The German Peace Delegation Crosses the Lines (American Legion Monthly, 1938)
During the pre-dawn hours of November 7, 1918 the German peace delegation crossed through to the American sector at a battle-scared Argonne village named Cunel. A former private in the U.S. Fifth Infantry Division, Amico J. Barone, recalled that night and wrote this essay in 1938.
Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
"This chill November morning the Cenotaph is surrounded by serried masses of men. Up and down Whitehall as far as one can see are thousands and thousands packed in so tightly they cannot move...Suddenly from St. James Park comes the sound of a gun. They used to say it was impossible for a British crowd to be quiet. That was before Armistice Day. For the hum of London dies at the sound of the gun...Somewhere in the distance a horse paws the ground and neighs. A flag flaps in the breeze. Never such a silence as this. A King and his people pause sixty seconds in solemn celebration for the dead. It is the Great Hush."
The Woman with the First Division (American Legion Monthly, 1930)
Twelve years after the end of the war, former Y.M.C.A. volunteer Francis Grulick wrote this moving account of her days as a canteen worker in France. She had vivid and colorful memories of her days in the forward positions bringing some measure of comfort to the men of the U.S. Army First Division, to whom she was devoted. She was with them at Gondrecourt, Bonnvillers, Boucq, Cantigny and Soissons. She filled their canteens, served them lemonade, poured their coffee, cooked their meals and also saw to it that cigarettes were plentiful. By the time the First Division arrived in Coblenz for occupation duty, she recognized that the unit was composed almost entirely of replacements and that she was the only witness to the First Divisions earliest days in France.
Is your name Anderson?
American W.W. I Cemeteries and French Gratitude (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
Eighteen years after the last shot was fired in World War I, Americans collectively wondered, as they began to think about all the empty chairs that were setting at so many family dinner tables, "Do the French care about all that we sacrificed? Do they still remember that we were there?" In response to this question, an American veteran who remained behind in France, submitted the attached article to "The American Legion Monthly" and answered with a resounding "Yes" on all six pages:
"...I can assure you that the real France, the France of a thousand and one villages in which we were billeted; the France of Lorraine peasants, of Picardy craftsmen, of Burgundy winegrowers - remembers, with gratitude, the A.E.F. and its contribution to the Allied victory."
The article is accompanied by eight photographs of assembled Frenchmen decorating American grave sites.
Click here to read about the foreign-born soldiers who served in the American Army of the First World War.
Hollywood, California: American Legion Post 43 (American Legion Monthly, 1930)
The attached article tells the story of American Legion Post 43, which is housed at 2035 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood, California. Designed by the Weston brothers in 1930 (both men were members) the building "represents not only the home of the a Legion post but also [serves as] a memorial to the fighting divisions of the American Army and every American who took part in the World War."
A German Listening Post North of Verdun (American Legion Monthly, 1937)
Appearing in The American Legion Monthly some nineteen years after the end of the war was this nifty article written by a German veteran. The article explains quite simply how his forward listening post operated in the German trenches North of Verdun during the early Autumn on 1918.
1918: An Armistice Remembrance (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
"St. NAZAIRE, 1918. It was eleven in the morning when we first heard the news. A piercing whistle from one of the steamers in the harbor, a sudden blast so loud and so startling that even the nurses in their rest camp in La Baule fifteen kilometers away could hear it...L'ARMISTICE EST SIGNÉ...by noon the entire town was outdoors; a truck load of German prisoners rolled past, apparently quite as happy as the rest of us."
Elsie Janis Entertained the Doughboys (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
The Americans who fought in the Second World War had Bob Hope to entertain them, and their fathers who fought in the First had Elsie Janis (1889 - 1956). Like Hope, Janis traveled close to the front lines and told the troops jokes, and sang them songs - making it clear all the while that her sympathies and affections for the Doughboys were strong - and they, in turn, loved her right back. In the attached 1936 reminiscence Janis recalls some of her experiences from the six months in which she entertained the American Army in France; she also speaks of her roll entertaining the volunteer American Army of the 1930s, as well.
Click here to read about the U.S.O. entertainers...
Armistice Day Mussolini Style (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
American World War I veteran John Roberts Tunis (1889 - 1975) was charged with the task of writing about the two Armistice Day ceremonies as they were marked in both London and Rome; needless to say they were entirely different in nature and spirit. The attached piece is an excerpt from that article and reported on the manner in which fascist Italy observed the anniversary of November 11, 1918 - the day World War I came to a close; a war in which Italy lost 1,240,000 men. Tunnis was disgusted to observe how the Italians seemed to learn nothing from the war - Mussolini's Armistice celebration was drenched in fascist pageantry and the attending masses had far greater interest in their current military adventures in Africa than remembering their sons and fathers who had perished just eighteen years earlier.
