henry johnsonSgt. Henry Johnson of the 369th Infantry Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for bravery during an outnumbered battle with German soldiers, Feb. 12, 1919.

Nominations for 6th Annual Henry Johnson Award For Distinguished Community Service Now Open in Albany, NY

via the City of Albany, New York web site 

ALBANY, NY – The City of Albany is soliciting nominations for the Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished Community Service, which recognizes an Albany resident who has given their time and talent to Albany and has displayed community leadership in any of the following areas: arts and history, social justice, education, or volunteerism. To nominate someone, click here and fill out and send the online form by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23.


The Award will be presented at Albany’s Riverfront Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 10, in order to bring Henry Johnson’s life and example to as broad an audience as possible.

This award is given to commemorate the act of valor by Sgt. Johnson during combat in WWI, which made him the first military hero of that war. His courageous actions earned Sgt. Johnson the Medal of Honor, the country's highest military honor, which was bestowed upon him posthumously by then-President Barack Obama on June 2, 2015 in a White House ceremony.

The award also recognizes the courage Sgt. Johnson exhibited when he returned home to the United States and spoke out against racism in the military and in Jim Crow America.

Henry Johnson's Bio

As a teenager, Henry Johnson came to Albany with his family from North Carolina. On June 5, 1917, Henry enlisted in the U.S. Army. Because of racial segregation and the refusal of the U.S. Army to allow Black soldiers to participate in combat, members of 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters, fought under French command. In May 1918 Johnson heroically and single-handedly fought off a German raid in hand-to-hand combat, saving the life and imprisonment of a fellow soldier, Needham Roberts. For his bravery, Johnson was awarded the Croix de Guerre, France’s highest award for valor, the first American to receive this honor.

Sgt. Johnson returned to the United States in 1919 and was celebrated as a war hero. The Army used Johnson’s image to recruit soldiers and former President Theodore Roosevelt singled out Johnson as one of the “five bravest Americans” to serve in World War I. Sgt. Johnson was placed in the lead car of a parade of the Harlem Hellfighters that traveled up New York's 5th Avenue as thousands cheered. But despite his heroic status and having sustained 21 wounds in what became known as The Battle of Henry Johnson, he received no honors from his home country. After speaking out against racism in the military in St. Louis, Sgt. Johnson was forbidden to ever again speak at military gatherings or even wear his uniform in public. He died, destitute, in 1929, in his mid-30s. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Thanks to the tenacity of the 369th veterans such as John Howe and Jim Dandles and elected leaders such as Senator Chuck Schumer and U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko, Sgt. Henry Johnson was finally recognized by the United States government for his service to his country when he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1996 and the Distinguished Service Cross in 2002. In 2015 he was awarded the National Medal of Honor. Two statues have been built in Albany – one in Washington Park and another in Henry Johnson Park in Arbor Hill – to honor the City’s hero.


Marie Garrow Moss ID photoNewport News Historic Services is partnered with The Virginia War Museum Foundation and American Legion Braxton Perkins Post 25 to honor World War I veteran Marie Garrow Moss. Moss, who died 35 years ago was not honored with a veteran's funeral at the time of her death. (Courtesy/Virginia War Museum) 

A World War I veteran was buried without military honors in 1987, but 35 years later she received recognition for her service 

By Jessica Nolte
via the Daily Press web site 

A Newport News woman served during World War I, but no one played “Taps” or folded and presented the American flag at her funeral. She was buried without military honors — a wrong that a group of people wanted to make right.

Marie Garrow Moss was born in Newport News and later moved to New York where she became one of 223 women recruited to the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate the military’s telephone switchboards during World War I. The women, nicknamed the “Hello Girls,” swore the Army oath and — many years later — became recognized as the first female members of the U.S. Army.

After the war ended in 1918, the women were sent home without veteran’s benefits. It wasn’t until 60 years later that legislation recognized them as veterans.

Moss died on July 7, 1987 — about nine years after the legal recognition — at 93 years old. But she was buried at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Newport News without any military honors.

