Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: August 2017 (page 1 of 3)

Commonwealth War Graves Commission sites in Kansas

Throughout the world there are numerous examples of individual burials that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has accepted responsibility for but relocation of the remains to a CWGC location is impractical. In the U.S. there are 356 such graves.

Nick Metcalfe MBE is a former British Army officer who is compiling data on all of the individual graves in the U.S. which are maintained by the CWGC. There are two of these here in Kansas. ...read more

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: August 1917

It’s August 1917.  As the World War enters its fourth year, there’s no end in sight.  Pope Benedict XV makes a peace proposal, which President Wilson rejects after conferring with the other nations at war with Germany.  Former Secretary of State Elihu Root returns from a mission to Russia designed to keep Russia in the war.  An attempted coup by the commander-in-chief of the Russian Army fails, but the Provisional Government is weakened and the Bolsheviks are strengthened.  Recently arrived American troops parade in London.  The Allied offensive on the Western Front, after initial success, bogs down in the mud of Flanders.  Italy attacks Austria-Hungary again at the Isonzo River.  On the Eastern Front, the German Army advances in Romania to the south and moves against the Baltic port of Riga to the north.  In the United States, racial tensions flare as African-American troops are based in segregated southern cities and a deadly race riot breaks out in Houston.  The Senate passes a proposed Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquor. ...read more

Mennonites and the cost of conscience, by Sara J. Keckeisen

Once the United States decided to enter the European War in 1917, a drumbeat of patriotic zeal was sounded to get the entire country behind the war effort, drafting young men to go fight and raising money through the sale of government bonds to fund the war.   However, if your last name was different or you spoke with an accent, this wave of patriotism could be a very bad thing for your safety and liberty as an American. ...read more

Kansans of the Great War Era – Nellie Blanche Smirl

I am Coming Back to Kansas

© Nellie Blanche Smirl Sept. 7th, 1918 E 432374

When I have time to dream about you,
Pleasant mem’ries I’ll recall,
For I’ve lived in many places,
But you’re dearest of them all.
I can see the rolling prairies
And can breathe the fragrant air,
And Kansas-land shall be my home
When I get thro’ over there. ...read more

Native Americans in the Great War – ND tribes honored for service

The United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota is honoring the men of their member tribes who volunteered for the US armed forces in WW1, especially the Lakota code talkers of Co. D, 1st Bn., 139th Infantry who served with distinction at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge in 1918. Remember, this was only 28 years after Wounded Knee. Click here to read more. ...read more

Send a Teacher to the National WWI Museum and Memorial!

Frankly, I like the phrase, educate a teacher!  But this is the opportunity to nominate yourself or another teacher for a trip to Kansas City for a special visit to the National World War I Museum and Memorial.  It looks like a good opportunity for some lucky teacher!  See the link for more details and to place your nomination! ...read more

C-SPAN3, August 26-27.

Some repeat presentations coming up on C-SPAN3 this weekend.  All times Central as usual.  All shows can usually be found on the C-SPAN website after their first showing.

Home Front 1917-1919.  A sixteen-minute film about the impact of the Great War on the United States.  Airs on Saturday, August 26th at 2:42 p.m.; Sunday morning August 27th at 5:08 a.m. ...read more

The Annals of Kansas, #23

100 years ago in Kansas, August 27 – September 7, 1917:

August 27, 1917

  • The Kansas Grange and the Farmers’ Union asked for special consideration of exemption claims by farm workers.
  • Women went to work in the upholstery department of the Santa Fe shops, Topeka, taking the places of men who had gone to war.

August 31, 1917

  • A drive to rid army camps of vice was being made by the Department of Justice and city, county, and state officials.
  • The Union Pacific was spending $2,000,000 on roundhouses, tracks, and shops in the Junction City – Manhattan area.
  • A coal combine of Kansas City dealers was exposed, and their records were seized.

September 2, 1917

  • The 117th Ammunition Train left Topeka for a “Rainbow Division” mobilization point.  It had been organized during the summer by Lt. Col. Frank L. Travis, Iola.  The companies were from Kansas City, Rosedale, Chanute, Parsons, Manhattan, and Pratt,

See previous posts:

KCK’s Rainbow Boulevard is a WW1 memorial

Monuments and Memorials: Rosedale Memorial Arch

September 3, 1917

  • Librarians from Kansas and surrounding states met at Kansas City, Mo., to discuss plans for raising their $1,000,000 quota for books and magazines for soldiers in France.

September 4, 1917

  • The Washburn Ambulance Co. was ordered to Camp Pike, Little Rock, Ark.

See previous post: ...read more

Memorials to the Missing – The Menin Gate

The Menin Gate is located in the city of Ypres (Flemish: Ieper), West Flanders, Belgium. Although the city is in the predominantly Flemish part of Belgium, due to the British the French spelling and pronunciation are still prevalent today. During WW1 the city was the center of the Ypres Salient, that little corner of Belgium not occupied by Germany which was tenaciously defended, mostly by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Ypres became a special place to the British and today the city is clearly the most British place on the Continent. In future articles I’ll highlight some of the other important sites, monuments and markers in the area (I’ve already covered the Essex Farm Aid Station). ...read more

Artist Soldiers Exhibit at the Smithsonian

Here’s another sight well worth seeing if you’re visiting our nation’s capital sometime before November 11th, 2018:  a collaborative exhibit by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of American History that features the work of US Army Signal Corps artists. Recommended highly to me by two WW1 enthusiast friends. Click here to read more. ...read more

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