General Pershing On The W.W. I Cemeteries & Monuments of Europe (American Legion Monthly 1927)
Ten years after Wilson's declaration of war U.S. General John J. Pershing (1860 – 1948)wrote this article concerning the American W.W. I monuments and cemeteries scattered throughout France, Belgium, Italy and Britain.
The American Culture of 1914 (American Legion Monthly, 1934)
Appearing in a 1934 magazine for American war veterans (who by that year were well into their middle years and very much looking the part) was this curious column recalling the summer of 1914 and all the various goings-on that had taken place in the world and in American popular culture.
Is your name Anderson?
A Woman in the Salvation Army (American Legion Monthly, 1928)
This article tells the World War One story of Irene McIntyre, a Salvation Army volunteer who served at the front during the most bloody period of the war:
"In her two-hundred and fifty-six days under enemy fire, Irene McIntyre was twice gassed and twice received the unusual distinction of a personal citation in Army orders. She saw more of the war at close quarters than any other American woman. One of her citations read:"
"'Under fire of high explosives and gas, she established and conducted huts that were noted for their good cheer and hospitality. Her courage and devotion to her voluntary work were a splendid inspiration to the troops.'"
1920s Prohibition created a criminal climate
that appealed to more women than you ever might have suspected...
Read about the Women Marines of W.W. II HERE.
American Horses in the First World War (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
"I have read many interesting stories about heroes of the war and interesting accounts of pigeons, and police dogs, etc., but very little about the horses that served...Many of them were taken prisoner by the Germans, taken back into Germany and exhibited in their American harnesses and equipment. After the war, immediate plans were made to return the American men to their native country, but the equine warriors were forgotten..."
This article is about the 32 American horses that were captured in the war and never repatriated.
German Veterans of the War (American Legion Monthly, 1934)
The Versailles Treaty insisted that Germany must have no W.W. I veterans organizations or conventions of any kind; 18 years later the Nazi leadership in Germany thought that was all a bunch of blarney and so the War Veterans Associations was formed. This article tells about their first convention (July 30, 1934).
1914 Hollywood (American Legion Monthly, 1934)
This is excerpt from a longer article about the goings-on in 1914 presented an interesting (if incomplete) list of Hollywood's offerings for 1914:
• The most popular screen performers were Mary Pickford, John Bunny, Ethel Barrymore and May Irwin.
• The most popular films were "The Peril's of Pauline" and an Italian film titled "Cabiria" (directed by Giovanni Pastrone, aka: Piero Fosco).
This reminiscence pays tribute to a stand-up comedian named Jack Gardner and his skit, "Curse You Jack Dalton", in which he interacted with the performers on a movie screen, "ordering" them about, cracking wise and even having the audience believe that he had shot one of them.
The A.E.F. in North Russia 1918 -1919 (American Legion Monthly, 1934)
Illustrated by a photograph depicting the cold weather uniforms worn by each of the six Allied armies that served time in Siberia(North Russia), this article is a reminiscence told by one of the American veterans of that cold, uncomfortable and long-forgotten campaign.
- from Amazon:
Why did we go to Russia? by Harry J. Costello
''Thanks, America'': French Gratitude
(American Legion Monthly, 1936)
Almost twenty years after the First World War reached it's bloody conclusion, Americans collectively wondered as they began to think about all the empty chairs assembled around so many family dinner tables, "Do the French care at all that we sacrificed so much? Do they still remember that we were there?" In response to this question, an American veteran who remained in France, submitted the attached article to The American Legion Monthly and answered those questions with a resounding "YES".
Click here to read an article by a grateful Frenchman who was full of praise for the bold and forward-thinking manner in which America entered the First World War.
''Why I Live in Paris'' by a Former American Soldier (American Legion Monthly, 1927)
This article is titled Why I live in Paris and I simply adore it. The piece was penned by an anonymous expatriate, a former American soldier of the Great War who went into some detail comparing life in 1920s Paris to the life he knew in America, and he is quite funny about it. He described a Paris that Hemingway, Stein and Fitzgerald didn't talk about, and since expatriates have essentially foreign souls, I posted it in this section:
"Back in America I sincerely thought that my hometown had the worst telephone system in the world. This was a colossal error..."
This author was not alone; shortly after the war, Hundreds and hundreds of former Doughboys returned to France - some to visit, some to reside...
The Birth of the Green Bay Packers (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
This is a sports article that summarizes the meteoric course of the Green Bay Packers, from their earliest days in 1918, when Curly Lambeau approached a meat packing plant beseeching their patronage in order that the team could have uniforms, to the high perch they held in 1936.
"Consider for a moment the success this team has had, coming as it does from the smallest city in the pro league. After battling first division teams in the National Professional Football League for many years, the Packers finally came through and won three successive world championships in 1929, 1930 and 1931... If you were to ask most college football stars which pro team they would like to play on, most of them would invariably answer, 'The Green Bay Packers'".