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April 2024

Free Hello Girls The Musical Choral Presentation at National WWI Memorial May 5

FREE Concert By The Cast Of The Acclaimed Musical “The Hello Girls” on May 5 At The National WWI Memorial In Washington, DC 

There will be a FREE, family-friendly concert by “The Hello Girls” cast at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. on Sunday, May 5th, at 4:00pm (EDT). Event is free of charge, and open to the public. No tickets are required. The National World War I Memorial is located at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, in downtown Washington, DC. Click here to find out more about this free concert version of the acclaimed musical, and how to attend.

ANZAC DAY at National WWI Memorial

ANZAC Day 2024 In The United States at the National World War I Memorial in DC

To commemorate ANZAC Day 2024, the Embassies of Australia and New Zealand will hold an ANZAC Day Dawn Service on Thursday, April 25 at 5:20 a.m. EDT (for a 5:40 a.m. start) at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, located at 1449 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The Consulates-General and expat community groups of both nations will host services and events elsewhere throughout the United States on April 25. Click here to learn more about ANZAC Day 2024 in the United States.

The WWI Hello Girls; America's First Women Soldiers

55 Historians Sign Letter To Congress Supporting Congressional Gold Medal For The Hello Girls Of World War I

Hello Girls during Battle of Saint-Mihiel, 1918

Well-known American historians Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs of San Diego State University and Dr. David Kennedy of Stanford University have written a letter to Congress, cosigned by 55 academic and independent historians (including six winners of the Pulitzer Prize), calling for passage of legislation in the 118th Congress to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Hello Girls, America’s First Women Soldiers. The letter urges Senators and Representatives to cosponsor S.815 and
 HR 1572, respectively, and to pass the legislation as soon as Memorial Day 2024 if possible. Click here to read the historians' letter to Congress, and find out why these experts think that award of the Congressional Gold Medal would would "not only honor these pioneers, but every woman in uniform since."

Hello Girl Marie Edmee LeRoux Was Buried In An Unmarked MD Grave Almost 80 Years Ago. She Will Receive Her VA Grave Marker May 3.

Marie Edmee LeRoux

When Marie Edmee LeRoux was laid to rest in 1945 at the Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, MD, she was not provided with a VA grave marker--because the WWI U.S. Army Signal Corps telephone operators had not yet been recognized by the Army or Congress as being veterans. That changed in 1977 with Congressional action, but LeRoux's grave remained without the recognition of her Veteran status. That is going to change on May 3. Click here to learn how a coalition of organizations will gather for an event to finally place the appropriate marker for her, in an event that is open to the public.

My Wild World War One Adventure

Elizabeth Cobbs

Historian and Author Elizabeth Cobbs had picked a topic for a book that "was so obscure that a kind and experienced historian warned me that he doubted the story of the U.S. Army Signal Corps women in France from 1918 to 1920 could fill a whole book." So how did that work out? "Imagine my surprise when the pages I did manage to fill found a passionate, fiercely loyal audience far beyond the library." The book was The Hello Girls, and the story Cobbs wasn't sure had an audience has taken on a life of its own. Click here to read more, and find out how the Hello Girls story Cobbs told ignited a campaign for America's First Women Soldiers to receive a Congressional Gold Medal, and how Cobbs is helping answer that call.

Tell Congress That YOU Support A Congressional Gold Medal for America's First Women Soldiers, The Hello Girls

Hello Girls pop-up image

https://ww1cc.org/hellogirlsThe U.S. Army Signal Corps telephone operators, respectfully called the "Hello Girls" by their fellow soldiers, made a big difference in WWI. Their ability to pass rapid tactical information calmly and seamlessly between two allied armies that spoke different languages was a fundamental breakthrough, and helped bring the fighting to an end in the Allies’ favor as much as a year earlier than it might have taken without them, according to General Pershing. But when the Hello Girls finally returned home in 1919 after WWI ended, the women who had served in U.S. Army uniforms received a shock. They were denied veterans status and benefits until 1977. The Hello Girls earned and deserve the recognition of a Congressional Gold Medal, and you can join Team Hello Girls in advocating for passage of the Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal legislation in 2024. You can make your voice heard on this issue right from your computerClick here for our toolkit that makes the process of reaching out to your Representative and Senators by email very straightforward. 

