World War I
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World War I World War I Presentation Transcript

  • World War I
  •   World War I 1914-1918
    • The Road to War: 1890-1914
    • 1898: Germany begins its naval buildup.
    • 1902: Britain and Japan conclude a naval alliance
    • 1905: The First Moroccan Crisis.
    • 1907: Anglo-Russian treaty over Persia.
      • Triple Entente is completed.
    • 1911: Italy annexes Tripoli
    • 1912: The First Balkan War
    The Aftermath 1918: Revolutions in Germany, Austria and Turkey. 1919: Allied governments intervene in Russia The Treaty of Versailles is ratified. The League of Nations is founded.  
    • 1913: The Second Balkan War
    • 1914: The Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo
      • World War I begins
    • The Course of the War: 1914-1918
    • 1914: The Battle of the Marne
      • The Ottoman Empire enters the war
    • 1915: The Armenian Massacre
    • 1916: The Battle of Verdun.
    • 1917: The February Revolution in Russia
      • The United States enters the war on the Allied side
      • The Balfour Declaration on Palestine
    • 1918: Germany and the Soviet Union conclude the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
      • President Wilson's Fourteen Points
      • Armistice ends the war.
  • Germany signed an armistice ending World War I. Nov. 11 The Allies began their final offensive on the Western Front. Sept. 26 Germany launched the first of its final three offensives on the Western Front. March 21 Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. March 3 President Woodrow Wilson announced his Fourteen Points as the basis for peace. Jan. 8 1918 Russia signed an armistice with Germany, ending the fighting on the Eastern Front. Dec. 15 American troops began landing in France. June 24 The United States declared war on Germany. April 6 Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare. Feb. 1 1917
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, far right, was shot to death on June 28, 1914, shortly after this photo was taken. His assassination triggered the outbreak of World War I.
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand
    • Family name: Hapsburg Heir to the Austrian Throne: Third in line to the throne at one point, he became heir through two untimely deaths. The first was of the Emperor's son, Crown Prince Rudolph, who killed himself (and his sixteen year old mistress) in 1889. The second was the death of his father, Archduke Charles Louis, in 1896
    • Fate: The Archduke and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo on 28-Jun-1914 (their fourteenth wedding anniversary) by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. The Archduke's role of Inspector General of the Austrian army had brought him to Sarajevo for the summer maneuvers. Neither Emperor Franz Josef or the Kaiser saw fit to attend the funeral.
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand 1863-1914 Family name: Hapsburg Heir to the Austrian Throne: Third in line to the throne at one point, he became heir through two untimely deaths. The first was of the Emperor's son, Crown Prince Rudolph, who killed himself (and his sixteen year old mistress) in 1889. The second was the death of his father, Archduke Charles Louis, in 1896. Now it was Franz Ferdinand that would be next in line for the Crown. Politics: Considered more flexible in matters of military and domestic affairs than his uncle Emperor Franz Josef, he was a reformist with new ideas to be put into practice when he ascended to the Hapsburg throne. One of these ideas was "trialism" - the reorganization of the dual monarchy into a triple monarchy by giving the Slavs an equal voice in the empire. This would put them on an equal footing with the Magyars and Germans living inside the Austro-Hungarian borders. These politics were in direct conflict with those of the Serbian nationalists. General Information
  • The ill-fated couple arriving in Sarajevo.
    • Personal:
    • Much has been said about Franz Ferdinand and very little of it good. He has been referred to as a miser, a bigot, and a spoiled child. Shunned by the elite of Viennese society, he was also called "the loneliest man in Vienna". He lacked the two key elements for success in this social scene - charm and elegance. His home life appears to have been surprisingly better. His marriage to Countess Sophia von Chotkowa und Wognin, Duchess of Hohenburg in 1900 was called one of the world's great love affairs. Unfortunately the Emperor considered the Duchess a commoner and tried to convince Franz Ferdinand he was marrying beneath his station. They went through with the marriage against the Emperor's wishes but had to renounce rights of rank and succession for their children. In the years to come, Sophie would not be allowed to ride in the same car with her husband during affairs of state. Fate:
    • The Archduke and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo on 28-Jun-1914 (their fourteenth wedding anniversary) by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. The Archduke's role of Inspector General of the Austrian army had brought him to Sarajevo for the summer maneuvers. Neither Emperor Franz Josef or the Kaiser saw fit to attend the funeral.
    • The Heir with his uncle Emperor Franz Josef.
    The Archduke (left) with the Kaiser on maneuvers in 1909. Ferdinand and Sophie The Archduke with Sophie and their children
  • Gavrilo Princip Quotes "There is no need to carry me to another prison. My life is already ebbing away. I suggest that you nail me to a cross and burn me alive. My flaming body will be a torch to light my people on their path to freedom." Princip to the prison governor on being moved to another prison A 19 year old tubercular Bosnian Serb student. A member of Mlada Bosna ("Young Bosnia"), a movement dedicated to a Bosnia free of Hapsburg rule. He and his six fellow assassins were equipped with pistols and bombs by a Serbian terrorist organization known as the Black Hand. On 28-Jun-1914, he succeeded where his accomplices failed in assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Countess Sophia in Sarajevo. He attempted suicide at the scene, but the gun was knocked from his hand by an onlooker. His second attempt at suicide was by cyanide, but it made him retch and he vomited up the poison. He was taken into custody and made to stand trial. He was found guilty but, because of his age, spared the death penalty. He died in prison of tuberculosis in 1918. All in all, it seems he was treated fairly by the government he considered so tyrannical. " Ujedinjenje ili Smrt " is the Serbian "Black Hand". Link provides full background info including their constitution listing Colonel Dimitrievitch (Apis) as a member. "Narodna Odbrana" is the Serbian secret patriotic society of which "Mlada Bosna" was a splinter group..
  • World War I Troop Strength and Casualties This map compares the size of the different armies in World War I with the number of wounded and dead among the major combatants in the war. The relatively light numbers of American dead and wounded reflect the late entry of the United States in the war. The major European participants suffered enormous losses. Twice as many men died in World War I as in all the significant wars from 1790 to 1913 combined. (Note that due to the scale of destruction, the estimated figures given here for Russians and Ottomans killed are probably low.)
  •  
    • Ascent: Emperor Wilhelm I dies 9-Mar-1888. Frederick III is crowned Emperor but cannot rule due to throat cancer and a ninety-nine day coma. Wilhelm II succeeds his father and is crowned Emperor (midyear) 1888.
    • Noteworthy Relations Relationship Country
    • Crown Prince Wilhelm son Germany
    • Czar Nicholas II cousin Russia
    • King Edward VII uncle Britain
    • King George V cousin Britain
    • King Frederick III father Prussia
    • Queen Victoria grandmother Britain
    • Emperor Wilhelm I grandfather Germany
    • Politics: Above all, the Kaiser wanted "a place in the sun" for the German people. The problem was the only places left were in the shade. There was very little room left for new colonization in the early part of this century. Nevertheless, the Kaiser built up the German military machine and built a naval fleet to rival that of Great Britain. The term "saber rattler" sums up his politics as well as his personality. Historian Barbara Tuchman put it well when she referred to the Kaiser as "possessor of the least inhibited tongue in Europe".
