Donald R. McClarey

Take Up Our Quarrel With The Foe

      In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place, and in the sky, The larks, still bravely singing, fly, Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead; short

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Donald R. McClarey

October 12, 1915: Theodore Roosevelt Addresses the Knights of Columbus

Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there’d have been a fight. Remark of Charles Marshall, Vice President of the United States, upon hearing of the death of Theodore Roosevelt   On October 12,

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Donald R. McClarey

Bastille Day 1919

  A century ago American troops participated in the Bastille Day parade in Paris which also served as victory parade for the Allies.  A correspondent noted the presence of the Americans:   As Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces, Foch leads

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Donald R. McClarey

June 28, 1919: Treaty of Versailles Signed

      A century ago the Treaty of Versailles was signed.  It turned out to be a twenty year truce prior to the onset of World War II, but none of the signatories of course knew that at the

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Donald R. McClarey

The War to Give Birth to Other Wars

No one expected a renewal of war in the lifetime of the generation that had known its horror and its squalors. Winston Churchill, The World Crisis:  Aftermath   Indy Neidell of The Great War looks at the wars that followed

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Donald R. McClarey

Martin Treptow’s Pledge

Martin August Treptow was a barber from Cherokee, Iowa.  Enlisting in the National Guard, during World War I his unit was called up and Treptow found himself in the 168th Infantry, part of the 42nd Division, called the Rainbow Division

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Donald R. McClarey

They Shall Not Grow Old: A Review

      Well, my bride and I watched They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) last Sunday, and technically it was as magnificent as I had heard.  The expertise applied to make World War I era films look like contemporary

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Donald R. McClarey

They Shall Not Grow Old

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,  Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.  They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;  They fell with their faces to the foe. 
 They shall grow

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Donald R. McClarey

April 18, 1919: Alvin C. York Decorated With the Medal of Honor

  The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Corporal Alvin Cullium York (ASN: 1910421), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 8 October 1918, while

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Donald R. McClarey

Hello Girls of World War I

 “The humblest hello-girl along ten thousand miles of wire could teach gentleness, patience, modesty, manners, to the highest duchess in Arthur’s land”. Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)   “Hello girls” was the popular term for

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Donald R. McClarey

March 14, 1919: Wilson Returns to the Paris Peace Conference

  A century ago President Wilson returned to the Paris Peace Conference from his whirlwind trip back to Washington.  The work of the Paris Peace Conference was to resume in earnest the next day. Winston Churchill in The Aftermath, the

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Donald R. McClarey

February 14, 1919: League of Nations

  Of all his Fourteen Points, the nearest to the heart of President Wilson was the League of Nations, the mechanism, he hoped, that would avoid wars in the future.  Ironically, Wilson would succeed in creating the League, and the

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Donald R. McClarey

January 18, 1919: The Paris Peace Conference Begins

  In examining the Paris Peace Conference, it is hard to be objective.  We know that another World War followed, much more terrible, only two decades later.  It is difficult to view the Paris Peace Conference as anything other than

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Donald R. McClarey

No World War I

Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars, That make ambition virtue! Othello, Act 3, Scene 3     Alternate history has always fascinated me, and Andrew Roberts, a great contemporary historian, I heartily recommend his recent biography of Churchill,

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Donald R. McClarey

December 13, 1918: Wilson Arrives in France

President Wilson arrived in France a century ago to participate in the Paris Peace Conference.  He received a rapturous reception from the citizens of France but a cooler reception from Clemenceau and the other Allied leaders.  British economist John Maynard

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Donald R. McClarey

The Great Influenza

  In recalling US involvement in World War I, one statistic is startling.  Combat deaths for the US totaled 53,402.  US military deaths from what was called Spanish flu totaled around 45,000.  In 1918 some 675,000 Americans died from the

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Donald R. McClarey

December 4, 1918: Woodrow Wilson Sails for France

  Woodrow Wilson sailed for France a century ago, ironically in the SS George Washington, a German passenger liner interned in New York City at the outbreak of World War I.  He was the second US President to travel abroad