Newport News Historic Services partnered with The Virginia War Museum Foundation and American Legion Braxton Perkins Post 25 and held a ceremony Saturday to present Moss’ relatives with the honors she didn’t receive at her funeral. A plaque honoring her service will also be installed next to her headstone in the upcoming days.

“Particularly here in Hampton Roads, and coastal Virginia, we’re very aware of the role of the military and the sacrifices that military members make,” said Anne E. Miller, superintendent of historic services for the city of Newport News’ Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s quite shocking to hear at the end of the war that a group of people who served were just dismissed without any recognition. ... It’s quite shocking to hear that a veteran would be buried without the proper funeral and recognition.” 


Marie Garrow Moss grave 1Chris Garcia, who works for the Virginia War Museum and is a member of American Legion Post 25 in Newport News, stands next to the grave of Marie Garrow Moss. 

Thirty-five years after her death, a Newport News veteran receives recognition 

By Paul Bibeau
via the WHRO radio station (VA) web site 

A bugler played taps while an honor guard from Fort Eustis stood in front of Marie Moss’s grave and folded the flag at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Newport News.

They presented it to Chris Garcia, who isn’t related to Moss and works for the Virginia War Museum.

Normally a family member would accept the flag for Moss, but it wasn’t possible. Organizers could not locate descendants for a ceremony giving her the veteran’s funeral she didn’t get when she died in 1987.

Moss was one of the first women to enlist in the Army to serve in the signal corps, who helped military personnel keep in touch across battlefields. The corps, made up primarily of women, weren't recognized as veterans until the 1970s.

No one’s sure why Moss didn’t get a proper veteran’s funeral, Garcia said, but he said remembering people who served was “a sacred duty.”

Moss was born to a family of farm laborers from Denbigh.

She enlisted in the Army in 1918 and became a signal corps operator -- also called "Hello Girls."

During WWI, the United States and other allied powers needed switchboard operators to connect officers across the battle front.

It was a position usually held by women, so the United States became the first country in modern history to enlist women.

Fewer than 400 women served as operators, and Moss is the only woman from Virginia who joined the switchboard operators, according to Garcia. She served for only a few months and received a letter a month after Armistice Day saying her military service was over.

It was an abrupt end and without the recognition veterans receive.


 zimmermann telegramZimmermann Telegram as Received by the German Ambassador to Mexico.

Did The Zimmermann Telegram Bring the US into WWI?

via the SOFREP web site 

 When World War I broke out, the United States stood on the side and decided it was a war not for it to wage. For two and a half years, the US remained a neutral country until, in 1917, things began to shift, and the country was being drawn into the conflict, especially when Germany declared its unrestricted submarine warfare that permitted the attacks of their U-boats to torpedo ships regardless of their military status and country of origin. The last straw was said to be a telegram sent by Germany to Mexico.

Germany’s Underground Works

Perhaps for the Germans, the best place to hide was right under their (future) enemy’s nose, so even before they declared unrestricted submarine warfare, they started their diplomatic scheme in motion through a secret letter sent by the German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann in 1917. The letter was intended for Heinrich von Eckardt, the German minister in Mexico. The note’s scandalous content stated his plan of negotiating a military partnership with Mexico if the United States entered the war on the side of the Allied forces. They would propose that Mexico would be free to annex a portion of the American Southwest territory in exchange for launching an attack on the US. Part of the letter said,

"We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor despite this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support, and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona."

Germany had lost its transatlantic telegraph cables earlier in the war when the British Royal Navy cut through them, leaving the Germans with no way of communicating privately between Berlin and North America. Still, the neutral United States agreed to send the letter on the condition that the contents were only diplomatic instructions and nothing more, unaware that its content was a threat to its security. On January 16, 1917, the telegram was handed to the US ambassador to Germany, James Gerard. He dutifully wired the letter to Copenhagen, where it was again transmitted to London and then to the German embassy in Washington. The letter reached Eckardt’s hands by January 19.

