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Speakers

Dr. Geoffrey Wawro – Fresh Perspectives on the 100th Anniversary of WWI

Dr. Geoffery WawroWorld War I began as a war of movement and then rapidly became a war of trenches and positions. All of the great powers sought for ways to break the stalemate. French casualties in the first three years were horrific, as the French army sought to liberate German-occupied France and cover for the small British army, which was nearly wiped out in 1914 and then needed two years to rebuild through volunteers and conscription. Haig shattered the newly expanded British army on the Somme and Passchendaele in 1916-17. Nivelle shattered the already gasping French army on the Chemin des Dames in 1917. The Germans knocked out the Russians and effectively the Italians in 1917 and looked likely to win the war in 1918 with massed forces and new tactics on the Western Front. “Miraculously,” as Haig put it, the Allies not only survived the German spring and summer offensives of 1918, they won the war. It was no “miracle.” It was owed to the intervention of the U.S. Army in the Meuse-Argonne and the Second Battle of the Marne.

Bio: Educated at Brown and Yale, Dr. Geoffrey Wawro is Professor of History and Director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas. From 2000-2005 he was Professor of Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Wawro is the author of five books, most recently of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire (Basic Books, 2014). Wawro is also the author of Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East (Penguin Press, 2010), The Franco-Prussian War (Cambridge, 2003), Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792-1914 (Routledge, 2000), and The Austro-Prussian War (Cambridge, 1996). He is at work on his sixth book, forthcoming from Basic Books in 2018, titled: The Silent Slain: Allied Collapse and America’s Defeat of Germany in 1918.

Wawro is co-editor (with Oxford’s Hew Strachan) of the thirty volumes in the Cambridge Military Histories and is a member of the History Book Club Review Board.

 


Jim Hodgson - The Zimmerman Telegram: Two Months That Changed the World

Jim HodgsonThe Zimmerman Telegram is often considered the event that brought the United States into The Great War. But was it? For over two years, Wilson’s resolve to stay out of the war was tested numerous times. However, the two months leading up to the April 6th, 1917 entry into the conflict were filled with activities and events that may offer a different conclusion. Public opinion was split and numerous forces were at work fighting to keep us out of the war and at the same time draw us into it. The choice of the United States to enter the war may not have been one simple event but the culmination of many. Ultimately the entry of the U.S. forces changed the outcome of the war and set the world on a path that continues today. This session will review the many fascinating factors that lead to the final decision of a nation to entry the war and will show how the months of February and March of 1917, not just the Zimmerman Telegram changed the world, the United States and Texas forever.

Bio: Jim Hodgson is from Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1971. He earned his Naval Aviator Wings with the Marine Corps in 1972 and a Masters in Management in 1976. In 1978 he became a pilot with Continental Airlines. He retired in 2013 with over 28,000 flight hours.

In 1997 he helped found the OV-10 Bronco Association as a nonprofit corporation to establishing an aviation museum in Fort Worth. Today, the Bronco Association operates the Fort Worth Aviation Museum that tells the story of how aviation has changed lives, the economy, and culture of North Texas since 1911. It maintains a growing collection of 26 war birds.

Jim is the Executive Director and Chairman of the Bronco Association. He is a member of the Tarrant County Historical Commission and one of the original founders of the Texas WWI Centennial Commemoration group. He lives in Grapevine, Texas.

 


Jeff Hunt - Texas Doughboys Go To War: The 36th Infantry Division in the Great War

Jeff HuntThe first wartime mobilization for the National Guard came in 1917. Guard units from Texas and Oklahoma were merged together to create the 36th Infantry Division, which would go on to win enduring fame in two world wars and remains the backbone of today's Texas Army National Guard.

The 36th Division would endure 24 days of brutal combat in October and November of 1918 and help win the war on the Western Front.

Bio: Jeff Hunt is Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas and an Adjunct Professor of History at Austin Community College.

Previously he was curator of collections at the Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific.

Mr. Hunt is the author of numerous magazine articles as well The Last Battle of the Civil War: Palmetto Ranch, published by UT Press in 2002 and an upcoming book After Gettysburg, Before Grant due out this spring from Savas & Beatie.

He holds bachelors in Government and a masters in History, both from the University of Texas at Austin.


 

Patricia Shields - Jane Addams and the Women’s Peace Movement

Patricia ShieldsThe American Peace Movement in the years prior to World War I was dominated by male leaders of business and government.

They sought a system of international laws, which would ensure peace. World War I challenged these assumptions. Inspired by the suffrage movement and a desire to insert their concerns into world events, American women, led by Jane Addams, organized for a peaceful settlement to WWI.