    Frederick Wilhelm Viktor Albert of Hohenzollern Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany
    • Personal: The Kaiser was born with a withered left arm. This, together with having some tough footsteps in which to follow, led Wilhelm towards the military lifestyle. He loved his numerous uniforms and surrounding himself with the elite of German military society.
    • Misconception: The Kaiser was a war monger solely responsible for the First World War. The Kaiser did not start the war. The Kaiser did not want the war. "Saber rattling" is one thing, a war with the other major European powers is something very different indeed! The most that can be said is that the Kaiser did not do enough to try to control the actions of Austria-Hungary and prevent the outbreak of war. In the end he accepted war.
    • Fate: The Kaiser was forced to abdicate as part of the Armistice. He went to Holland where he died in 1941. He is buried at Doorn.
  •                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    • The airplane was first used in combat during World War I. Airco D.H.4's, like this one, were highly regarded British bombers. The D.H.4 held a pilot and a gunner and carried bombs under its wings.
    • The submarine proved its value as a warship in World War I. German submarines, like this UB II, challenged British sea power. They fired torpedoes that struck surface ships and then exploded.  
    •   The tank was a British invention of World War I. Tanks were designed to rip through barbed wire and cross trenches. Crews inside gunned down the enemy. This MK IV tank first saw action in 1917. The machine gun made World War I more deadly than earlier wars. The gun's rapid fire slaughtered attacking infantrymen. The 8-millimeter Hotchkiss gun used by the French army is shown here.
  • War In Air & At Sea Anthony Michael Michalski 165th Infantry, KIA John Rudolph Webb and Crew 301st Tank Battalion
  • Dirigibles and Zeppelins The Zeppelin men: (from left) Hugo Eckener, Count von Zeppelin, and Peter Strasser Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin died of pneumonia on 8-Mar-1917 at the age of seventy-eight. Peter Strasser, Chief of the Naval Airship Division and the driving force behind the German airship program, was aboard the height-climber L 70 when it was shot down over the English Channel on 5-Aug-1918. This event marked the end of the airship as a strategic bomber. Hugo Eckener would go on to lead Germany's postwar airship program.
  • The Art of War One water bottle for 40 men by G.P. Hoskins Gassed by John Singer Sargent
  • Take a Little Tour
    • LEGEND:
    • 1. A 3rd Class berth. 2. The 3rd Class Dining saloon. 3. The Bridge. 4. The Port Side Regal Suite. 5. The 1st Class Library. 6. The 1st Class Lounge. 7. The 1st Class Dining Saloon and 1914 Menu. 8. The 2nd Class Lounge.
  • By all accounts, she was riding low in the water. What was she carrying? Supplies and shells? Schwieger's log and the testimony of several survivors shows categorically that he only fired one torpedo; but a larger, second explosion had occurred almost instantaneously, which was highly likely to have been attributable to a particular consignment of 5,000 live artillery shells in the hold. It was the second explosion, caused we think by the sympathetic detonation of these munitions, which was ultimately responsible for the ship's rapid demise.
  • Germany and Great Britain were at war. So were most of the other countries of Europe. The United States, wanting to remain neutral, had not yet entered World War I. But the Imperial Government of Kaiser Wilhelm II had issued a dire warning to American citizens: Stay out of the waters around the British Isles. Those waters included the Irish Sea. How many of the 1959 people on board the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 knew about Germany’s threat to sink non-military ships? Of those who knew, how many really believed that women and children would be treated like front-line soldiers of war?
  • "Torpedo coming on the starboard side!" The torpedo struck the ship with a sound which Turner later recalled was "like a heavy door being slammed shut." Almost instantaneously came a second, much larger explosion, which physically rocked the ship. A tall column of water and debris shot skyward, wrecking lifeboat No. 5 as it came back down. The clock on the bridge said 14.10.  Watching events through his periscope, Kapitan-Leutnant Schwieger could not believe that so much havoc could have been wrought by just one torpedo. He noted in his log that "an unusually heavy detonation" had taken place and noted that a second explosion had also occurred which he put down to "boilers, coal or powder." He also noticed that the torpedo had hit the Lusitania further forward of where he had aimed it. Schwieger brought the periscope down and U-20 headed back to sea. On the bridge of the Lusitania ,  Captain Turner could see instantly that his ship was doomed. He gave the orders to abandon ship.
  • The Sinking of the Lusitania
    • The Lusitania was gone, and with her had gone 1, 201 people. 
    • Then, nearly instantaneously, the Lusitania exploded. Not from a second torpedo. From an internal explosion.
    • Nearly 2,000 people had 18 minutes to get off the mortally wounded, quickly-sinking liner. (Follow the link to a rare copy of the "Annex to the Report," from the official inquiry conducted by Lord Mersey.)
  • Captain William Turner As the stern of the ship settled back, the bridge was awash and the Captain was swept into the Irish Sea. He, unlike most others, survived.
  • Germany, however, was unapologetic. The government had issued its warning. Their actions were justified, they said, because they believed the ship carried arms that would have been used to kill Germans.
  •  
  • The Zimmerman Telegram
    • The German ambassador Zimmerman telegraphs the Mexican ambassador with a proposition. The British intercept it and decode it for US.
    • The Kaiser is offering Mexico choice parts of the US (CA, TX, NM) if they attack US and keep US off balance during The Great War.
    • This angers US so much that we will join the Allies against Germany.
  • Lenin
    • Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин ), original surname Ulyanov ( Улья́нов ) (April 22 (April 10 (O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the ideology of Leninism.
    • "Lenin" was one of his revolutionary pseudonyms. He is believed to have created it to show his opposition to Georgi Plekhanov who used the pseudonym Volgin, after the Volga River; Ulyanov picked the Lena which is longer and flows in the opposite direction. However, there are many theories on where his name came from and he himself is not known to have ever stated exactly why he chose it. He is sometimes erroneously referred to in the West as "Nikolai Lenin", though he has never been known as such in Russia.
    • Lenin was chilling in a German jail until his sudden release. He was put on a train back to Russia and he fomented a revolution that took Russia out of The Great War.
    • It is unrestricted U-boat activity in the North Atlantic that makes US finally ditch Isolationism & join the war.
  • Steps to War!
    • 1. The Lusitania is sunk!
    • 2. Zimmerman Telegram discovered
    • 3. Sussex pledge broken—unrestricted submarine warfare is back!
    • 4. Lenin freed from German jail, goes back to Russia, and the Russians desert the Allies for their Revolution.
    • 5. We declare war on Germany/The Central Powers on April 2, 1917
  • World War I
    • A mericans reluctantly entered Europe’s “Great War” and tipped the balance to Allied victory. In part the nation was responding to threats to its own economic and diplomatic interests. But it also wanted, in the words of President Woodrow Wilson, to “make the world safe for democracy.” The United States emerged from the war a significant, but reluctant, world power.
    • The Yanks Are Coming!
    • U nder unprecedented government direction, American industry mobilized to produce weapons, equipment, munitions, and supplies. Nearly one million women joined the workforce. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the South migrated north to work in factories.