Hello Girls at switchboard

You can also reach out by phone to the local and district offices of your Senators and Representative, and tell them that YOU want them to cosponsor the Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal legislation in the 118th Congress. Emails  and calls from Americans like you have secured the commitments (as of April 22) of 55 Senators and 97 Representatives to support legislation in their respective Houses . Please join the campaign to get the measure to 67 votes in the Senate by Memorial Day, and over the top in the House of Representatives soon after.

When their nation called in 1918, the Hello Girls answered – will YOU answer their call for recognition in 2024?

Ad for NYC Hello Girls performance corrected

Calling NYC: Purchase Tickets For A Special Showing of "The Hello Girls - A New American Musical" On May 12

Following their appearance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC on May 7, The Prospect Theatre Company will present a special, one-night-only performance of their award-wining "The Hello Girls – A New American Musical" on Sunday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. at New York's Symphony Space. Click here to learn more, and purchase your tickets for this special performance.  NOTE: Use Code " DFHG " for $5 off your Symphony Space Tickets (valid until 4/30/2024).

Doughboy Foundation is named as the 2024 EdTech Awards winner for Social Studies Solutions

2024 EdTech Awards

The Doughboy Foundation education outreach program has received a big salute from the EdTech Digest's "EDTECH AWARDS 2024: Future Focused For the Win" competition. The Foundation took home the EdTech Award for best Social Studies Solution in 2024 award, honoring its contribution to the educational sector by providing high-quality resources that are both effective and supportive for educators and students​ who want to teach and learn about how WWI changed America. Click here to read more about this prestigious award, and click here to see all the Foundation's WWI Resources For Teaching And Learning

American Expeditionary Forces HQ Band: A Tribute To Sacrifice And Remembrance

AEF Band

In the heart of Washington, D.C., where history whispers its solemn tales, stands the National World War One Memorial, a tribute to the sacrifices made during one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century. Amidst its grandeur and solemnity, there exists a musical embodiment of honor and remembrance: the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) Headquarters Band, official ensemble of the National WWI Memorial. Sponsored by the Doughboy Foundation, and comprising ten talented musicians, this ensemble has become synonymous with honoring the legacy of the Great War, performing renditions of the national anthem and “God Bless America” at major sporting events and ceremonies of national significance. Click here to learn more about the AEF Headquarters Band, and watch and hear the sounding the National Anthem at the National World War I Memorial.

Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial

Honoring Joseph M. Lane

During the week of Monday, April 29 through Saturday, May 5, Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC will be sounded in honor of WWI veteran Joseph M. Lane.

Joseph Lane of Lodi, Bergen County, New Jersey, trained in New Jersey's Camp Dix. He served in France in 1918 with 78th Division, 308th Field Artillery Regiment of the American Expeditionary Forces. The 78th Division was the "point of the wedge" of the final offensive which knocked out Germany. The 78th was in three major campaigns during World War I – Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel, and Lorraine. Lane unfortunately died in 1919 in France before the División returned home to demobilize in July 1919 . He is buried in Suresnes American Cemetery. Lane is the namesake of Lodi, NJ American Legion Post 136.

  Joseph M. Lane

The Daily Taps program of the Doughboy Foundation provides a unique opportunity to dedicate a livestreamed sounding of Taps in honor of a special person of your choice while supporting the important work of the Doughboy Foundation. Choose a day, or even establish this honor in perpetuityClick here for more information on how to honor a loved veteran with the sounding of Taps.

Sabin Howard Talks About Memorial Sculpture With UK, US Podcasters

Sabin Howard mug

Sculptor Sabin Howard continues to spend time at Pangolin Foundry in Chalford, UK as work goes on to cast his monumental bronze sculpture that will complete the National World War One Memorial in Washington D.C. The sculpture, which will be the largest freestanding high-relief bronze in the Western hemisphere, will be shipped back to the U.S. in June, installed at the Memorial in July-August, and presented to the nation in September.  In recent weeks, Sabin has done a number of online interviews to talk about the vision and creation of the magnificent bronze sculpture. Click here to watch two interviews, one with a British reporter for the GB News network, and another with the Southern Sense podcast in the U.S.

