia and to help the Czechoslovak Legion to leave Russia and get it to the Western Front. more

C-SPAN 2 & 3, August 30 – September 3

If you aren’t doing anything this Labor Day weekend and need a World War I fix, C-SPAN will oblige you.  All times are Central, and we’re not responsible for schedule changes.  Much has aired earlier on C-SPAN3.


Patricia O’Toole, The Moralist.  Her recent biography of Woodrow Wilson.  Airs at 8:46 p.m.  Thursday, August 30.  Repeats at 2:48 a.m. Friday, August 31. more

The Annals of Kansas, #49

One hundred years ago in Kansas, September, 1918:

September 6, 1918

  • Glenn L. Martin, former Salinan, had invented a war plane which was being manufactured at Cleveland.  It had a 75-foot wingspread, two 400-horsepower engines, and a capacity of 2,400 pounds.
  • Student Army Training Corps units were being set up at K.U., K.S.A.C., Emporia Normal, Fort Hays Normal, McPherson, St. Mary’s, Baker, Cooper, Ottawa, Midland and Washburn.

September 8, 1918

  • Miss Day Monroe, Topekan, with the New York Food Commission, was managing forty canning centers in New York City.
  • The Kansas Library Assn. met at Oklahoma City.  It was reported that 2,500,000 books had been placed in army camp libraries.

September 9, 1918

  • Ninety-three I.W.W.’s (International Workers of the World, or “Wobblies”) were admitted to the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth.

September 12, 1918

The Washburn College Ambulance Corps, a part of the 87th Division, had landed in France.  (See the previous story: more

Michigan’s Polar Bears

As events unfolded in Russia during the fall of 1917, the Western Allies became more and more concerned about the fate of their massive munitions and supply depots located at Archangelsk and Murmansk in the sub-Arctic. This reached a climax on March 3rd, 1918 when the Bolsheviks dropped out of the war. The Bolsheviks had been talking about selling or even giving these stocks to the Germans, who had moved troops to Finland against this possibility, but there were also the battles between warlords, Bolsheviks vs. other Communists and all Communists vs. Capitalists. A real civil war was building steam, and it was feared that the depots would be looted by the warring forces. Another consideration was that most of these materials had never been paid for. more

Veterans Day Event–Fort Scott

Barrett Young has forwarded information about Veterans Day events at Fort Scott, Kansas.  I suggest it might be food for thought for other communities looking to mark the Centennial of the Armistice.

The Friends of Fort Scott NHS are once again hosting an 1800s Grand Ball on Saturday, November 10, 2018 as part of the city wide Veterans Day Weekend in Fort Scott. We will honor all veterans and current military personnel as well as remember the WW1 armistice signed on November 11, 1918. Veterans and military personnel, along with their escorts, will be leading off the Grand March to begin our evening of 1800’s period dancing and music. We would like to encourage everyone attending the Veterans Day Weekend activities to come and participate in the 1800s Grand Ball, and likewise, we encourage anyone attending the 1800s Grand Ball to take part in the other activities offered during the weekend in Fort Scott. All funds raised at the Grand Ball will go to support the activities of the Friends of Fort Scott NHS. The Friends provide support to the national historic site in a variety of ways, such as assisting with educational activities and programs for all ages as well as providing refreshments for special events. more

The 1914-15 Red Cross Mercy Mission

In September 1914 the American Red Cross raised a group of doctors and nurses, all volunteers,  to go to Europe and provide medical care. Assistance was offered to all of the combatants and the Hamburg-American Line offered the use of their interned passenger liner S.S. Hamburg as transport. Re-painted as a hospital ship and renamed the S.S. Red Cross , it sailed that fall. Among the early members of the mission were Dr. Richard Derby and his wife, Ethel Roosevelt, the younger daughter of the former President. Click on this hyperlink to read an excellent article about the nurses in the Mercy Mission. more

C-SPAN3, August 25-27

First, my apologies to anyone who missed these C-SPAN updates on WWI programming the last two weekends.  The blogger has been on vacation, and as he prefers, he takes the word “vacation” very seriously.

Quite a bit of programming this weekend, however, and as usual, all times are Central and we’re not responsible for any schedule changes.  The upcoming programming: more

Memorials to the Missing – Caterpillar Valley and New Zealand in the War

Lying squarely in the middle of the 1916 Somme Battlefield, Caterpillar Valley was the name given by the army to the long swale which rises eastwards, past “Caterpillar Wood”, to the high ground at Guillemont. Longueval village is on the northern edge of the feature and 500 meters west of the village, on the south side of the road, is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Memorial to the Missing and Cemetery. more

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