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Donald R. McClarey

December 4, 1918: Woodrow Wilson Sails for France

  Woodrow Wilson sailed for France a century ago, ironically in the SS George Washington, a German passenger liner interned in New York City at the outbreak of World War I.  He was the second US President to travel abroad

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Donald R. McClarey

December 2, 1918: State of the Union Address

  GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS: The year that has elapsed since I last stood before you to fulfil my constitutional duty to give to the Congress from time to time information on the state of the Union has been so

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Donald R. McClarey

Clemenceau Quote

I was seated between Jesus Christ and Napoleon. David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, on his experiences at the Paris Peace Conference with Wilson and Clemenceau. For you a hundred years is a very long time; for us it does

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Donald R. McClarey

Thanksgiving Proclamation 1918

It has long been our custom to turn, in the autumn of the year, in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for his many blessing and mercies to us as a nation. This year we have special and moving cause

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Donald R. McClarey

November 11, 1918: Captain Truman Writes to Bess

Dear Bess: November 11, 1918 I knew Uncle Samuel was holding out on me when your letter came not with Boxley’s and Brelsford’s. Two came this morning and I am of course very happy. We are all wondering what the

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Donald R. McClarey

November 9, 1918: Abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II

    You [recruits] have sworn loyalty to me. You have only one enemy and that is my enemy. In the present social confusion it may come about that I order you to shoot down your own relatives, brothers or

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Donald R. McClarey

Armistice Terms

The Armistice was negotiated over a period of two days, November 8-9, 1918.  The term negotiate is not actually accurate.  The Allies through Marshal Foch dictated the terms to be accepted or not by the Germans.  The Germans won a

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Donald R. McClarey

November 1, 1918: Captain Harry Truman Writes to Bess

    Prior to World War I Harry Truman had not met with much success.  Hard working, personable and ambitious, none of the many jobs he took on, or the business ventures he launched, gave him long term financial security. 

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Donald R. McClarey

October 30, 1918: Pershing Opposes an Armistice

    General John J. Pershing was not pleased at the idea of giving an Armistice and expressed his views strongly in a letter on October 30, 1918:   Paris, October 30, 1918. To the Allied Supreme War Council, Paris.

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Donald R. McClarey

February 26, 1941: Eddie Rickenbacker Cheats Death Again

  I’ve cheated the Grim Reaper more times than anyone I know, and I’ll fight like a wildcat until they nail the lid of my pine box down on me. Eddie Rickenbacker       Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s Ace of

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Donald R. McClarey

October 28, 1918: Lieutenant Kindley Scores His 12th Victory

The most famous member of the United States Army Air Service 94th Aero Squadron, the fabled Hat in the Ring Squadron, was Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s Ace of Aces with 26 victories.  Another notable flier in the unit was Lieutenant

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Donald R. McClarey

Would You Rather Be a Colonel with an Eagle on Your Shoulder or a Private with a Chicken On Your Knee?

  Something for the weekend.   Would You Rather Be a Colonel with an Eagle on Your Shoulder or a Private with a Chicken On Your Knee?  The American involvement in World War I produced an immense amount of music, much

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Donald R. McClarey

October 23, 1918: Wilson Responds to the German Note of October 20, 1918

The Secretary of State to the Swiss Chargé (Oederlin) Washington, October 23, 1918. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 22d transmitting a communication under date of the 20th from the German Government

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Donald R. McClarey

October 21, 1918: Germany Ends Submarine Warfare While the German Navy Plots to Attack

A sign of just how desperate the civilian German government a century ago was to bring the War to an end was the announcement of the end of submarine warfare and the recall of all its submarines back to port. 

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Donald R. McClarey

October 20, 1918: Germany Responds to Wilson’s Second Note

On October 20, 1918 the German government, through the Swiss, sent out a response to President Wilson’s Second Note:     In accepting the proposal for an evacuation of the occupied territories the German Government has started from the assumption

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Donald R. McClarey

They Shall Not Grow Old

I am surprised that I did not dislike the Army more. It was, of course, detestable. But the words “of course” drew the sting. That is where it differed from Wyvern. One did not expect to like it. Nobody said

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