Tag Archives: World War I

Papers of President Woodrow Wilson Now Online

15 May

The Library of Congress now has Woodrow Wilson’s Papers online. You may read the official post, with link, here.

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One Hundred Years Ago, the Harlem Hellfighters Bravely Led the U.S. Into WWI

14 May

Members of the 369th [African American] Infantry

Private Henry Johnson of Albany, New York, held tight his French Lebel rifle and stared into the darkness of no-man’s-land, listening for German raiders. Beyond the parapet, he could make out shapes and shadows under the waning moon.

Johnson was a 25-year-old railroad baggage porter, the son of North Carolina tobacco farmers. Under French command, he manned the front line of the Great War about 115 miles east of Paris on the early morning of May 15, 1918.

He heard a sound and turned to his partner in their tiny observation post, Needham Roberts, who gestured toward the direction of the noise. They heard it again: the snip of barbed wire being cut.

So begins Erick Trickey’s concise story of the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters. You may read the entire centennial post at Smithsonian.com here.

World War I: A soldier & a president

4 May

My friend, storyteller Jim Schaap, has posted at The Twelve a fine reflection on his great uncle and on Woodrow Wilson–apropos this final year of the World War I centennial. You may read Jim’s post here.

World War I, Australia, and Anzac

30 Apr

Anzac did not give birth to the nation, but the Anzac legend has had a nation-building and nation-sustaining effect.

At dawn on 25 April 1915, Australian troops took part in the allied invasion of Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula.

So begins historian Martin Crotty’s account of the significance for Australia of Anzac. You may read at ABC (Australian Broadcast Corporation) Religion & Ethics the rest of his thoughtful analysis here.

World War I Centenary: Experiences of the Lone Star Division

24 Apr

301641_box76_Folder_73_01

The series, Records of Divisions (NAID 301641) of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Record Group 120, document the service of each combat division during its participation in World War I (WWI). Of the 59 Divisions that were formed, with 28,000 personnel in each Division, only the 36th Division contains Personal War Experiences.

Written by the servicemen after their return from the frontline, 2,300 narratives document their experience of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The records can be difficult to read because of the aging and faded records. Most are handwritten on YMCA or Salvation Army note paper or scrap paper. Many are detailed and moving stories; some are peppered with humor, while others are evidence of men struggling to write.

So begins Judy Luis-Watson’s report on the Personal War Experiences records of the 36th Division of the American Expeditionary Forces. You may read her entire post at the National Archives blog here.

How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Helped Advance Women’s Rights

3 Mar

More women than men were left standing after the war and pandemic.

One hundred years ago, a powerful strain of the flu swept the globe, infecting one third of the world’s population. The aftermath of this disaster, too, led to unexpected social changes, opening up new opportunities for women and in the process irreversibly transforming life in the United States.

The virus disproportionately affected young men, which in combination with World War I, created a shortage of labor. This gap enabled women to play a new and indispensible role in the workforce during the crucial period just before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women suffrage in the United States two years later.

So begins a fascinating post by three academics at Texas A & M. You may read the rest of their post at Smithsonian.com here.

Fashion for Zepplin bombings (World War I Centennial)

20 Feb

Ad for a sleeping suit

The air raids brought the war to the home front. They intruded in the bedroom, the most private space of all. And thus, they had quite an effect on fashion.

Think about it this way: Bedclothes are among most intimate of garments. But with the advent of nighttime raids, these private fashions were thrust suddenly into the public sphere when people had to evacuate their homes at a moment’s notice. It was the original “I woke up like this.”

A crumpled nightdress would no longer do. It was a matter of practicality! But also a matter of looking good!

So notes Sarah Zhang in a fascinating post at The Atlantic. You may read her entire post here.

 

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