Intercepting the Zimmermann Telegram

Although the United States at that time was unaware of the whole thing happening behind its back, Britain wasn’t. Unknown to them, the British intelligence was secretly tapping into their transatlantic cables since the beginning of the war. So when the US transmitted the Zimmermann Telegram, a group of cryptographers, language experts, and mathematicians in an office called “Room 40” had the coded message intercepted and decoded that Britain already knew what was up two days before the telegram reached Washington. Nigel de Grey, a British cryptanalyst who cracked the letter, was remembered for the question he asked Captain William Reginald “Blinker” Hall after knowing the message. He asked, “Do you want to bring America into the war?”


 Owlcation Latin America mapCurrent map of Latin America

Latin American Neutrality During the First World War 

By Larry Slawson
via the Owlcation web site 

Latin-American Participation in the First World War

In recent decades, historians have expressed a newfound interest in reexamining the role of non-European countries in World War I, as well as the contributions that these nations made in regard to the diplomatic, political, and economic policies adopted by the Allies and Central Powers. While largely ignored in prior years, more recent historical works have focused on the importance of Latin America to the war effort, as well as the decision of many South American countries to remain neutral throughout the duration of the conflict.

This article seeks to examine these works through a historiographical analysis of trends surrounding Latin American participation in the Great War. Specifically, this article is concerned with the issue of Latin American neutrality during the war; why did it occur, and what causative factors have historians assigned to their decision to maintain a position of non-alignment?

Early Historiography

In the 1920s, historian Percy Alvin Martin offered one of the first attempts to answer questions such as these in his work, Latin America and the War. In his analysis of Latin American countries that remained neutral throughout the First World War, Martin argues that these nations sought a position of nonalignment due to their desire to “counteract” the growing influence and pressure of the United States over South America (Martin, 27).

Upon entering the war in 1917, Martin argues that the United States attempted to use its regional authority as a means of coercing “nations south of the Rio Grande” to follow suit in “the war against Germany" (Martin, 24). However, in the early twentieth century, Martin posits that many Latin Americans viewed any encroachment of the United States (whether diplomatic or political) with both “suspicion and distrust” as a result of America’s “past actions” in the War of 1848, the Panama Canal, as well as their recent establishment of political hegemony in several “Caribbean and Central American republics" (Martin, 24-25). As a result, Martin argues that many Latin Americans “firmly believed the United States was aiming at the establishment of a political preponderance over the entire Western Hemisphere” and, in turn, actively sought measures to counteract this ambition from reaching fruition (Martin, 25). Consequently, Martin states: “Latin Americans honestly believed that the best interests of their own nations, and even those of civilization and humanity, could best be subserved by adherence to a strict neutrality” to the war effort, regardless of whatever sympathies they held toward the Allied cause (Martin, 29).

It is important to note that Martin’s work makes it clear that “neutrality did not mean indifference,” as “several neutral states” provided “raw materials, products, and resources” to the American and Allied cause (Martin, 29). However, Martin posits that any attempt to develop a “more cordial cooperation” with the United States was strictly limited due to negative past experiences with the Americans (Martin, 25). Consequently, Martin’s work demonstrates that Latin American neutrality served as a reflection of their desire to protect and develop a concept of “Hispano Americanismo” rather than President Woodrow Wilson’s vision for a “Pan Americanism” (Martin, 26). 


 Pierce paintingsHarold Pierce’s untitled painting of Doughboys advancing through the town of Fismes in August 1918 (left). The building at center is the town hall, which was rebuilt after the war. (Courtesy of Erie County historical Society.) Thieuntitled painting at right shows the aftermath of the attack on a German machine gun position. The machine gun and its dead operator are near the center of the painting. Doughboys, some of them wounded, and German prisoners now mix on the battlefield. (Courtesy of David Simpson)

Duty, Terror and Survival: The World War One Diary and Art of Doughboy Cpl. Harold W. Pierce 

By William J. Welch
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site

Duty Terror Survival front coverAs a former journalist and an avid history reader, I believe wholeheartedly that some stories MUST be told. One of those is Harold W. Pierce’s story – his diary, really – of his experiences with the 112th Infantry Regiment (28th Division) in World War One.