The Great War challenged and dissipated the movement, which was channeled into humanitarian intervention programs. This presentation examines the events and ideas that shaped the early 20th century women’s peace movement and the place of Texas in these events.

Bio: Patricia Shields is a professor in the Texas State University Department of Political Science.

She has written 4 books and over 70 journal articles and book chapters on topics such as women in the military, civil-military relations, peacekeeping operations, women in public administration, Jane Addams ideas of peace, research methods, military recruitment, privatization and pragmatism.

She has edited a leading military journal, Armed Forces & Society for the last 17 years.


 

Dr. Emilio Zamora - José de la Luz Saenz and World War I: Transcending the Horror

Dr. Geoffery WawroThis presentation will address the significance of the WWI diary by José de la Luz Sáenz, a recruit from South Texas who served in the 90th Division of the American Expeditionary Force.

My focus will be on Saenz’s account of the soldiers’ experiences in the battlefields of France and his call for a Mexican cause for equal rights based on their sacrifice for democracy and justice at the war front.

One of my underlying motivations is to explain how a soldier like Sáenz managed to transcend the every-day horror of war and write so deliberately and well.

Bio: Emilio Zamora is a professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He has prepared or collaborated in the production of ten monographs: three single-authored books, a translated and edited WWI diary, three co-edited anthologies, a co-edited eBook, and two Texas history texts.

Zamora has also published numerous scholarly articles, book reviews, and essays for popular consumption. He has received seven best-book awards, a best-article prize, and a Fulbright García-Robles fellowship.

Zamora is the second Vice President of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA); he is also the 2017 Scholar of the Year with the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), and the 2017 lifetime achievement award from the state chapter of the same organization.


 

Patrick L. Cox, Ph.D.- “An Enemy Closer to Us Than Any European Power” - The Influence of the Mexican Revolution on Popular Opinion Before World War I

UPatrick L. Cox, Ph.D.ntil the United States declared war in April 1917, public opinion in Texas remained very hesitant when it came to the nation’s military involvement in European affairs. During this same time, years of prolonged outcries by Texas newspaper editors and politicians critical of the Mexican government and "Mexican bandits" during the years of that nation’s revolution (1910-1920) provided a totally different stance.

The state's influential daily newspapers, which carefully assessed their responses to the wartime activities of the European powers, demonstrated no such reluctance in their discussions of Mexico. The Mexican Revolution’s impact on Texans played a major role in swaying public opinion away from isolation toward the notion that military escalation, intervention, and war. Sensational coverage by Texas newspapers of events associated with the Mexican Revolution resulted in an increased sense of insecurity and belligerence in the border state and the rest of the Southwest that eventually influenced popular opinion on World War I in Europe.

Bio: Dr. Patrick Cox of Wimberley, Texas is an award-winning historian, author and conservationist who areas of concentration include U.S. twentieth century political history and American media history. A sixth generation Texan who resides with his wife Brenda in Wimberley, Texas, he is President of Patrick Cox Consultants, LLC, a historical consulting firm.

Publications include: Picturing Texas Politics, A Photographic History from Sam Houston to Rick Perry (2015); Ranching in the Wild Horse Desert (2014); Writing the History of Texas (2013); and The First Texas News Barons (2005), and Ralph W. Yarborough, The People’s Senator (2001). He is the author of many books and of articles on U.S. and Southwestern history, natural resources and conservation.

Dr. Cox received his Ph.D. in history and his B.A. in history from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his M.A. in History with Honors from Texas State University, formerly Southwest Texas State University. He received the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award- Texas State University; 2010 Distinguished Alumni - Texas State University College of Liberal Arts; the American Journalism Historians Association – 2014 President’s Award, and the 2017 Kenneth E. Hendrickson Award from the Texas Oral History Association.


 

Allison Hays Lane - Winds and Words of War: WWI Prints from the San Antonio Public Library

Allison Hays LaneThis presentation will focus on the artists and propaganda period during WWI, as seen at the San Antonio Public Library. In 2006, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation undertook the task of looking through Harry Hertzberg Collection to discover hundreds of vintage propaganda prints and posters from the First World War.

These prints had not been seen in public since the 1930s. The images found brought back waves of wonderful imagery from famous artists of the day, and tell an interesting story about the war effort. The prints are now being exhibited across Europe through 2018.

Bio: Allison Hays Lane, is a curator and arts administrator, who has worked in the arts for over 30 years. In 2004, Ms. Hays Lane founded the OLANA GROUP, for arts consulting services and received her BA in Art History from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY and her MS in Museum Education from Bank Street College, NYC. NY with graduate studies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Hays Lane is a recipient of a 1988 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Museum Administration and has worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Book and curatorial projects completed by the OLANA GROUP include work done for Artpace, San Antonio Museum of Art, the McNay Museum of Art, the San Antonio Public Library, and AVIART GROUP & HJW VITA NOVA.