    • Two million Americans volunteered for the army, and nearly three million were drafted. More than 350,000 African Americans served, in segregated units. For the first time, women were in the ranks, nearly 13,000 in the navy as Yeoman (F) (for female) and in the marines. More than 20,000 women served in the Army and Navy Nurse Corps.
    • The first contingent of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), commanded by General John J. Pershing reached France in June, but it took time to assemble, train, and equip a fighting force. By spring 1918, the AEF was ready, first blunting a German offensive at Belleau Wood.
    Facts / Statistics Dates: 1917-1918 Troops: 4,734,991 Deaths: 116,516
  • The Great War was without precedent ... never had so many nations taken up arms at a single time. Never had the battlefield been so vast… never had the fighting been so gruesome..."
    • The World War of 1914-18 - The Great War, as contemporaries called it -- was the first man-made catastrophe of the 20th century. Historians can easily identify the literal "smoking gun" that set the War in motion: a revolver used by a Serbian nationalist to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand (heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne) in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.   But scholars are still debating the underlying causes. Was it the desire for greater empire, wealth and territory? A massive arms race? The series of treaties which ensured that once one power went to war, all of Europe would quickly follow? Was it social turmoil and changing artistic sensibilities brought about by the Industrial Revolution? Or was it simply a miscalculation by rulers and generals in power? The answer provided in "The Great War and The Shaping of the 20th Century" is that all of these volatile elements combined to set off a gigantic explosion we now know as World War I.   "World War I marked the first use of chemical weapons, the first mass bombardment of civilians from the sky, and the century's first genocide..."
    • True to the military alliances, Europe's powers quickly drew up sides after the assassination. The allies -- chiefly Russia, France and Britain -- were pitted against the Central Powers -- primarily Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. Eventually, the War spread beyond Europe as the warring continent turned to its colonies and friends for help. This included the United States, which joined the War in 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson called on Americans to "make the world safe for democracy."
  • Over There, Over There
    • The Americans entered a war that was deadlocked. Opposing armies were dug in, facing each other in trenches that ran nearly 500 miles across northern France—the notorious western front. Almost three years of horrific fighting resulted in huge losses, but no discernable advantage for either side.
    • American involvement in the war was decisive. Within eighteen months, the sheer number of American “doughboys” added to the lines ended more than three years of stalemate. Germany agreed to an armistice on November 11, 1918.
    • Machine guns, poison gas, and a variety of other weapons killed tens of thousands on both sides, but far more troops died under the rain of artillery shells. The dead—often just parts of bodies—were carried back from the front lines. Frequently, an American ambulance driver noted, “there wasn’t anything left to bring.”
    • Two million men in the American Expeditionary Force went to France. Some 1,261 combat veterans—and their commander, General Pershing—were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest award for extraordinary heroism. Sixty-nine American civilians also received the award.
  • Propaganda  for the War Boards
  • George Creel’s propaganda
  • Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen
    • As a young cadet Manfred von Richthofen climbed a church steeple at Wahlstatt and tied his handkerchief to its lighting rod, just for fun. He loved risk. He came from a wealthy Junker family and in his youth enjoyed hunting and riding horses. When the war broke out Manfred was a cavalry officer and saw duty on both the Eastern and Western fronts scouting for the German Army. By May of 1915 he was bored with scouting and asked to be transferred to the Flying service. On September 17, 1916, Richthofen recorded his first aerial combat victory. Before his career was over he shot down eighty allied aircraft and was the leading ace of the war. As his success increased so did his popularity with the German people. He was showered with military decorations and treated like a hero by the Germans. His flaming red Fokker airplane became infamous to the troops in the trenches. In the air he embodied deadly grace and his experience as a hunter helped him as a pilot. By 1918 he had become such a legend that it was feared that his death would be a blow to the morale of the German people. His superiors asked him to retire, but he refused as long as there were still troops in the trenches. He began to get more depressed and the emotional weight of being responsible for so many deaths began to press on him. On April 21, 1918, his career ended when he was shot down over enemy lines by Roy Brown of Canada. His opponents had so much respect for the noble flyer, that he was given a hero’s funeral.
  • Who put the fatal bullet into the Red Baron as he closed in on Canadian Wilfrid May along the Somme River on April 21, 1918? Theories abound. Various Allied gunners on the ground claimed to have shot the Baron down. To whom that honor truly belongs will likely never be known.
  • Sergeant Alvin C. York
    • Born Alvin Cullum York, December 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, Tennessee.
    • His life was turned around by a woman, Gracie Williams, who convinced him to give up his worldly ways and go to church. Formed long held and firm religious beliefs as a result.
    • Drafted in 1917.
    • Impressed the regular army officers with his ability to use a gun. Shot accurately at ranges of 200, 300 and 500 yards. Struggled with the moral issue of killing human beings, and refused to shoot at human silhouettes (targets).
    • At the battle of the Argonne Forest in the fall of 1918, as a member of the 82nd division, he killed 25 Germans, knocked out 35 machine guns, and captured 132 prisoners almost single-handed.
    • Received the French Medaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre, the Italian Groce de Guerra and the American Medal of Honor.
    • Came home to the adulation of the American people, married Gracie Williams, and died in Nashville, Tenn. on September 2, 1964 after having a cerebral hemorrhage.
    1887-1964 York, 1919, in the Argonne
  • Alvin’s Conundrum
    • "Sir, I am doing wrong. Practicing to kill people is against my religion."
    • York, speaking of target practice at human silhouettes.
    • "What you did was the greatest thing accomplished by any private soldier of all the armies of Europe."
    • Marshall Ferdinand Foch, on York's feat in the Argonne.
    • "This uniform ain't for sale."
    • York, on demands for his endorsement.
    • "It's over; let's just forget about it."
    • York's modesty about the event that brought him the Medal of Honor.
    • 1914-1918 - World War I - More than 400,000 African-American troops fight against the Germans. * 6,000 of the 8,000 American Indians who fought were volunteers.
  • Henry Johnson 369th Infantry Awarded DSC 14 Feb 2003
    • More than 83 years later, and following a campaign of several years, the US Army has agreed to posthumously award Johnson the country's second-highest medal, the Distinguished Service Cross. Now senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer have proposed legislation to enable Johnson to receive the ultimate recognition of his service, the Medal of Honor - and in doing so have focused fresh attention on a largely unrecognized episode in American military and racial history. The 369th Regiment from New York - the "Harlem Hellfighters" - were not conscripts. They were black soldiers who chose to sign up, despite the US military's insistence that they would not be permitted to fight alongside white troops. Mostly low-paid laborers in Manhattan's service sector - waiters, doormen, messengers - they were sent to South Carolina, a particularly racist state even by the standards of the time, for rudimentary training using wooden sticks for guns. Eventually, the army - facing a manpower crisis on the European frontline - reluctantly allowed them to fight. To avoid breaching segregation rules, they had them placed under the command of the French. "The French were horrified by the segregation, and by all these directives that came from the American high command instructing them not to praise the black troops, not to socialize with or speak to black officers outside of the line of duty," says Gail Buckley, author of American Patriots, a study of African-Americans in war. "The French command apparently ordered [General John] Pershing's directives to be burned."