I first became aware of his diary while reading Edward Lengel’s book about the Meuse-Argonne campaign, To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918. I had been researching the part of the 112th Regiment as part of a local effort to produce a centennial book on Erie County, Pennsylvania’s role in the war. Lengel included a quote from a soldier in Company A of the 112th, Harold W. Pierce. Half of that company mustered from Erie County or nearby. The passage was a moving one about the death of Lt. Col. James Shannon, the regiment’s commander, on October 7, 1918, a brutal day in that battle. It was descriptive, insightful and even touching. I wanted to know more.

I learned from following up on Lengel’s citation that Pierce’s diary had been published in serial form in the Titusville (Pennsylvania) Herald from October to December 1979 and was in the collections at a handful of museums. I made a mental note to visit one of them.

That’s where it stood until I visited the Corry Area Historical Society, headquarters of Company A in 1917, and discovered the entire diary clipped from the Herald and pasted onto letter-sized paper. I photographed them all with my cell phone. Reading through a few of those passages, I knew that this diary was even better than expected. And I marveled that a 19-year-old who said he wasn’t all that good a student could write with such clarity and introspection.

And that’s where it continued to stand as our committee continued to work to finish our book on Erie County in the war, Answering the Call: Erie County, Pennsylvania in World War One. We needed a strong illustration to put onto the cover and I recalled mention of some large paintings at the Erie County Historical Society that had been donated by the Corry, Pennsylvania, VFW post. I photographed one of them and then looked in the untitled painting’s corner. There was the signature of H.W. Pierce. This had to be the same Pierce who wrote the diary. I knew this book and the paintings had to be published as a book. And the scene lined up well with his description of fighting in the town of Fismes in August 1918.

The Doughboy Foundation partners with "Google Arts & Culture"

By Theo Mayer
Staff Writer


Google arts & culture logo

Google Arts & Culture is a non-commercial initiative from Google that puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at everyone’s fingertips and the Doughboy Foundation is honored to be among them.

If Google’s mission is to make the world’s information more accessible, then Arts & Culture’s mission is to make the world’s culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. It’s a unique doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world.

Earlier in the spring of 2022, the Doughboy Foundation officially became a “Google Arts & Culture” partner focusing on the platform’s unique storytelling capabilities.


Goal #1 was to launch our first “story” on the platform in time for Juneteenth.

story cover shot 2Archival newsreel footage from the National Archives was used to create a newsreel style story of the homecoming and parade.



Letters That You Will Not Get: Women's Voices from the Great War 

via PRSocial

NEW YORK – The American Opera Project (AOP), a Brooklyn based opera think-tank at the forefront of contemporary opera development and collaboration, announces the world premiere of Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War, July 29-August 7 at The Space at Irondale. Produced as part of Irondale’s On Women Festival to amplify the voices of women through theatrical initiatives followed by an extended week-long run of performances presented by the company, the work offers a series of contemporary musical vignettes from American, British, European, Asian, African and Caribbean women affected by WWI, created and performed by an all-female team. 

Brought to life through authentic source material that includes letters, poetry, journal entries, memories and recalled oral sentiments by real women who experienced the global impacts of WWI, Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War is composed by Kirsten Volness in collaboration with librettists Kate Holland and Susan Werbe to explore and empower the female experience in a historical context. Directed by Kate Bergstrom, and Music Directed by Mila Henry, with a cast of 6 women, audiences are introduced through song, to the perspectives of female archetypes who lived, and died, during The Great War (1914-1918) —mothers and wives, daughters, friends and lovers, nurses and factory workers, caretakers, and civilians. Themes of love, loss, resignation, guilt, horror, and humor personify both sides of the conflict, while amplifying the quiet voices of the women whose experiences were an integral part of the war but left out of history’s larger narrative. Musically, the work is operatic in scope and nuanced with influences of pop and jazz.

“The Great War was represented almost entirely through the writings of young men who fought and died in the war, and the old men who sent them there,” explains Werbe. “This piece is a reminder of the realities of war from the voices that we rarely hear from,” she continues. “There is no denying that our world is once again suffering from global conflict. May the words of these women open an important window to the past that bridges us to the present while helping us to reframe the future and the voices that have something important to say.”

