Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Category: Projects (page 1 of 6)

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

Dole Institute is now Accepting Applications for Archival Fellow for Armenian Advocacy

The Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections is accepting applications for an Archival Fellowship, in conjunction with the closing year of University of Kansas’ World War I Commemoration.

The Archival Fellow will work with Dole Archives staff to evaluate relevant archival holdings and develop a topic guide and online teaching module based on Senator Bob Dole’s career advocacy on behalf of Armenia.  The final product will be used as an introduction to this topic for K-12, university, and general public audiences. ...read more

Inscriptions for the DC Memorial

From The US World War 1 Centennial Commission:

“Apt quotations are often powerful elements of memorials, and we plan to include similar inscriptions at the WWI memorial.  Hence, this request to you:  Could you please identify what you consider to be worthy quotations for inclusion on the memorial.  There are no restrictions on what might be a suitable quotation (other than probably being limited to a paragraph in length)–we are looking for: ...read more

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: July 1917

It’s July 1917, three years since another July spun the world into global war.  A major Russian offensive ends in defeat, retreat, and massive demonstrations in the streets of Petrograd, forcing a change in the revolutionary government.  A political upheaval in Germany leads to the resignation of Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg and Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann.  King George V visits the British Army on the Western Front.  While he is there German bombers attack London; when he returns he changes the name of the Royal Family.  In the Near East, Arab tribes led by Lawrence of Arabia capture the important Red Sea port of Aqaba.  Winston Churchill rejoins the British Cabinet as Minister of Munitions.  The British Army begins another major offensive at Ypres.  An American Army battalion marches through Paris and visits Lafayette’s tomb.  A large convoy of American troops arrives safely in France after a crossing contested by German U-boats.  An accidental explosion sinks a dreadnought at Scapa Flow.  In the United States the Secretary of War sets up a system of press censorship, then backs down in the face of fierce criticism.  General Pershing says he wants a three million man Army by 1919.  Compulsory military service begins as the first numbers are drawn in the draft lottery.  Exports are prohibited without a license.  Race riots explode in East St. Louis. ...read more

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: June 1917

In June 1917, the United States is coming to grips with its new status as a belligerent power.  President Wilson signs the Espionage Act, which makes it unlawful to interfere with military or naval operations and gives the Postmaster General broad authority to refuse to deliver material he judges to be in violation.  The President issues an order creating an Export Council with power to control all exports from the United States.  Mandatory registration for the draft begins.  General Pershing arrives in Europe, where he confers with his counterparts in London and Paris; shortly thereafter the first American Army units arrive in France.  The first issue of Liberty Bonds sells out quickly.  A commission headed by former Secretary of State Elihu Root arrives in Russia as anarchists march in the streets of Petrograd and Lenin calls for an end to the war.  The provisional government, responding to an overture from the Central Powers, states that it will not enter into a separate peace.  Former President Roosevelt announces that two of his four sons have gone to France and that the others will follow shortly.  The British Army in Flanders attacks and occupies Messines Ridge.  Gotha bombers attack London.  King Constantine of Greece abdicates, clearing the way for Greece to enter the war on the side of the Allies. ...read more

New PSA’s available from the US World War One Centennial Commission

Last Fall Blair posted about the US  World War One Centennial Commission’s Public Service Announcements (PSA) narrated by Gary Sinise. At that time these were three and seven minutes in length. Recently the commission has released 30 and 60 second PSA’s using the same material, which are being offered as suitable for ” veterans organization web sites, broadcast public service announcements, WWI Commemoration activities and promotion, kiosks, social media sharing and using the audio track, as radio public service announcements”.  You can view and download these here. ...read more

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: May 1917

It’s May 1917, and the United States has just entered the Great War.  Visiting Allied war leaders ask President Wilson for an immediate commitment of American troops.  General Pershing is named commander of the American Expeditionary Force and departs for Europe.  The United States enacts the first draft law since the Civil War.  Included is a provision authorizing the president to organize volunteer divisions such as the one former President Roosevelt wants to lead, but the President says he will not exercise that authority.  Americans are asked to subscribe to a “Liberty Loan” to finance the war effort.  President Wilson urges press censorship, but a bill giving the president censorship authority fails to pass Congress.  The Allies confront the Central Powers in the Balkans; Italy launches another attack against Austro-Hungarian forces on the Isonzo.  United States Navy warships arrive in Great Britain to assist the British with convoy escort and other duties. ...read more

The Verdict

With the prosecution and defense resting their cases, Judge Pollock issued his instructions to the jury. Unlike Judge Van Valkenburgh in the Missouri trial, Pollock showed no tendency to appeal to the jury to be patriotic and biased towards the defendants. He began by acknowledging that war inflamed passions and prejudices which could sway loyal citizens to impose standards of their own and fix the boundary line of punishable speech at a point which makes all opposition to the war a crime. The judge admonished the jury to decide the case on the “cold, clammy facts.” If the court could try the defendants wholly removed from any thought of the war, “the nearer justice will be done in this case.” ...read more

The Trial of the Topeka Conspirators

Seymour Stedman (Library of Congress)

Following a January 1918 postponement to rule on the double jeopardy motion entered by the members of the Federation for Democratic Control, the trial of the Kansas conspirators began on April 11, 1918 in a federal courtroom in Topeka, Judge John C. Pollock presiding. Fred Felten, having agreed to testify on behalf of the prosecution, escaped indictment. U.S. District Attorney Fred Robertson, handled the prosecution and Seymour Steadman, a socialist attorney from Chicago, headed the defense. ...read more

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