Westmoreland Community Bands To Help Dedicate National WWI Memorial In D.C.

Westmoreland County community bands

Westmoreland County’s five community bands regularly take an annual summer trip together, assembling a group that performs somewhere at their destination. This year, however, it will be delayed a month, so the bands can help dedicate the centerpiece of the National World War I memorial in Washington, D.C Members of the Penn-Trafford, Scottdale, Kiski Valley, Delmont and Jeannette community bands will travel to the nation’s capital to take part in the dedication and illumination of “A Soldier’s Journey,” the massive bronze sculpture by New York City native Sabin Howard that will complete the Memorial when installed. Click here to read more about the collection of community musicians, who see the upcoming visit and performances as "a pretty big deal,"

Handwritten Copy Of 1930 Speech By French Ambassador To American Gold Star Mothers Donated To ABMC

French Ambassador Paul Claudel

Dr. Monique Seefried, Commissioner, U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, was on hand February 24 at the Chateau-Thierry American Memorial in France for a very special event: the donation to the American Battle Monuments Commission of a handwritten copy of the speech French Ambassador to the U.S. Paul Claudel (left) gave to a group of Gold Star Mothers in 1930. There was obvious historical importance to the event, but Commissioner Seefried had a personal as well as professional reason for being there. Click here to learn why the event was especially meaningful, read a copy of the speech, and find out why "the words of Claudel speak for themselves."

Wars Civil And Great: The American Experience In The Civil War And WWI

Wars Civil And Great

"Books, like wars, start in a variety of strange places and for a variety of odd reasons.  This one started on stage and was affirmed in a bar.  That latter not so strange, perhaps." So begins the story of how two academics, who were mainly focused on two different wars that had enormous effect on America in the last 200 years, got to talking about what the wars had in common. The outcome of that discussion is a fascinating new book that seeks to answer the questions "What had the Civil War taught Americans and what lessons did the Great War generation take from those who had preserved the republic in 1865?" Click here to discover how the two editors "found the depth of connections deeper than anticipated" and made them  reconsider how scholars may want to think about "the narrative arc of American history."

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney World War I Bronzes At New Home In Rhode Island

Blinded bronze

The Preservation Society of Newport County in Rhode Island recently acquired two Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney World War I bronzes: America at War (a chaotic battle scene) and Blinded (depicting a soldier blinded by poison gas).  Whitney, who summered at The Breakers in her youth and later founded the Whitney Museum of American Art, created the bronzes as a study for a long-gone World War I monument in New York City. The story of the creation of the bronze casts is pretty remarkable in itself, but the wonder doesn't stop there. Click here to read more, and learn about the amazing bucolic existence of these historic sculptures, just hanging in a garden for most of a century. 

Pioneering D.C. Artist Inez Demonet Helped World War I Soldiers Put Their Lives Back Together

Inez Demonet

Washington, DC-based artist Inez M. Demonet specialized in etchings and watercolors of District landmarks and people on her own time back in the 1920's and 30's.  But her day job was much more impactful: she spent most of her time in an office at the National Institute of Health, where she worked as a medical illustrator. When the United States entered WWI in 1917, Demonet contributed to the war effort in a unique way: at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, she assisted doctors with facial reconstruction surgeries. Click here to learn how her exquisite drawings enabled surgeons to copy techniques that would help heal the "horrific injuries" of American soldiers returning from the European trenches.

Professor Emeritus Wins Award For Research On The Response To WWI-Era German Language Restrictions

István Gombocz, Ph.D.