Creation of Letters That You Will Not Get: Women's Voices from the Great War has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University. For more information, visit https://www.aopopera.org/letters.


Great War through A Doughboys Eyes bannerCpl. Howard P. Claypoole's experiences in World War I are told through the lens of his grandson and Miramar Beach resident Gregory S. Valloch on "The Great War Through A Doughboy's Eyes."

'The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes': Miramar Beach veteran honors grandfather in new book 

via the Northwest Florida Daily News newspaper web site

“The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes” was released on March 23 and chronicles the service of Cpl. Howard P. Claypoole as told through the lens of his grandson and Miramar Beach resident Gregory S. Valloch.

Claypoole served in the U.S. Army during World War I and was awarded a Purple Heart posthumously. Like his grandfather, Col. Gregory S. Valloch is an Army veteran who honorably served during the Gulf War.

Since then, Valloch has owned the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop at The Market Shops at Sandestin since 2016 and has been named as the Best Dessert by the readers of VIP Destin Magazine in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022. He is a member of the Destin and Walton Area Chambers of Commerce as well as the American Legion Post 96.

Valloch credits his grandfather’s bravery and conviction as the source of his motivation to earn a commission in the Army. When Valloch came across his grandfather’s wartime diaries, correspondence and artifacts, he saw that it was only fitting he share his grandfather’s legacy with the world.

In “The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes,” Valloch offers a unique account of his grandfather’s service during WWI, illustrating the hardships of soldiers at war. Using his grandfather’s diary entries, postcards, letters, wound order, newspaper clippings, military history and discharge papers, Valloch tells the story of a man with an unwavering allegiance to his country and a will to survive.

Cpl. Claypoole’s journey is brought to life through photographs of wartime memorabilia, including playing cards, pictures, dice, dog tags, medals, bayonets, coins, his rifle sling covered with unit crests, his Purple Heart and his WWI Victory Medal and campaign clasps.

“This is the story of one man who fought in the Great War, came home, got married and had a successful life,” Valloch said. “But he also found friendship and life lessons forged in battle that stayed with him until the very end. And that is what I want to relate.”

“The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes” is available for purchase online at Amazon.com.

Valloch was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army and as an armor officer upon graduating from Norwich University as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He served in the Tiger Brigade (1st Brigade, Second Armored Division) during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He left active duty and joined the Army Reserve, where he served as an operations officer, plans officer, and then spent a year deployed to Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar as the plans division chief in the 2nd Battlefield Coordination Detachment.


A Promising Young Man: The Life and Times of a Casualty in World War One 

By Thomas A. Summers
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 


In 1942 when I was eight years old, I accompanied my paternal grandmother, father, mother and brother in seeing the acclaimed and Academy Award movie Sergeant York in an Orangeburg, South Carolina theater. The film focused on one of the most decorated soldiers in World War One. This cinematic production, featuring Gary Cooper in the leading role, was now aiding the nation in having its morale strengthened for World War Two. Displayed on the screen were scenes of battle and heroism as played out from the earlier war.

Thomas Raysor Summers Trinity College 1917Thomas Raysor Summers at Trinity College,1917The most directly affected persons in viewing the movie undoubtedly were my grandmother and my father. She had lost a son in WWI and he had given up a brother. Twenty-four years had now intervened between the death of young Thomas (Tom) Raysor Summers in a Belgian bombing near Europe's Western Front. I remember seeing the soft tears in their eyes and the assumed courage in their hearts as the war story unfolded on the movie screen. Also I had an interest in the movie because I had been bequeathed at birth with my young uncle's first name.

Added to their experiencing of that long-ago day in the theater certainly would have been the accompanying remembrance of Abram West Summers. He was my grandmother's husband.

My grandfather died just three months after his son's military death. Some in the family said that his demise was from not only the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic that swept through the nation but also the grief of a broken heart. (I inherited his first name of Abram as my middle name.)

As I have gotten older, a greater interest has grown in my knowing more about this young uncle whose name I carry. I had known that the American Legion Post in Orangeburg became his namesake in 1922. Also I had been aware that he was the first casualty from Orangeburg County in WWI. When I discovered several years ago that the WWI Commission in Washington had begun seeking stories about these fallen soldiers with their names attached to local AL posts, my interest in the unique journey of his shortened life deepened.