    • from the Guardian 21 March 2002 Honor at last for war hero ignored for being black American 'Harlem Hellfighter' who fought off German attack single-handedly is finally awarded a medal
    • Oliver Burkeman in New York Shortly after midnight on May 15 1918, an American soldier called Henry Johnson was on duty near the Allied-German frontline in France when he heard the sound of barbed wire being snipped in the darkness. Silence returned for a moment. Then it began raining grenades. Afterwards, Pte Johnson would rarely speak of his wartime experiences, but military historians agree on the essentials of what happened that night. Under sustained attack from between 15 and 20 Germans, Johnson - armed with one rifle, and then, when his ammunition ran out, with only a knife - fended them all off, killing many of them, and managed to rescue his sole companion on duty that night, Pte Needham Roberts, who had been seriously wounded. Johnson himself received 21 injuries in the attack. The way Herman Johnson sees it, his father was a war hero - and would have been recognized as such long ago had he not been African-American. "It beats me why this country didn't do that," says Mr. Johnson, an 85-year-old estate agent living in Kansas City. "There's something inside a human being when his country is in need of service. And my father just had that thing and he deserves the appropriate award." Instead, prevented by his injuries from returning to work as a railway porter in Albany, New York, Henry Johnson died in poverty in 1929, reportedly suffering from alcoholism.
    • More than 83 years later, and following a campaign of several years, the US Army has agreed to posthumously award Johnson the country's second-highest medal, the Distinguished Service Cross. Now senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer have proposed legislation to enable Johnson to receive the ultimate recognition of his service, the Medal of Honor - and in doing so have focused fresh attention on a largely unrecognized episode in American military and racial history. The 369th Regiment from New York - the "Harlem Hellfighters" - were not conscripts. They were black soldiers who chose to sign up, despite the US military's insistence that they would not be permitted to fight alongside white troops. Mostly low-paid laborers in Manhattan's service sector - waiters, doormen, messengers - they were sent to South Carolina, a particularly racist state even by the standards of the time, for rudimentary training using wooden sticks for guns. Eventually, the army - facing a manpower crisis on the European frontline - reluctantly allowed them to fight. To avoid breaching segregation rules, they had them placed under the command of the French. "The French were horrified by the segregation, and by all these directives that came from the American high command instructing them not to praise the black troops, not to socialize with or speak to black officers outside of the line of duty," says Gail Buckley, author of American Patriots, a study of African-Americans in war. "The French command apparently ordered [General John] Pershing's directives to be burned." Henry Johnson's son Herman, pictured on the left, and New York governor George Pataki, honour his grave at Arlington VirginiaAnd so for a brief, extraordinary period, the black soldiers fought alongside the white French as equals, forging friendships that led some of the Americans to return to settle in Paris - and, incidentally, introducing Harlem jazz to the nightclubs of Montmartre. "One of the famous melodies of the day was called How You Gonna Keep Them Down on the Farm Once They Have Seen Paree?," says John Howe, a former New York state legislator and military historian who has worked "pretty much full-time" on the Henry Johnson case for the last few years. Johnson became the first American soldier of the war to be awarded France's highest honour, the Croix du Guerre. "The American report is too modest," a French general wrote of Johnson and his fellow soldier, Roberts. "As a result of oral information furnished me, it appears the blacks were extremely brave. This little combat does honor to all Americans!"
    • And the Hellfighters did return to something like a heroes' welcome. They had not been permitted to march in the farewell parade before their departure, but now they were at the helm of a tickertape parade that swept up Fifth Avenue into Harlem. But it was not to last. It was the summer of 1919, and the Ku Klux Klan was on the rise. The Harlem Hellfighters received no official American honors except the standard Purple Heart - "just a recognition that he'd been wounded", says Herman Johnson. "In spite of what some people may think of black people, we've fought in every war this country's ever had... It's a classic example of racism in our country." "For this American hero to be denied his due honors simply due to the color of his skin is a tragic yet blatant reminder of the rampant racism that existed in this nation during the first world war," said New York governor George Pataki recently. "The time is now to right this eight decades-long injustice, and finally recognize the valor, patriotism and grit of a man who was both a great New Yorker and an exemplary American soldier." Now, says John Howe, the Distinguished Service Cross "means the fable of Henry Johnson is no longer a fable. It's not the award he deserves, but it makes him an official part of American history. It makes him a real American hero. He's not just a legend any more."
  • Broken Promises & Broken Dreams
    • We return We return from fighting. We return fighting.
    • -W.E.B. DuBois, after WWI
    • In 1916 Wilson ran on the slogan,"he kept us out of war," and narrowly defeated Supreme Court Justice Charles Even Hughes. Wilson managed to keep America out of the war until it was clear that Germany's submarine warfare would continue to claim American civilian lives. During the 976 days of neutrality Wilson repeatedly tried to negotiate for an end to the fighting, and called on all those involved to accept peace without victory. Facing the imminent defeat of France, and seeing no end to Germany's attacks on civilian shipping, Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany 2-Apr-1917. Neutrality had ended, the nation was at war.
    • United States Involvement in WW1
    • Wilson continued to work for an end to the fighting while mobilizing the nation for war. American forces led by General Pershing made a significant addition to the allied fighting force in both numbers and morale. When America entered the war France was on the verge of collapse. Within months the Germans agreed to an armistice based on Wilson's 14 points. It was clear that they could not continue.
    The Versailles Peace Conference "Punitive damages, the dismemberment of empire we deem childish and in the end less than futile" Woodrow Wilson, 1917 Wilson became the first President to leave the country while in office when he left for France aboard the S.S. George Washington 4-Dec-1918. Wherever he went in Europe huge crowds gathered to cheer him on. His 14 points were very popular and the common people saw him as the savior of France, and the greatest hope for world peace. His efforts, for the most part, would end in vain. British Prime Minister Lloyd George and French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau resisted most of his ideas. To them the goal was to punish Germany to the extent that it could never make war again. They both were very conscious of the revengeful attitude of constituents, and would not budge. Wilson, through much effort, did manage to prevent some of the more extreme punishments against Germany, and convinced the allies that a League of Nations was necessary. With these small victories in hand Wilson headed home.
  • The Last Battle "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired." F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Wilson could not convince people at home that it was time for America to join the World Community. America had stepped back into isolationism, and would not be budged. The Congress was in Republican hands and was generally uncooperative with Wilson. Led by Wilson's longtime adversary Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, the Republicans insisted that certain parts of the League be altered. Wilson refused to make even the smallest concessions, fearing it would make it impotent. The Senate would not agree to the treaty so Wilson entered the final chapter of his relatively short political story. He decided to take the matter directly to the public.
    • His doctor warned him not to go. His wife begged him to reconsider. Wilson was determined and would not be turned back. The Senate would not listen to him, so he hoped to convince the public through an extensive speaking tour, and thus pressure the Senate into ratifying the treaty. The tour started out well. Enthusiastic supporters cheered him at each stop. Victory turned out to be beyond his grasp. Wilson’s fragile health halted the tour abruptly in Colorado. . "I don't seem to realize it," he commented to an advisor, "but I seem to have gone to pieces."