From 2009-2014, Allison Hays Lane was a consultant to University Health System, serving as their Art Program Manager, completing a 7.2. million Design Enhancement Public Art program. In 2015, Ms. Hays Lane was hired to work as the Archivist & Art Program Manager for the system. Current projects include the international tour of the "Winds and Words of War: WWI Prints from the San Antonio Public Library" celebrating the Armistice Centennial of the First World War.


 

Dr. Sanders Marble - Medical Support to the 36th Division in World War I

Dr. Sanders MarbleTo win battles, the Army needed healthy soldiers. This presentation will look at the many ways the Army Medical Department worked to get healthy soldiers, keep them healthy, and heal them if they were sick, injured, or wounded.

Since there was not yet a Veterans Administration, the Army also had responsibility for long-term rehabilitation of patients. The 36th Division had special challenges of epidemic diseases during training at Camp Bowie, and certainly had its share of soldiers wounded and gassed in action.

These men needed acute care, and many of them needed longer hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Bio - Sanders Marble received his AB at the College of William & Mary and MA and PhD from King's College, University of London. He has written a variety of books, articles, and chapters on aspects of World War I and medical history.

He has worked in various capacities for the Army Medical Department history program since 2003, including being the command historian at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

He is guest curator for the Army Medical Department Museum's temporary exhibit on WWI, currently on exhibit, and has contributed to the US WWI Commemoration Commission's web pages about medicine in WWI.


 

Andy Smith - Come On TEXAS: Grand (young) Lady Fashionably Late

Dr. Geoffery WawroBattleship TEXAS was commissioned in close proximity of the outbreak of the war to end all wars but it was not until much later that she joined the British Grand Fleet.

From her construction (which ultimately made her able to serve with the British) through her early service and her delayed entry, to her time in the North Atlantic and her being a witness to history, the story of her and her crew- and what they witnessed- is compelling.

While her service in WWI was toward the end and relatively short, her service does provide a touchstone for us today and her preservation ensures generations to come can walk the same decks as our WWI veterans did.

Bio: Andy Smith is a native Houstonian and veteran of the U. S. Army and Texas Army National Guard. After active duty in the US Army he returned to Houston to pursue a degree in Anthropology at the University of Houston.

While pursuing his degree he worked at the Houston Museum of Natural Science beginning as a volunteer and eventually working his way into management as he completed his B.A.

After 8 years at HMNS he started work as the Manager of Battleship TEXAS working for Texas Parks and Wildlife in 2006 where he is today. He is proud to serve the citizens of Texas as a steward of Battleship Texas and educate all about this one-of-kind treasure.


 

Dr. Lila Rakoczy – No Man’s Land: East Texas African Americans in World War I

Dr. Lila RakoczyOver 11,500 African Americans from East Texas served in the Great War. Dismissed as “backwoods” by the military leaders of the day and given scant attention in the modern era, these men represent how poorly recognized are the contributions and experiences of Southern black men in the First World War. More than anything, however, they reflect the complexity, diversity, and range of African American life in the Piney Woods of East Texas.

Illiterate draftees rubbed shoulders with their college-educated peers. They died in combat regiments as well as deserted. Men from the region served in labor battalions, forestry and stevedore regiments, in the transportation corps, and as military policemen and commissioned officers. Recognizing this diversity of experience is a critical component of understanding the role of Texas—and African Americans—in World War I.

Bio: A native of Huntsville, Texas, Lila Rakoczy has a Bachelor’s degree in history from King’s College London, and a Master’s and PhD in archaeology from the University of York.

For six years she worked in the heritage sector in Britain, engaging with the community and working with the public to identify, record, and understand the historical artifacts and buildings in their midst. More recently she spent three years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Sam Houston State University.

Her interests in power, identity, and the intersection between military and civilian worlds led to the identification of 11,500 African American veterans from East Texas who served in the First World War. In addition, this project seeks to document their experiences and counter an academic narrative that marginalizes the wartime role of Southern African Americans. She currently heads the Military Sites and Oral History Programs at the Texas Historical Commission.


 

Angela Holder - “Houston 13: Camp Logan/Houston Riot 1917”

Angela HolderThis presentation discusses the mutiny and traces the journey in seeking justice for the thirteen soldiers executed without clemency. Using pictures, artifacts, historical analysis, and personal reflection, I endeavor to demonstrate how the events of that night led to the largest court martial in the United States’ history.

