Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Author: James Patton (Page 1 of 34)

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges.
An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and has memberships in the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Indian Military Historical Society and the Salonika Campaign Society.

Woodrow Wilson Got the H1N1 ‘flu

On the evening of April 3rd, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson, who was in Paris for the Versailles Treaty negotiations, became suddenly and dangerously ill. At first his doctor thought that he’d been poisoned. Wilson had a high fever and bad cough for five days, during which time the same doctor told the outside world that Wilson had a bad cold. When Wilson returned to the conference he was visibly weakened, seemingly exhausted. As time passed at least two lingering after- effects manifested themselves: first, an apparent neurological disorder as Wilson became paranoid in petty ways, suspecting the French of spying on him, and second, likely due to debility, when he returned to the conference he caved in on all of his 14 points then still in contention excepting number XIV (a League of Nations), which Clemenceau and Lloyd George disdained to give him. Read more about this by clicking here. ...read more

Who Were (Are) the FANY’s?

Having previously discussed other voluntary service organizations that provided ambulance and nursing services during WW1 (click here), here’s the story of another British group –  The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, familiarly known as the FANY (their personnel are known as ‘FANY’s’). This is an all-female group organized in 1907 which in WW1 provided ambulances and drivers to the Western Front. Although rebuffed by the British Army who considered them amateurs and totally unsuited to war conditions, the astute FANY leadership quickly attached themselves to the Belgian Army instead, before the War Office got around to banning civilians from travelling to the Front. Click on this link to read about the FANY in WW1. ...read more

Curtailment of Civil Liberties in WW1

Fearing that anti-war speeches and street pamphlets would undermine the war effort, President Woodrow Wilson and Congress passed two laws, the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, that criminalized any “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the U.S. government or military, or any speech intended to “incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty.” The previous Alien and Sedition Acts passed in 1798 had been mostly repealed or had expired by 1802. ...read more

A Medal of Honor for Marcelino Serna?

Pvt. Marcelino Serna, who was living in Colorado when drafted, served in Co. B, 1st Bn., 355th Infantry, along with the 353rd “All Kansas” Infantry, in the 89th “Rolling W” Division.

On September 12th, 1918, fighting in the St. Mihiel Salient, Serna single-handedly took out a German strong point, killing 26 and capturing 24. Later, fighting in the Meuse Argonne, he was severely wounded but survived. ...read more

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