Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Category: Research & Histories (Page 1 of 66)

The Jihad Legacy of WW1

Most of us have become familiar with the concept of a Jihad. On November 14th, 1914, the influential religious leader of the Ottoman Caliphate known as the Sheikh-ul-Islam, declared a Jihad, urging all Muslims to rise up and defend the Ottoman Empire, a protector of Islam, against its enemies Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro: more

The Evolution of the Hard Hat

Today protective headgear is ubiquitous in American industry. This dates from 1919, when recently discharged 1st Lt. E.W. Bullard devised the first “Hard Boiled Hat”, patterned after the Doughboy’s M1917 ‘Brodie’ pattern helmets. Bullard’s hats were somewhat different from the WW1 helmets but, as the photograph above shows, many others were virtually identical.  You can read all about this by clicking here. more

The Bullitt Mission

In March of 1919, President Wilson’s top advisor ‘Col.’ Edward House authorized William C. Bullitt (1891 – 1967), who was a minor U.S. diplomat attached to the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, to lead an eclectic committee to make a clandestine visit to Russia. Their charge was to attempt to negotiate a treaty between the U.S. and the Bolshevik government, end Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, lift the Allied blockade of that country, and allow the Allies to withdraw their troops from Russia. Bullitt received a proposal from the Bolshevik government that would have realized all these goals (and more, if the Bolsheviks could be trusted to repay war debt), but the Allied leaders at the Paris Peace Conference were unwilling to accept the offer. The British, in particular, were not inclined to strike any deals with Communists. more

The Location of the Sgt. York site still in dispute

The ‘battle’ over the site of Sgt. Alvin York’s heroic deeds on October 8th, 1918 continues. Recently the research of ret. Col. Douglas Mastriano, Ph. D, has been called into question, with at least one critic accusing him of academic fraud. Mastriano, the driving force behind The Sgt. York Discovery Project, is an historian who frequently appears on CSPAN and has lectured at the U.S. World War One Museum in Kansas City as recently as 2018.  If you don’t know much about Sgt. York you can read his story by clicking here, and if you’re not familiar with the saga of the searches for the site you can read more about that by clicking here. To read more about the latest news, including the accusation of academic fraud, you can click here. more

The Plight of the Volga Germans

Catherine II (1729-1796), Empress of Russia, who is popularly remembered as “Catherine the Great”, undertook a large settlement program where Germans wishing to flee from the shifting borders, petty wars and religious disputes of the 18th century in Central Europe would be welcomed to set up colonies in the lower Volga River valley. These settlers were allowed to keep their language, religion, culture and communal associations. Religious-based groups, such as the Mennonites and the Moravians, took advantage of this. more

Keynes Was At Versailles

John Maynard Keynes, the great Cambridge University economist who revolutionized macroeconomic theory, was Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s economic advisor at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919. Keynes repeatedly urged that all war debts be reduced or eliminated, but he didn’t succeed in swaying anyone to his point of view, not even Woodrow Wilson. Keynes was disgusted with the final treaty as he felt it was morally and economically unsound. He returned home and promptly wrote a book called The Economic Consequences of the Peace. You can read an excellent article about Keynes and his Versailles experience by clicking here. more

The Failure of the League of Nations

In the previous post we spoke of Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, which opened for business on January 10th, 1920. From the start it wasn’t the group that Wilson had envisioned: former enemies Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey plus Russia were not admitted to the club. All joined later and some dropped out later. Many scholars believe that the League was doomed to failure from the start. Click on this link to read an engrossing article on this subject. more

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. more

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