Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: October 2018 (Page 1 of 3)

The Annals of Kansas, #53

(The following list is the second part of the entry in the Annals for November 11, 1918.  Corrections or additions to this list will be welcome.  Note: we might ask for documentation.)

100 years ago in Kansas…

November 11, 1918

Following is a list of Kansans who received the Distinguished-Service (sic) Cross for “extraordinary heroism in action” in World War I.  The list was compiled from American Decorations, published by the War Department, Washington, D.C., 1927.  It includes native Kansans and others who resided in Kansas at the time of entry into service.  The latter class is designated by an “R.”  Asterisks indicated that the decoration was awarded posthumously.  No equivalent list for the Navy and Marine Corps was available. (1956.) more

The Annals of Kansas, #52

(The following is a summary of the war as produced in The Annals of Kansas, 1886-1925.  This is the first part.)

One hundred years ago in Kansas…

November 11, 1918

  • The Armistice was signed. Kansas celebrated with parades and prayer services.

Approximately 83,000 Kansans served in the war, including those in the Army, Navy, and Marines, and in the armies of Great Britain, France and Canada.  Many enlisted in the early years of the war, and several distinguished themselves in foreign service.  Kansas had little trouble filling her quotas.  The bulk of the men were in the Thirty-fifth, Eighty-ninth, and Forty-second Divisions.  The Thirty-fifth was a Kansas-Missouri organization composed of National Guard units.  It was trained at Camp Doniphan, Okla., and took part in the Battles of St. Mihiel and the Argonne.  The Eighty-ninth was organized and trained at Camp Funston by Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood and also participated in the St. Mihiel and Argonne battles.  The 117th Ammunition Train, sometimes called the Kansas Ammunition Train, was part of the Forty-second, known as the Rainbow Division.  Ten thousand Kansans served in the Navy, and Kansas was the first state to fill its quota in that branch.  One of the largest military camps was established at Camp Funston near Fort Riley.  It had a training capacity of 70,000 men.  Among the outstanding generals in the A.E.F. were Brig. Gen. Harry Smith, Atchison; Brig. Gen. Wilder S. Metcalf, Lawrence, and Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, Manhattan, who was chief of staff to General Pershing. more

C-SPAN3, November 4

It may be my imagination, but for the weekend before the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, C-SPAN’s programming seems a bit light.  Perhaps they are saving it all for next weekend.

As usual, all times are Central.

New Books on World War I.  Airs at 8:00 a.m. Sunday, November 4th. more

Peace and Remembrance

(From the website of the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri.) No automatic alt text available.

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2‑11, 2018

For the nine days leading up to the Armistice, the official WWI memorial of the United States will be illuminated with a nearly 55 million pixel, 800,000 lumens display featuring more than 5,000 poppies each evening in a massive and moving light installation. At the top of each hour and at 30 minutes past each hour, special presentations of images, footage and details about World War I will appear. Peace and Remembrance marks the centennial of the Armistice of 1918 that brought an end to WWI, with each day of the installation leading up to the Armistice signifying one million of the total nine million combatant deaths of the conflict. more

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: October 1918

In October 1918, under increasing military pressure on all fronts, Germany seeks an end to the fighting.  The new German Chancellor, Prince Maximilian of Baden, sends President Wilson a public note requesting peace negotiations on the basis of the Fourteen Points and the “five particulars” set forth in his recent speech in New York.  Further exchanges culminate in an American demand for submission to Allied military supremacy, cessation of “illegal and inhumane practices” such as submarine attacks on passenger ships, and regime change in Germany.  When Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff threaten to resign if Wilson’s conditions are accepted, the Kaiser accepts Ludendorff’s resignation but orders Hindenburg to remain.  The Allies’ general offensive on the Western Front succeeds in seizing Cambrai and driving the Germans from the Hindenburg Line, while to the south the American Army begins the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive.  The “lost battalion” is cut off by the Germans in the Argonne Forest and Corporal Alvin York earns the Medal of Honor by leading an attack on a German machine-gun emplacement.  The Austro-Hungarian Empire rapidly disintegrates as a republic is proclaimed in Vienna and as Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other nations in central Europe declare their independence.  In the Near East, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force captures Damascus and Aleppo, leading to an armistice between the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain.  The German High Seas Fleet is ordered to sea for a final battle, but when crews begin to refuse orders the operation is cancelled and the Dreadnought squadrons are dispersed.  In the United States, the proposed Woman Suffrage Amendment to the Constitution fails in the Senate.  As mid-term Congressional elections draw near, President Wilson begs Americans to elect a Democratic Congress. more

WWI Armistice Centennial Commemoration, Leavenworth

A WWI Armistice Centennial Commemoration will take place at the Riverfront Community Center in Leavenworth at 5:30 p.m. Friday, November 2nd.  The event is sponsored by the Leavenworth County Historical Society with support from Humanities Kansas.

A presentation will be made by Jonathan Casey, Archivist of the National World War I Museum and Memorial.  A photo presentation will be made by the Army National Guard 35th Infantry Division and a World War I memorabilia exhibit. more

The 353rd ‘All Kansas’ Infantry at Meuse Argonne – Part I

Extracted (with editing for brevity) from the History of the 353rd ‘All Kansas’ Infantry Regiment 89th Division, National Army September 1917 – June 1919, by Capt. Charles F. Dienst and associates, published by the 353rd Infantry Society in 1921.

‘On October 12th the 353rd Infantry received replacements from the 86th Division. Again we were at “war strength,” with nearly a thousand men to a battalion. more

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