During World War I, South Dakota joined other U.S. states by enacting measures that banned speaking the German language in public spaces. Istvan Gombocz, Ph.D., professor emeritus of German at the University of South Dakota, documented the reactions from German speaking residents of the state in a research article that won a prestigious award from the South Dakota Historical Society. Gombocz’s article, “‘A Menace to Peace and Progress’ Unexplored Newspaper Reports and Testimonials Pertaining to the Ban of the German Language in 1918,” won this year’s Herbert S. Schell Award for the best article in South Dakota History, the State Historical Society’s quarterly journal. Click here to read more, and find out how Gombocz’s work focuses on the response from German speakers in the state during WWI.

Sam Lucas’ Funeral And The Approaching War

Sam Lucas newspaper clipping

Sam Lucas was a Black Civil War Veteran, and a popular star of stage and screen. Sam Lucas was born with family and ancestral ties to slavery. His funeral was a fascinating harbinger of World War I. The Library of Congress’ National Film Registry recognizes our nation’s most important films, including many important early films that have become largely forgotten. The 1914 silent film Uncle Toms Cabin features Sam Lucas and is one such film listed on the National Film Registry. Click here to read the whole story, and discover how "Lucas’ funeral signaled a changing America as it prepared to enter World War I"

Pritzker Book Giveaway

Winners of the March Drawing for a copy of Lest We Forget:

  • Marla Frohlinger of Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Phyllis Dickinson of Buffalo Grove, IL
  • Jonathan Eaker of Laurel, MD
  • Janice Sellers of Gresham, OR
  • Raymond Wong of San Francisco, CA

Those who entered in March are already in the running for the April drawing. Good luck to everyone who enters!

The Battle Of Henry Johnson: When A Single Black Soldier Killed 4 Germans, And Wounded 20 More In World War I

Henry Johnson MOH

He was 26 years old, 5-foot-4, weighed 130 pounds and came from Albany, New York. And on the night of May 15, 1918, Army Pvt. Henry Johnson, a member of the all-black New York National Guard 369th Infantry Regiment, found himself fighting for his life against 20 German soldiers out in front of his unit’s trench line. Johnson said later. “There wasn’t anything so fine about it. … Just fought for my life. A rabbit would have done that.” Click here to read the whole story on the Lipstick Alley website, and learn how there was a LOT more to the action that eventually earned Johnson the Medal of Honor.

A Records Search,
A Doughboy’s Journey Home

Howard Lee Strohl

Researcher David Venditta was blogging last year about an Army officer from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who was killed in the First World War. In 2024, Venditta has discovered that "There’s more to tell about 2nd Lieutenant Howard Lee Strohl." His exploration of Strol's battlefield death, and the subsequent disposition of his remains, lead him to observe that "It’s clear the war dead of more than a hundred years ago were honored and their kin treated with respect just as they are today." Click here to the follow Venditta's search trail through multiple agencies and sources to fill in all the details of the death and disposition of a twenty-three year-old American soldier in World War I. 

Michael Santoro:

U.S. 27th Division Field-Issued British Enlisted Jacket

Santoro -- field jacket

A "British Pattern 1902 Other Ranks Service Jacket was field-issued to a Sergeant in Company M of the 106th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division" may not, at first glance, seem to have much of a story to tell. But researcher Michael Santoro ravels all the narrative threads that the century-old uniform carries, and finds that it does have a lot to say. Click here to read more, and learn how an American soldier "fought at the Somme Offensive wearing this uniform," and get some hints about the men who might have worn it in action.

World War I News Digest April 2024

Hello Girls Image Sonoma Index-Tribune  

World War I was The War that Changed the World, and its impact on the United States continues to be felt over a century later, as people across the nation learn more about and remember those who served in the Great War. Here's a collection of news items from the last month related to World War I and America.