    • For the remainder of his administration Wilson was a near invalid. His wife looked over him carefully and was suspected of making important decisions for him. His hope was not shattered, but his body was, and that handicap was insurmountable. Wilson lived on until 1924, but never fully regained his mental or physical abilities. He died with his wife by his side, confident to the end that wrongs would be righted, and that America's mission would be fulfilled. His last words were "Edith,(his wife) I'm a broken machine, but I'm ready."
    • Legacy
    • His influence has been significant. During his tenure there were 3 amendments to the constitution. The Seventeenth provided for the direct election of United States Senators.
    • The Eighteenth prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors. The Nineteenth, guaranteed suffrage for women. His legislative successes included the Federal Reserve Act, the Clayton Anti-trust Act, Keating-Owen Child Labor Act, and the Adamson Act which established the eight-hour work day on railroads. According to Henry Kissinger, his foreign policy has shaped 20th Century United States policy like no other.
    • He was a man known for his principles, drawn from the pages of the Bible and the doctrine of the Presbyterians. He was an unusual president in that he had years of thinking and writing the philosophy of government, but little in the way of political experience. In the end he may be remembered more for his failure concerning the League of Nations than his progressive reform.
    • Wilson served in an era before Watergate, and before all of the scandals that have reduced faith in government to tired cynicism. Wilson was a great man in an age when people still believed in great men.
    • Epilogue
    • "I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it." Woodrow Wilson, 1919
  • At eleven o'clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the war ends as Germany and Allies sign an Armistice. The Big Four at the Paris Peace Conference. Lloyd George-- from Britain Vittorio Orlando-- Italy Georges Clemenceau-- France and Woodrow Wilson-- United States
  • Edward "Eddie" Vernon Rickenbacker
    • The son of Swiss immigrants, Rickenbacker was the American "Ace of Aces." He recorded 26 official victories against German aircraft during World War I and was awarded the Medal of Honor. Between WWI and WWII, Rickenbacker bought and administered the Indianapolis Speedway and became president of Eastern Airlines. In October 1942, he was aboard a B-17 bomber that crashed in the Pacific Ocean while on a secret mission to New Guinea. "Iron Man Eddie" and six companions survived 24 days afloat on life rafts. In 1995, the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp in honor of Rickenbacker's accomplishments as an aviation pioneer. 
    1890-1973
  • Edward V. Rickenbacker
    • Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
    • "For extraordinary heroism in action near Montsec, France, 29 April 1918. Lt. Rickenbacker attacked an enemy Albatros monoplane and after a vigorous fight, in which he followed his foe into German territory, he succeeded in shooting it down near Vigneulles-les-Hatten-Chatel." DSC citation  
    • Medal of Honor
    • "Edward V. Rickenbacker, Colonel, specialist reserve, then first lieutenant, 94th Aero Squadron, Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy near Billy, France, 25 September 1918. While on a voluntary patrol over the lines Lieutenant. Rickenbacker attacked seven enemy planes (five type Fokker protecting two type Halberstadt photographic planes). Disregarding the odds against him he dived on them and shot down one of the Fokkers out of control. He then attacked one of the Halberstadts and sent it down also..." Medal of Honor citation, awarded 6 November 1930  
  • 57.6 37,508,686 7,750,919 21,219,452 8,538,315 65,038,810 Grand Total 67.4 15,404,477 3,629,829 8,388,448 3,386,200 22,850,000 Total 22.2 266,919 27,029 152,390 87,500 1,200,000 Bulgaria 34.2 975,000 250,000 400,000 325,000 2,850,000 Turkey 90.0 7,020,000 2,200,000 3,620,000 1,200,000 7,800,000 Austria-Hungary 64.9 7,142,558 1,152,800 4,216,058 1,773,700 11,000,000 Germany             Central Powers 52.3 22,104,209 4,121,090 12,831,004 5,152,115 42,188,810 Total 40.0 20,000 7,000 10,000 3,000 50,000 Montenegro 33.3 33,291 12,318 13,751 7,222 100,000 Portugal 11.7 17,000 1,000 21,000 5,000 230,000 Greece 34.9 93,061 34,659 44,686 13,716 267,000 Belgium 46.8 331,106 152,958 133,148 45,000 707,343 Serbia 71.4 535,706 80,000 120,000 335,706 750,000 Romania 0.2 1,210 3 907 300 800,000 Japan 8.2 364,800 4,500 234,300 126,000 4,355,000 United States 39.1 2,197,000 600,000 947,000 650,000 5,615,000 Italy 35.8 3,190,235 191,652 2,090,212 908,371 8,904,467 British Empire 76.3 6,160,800 537,000 4,266,000 1,357,800 8,410,000 France 76.3 9,150,000 2,500,000 4,950,000 1,700,000 12,000,000 Russia             Allied Powers Casualties % of Mobilized Total Casualties Prisoners & Missing Wounded Killed & Died Total Mobilized Countries
  • 60,643,160,000 Total of all Costs 815,200,000 Bulgaria 1,430,000,000 Turkey 20,622,960,000 Austria-Hungary 37,775,000,000 Germany Cost in Dollars in 1914-18 Central Powers
  • American Lives Lost: 57,476 3,440 54,036 Total 321 190 131 Other Deaths 36 25 11 Executed 318 159 159 Murdered 967 671 296 Committed Suicide 727 399 328 Drowned 4,503 1,946 2,557 Died of Accident 13,673 45 13,628 Died of Wounds 36,931 5 36,926 Killed in Action Total Domestic Overseas Cause of Death
  • We refuse to ratify the Treaty of Versailles
    • Wilson ruins his health trying to get support for his League of Nations and the Treaty ratification, but his health fails—and then so does he. US signs a separate peace with Germany, and does not join the League of Nations, therefore dooming it to failure and another World War…
  •   Far from the deadliest epidemic. The Bubonic Plague.  Just mention the name and you will send shivers down the spine of many people.  There is no doubt that this disease was deadly. Deadly and gruesome to watch.  The death rate was 90% for those exposed to the bacterium. It was transmitted by the fleas from infected Old English black rats. The symptoms were clear: swollen lymph nodes (buboes, hence the name), high fever, and delirium. In the worst case, the lungs became infected and the pneumonic form was spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing, or simply talking.  From the time of infection to death was less than one week.  There were three major epidemics - in the 6th, 14th, and 17th centuries.  The death toll was 137 million victims.  As a result, the plague is considered to be the worst epidemic of all time, but it wasn't (not that we are downplaying the severity of the plague).  At its worst, the bubonic plague killed 2 million victims a year.  This is certainly a bad situation, but there is one that is worse. 
    • The pandemic (an epidemic that is spread worldwide) that killed at least 25 million people in one year .  A disease that is largely forgotten. 
    • A disease that occurred in the 20th century ! 
    • I know what you're thinking - AID's, Syphilis, or the dreaded Ebola. 
    • All are wrong.  It was the influenza of 1918-1919, right after World War I (the war killed 9 million men in 4 years)  This was no minor disease - everyone on the planet was at risk.  And it was started right here in the good old U. S. of A.  In one year, nearly twenty million cases were reported in the United States, accounting for almost one million deaths. 
