Named by the emblem that signified their loss, the Gold Star Mothers, a group that originated during World War I, wanted more than to grieve over the death of their loved ones.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Recently, the project staff visited the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA’s) new facilities in St. Louis, Missouri. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is also located at the facility. The building houses over 100 million personnel files of veterans and former civil service employees dating back to the mid-19th Century. Digitizing the military records of Missourians who participated in World War I will be a huge project. Although Navy and Marine records are readily available, in 1973, 80-85% of the Army records of those who served between 1912 and 1959 were destroyed in a fire. The fire, one of the worst archival fires in U. S. history, destroyed an estimated 16-18 million records.
|An aerial view of the fire. St. Louis Post Dispatch file photo|
Friday, May 3, 2013
Edwin Wiggins of Carthage, Missouri, served in the Missouri National Guard as a Private in Company A, 2nd Missouri Infantry during the Mexican Border Conflict in 1916. In 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany, he was inducted into service at Nevada, Missouri. Wiggins was sent overseas as a Sergeant in Company A, 128th Machine Gun Battalion. He was killed in action on September 29th, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
Friday, April 26, 2013
With the centennial of the first World War right around the corner, many websites have been launched to provide coverage of the upcoming commemoration and raise public awareness about World War I. Non-profit CentenaryNews (http://centenarynews.com/) is among them and is an excellent resource for news, videos, educational resources, and links about World War I and commemoration activities underway around the globe. Check out this video on CentenaryNews.com of the keynote address at the World War I International Centennial Conference. The lecture, given by Professor Michael Neiberg, discusses a new approach to the causes of the outbreak of war in 1914.
Additional websites commemorating the centennial anniversary are as follows:
Friday, April 19, 2013
Springfield, Missouri native Clara Smith Steichen was an eyewitness to World War I. Born December 26, 1875, she traveled to Paris to study music where she met her future husband, an artist Edward Steichen. The couple lived in the French countryside when war erupted in the summer of 1914. Fearing that Paris would fall to the Germans, they fled to America. Edward remained in New York and joined the army where he became a pioneer in aerial reconnaissance. Clara returned to France with their two young children, Kate and Mary. Clara wrote to her mother describing life in war ravaged France. Portions of her letter were published in the Springfield Republican on July 3, 1917.
|Clara Steichen passport photo|
Friday, April 12, 2013
|Kansas City Canteen Booth at Union Station|
Friday, April 5, 2013
Recently, project staff discovered the WWI correspondence
between Private Edward W. Meier and his cousin-in-law Frank Baebler, both of
St. Louis, Missouri. Private Meier was in the 138th Missouri Infantry, American Expeditionary Force. Meier’s letters are very humorous and describe his war experiences in colorful language.
Topics discussed include his training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, his time in New York before going to Europe, and his experiences in France. Excerpts from his letters are below.
|A souvenir that Pvt Meier sent to Frank Baebler. It is an unmailed postcard |
photograph of nine German soldiers.