My presentation “humanizes” these men prior to their execution. They were initially placed in unmarked graves. My uncle, Corporal James (Ball) Moore, was one of these men. This year is the 100th anniversary of the United States entered into War World and the Camp Logan Mutiny/Houston Riot of 1917.

Bio: Angela Holder is a professor of American History.. She is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She completed her undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences.

She attended graduate school at Southern University where she earned a Master of Arts in Social Science as well as the University of Houston in History. She has taught at several schools, including Texas Southern University, Prairie View A& M University, and currently at Houston Community College.

She is on the board of directors at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum (Houston, Texas) and on the board of the College Memorial Park Association, one of the oldest African American cemeteries in Texas.

Her interest in the Camp Logan mutiny began when she found out her great-uncle, Corporal Jesse (Ball) Moore, was hanged without appeal following the largest court martial in American history. She begin to search for his burial place which had been a family mystery for 70 years. In her search, she discovered other soldiers who were hanged with her uncle at Fort Sam Houston (San Antonio, Texas) where they had interred in 1937.

As a result of her work with the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and Veterans Administration, three soldiers from the riot and buried with no headstones have now received them. Their dignity has been restored in light of the circumstances which led to their death.

She is curator the Camp Logan Mutiny/Houston Riot in 1917 exhibit at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum (opened June 2017,Houston, Texas)


 

Michael D. Visconage - The Centennial Commemoration of Texas and Texans in the Great War

Michael D. Visconage5,171 Texans died in WWI and approximately 200,000 served in uniform. The Texas World War I Centennial Commemoration (TXWWICC) was established in 2015 to provide information, coordination, and assistance in planning Centennial Commemoration events.

Stake holders include over 250 organizations around Texas; museums, schools, civic and veteran organizations, state agencies, businesses, historical sites, academic institutions, and the military.

A grass roots endeavor, Texans are encouraged to develop activities that best serve their community or organization. TXWWICC also provides a number of ready "off-the-shelf” ideas that are available for any organization, school, or group.

The Texas WWI Centennial is part of the United States World War I Centennial Commission effort, established by Act of Congress. The TXWWICC works in cooperation with the Texas Historical Commission, the State’s lead agency for the Centennial.

Bio: Mike Visconage is a Director with the Texas WWI Centennial Commemoration Association where he has helped grow the WWI Centennial organization to over 250 stake-holder organizations around Texas, including museums, civic and veteran organizations, historical sites, academic institutions, state agencies, and military bases.

Visconage served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve, retiring as a Colonel. In addition to commanding various operational organization, he was the Historian for multi-national forces in Iraq in 2007-08. In 2003 he was a Field Historian and documented Marines during the initial invasion of Iraq -- collecting key documents, taking photographs and conducting oral history interviews.

In private industry Visconage has held leadership positions in healthcare, franchising and construction for over 20 years. He has authored over 30 articles and a book on Marine Corps aviation.

 

Dr. Thomas Hatfield – Some Effects of World War One in Texas

Dr. Thomas HatfieldDr. Thomas Hatfield – Some Effects of World War One in Texas

After the United States went to war in 1917, Texas mobilized and urbanized rapidly. The prosperity of the early years of the century was enhanced by the war, which stimulated agricultural and housing demand, both for military facilities, and for civilians. Increased pressures for transportation accelerated highway developments. The need for expanded merchant shipping aided the construction of wooden ships. Texas became aviation conscious. In 1917, there was one airfield. By 1919, there were fifteen. An estimated fifty percent of all U.S. ground troops trained at army posts in Texas, which increased in number from six to twenty-four. The war inspired social and cultural changes, notably the shifting of people from rural areas to cities, more African Americans migrating north, women taking jobs outside of their homes, and President Wilson persuading Congress that women’s suffrage was a war measure, all of which had consequences in Texas.

Bio: Dr. Thomas M. Hatfield is director of the Military History Institute at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and Dean Emeritus of Continuing Education at UT Austin.

Hatfield is an internationally known military historian whose main professional interest is the improvement of public understanding about America's military heritage with lectures, publications, and historical tours. In the Briscoe Center he concentrates on increasing archival collections relevant to American military history by acquiring memorabilia, photographs, papers, and oral accounts as well as research and writing.

His writings include the acclaimed biography of James Earl Rudder –– Rudder: From Leader to Legend and he is the co-author of On The Way: The Life and Times of Frank Denius. He is an authority on the water problem in Texas, and his studies of drought are often quoted in reports of government agencies.

A former member of the Texas Historical Commission, Tom Hatfield remains a Professional Advisor to the Commission with special responsibilities regarding the World War One Centennial Commemoration.