    • The cause is still unknown, but is believed to have been a mutated swine virus.  It all started on the morning of March 11, 1918 at Camp Funston, Kansas.  A company cook named Albert Mitchell reported to the infirmary with typical flu-like symptoms - a low-grade fever, mild sore throat, slight headache, and muscle aches. Bed rest was recommended.  By noon, 107 soldiers were sick. 
    • Within two days, 522 people were sick. Many were gravely ill with severe pneumonia. 
    • Then reports started coming in from other military bases around the country.  Thousands of sailors docked off the East Coast were sick. 
    • Within a week, the influenza was hitting isolated places, such as the island of Alcatraz.  Whatever the cause, it was clearly airborne. 
    • Within seven days, every state in the Union had been infected. 
    The 1918 Pandemic
  • The Influenza
    • Then it spread across the Atlantic.  By April, French troops and civilians were infected.  By mid-April, the disease had spread to China and Japan.  By May, the virus was spread throughout Africa and South America.  The actual killer was the pneumonia that accompanied the infection. 
    • In Philadelphia, 158 out of every 1000 people died. 148 out of 1000 in Baltimore. 109 out of 1000 in Washington, D. C.. 
    • The good news (if there was any) was that the disease peaked within two to three weeks after showing up in a given city. It left as quickly as it arrived.  The United States death toll was a total of 850,000 people, making it an area of the world that was least devastated by this virus. 
    • Sixty percent of the Eskimo population was wiped out in Nome, Alaska.  80-90% of the Samoan population was infected, many of the survivors dying from starvation (they lacked the energy to feed themselves). 
    • Luxury ocean liners from Europe would arrive in New York with 7% less passengers than they embarked with. The confined area of the ship was especially conducive to the spread of the disease. 
    • In the end, 25 million people had died. Some estimates put the number as high as 37 million.  Eighteen months after the disease appeared, the flu bug vanished and has never shown up again. 
    • So what happened? 
  • The Spanish Flu
    • Until recently, no one was really sure.  In March of 1997, the news broke that researchers at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D. C. had isolated genetic material from the virus. 
    • This was no easy task.  The living virus is no longer around.  It turns out that while conducting autopsies in 1918, Army doctors had preserved some specimens in formaldehyde.  One of these jars contained the lungs of a 21 year old soldier that died on September 26, 1918.  Bingo! 
    • The researchers spent nearly two years extracting just seven percent of the genetic code, but the evidence gathered has provided a great wealth of information.  It appears that the virus passed from birds to pigs and then to humans.  These are the deadliest of all viruses.  The viruses tend to remain stable in the birds, but occasionally they infect pigs. Of course, the pig immune system kicks into action and the virus is forced to mutate to survive.  Both the Asian flu (1957) and the Hong Kong flu (1968), which were not as deadly, mutated from pig viruses. 
    • The scary part is that it could happen again - and we're not prepared for it.
  • Adolf Hitler's Book, Mein Kampf , is Published (1925)
    • In July of 1925, Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) issued his autobiography. The book, entitled Mein Kampf or My Struggle , would have a second volume in 1926; the People's Edition appeared in 1930. The book, written while Hitler was imprisoned early in his career, reflected his hatred of Jews, and his belief that Germans were a superior race. Outside of Germany the book was not given much notice, a fact the Allies would soon regret.
    • Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in Austria. He served time in Germany's armed forces during World War I as a political spy and became a decorated corporal. He served as leader of the German Workers' Party, which would later be renamed the National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party. In 1933, he came to power as chancellor of the Third Reich. Despite Hitler's doing away with democracy, the people of Germany applauded his efforts, for they were weary of the depressed state of affairs that followed Germany's defeat in World War I. After involving his country in a costly second world war, geared to make it the predominant world power, Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945.
  • Pvt. Henry Tandey, VC at Marcoing September 28, 1918
    • The annals of history are full of fateful moments which scholars refer to as the great "what if's" of history, where if events had taken only a slight deviation the course of human affairs would have been dramatically different. Such a moment occurred in the last moments of the Great War in the French village of Marcoing involving 27 year old Private Henry Tandey of Warwickshire, UK, and 29 year old Lance Corporal Adolph Hitler of Braunau, Austria. Henry Tandey was born in Leamington, Warwickshire, on the 30th August 1891, son of former soldier James Tandey. After a difficult childhood, part of which was spent in an orphanage, he became a boiler attendant at a hotel in Leamington before enlisting in the British Army, joining the Green Howards Regiment in August 1910 and embarking on a 'Boys Own' adventurous life.
    • Tandey was mentioned five times in dispatches and certainly earned his VC during the capture of the French village and crossing at Marcoing, his regiment held down by heavy machine gun fire Tandey crawled forward, located the machine gun nest and took it out. Arriving at the crossing he braved heavy fire to place wooden planks over a gaping hole enabling troops to roll across and take the battle to the Germans, the day still not over he successfully led a bayonet charge against outnumbering enemy troops which helped bring hostilities to an end. As the ferocious battle wound down and enemy troops surrendered or retreated a wounded German soldier limped out of the maelstrom and into Private Tandey's line of fire, the battle weary man never raised his rifle and just stared at Tandey resigned to the inevitable. "I took aim but couldn't shoot a wounded man," said Tandey, "so I let him go." [2] The young German soldier nodded in thanks and the two men took diverging paths, that day and in history. Hitler retreated with the remnants of German troops and ended up in Germany, where he languished in the humiliation of defeat at wars end. Tandey put that encounter out of his mind and rejoined his regiment, discovering soon after he had won the Victoria Cross. It was announced in the London Gazette on 14th December 1918 and he was personally decorated by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 17th December 1919, in newspaper reports a picture of him carrying a wounded soldier after the Battle of Ypres was published, a dramatic image which symbolized a war which was supposed to have put an end to all wars and immortalized on canvas by Italian artist Fortunino Matania. Leaving the army in 1926 at the rank of sergeant the 35 year old settled in Leamington where he married, settling back into civilian life he spent the next 38 years as Commissionaire, or plant security chief, at Triumph, then called the Standard Motor Company. He lived a quiet life and although regarded as a hero by all and sundry wasn't one to brag or boast, wouldn't mention the war unless asked about it.
    • Tandey was haunted the remainder of his life by his good deed, the simple squeeze of a trigger would have spared the world a catastrophe which cost tens of millions of lives. He was living in Coventry when the Luftwaffe destroyed the city in 1940, sheltered in a doorway as the building he was in crumbled and city burned like a scene from Dante's Inferno. He was also in London during the Blitz and experienced that atrocity first hand, he told a journalist in 1940, "if only I had known what he would turn out to be. When I saw all the people, woman and children he had killed and wounded I was sorry to God I let him go". [2] When war irrupted the 49 year old tried to rejoin his regiment to see to it that, "he didn't escape a second time", [2] but failed the physical due to wounds received at the Battle of the Somme. Nonetheless he did his bit on the homefront, volunteering wherever he could be of service but was always haunted by an act of decency to an indecent man. Henry Tandey VC DCM MM died without issue in Coventry in 1977 aged 86, in accordance with his wishes he was cremated and interred at the British Cemetery in Marcoing alongside fallen comrades and close to where he won his Victoria Cross 60 years earlier. His widow sold his medals three years later for a record £27.000 and on Armistice Day 1997 they were presented to his old regiment, the Green Howards, by Sir Ernest Harrison OBE at a special ceremony at the Tower of London and are displayed with great pride at the Green Howards regimental museum.