Hence, this following narrative about him is the product of my research with various family files, the internet, letters, books, a diary and many other materials. They have shed much light and information on the various eras of his life, especially those of his military encounter with WWI. Also an effort has been made to incorporate some descriptions of the historical contexts (e.g., stages of the war) and surrounding circumstances that played their part in shaping the story of his life. Tom would have known and been influenced by those historical contexts.

 Early Years 

The Family

Thomas (Tom) Raysor Summers was born on January 24, 1897 at home in Orangeburg to Caroline Erwin Moss Summers and the aforementioned Abram West Summers. There were three other children in the family: an older brother West, a younger brother Carroll (my father) and a younger sister Caroline. Another brother William—West's twin—died not long after birth.

The family lived in a two-story house (no longer there) at the intersection of Amelia Street and Summers Avenue in Orangeburg. Located near the lower part of the state, the town's population was six thousand at the time of Tom's birth.

Tom's mother was active in church activities with the local Methodist Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Red Cross and the American Legion Auxillary. This quiet and assuming woman was very interested in art and painting. Her rendition of a peaceful scene of the Edisto River—that winds through the westward part of the town—currently hangs in my home in Columbia, South Carolina.

As a child, I always looked forward to my grandmother's visits to my own family's home in Orangeburg. When I was around three or four years of age, I could always count on her to tell me some stories in her soft voice as I would be drifting off to sleep at night.


What Makes American Music American? The World War I Connection 

By Joshua Villanueva
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site

Joshua Villanueva conducts the CMA's Copland Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Aaron Copland's
Appalachian Spring in 2021. The origins of this piece are deeply rooted in World War I.

There’s nothing more American than growing up in a multi-racial community, checking out K-pop videos on the internet, and showing off your latest dance moves on TikTok for the world to see. But have you wondered what exactly makes something American?

Aaron Copland may not be a household name, but he certainly made an impact on American rock and pop culture. To name a few, Elvis Presley’s "Can’t Help Falling in Love" was adapted from “Plaisir d'Amour,” a song popularized by Copland’s film score for The Heiress. Michael Jackson also used Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man in his 30th Anniversary Celebration concert TV special.

Who Was Aaron Copland?

Aaron Copland early 1920sAaron Copland, early 1920s. Music Division, Library of CongressDubbed “the Dean of American Composers” by critics, Aaron Copland, the son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, rummaged through Chopin and Tchaikovsky repertoire in Manhattan’s Fifty-eighth Street public library a century ago as a curious teenager. He would chase the latest Broadway tune down Tin Pan Alley on West 28th Street and take correspondence courses in harmony and theory. Finally, this boy would travel to France after World War I to study music.

Before World War I, German and Austrian traditions dominated the American musical world. Copland’s first teacher, Rubin Goldmark, studied at the Vienna Conservatory until 1891 and combined German Romanticism with Native American and African-American folk music.

However, World War I changed America’s music overnight. Frankfurters sold at baseball parks were renamed hotdogs while Viennese operettas dominating American theaters disappeared. "100% Americanism" swept through America, and American public opinion began a decisive shift against Germany and the Central Powers when Germany sank the RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915. Copland and other American contemporaries like George Gershwin envisioned American modern music as a distinct identity, not an adaptation of European traditions. In Copland’s 1963 book, Copland on Music, he explains:

It seems to me that the first world war may be part of the reason for this need to cut oneself off, so to speak from the apron, the creative apron strings of European art. The fact that the first world war was forcibly made the separation for us both in Latin and North America, I think was one of the contributing causes for our being able to conceive of an independent spirit free of the European spirit.

World War I had a profound impact on Copland. Throughout his career, Copland quoted “My Buddy,” a famous World War I song about pulling together for a common purpose to fight the “war to end all wars,” in his compositions. Copland acknowledged his nationalist sentiments in his search for a uniquely American sound, only to find it still in its infancy.


