Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Tag: WWI

Colonel James C. Hughes: The Full Story

In recognition of the anniversary of World War I, the Kansas Museum of History created a special exhibit about a Topekan who experienced both world wars. Captured: The Extraordinary Adventures of Colonel Hughes has been extended through May 2018.

Hughes’ story is both common and exceptional.  He was born in Topeka in 1888. The timing of his birth, the influence of his military father, and the impact of world politics shaped his life. He began his service as a member of the Kansas National Guard and was sent to the Texas border with the American Expeditionary Forces in 1916.  As a member of the U.S. Army he served from 1917 to 1948 and fought in both world wars. He left many detailed records of his time in service.  He photographed battlefields and towns in Europe, recorded his daily survival as a Japanese Prisoner of War (POW), and saved many belongings from the wars that were later donated to this museum.  In essence, he captured his life. ...read more

Conflicting Feelings towards SATC #BethanyWW1 #LindsborgWW1

Bethany College had its very own unit of the Student Army Training Corps, or SATC. The SATC was created by Congress as part of the Selective Service Act of 1917. It’s purpose, according to the SATC Training Manual, was to utilize effectively the plant, equipment, and organization of the colleges for selecting and training officer candidates and technical experts  for service in the existing emergency. The SATC was a voluntary program that inducted 200,000 men on its first day. These men were given private status, which gave them no way to avoid enlistment. ...read more

Symposium: The War to End All Wars, 1916-2016 #osuhistorydept #WW1CC

On October 27 & 28, 2016, the Ohio State University Department of History, in partnership with the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, hosted a symposium marking the 100th anniversary of the war. The symposium included presentations on:

  • The Military History of World War I, 1914-1918
  • Financing the First World War
  • War, Death, and Remembrance in 1914-1918
  • WWI and the Emerging Laws of War
  • Shell Shock: Core Insights of the Recent Historiography
  • KEYNOTE: The Redefinition of Battle: Verdun and the Somme, 1916

Prior to each presentation, Ohio State students in theatre and the arts departments recited selections of World War I poetry and even shared a period song. Their participation offered a poignant and powerful combination of “cleansing the mental palate” and preparation for diving into an hour-long perspective on various aspects of the war. ...read more

Letters home from Camp Funston during WWI

Twenty-two year old Clark Bruster of Waverly, New York, arrived at Fort Riley, Kansas on June 21, 1917, for training with the 20th Cavalry. Construction was just beginning on Camp Funston, one of 16 divisional cantonment training camps constructed during World War I. It was named for the famous Major General Frederick Funston, of Iola, Kansas, who died unexpectedly right before the U.S. entered the war. ...read more

Unknown Enemy: The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1920

Where did it originate? 

hospital

Black and white photograph of Garfield School in Topeka, Kansas, serving as an emergency hospital, possibly during the Spanish Influenza epidemic. Date: Between 1918 and 1919

The Spanish Influenza outbreak started, not in Spain like the name would lead you to believe, but was traced to Camp Funston, Kansas. The Spanish Flu started in March 1918 and continued through June 1920. More than 25 percent of the US population became sick, and some 675,000 Americans died during the pandemic. If we take every combat casualty since the American Revolution to the Gulf War it would still not total the number of Americans killed by the Spanish Influenza pandemic. The flu spread to all corners of the world from the United States, Europe, Asia, Pacific Islands, and even the Arctic. Many sources refer to this viral infection as an epidemic, but generally an epidemic is slightly more infectious than predicted in a single region. This outbreak was officially a pandemic because the outbreak occurred in several regions across the world. It is becoming easier for epidemics to become pandemics due to globalization. The research of Spanish Flu has been beneficial to scientists, historians, and governments to develop a response to the threat of pandemics globally. ...read more

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