  • Chamberlain & Hitler
    • In 1938 Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), Conservative PM from 1937-40, made his gloomy trip to Munich to meet Chancellor Hitler in a last ditched effort to avoid war which resulted in the ill-fated 'Munich Agreement'. During that fateful trip Hitler invited him to his newly completed retreat in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, a birthday present from Martin Bormann and the NAZI Party. Perched 6017 feet up on Kehlstein Mountain it commanded spectacular views for 200 kilometers in all directions. While there the Prime Minister explored the hill top lair of the Führer and found a reproduction of Matania's famous Marcoing painting depicting allied troops, puzzled by the choice of art Hitler explained, "that man came so near to killing me that I thought I should never see Germany again, providence saved me from such devilishly accurate fire as those English boys were aiming at us". [2]
    • Chamberlain's thoughts aren't recorded, World War II erupted soon after and he lost power to Winston Churchill, dying of stomach cancer within months of that event. Although I feel safe in assuming he wished Tandey had pulled the trigger, ridding the world of a venomous creature. Hitler seized the moment to have his best wishes and gratitude conveyed to Tandey by the Prime Minister, who promised to phone him on his return to London. It wasn't until that time Tandey knew the man he had in his gun sight 20 years earlier was Adolph Hitler and it came as a great shock, given tensions at the time it wasn't something he felt proud about. The story first broke in 1940 but no one gave it much thought at the time, however in recent years it has generated greater interest. Some historians are doubtful as it sounds too good to be true, however it has an unmistakable ring of truth to it. No one in their right mind would make up a story about having spared the life of a tyrant who at that time had just fire bombed Coventry, was Blitzing London and mass murdering people on the continent. Hitler's regiment was in the Marcoing region at the time although his presence cannot be verified, a great deal of German records for the Great War were lost in WWII due to allied bombing of Berlin which resulted in the destruction of a significant amount of the State Archives. So documents showing Adolph Hitler's exact whereabouts on 28 September 1918 are not available, Hitler biographers have differing opinions. However there is irrefutable evidence that Hitler possessed a copy of the famous Matania painting featuring Tandey as early as 1937, acquiring it from Tandey's old regiment. "Colonel Earle said that he had heard from one Dr. Schwend that Hitler had expressed a wish to have a large photograph of the Matania painting.
    • At the outbreak of the Great War, Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) joined the 16th Bavarian Infantry Regiment and became a Dispatch Runner. He proved himself a capable and brave soldier, was twice wounded, once almost fatally gassed and awarded the Iron Cross in recognition of his bravery. He had a deep sense of destiny entwined with delusions of grandeur and a warped view of the world, influenced by melodramatic Wagnerian operas he cast himself as the savior of the Germanic race. He believed Private Tandey's benevolent action was part of the grand scheme of things, the gods were watching over their emissary, which was also his sentiment upon surviving assassination attempts later on. Hitler never forgot the moment he stared down the barrel of death, nor the face of the man who spared him, he stumbled across a newspaper featuring the famous image of Private Tandey which noted his being awarded the VC for bravery. Hitler kept it and on becoming Chancellor of Germany ordered government officials to obtain a copy of his service record and reproduction of the Matania painting, which he hung and pointed out to loyal disciples with pride.
  • Rasputin, the Mad Monk
    • During the fateful last evening of Rasputin's life, the conspirators drugged with poisoned wine (he had taken enough cyanide to kill six men), poisoned with cyanide in the cakes, shot at point blank range, beaten, and then dumped in the river. Yet the monk survived all of these and actually died by drowning when his body, wrapped in a carpet was thrown into the Moika Canal on the Neva River. Rasputin's corpse was discovered under the ice of the Neva on December 19. His hands had been untied and there was water in his lungs. He died from drowning.
  • Tsar Nicholas of Russia
    • The Romanovs were murdered by the Bolshevik guards, machine- gunned to death, thus eliminating the threat of a counter-coup by the supporters of the Czar. Rumors persisted that Anastasia had escaped this fate.
    The Last of the Romanovs: L to R: Olga, Marie, Nicholas II, Alexandra, Anastasia, Alexei, Tatiana Nicholas II, Olga, Tatiana, Marie, Anastasia, and Alexei (photo taken by Alexandra) The Last of the Romanovs
  • Anastasia Lives?
    • Most persistent was the claim that the Tsar’s youngest daughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, survived. (Anastasia is Greek for “the woman who rose again.”) Only 17 at the time of the execution, the Russian report had it that she had not been hit by bullets (some may have ricocheted off her jewelry) but merely fainted. She revived moments later in a pool of her family’s blood and began screaming. At this point she was run through with many bayonets and bludgeoned to death. This much was reported and this much was confirmed in recent excavations.
    • The Anastasia rumors lived, bolstered perhaps by her failure to die in the initial volley. As early as 1925 Grand Duchess Olga (the Tsar’s sister) interviewed one Anna Anderson in Berlin. Anderson was a young woman with a history of mental illness, and Olga quickly rejected her claim to be Anastasia. Yet just three years later the first of at least four books was published claiming Anna Anderson was Anastasia. One, purporting to be a first-person account, titled I am Anastasia, was even rejected as a forgery by Anderson herself. Her claim was featured in a 1956 cover article in Life. Over the years additional faux-Anastasias appeared, many of them interviewed and rejected by Olga, who died in 1960. The Anastasia mania inspired four films, five plays, a musical, two ballets, two TV shows, and a 1956 song by Pat Boone. Ingrid Bergman copped an Oscar for her role in the 1956 eponymously titled movie.
  • Lenin
    • Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин ), original surname Ulyanov ( Улья́нов ) (April 22 (April 10 (O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the ideology of Leninism.
    • "Lenin" was one of his revolutionary pseudonyms. He is believed to have created it to show his opposition to Georgi Plekhanov who used the pseudonym Volgin, after the Volga River; Ulyanov picked the Lena which is longer and flows in the opposite direction. However, there are many theories on where his name came from and he himself is not known to have ever stated exactly why he chose it. He is sometimes erroneously referred to in the West as "Nikolai Lenin", though he has never been known as such in Russia.
    • Lenin was chilling in a German jail until his sudden release. He was put on a train back to Russia and he fomented a revolution that took Russia out of The Great War.
    • Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923), was elected president in 1920 by a people weary of wartime restraints and world problems. His supporters expected him to turn back the clock and restore the more carefree atmosphere of the days before World War I (1914-1918). Harding, an easygoing newspaper publisher and senator, encouraged this belief by campaigning on the slogan of "Back to Normalcy." Actually, Americans would probably have elected any Republican candidate to the White House in 1920 in protest against the policies of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson. They opposed particularly Wilson's definition of American ideals and his unwillingness to accept any changes in his plan for a League of Nations. They wished to reduce their responsibilities in world affairs and to resume their normal activities with as little bother as possible.