Averell Harrimans shipbuilding yard 1The freighter Watonwan prior to launch into the Delaware River from one of the 12 slipways at the Harriman shipbuilding yard. 

Bristol Borough Owes a Boatload to a WWI-Era Shipping Magnate/Railroader 

By Ken Knickerbocker
via the BucksCo.Today/American Community Journals web site

Railroad heir W. Averell Harriman was responsible for developing a whole new township in Bristol Borough in the run-up to World War I and as the global conflict unfolded. Carl LaVO tracked the details for the Bucks County Courier Times.

Harriman — whose father amassed wealth by controlling several railroads, a steamship line, and Wells Fargo & Co. (the transport company, not the bank) — saw an opportunity in the growing sentiment to join World War I in Europe.

He realized that thousands of American troops would be deployed to the old continent with no way to get there. He knew they needed ships, so he decided to build them.

After winning government contracts to build upwards of 60 transport ships before the war was declared, he needed to expand. He therefore shifted focus from his existing shipyard in the City of Chester in Delaware County to Bristol, Bucks County, 30 miles upriver.

He bought 260 acres of land in the township and built a shipyard and homes for future employees.

The 3,000 workers and their families soon moved into the area that, in addition to trendy residential units, had a large Victory Hotel, a hospital, and Harriman Public School. The area soon became Harriman Township.

In 1923, Averell decided to sell the shipyard, In 1923, Averell decided to sell the shipyard, which later became an aircraft manufacturing plant. The township was incorporated into Bristol Borough in succeeding years.


Doughboy MIA for July 2022

Private Earl Edward Jones: after 87-years, rosette officially closes his case

By Robert Laplander
Managing Director, Doughboy MIA 

Earl Edward JonesOur MIA of the Month this time around is a little different, as he isn’t actually MIA anymore!

Private Earl Edward Jones was born January 9th, 1894, in Meyersdale Pennsylvania. He was one of the TEN children that William and Mary Jones stocked their household with! His father William died of a stroke in December 1915, so Earl went to work, taking his father’s place as a coal miner in order to help support the family.

On May 31st 1917, Earl joined the Pennsylvania National Guard, figuring it the best way to get overseas faster. He was assigned to Company C of the 10th PA Guard which, upon federalization on July 15th of that year became Company C of the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division, training in part at Camp Hancock, Georgia. With the 110th he sailed for France aboard the City of Calcutta on May 3rd, 1918.

That summer, the 28th was engaged in the fighting around the Fismes sector and the Marne Valley. It was there, on July 15th 1918 – exactly one year to the day that Earl’s unit had entered federal service – that during fighting outside the hamlet of Sauvigny, Earl and several of his comrades were captured. In a statement given to the C company commander, Captain William C. Truxal, by Earl’s corporal, Herbert Jones (no relation) reads: “I helped to carry Private Earl E. Jones across the Marne River after having been taken prisoner. His left leg was blown off below the knee, he was bleeding profusely, and he was unconscious. We put him down on the north side of the river and were not permitted to move him. Later on, one of the men told me that they had buried him in the Marne River.” The burial had been very hurried as the Germans were in no mood to let the Doughboys honor their dead and they were quickly hustled off to a detention location before being sent off to a prison camp. Consequently, the grave went unmarked.

Graves Registration personnel sent out after the war to try and recover Earl’s remains based on the scant information given them by surviving members of his hasty burial were unsuccessful. It had been a brief event, under extremely trying battle circumstances some two years previous, and thus details were sketchy. By and by, without any success at locating his final resting place, Earl’s name was added to the Tablet of the Missing at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau Wood when the cemeteries were officially created by the ABMC. In 1931 Earl’s mother, the widow Mrs. Mary Jones, sailed on the Gold Star Mother’s Pilgrimage that year aboard the President Harding to see his name at the cemetery. She traveled with two other Somerset County Gold Star Mothers as well and while on the return voyage to the States aboard the S.S. America, on the night of August 29th, 1931, commented that her fondest wish would be the return of her boy to Pennsylvania if they ever managed to locate him. Tragically, Mary died of heart disease aboard ship that night; a truly heartbreaking climax to an already mortifyingly sad story.