World War I | KCUR

World War I

Records of the War Department General and Special. Staffs.

One day in September of 1918, First Lieutenant George Robb's job was to take a French town called Sechault from the Germans who'd claimed it. At the time, he was commanding a group of African-American soldiers of the 369th Infantry called the Harlem Hellfighters.

Robb was wounded in what became a machine-gun fight that day, as were many of the men he fought beside. Some of them, including Robb, were recommended for the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy, and typically presented by the president of the United States.

Segment 1: An American tradition revived.

In their first iteration, victory gardens provided much needed food for Americans at home and abroad fighting World War I. Now the victory garden concept can be seen in community gardens helping social organizations and food pantries, which often struggle to stock and distribute fresh fruits and vegetables.

Segment 1: Weird Weather Words.

Bomb Cyclone. Polar Vortex. Snowmageddon. If you've listened to weather forecasts as of late, there have been some really strange words. Why is that, and what do they mean?

  • Al Pietrycha, science and operations officer, National Weather Service

Segment 2, beginning at 15:23: KC's Culinary DNA

Google asked the question: where has Kansas City's food scene been and where is it headed? In this conversation, we find out how a local food critic answered.

Segment 1: The Tomb of the Unkown Soldier is located at Arlington National Cemetery.

Established in 1921, the Tomb is the final resting place for unknown service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars and the Korean War. Hear the history of the monument and what it takes to become a sentinel at this national landmark.

It’s likely you’ve never heard of John Lewis Barkley.

The Missouri native fought in World War I, winning the Congressional Medal of Honor and later writing a book about his experience. Yet his book, “No Hard Feelings!” and his name remain in relative obscurity, even as the nation marks the 100th anniversary of World War I’s end.

That surprises Steven Trout, who helped get the book reprinted under the title “Scarlet Fields” in 2014.

“I’m astonished, in fact, and I don’t really know the reason,” he told St. Louis Public Radio.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial

Of the 40 million people who died in World War I, only 441 were from around Kansas City. With so few casualties from this area, how did the national museum and memorial for this war end up here?

Mike Vietti, the museum's marketing director, hears this question a lot.

"This really was, in many respects, a crowdsourced National Museum and Memorial," Vietti says.

To understand why Kansas City was up to that challenge requires remembering what the city was like a hundred years ago.

1918 in Kansas City

National WW I Museum and Memorial

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row…

—from “In Flanders Fields,” written by Lt. Col. John McCrae in 1915 to honor a fallen comrade.

More than 5,000 poppies, the symbol of the fallen soldiers of World War I, will illuminate Kansas City's Liberty Memorial beginning on Nov. 2. The display marks the centennial of Armistice Day, the Nov. 11 truce that ended four years of horrific slaughter in Europe.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The Independent candidate discusses his race for Kansas governor. 

The fierce gubernatorial race between Republican Kris Kobach, Democrat Laura Kelly and Independent Greg Orman is heating up. Orman joined us in-studio to talk about his proposals for education, the economy and gun control. He also explained why he decided to run as an Independent in a two-party system, and if low polling numbers will lead him to drop out.

Segment 1: Art isn't just fun and games.

To some, art seems more like a hobby rather than ‘real work.’ But, for many artists, that’s far from the truth. We visit with a Kansas Citian about what they discovered after being an artist for a year.

Segment 2, beginning at 23:03: How World War I sparked a lasting friendship between the United States and Australia.

Segment 1: The echoes of Trump's "zero tolerance" policy in Kansas City.

The decision to enforce a "zero tolerance" immigration policy at the U.S. - Mexico border is being felt across the nation. Today, we learn how the repurcussions are affecting families here in Kansas City.

John Singer Sargent / Public Domain

Segment 1: A great and dreadful tableau of Great War horrors.

courtesy: National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial on Friday announced a big debut for its $5 million Wylie Gallery. The new 3,500-square-foot space inside the museum, set to open on February 23, will feature one of the world’s largest war-related paintings: John Singer Sargent’s Gassed

A new play, Trench Warfare, is about two infantry soldiers in World War I. We talk with the local musician who composed the score for the play; he shares how he evoked the feelings of WWI with a seven-piece orchestra and a computer.

Then: Sexual misconduct has been an issue in the Kansas and Missouri statehouses. Two women in politics from both sides of the state line compare notes from their experiences on the job.

Guests:

Photo courtesy of Pat O'Neill

It was 120 years ago this week that George Wigert was born in Axtell, a speck of a town in rural Nebraska. Wigert would grow up to attend military school, fight in World War I, then return home to start a family.