    • It was easier to praise "normalcy" than to produce it during the Roaring Twenties. The word meant so many different things to different people. Some were rebels. They danced in cabarets, drank bootleg gin, and poked fun in novels and plays at “normal” American life. Others, reacting against the rebels, wanted to standardize thought and behavior. They persecuted radicals, tried to enforce prohibition, and fought to ban the teaching of evolution in the public schools. With so many crosscurrents at work in American society, Harding was unable to assert himself and provide a vision for the nation.
    • The popularity of Harding's administration was damaged by the short but severe depression of 1921. Within two years, the Teapot Dome oil scandal and other graft in governmental agencies destroyed faith in his administration. Harding became aware of this widespread corruption early in 1923.
    • Historians almost unanimously rank Harding as one of the weakest presidents. But these historians have recognized that the very qualities that made him weak also made him appealing in 1920. He failed because he was weak-willed and a poor judge of character. Nan Britton, a pretty blond thirty years younger than the President, was given a job in Washington, D.C., so that she could be near Harding. The two often met in the Oval Office, and their affair continued until Harding's death.  
    • Harding was the sixth president to die in office. He was succeeded by his vice president, Calvin Coolidge.
    #29 Warren G. Harding
  • "Fire!"
    • By 1949, the Soviets had expanded their control to cover most of Eastern Europe, and it appeared that China would soon fall to the communists as well.
    • "The fear-filled forties and fifties were a dark period when the spread of communism abroad increased anxieties and frustration at home," wrote Herb Block. In their zeal to stamp out all signs of subversion in the United States, professional and amateur anti-communists threatened to suppress American liberties as well," Fire !" June 17, 1949 Reproduction from original drawing Published in the Washington Post (25)
  • Palmer Raids & the Red Scare
    • A. Mitchell Palmer (1872-1936), served as United States attorney general from 1919 to 1921 under President Woodrow Wilson. Palmer is best known for the Palmer Raids of January 1920, in which thousands of suspected anarchists and Communists were jailed with little regard for their constitutional rights. Many historians believe Palmer hoped to win the 1920 Democratic presidential nomination by capitalizing on the antiradical feelings that many Americans held at that time.
    • Alexander Mitchell Palmer was born in Moosehead, Pennsylvania. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1909 to 1915. As a member of the Democratic national committee in 1912, he helped Wilson win the presidential nomination.
  • Events under Harding
    • The Unknown Soldier of World War I was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in 1921.
    • Separate peace treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary were signed by the United States in 1921, after the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles.
    • The Irish Free State became a self-governing country in 1921.
    • Naval limitation treaty was signed in 1922. The United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Japan agreed to limit the size, number, and guns of their battleships.
    • The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington in 1922.
    • The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established in 1922 by the Communist government.
    • Literature published in 1922 included Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis's novel about the limitations of American culture, and The Waste Land , T. S. Eliot's controversial poem.
    • A fascist party, led by Benito Mussolini, came to power in Italy in 1922.
    • Prohibition played an important role in American life during Harding's presidency. Government agents destroyed huge amounts of beer and liquor.
  • Calvin Coolidge
    • Both his dry Yankee wit and his frugality with words became legendary. His wife, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, recounted that a young woman sitting next to Coolidge at a dinner party confided to him she had bet she could get at least three words of conversation from him. Without looking at her he quietly retorted, "You lose."
    • Coolidge, Calvin (1872-1933), was a shy, silent New England Republican who led the United States during the boisterous Jazz Age of the 1920's. He was the sixth vice president to become president upon the death of a chief executive. Coolidge was vacationing on his father's farm in Vermont when President Warren G. Harding died in 1923. The elder Coolidge, a notary public, administered the oath of office in the dining room. Never before had this ceremony been performed by such a minor official or by a president's father.
    • In 1924, Coolidge was elected to a full four-year term. He enjoyed great popularity and probably could have been reelected. But he decided to retire. His terse announcement became his most famous statement: "I do not choose to run for president in 1928." Herbert Hoover succeeded him.
    • Americans respected the views of the closemouthed Coolidge. His reputation for wisdom was based on his common sense and dry wit. He issued few unnecessary public statements and rarely wasted a word.
    • Coolidge, who had risen to fame as governor of Massachusetts, served as president during the Roaring Twenties. Prosperity stimulated carefree behavior and a craving for entertainment. The nation's "flaming youth," featured in the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, set the pace. Sports figures became national heroes as Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in one season and Gene Tunney defeated Jack Dempsey in the famous "long-count" bout. Charles A. Lindbergh made the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Motion pictures began to talk, with Al Jolson starring in The Jazz Singer. George Gershwin brought jazz into the concert hall with his Rhapsody in Blue. Americans defied prohibition, and Al Capone and other gangsters grew rich by bootlegging liquor. A popular song summed up the spirit of the whole era: "Ain't We Got Fun?"
    •   The solemn, frugal Coolidge seemed to be a misfit from another era. But people voted for him even if they did not imitate his conduct. They cherished him for having the virtues of their pioneer ancestors.
  • Keep Cool With Coolidge
    • "Do the day's work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it."   —Speech to the Massachusetts Senate, 1913"And be brief; above all things, Be Brief."   —Speech to the Massachusetts Senate, January 1915"There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime."   —Telegram to the American labor leader Samuel Gompers during a strike by police in Boston, Sept. 14, 1919"... the chief business of the American people is business."   —Speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Washington, D.C., Jan. 17, 1925"This Nation believes thoroughly in an honorable peace. ... It has never found that such a peace could be maintained only by a great and threatening array of arms."   —Inaugural Address, March 4, 1925"... no Nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace or insure its victory in time of war."   —Speech, Oct. 6, 1925"I do not choose to run for President in 1928."   —Statement to reporters, Aug. 2, 1927"Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshiped."   —Speech in Boston, June 11, 1928
  • Events During Coolidge’s Term
    • The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants admitted to the United States. It also established a quota system to prevent major changes in the racial or ethnic makeup of the nation's population.
    • The Golden Age of radio broadcasting began about 1925. Nationwide audiences listened to such programs as "The A & P Gypsies" and "The Voice of Firestone.“
    • The Scopes Trial, in 1925, upheld the right of a state to ban the teaching of evolution in public schools.
    • The first successful liquid-fuel rocket was launched in 1926 by Robert H. Goddard, the American rocket pioneer.
    • Jazz was the leading form of popular music. Jazz musicians who became stars during the mid-1920's included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Fletcher Henderson.
    • Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees hit 60 home runs during the 1927 baseball season, a record that stood until 1961.
    • The Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact was signed by 15 nations in 1928 and eventually by nearly all the nations of the world. The signers of the treaty, also called the Pact of Paris, agreed not to use war to solve international problems.
    • Penicillium mold, which produces the antibiotic drug penicillin, was discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming, a British bacteriologist.
    • Charles A. Lindbergh, an American aviator, became a world hero in 1927 when he made the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic ocean.