World War I

SENT ON A HOPELESSLY VAGUE ASSIGNMENT BY WOODROW WILSON, AMERICAN SOLDIERS FOUND THEMSELVES IN THE MIDDLE OF A FEROCIOUS SQUABBLE AMONG BOLSHEVIKS, COSSACKS, CZECHS, JAPANESE, AND OTHERS

During mid-August, 1918, American forces began landing at Vladivostok, the capital of the Soviet Maritime Territory, in one of the more curious side shows of the First World War. Read more >>

A Marine Remembers the Bat for Belleau Wood

A young poet’s memories of the old rural America in whose fields he worked for two sunny months while awaiting the call to service in the First World War

The doughboys numbered only 550 men -- the remnants of four battalions -- and were surrounded by Germans. Then they were given the order to attack.

In the early fall of 1918 five hundred American infantrymen were cut off from their regiment and surrounded by Germans during five days of fighting in the Argonne Forest. Read more >>
In the last week of October, 1918, 2,700 Americans died “over there” in battle against the kaiser’s army. The same week 21,000 Americans died of influenza in the United States. Read more >>

HOW TWO FAMOUS FIGURES OF THE TWENTIES GREW UP, MET, AND FELL IN LOVE

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. …” It was an odd way for a rich and world-famous young writer to end his third novel— The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read more >>

Carl Fisher thought Americans should be able to drive across their country, but it took a decade and a world war to finish his road

When Carl Graham Fisher, best known as the builder and promoter of Miami Beach who started the Florida vacation craze, died in 1939 the New York Times pointed out that he brought about a far more significant change in the life-style of modern America in his earlier and less conspicuous role as the creator of the idea of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road from New York to California. Read more >>

EQUIPMENT WAS HARD TO COME BY, RED TAPE WAS RAMPANT. BUT AMERICAN VOLUNTEERS IN FRANCE BUILT AN AMBULANCE CORPS THAT PERFORMED BRILLIANTLY IN THE EARLY YEARS OF WORLD WAR I

“Who knows?” Piatt Andrew wrote Isabella Stewart Gardner from shipboard on Christmas night of 1914, “we may spend the winter carting the groceries from Paris to Neuilly.” He had volunteered to drive an ambulance for the American Hospital in France, but beyond that his prospects Read more >>
Charlie and I first met under the most informal conditions imaginable—we were both stark naked. Read more >>

In the sumptuous history of transatlantic passenger travel it wasn’t all mahogany panelling and ten-course meals. Consider, for instance, war and seasickness

“THIS IS NOT A CANOE” Read more >>
The curious sight above takes us back to the recruiting and Liberty Bond drives of World War I, to a time when the engines of war were as popular as “preparedness” itself. Read more >>

Sixteen years before Pearl Harbor an English naval expert uncannily prophesied in detail the war in the Pacific. Now comes evidence that the Japanese heeded his theories—but not his warnings

As soon as Imperial Japan destroyed the Russian Navy in a spectacular sea battle at the Straits of Tsushima in 1905, a rash of would-be Cassandras began to foretell the day when the rays of the Rising Sun would spread eastward across the Pacific, bringing Jap Read more >>

The planes were fragile and the Boche was tough, but the girls were pretty, the wine was good, and death was something that happened to someone else

George Churchill Keimey is one of America’s most distinguished military men. Read more >>

A Negro cavalry regiment was John J. Pershing’s “home” in the service. From it came his nickname, and he never lost his affection for—or failed to champion—the valorous colored troopers he led.

By frieght train, on foot, and in commandeered trucks, thousands of unemployed veterans descended on a nervous capital at the depth of the Depression—and were run out of town by Army bayonets

The great tragedy of the twenty-eighth President as witnessed by his loyal lieutenant, the thirty-first

A third of a century since his defeat and death, most of the passion that surrounded Woodrow Wilson in life is spent. Read more >>

American Heritage Book Selection -- Ford: Expansion and Challenge, 1915-1933