‘The Hello Girls’ Musical Story Comes To Sonoma

For 60 Years The Hello Girls Fought For Veterans Status

Captain Allen M. Sumner, Jr., USMC In WWI

The A&D Minute: World War I With Drones

WWI Bombs In The Ground Are Becoming More Volatile

Awards Given For The WWI Homefront Efforts

Carvings At Bordeaux Château Point To WWI Love Stories

A Few Thoughts About World War I

Celebrated WWI Soldier Focus Of Old Fort Niagara Lecture

History Behind Iconic WWI ‘Uncle Sam, I Want You’ Poster

Doughboy MIA for April 2024

Percy E. Southard.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Percy E. Southard. Born in March, 1897, the son of Henry and Minerva Southard of Reidsville, North Carolina, Private Percy Southard was already a member of the 3rd Regiment of Infantry, North Carolina National Guard, when America entered WW1 in April, 1917. His unit – Company G of Reidsville – was federalized on August 6, 1917 and sent to Camp Sevier, South Carolina to prepare for overseas service. There the company became Company G, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division. Fighting strength for the units of the 30th were then built up by drafts of men coming in from Camps Jackson and Taylor. Private Southard shipped ‘Over There’ on May 12, 1918 aboard the transport Bohemian, departing from Boston, Mass. Overseas, the division was brigaded with the British, first in the Ypres Sector up in Belgium. By August, however, they had been transferred to the British 4th Brigade, in the Somme Sector, to take part in the coming ‘Final Offensive.’

At 5:50 am on September 29, 1918, the 120th Infantry was sent over the top in the area of Bellicourt, near the St. Quentin Canal. It was a section of the line the Germans believed impossible to break and the fighting was intense. Nevertheless, by 11:45 am that day  the 120th had taken Bellicourt. The price had been high though – of the 250 man Company G, some 120 of them had been killed or wounded. One of the killed was Private Percy Southard. Nothing further is known of his case at this time.

His death was announced in the papers back home on November 1, 1918, while his father did not receive official word until November 15, 1918. His mother had died (ostensibly of TB) in June, 1918, while Percy was overseas.

Would you like to be involved with solving the case of Pvt. Southard, and all the other Americans still in MIA status from World War I? You can! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization today, and help us bring them home! Help us do the best job possible and give today, with our thanks.  Remember: A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store

Poppy Flag

WWI Poppy Flag 5’X7′

  • A Doughboy.shop Exclusive
  • Premium, Dual sided Poppy Design
  • 5’ x 7’ Digital Nylon
  • Grommets for rigging
  • Limited Edition
  • Made in USA
WWI Poppy Lapel Pin

Poppy Lapel Pin

  • Exclusive Commemorative WW1 Poppy Lapel Pin
  • Soft enamel color design
  • Approx. 1.5 inch in dia.
  • Standard military clasp

Proceeds from the sale of these items will help complete the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the Doughboy Foundation.

John Franklin Funkhouser

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

John Franklin Funkhouser

Submitted by: Joey Funkhouser {1st Cousin 4x Removed}

John Franklin Funkhouser was born around 1892. John Funkhouser served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

John Franklin Funkhouser was born June 17th, 1892 at Baker, West Virginia. He grew up on his family homestead, built by his grandfather. It is said that he was an excellent conversationalist and could liven-up any meeting with his outgoing personality. In 1916, John followed his older brother, William, to Dayton, Ohio where he found work. While in Ohio, John had an ear and mastoid operation probably due to an ear infection.

In April 1917, America entered the war and the call to arms began. John was called to the services of his country in May 1918. In John's surviving letters, he described his six weeks of extensive training. Writing to his sister, Della, he states, "I just got back from the big rifle range. It is 8 miles out from here. We marched those 8 miles and carried about 50 lbs. I never was so tired in all my life as I was when I got here."

Growing up in the backwoods, John learned to hunt and shoot. Those years of helping his family put food on the table paid off in training. He goes on, "We shot all day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I made some good scores. We had slow and rapid fire, on the rapid fire I had to shoot and load ten times to a minute. I got every shot fired and hit 8 bulls eyes out of 10 at 300 yards. I made the points for sharpshooter."

From his letters, John admits that his training was difficult, but he assures his sister that he is ready to go. "We still have gas and bayonet practice yet and then we will be liable to leave. I don't think we will be here two weeks from now and may not be here two days from now, but I am ready to go at any time. If I get in France some of the Huns will have to fall."

Read John Franklin Funkhouser's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.