It was just three years ago that Wigert's grandson, author and publicist Pat O'Neill, came across hundreds of letters Wigert exchanged with his mother while preparing for and fighting in what was called "the war to end all wars."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

During World War I, millions of letters were sent between the American servicemen in Europe and their loved ones back home. Kansas City author and publicist Pat O'Neill focused in on 223 letters sent during the war by his grandfather. Today, we learn Sgt. George Wigert's story.

Damron Russel Armstrong

People need space to talk about war these days, says Anne Gatschet.

“We live in a world that’s got a lot of war. I think all of us are dealing with how to talk-slash-not talk about a great deal of pain and injury, moral and physical,” says Gatschet, who is president of the board at The Writers Place.

Gatschet's grandfather was killed in World War II, but her parents and extended family won’t talk about it. She says that leaves a void.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

For centuries, refugees from all over the world have taken to the seas to escape violence and persecution in their homelands. Today, the author of a children's book published this year recounts just a few of their stories. Then, we speak to the director and producer of a new film about Gertrude Bell, who's been called the most powerful woman in the British Empire during World War I.

Michael St Maur Sheil

The National World War I Museum and Memorial plans several events, along with free admission for veterans and active-duty military personnel, to celebrate Monday's national holiday recognizing the men and women who've died in service to the U.S. military. 

"For a lot of families, it's really a significant moment to honor those who have served and especially those whose lives were lost," says Matthew Naylor, the museum's president and CEO.

Robert Drózd / Wikimedia Commons

John Scofield continues to make strides in the music world. His latest album, Country For Old Men, won the 2016 Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Today, the renowned guitarist recalls playing with the likes of Miles Davis and Charles Mingus.

Eric Williams / Kansas City Symphony

Many composers have set the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead to music. Mozart, Berlioz, Brahms and Verdi famously come to mind. Their compositions are considered masterpieces.

But Benjamin Britten’s genius was to juxtapose the austere and solemn Latin of the Requiem liturgy with the visceral and searing poetry of Wilfred Owen, who served in the British Army during World War I and died in France just days before the Armistice was signed.

Protagonist Pictures

What better way to spend a dreary weekend than taking in a few good movies at your local independent theater? If you have a hard time making up your mind, let Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics help out with their latest recommendations. They'll ensure your hair stays dry, but maybe not your eyes.

Steve Walker

Graduation, R

www.tommyshonour.com

Steve Walker

Cézanne et Moi​, R

  • Director Daniele Thompson's sumptuous account of the lifelong bromance between artist Paul Cezanne and writer Emile Zola adroitly captures the self-doubt and self-importance that shaped their artistic temperaments.

David Lynch: The Art Life, Not Rated

Kyle Espeleta / The Orchard

After your Easter plans for this weekend are done, gather the extended family together for some movie-binging. Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics have recommendations for the whole clan — even that one weird cousin. (You know who we're talking about!) Pro tip: Use the spoils from the Easter egg hunt to save yourself some cash on candy at the theater.

Steve Walker

Tommy's Honour, PG

Toronto International Film Festival

With the Kansas City FilmFest going on this weekend, there's no shortage of great cinema to take in (not to mention the New York Dog Film Festival and Pooch Party). For those of us not lucky enough to get tickets to that event, though, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a few recommendations that can fill the festival void.

Charvex / Wikimedia Commons

As the centennial of the United States' entry into the First World War approaches, eyes across the globe are on Kansas City, Missouri. 

Today, we learn how the National World War I Museum and Memorial is commemorating the occasion, and who you can expect to see at the event.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend a centennial commemoration of the United States’ entry into World War I in Kansas City on Thursday.

COURTESY OF NATIONAL WORLD WAR I MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL

When does information become propaganda? We look back at posters from World War I, currently on display at Kansas City's World War I Museum, and draw connections to the memes of today.

Guests:

Manitoba Provincial Archives - CC

Do moderates even exist in today's bifurcated political landscape? Today, we examine the ideals of centrism and learn about some of history's notable moderates. Then, we celebrate National Winnie the Pooh Day by remembering the morale-boosting bear of World War I who inspired the world-famous cartoon character.

U.S. Library of Congress

President-elect Trump's first formal news conference lasted into today's Up To Date broadcast, so the show is shorter than usual. 

courtesy: National World War I Museum and Memorial

Weeks after the end of World War I in 1918, Kansas Citians started fundraising for a memorial. A community fund drive raised more than $2.5 million, and Liberty Memorial opened on Nov. 11, 1926. In 2006, the National World War I Museum, a $102 million project "dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War" opened to the public

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