World War I

In May 1915, a German U-boat sunk one of the world's greatest ocean liners, the Lusitania. Erik Larson's new book, Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania, maps the tale known to many as the event that launched America into the Great War. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Erik Larson about his research process, the captains behind the ships involved, and the mystery of Room 40.

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Laura Spencer / KCUR

In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, many artists put their art-making on hold, leaving their studios for the battlefield. Some in the United States waited for years for their country to enter the conflict, and others forged a new path in neutral Switzerland. It was a time of radical approaches in music, visual arts and literature. And now, local arts organizations are marking the centennial of the Great War. 

Music reflects change

National World War I Museum

For many families in America during World War I, newspaper reports were their only connection with loved ones serving in the trenches. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with a journalism historian and an archivist from the World War I museum about the life of journalists reporting from the front lines during the Great War.

Western Newspaper Union / NARA/Wikimedia Commons

They served with distinction in World War I but the Buffalo Soldiers are not always remembered for their contributions during the Great War.

On Monday's Up to Date, we look at these regiments of African-American soldiers, their heroism and the racism they faced. 

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In the wake of swirling fears about the spread of Ebola as well as Kansas cases of pertussis and measles, we look back on a pandemic that hit home for Kansas City: the Influenza pandemic of 1918. The death rate in Kansas City outpaced that in other places, and some say the city's politics and public health infrastructure were largely to blame.

Stubby: The Hero Dog of World War One

Sep 30, 2014

In World War I, he served alongside American forces in 17 battles. He had a unique talent for locating wounded soldiers, and he often alerted his unit to incoming gas attacks. This unlikely hero was Sergeant Stubby a stray stump-tailed terrier mutt who became a national hero.

Random House

Of the 4.7 million Americans who took part in World War I, over 116,000 of them died. Many were given a final resting place in American military cemeteries in Europe. After the Great War a program was begun to give Gold Star mothers and widows (those whose son or husband had served during the conflict) the opportunity to cross the Atlantic to visit their loved one's grave.

Archives New Zealand / Flickr-CC

World War I brought a new kind of warfare to the battlefield in many ways. The world of espionage got a facelift, especially in America, with aerial photography, code breaking and more.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a former intelligence analyst about these strategies and how they changed the way spies work.

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When World War I broke out in Europe a century ago, more than one in 10 Missourians was German-American. Host Monroe Dodd is joined by Petra DeWitt, author of a book about the struggles that Missouri's German population faced during the war.

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  • Petra DeWitt, Assistant Teaching Professor at Missouri S&T and author of Degrees of Allegiance: Harassment and Loyalty in Missouri's German-American Community during World War I.

A century ago, America got hooked on speed. On the ground, speed meant motor cars and in the air, it meant planes. All that speed was delivered by the internal combustion engine, and no one represented the new world of motor speed better than Eddie Rickenbacker. He was not only a champion race-car driver, but also the greatest of World War I flying aces.

Whoever Credit Goes To / Flickr--CC

Everyone is familiar with the National World War I Monument in Kansas City, but there are others.

On Monday, we'll hear the stories behind some of the most prominent WWI monuments and memorials in Kansas City. James J. Heiman the author of Voices In the Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials joins us.

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James J. Heiman is the author of Voices In Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials.

The U.S. National Archives / Flickr / Creative Commons

On today's Central Standard, culinary historian Andrea Broomfield joins us to discuss the importance of food during the first World War.

Broomfield explains what the food industry was like during that time at War Fare: Chow Challenge on April 30. Chefs from area restaurants will compete in an Iron Chef-style event using food available during World War I. 

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@broadway.com

The National World War I Museum, housed at the base of the Liberty Memorial, is this year marking the 100th anniversary of the start of that war. By pure coincidence, the national tour of the Tony Award-winning play War Horse arrives at the Music Hall next month, creating a rare convergence of history and theatricality in Kansas City.

Confounding the skeptics

Courtesy: National World War I Museum

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and a new exhibit at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., details the events that led up to the war — from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to the declaration of war a month later on July 28, 1914.

The exhibit presents archival newspaper articles and diplomatic communications from around the world. 

When you think of World War I, you may picture soldiers fighting in the trenches, but the whole conflict started with the assassination of an Austrian archduke.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Sean McMeekin, who says it was a group of corrupt statesmen who held the match that lit the European powder keg.

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International Relations Council

Linda Trout, long-time Executive Director of International Relations Council (IRC) in Kansas City, Mo. has been named Director of Strategic Engagement at the National World War I Museum.

In the new post for the museum, Trout will oversee planning and implementation of the centennial celebration of WWI, beginning next year.

Making history come alive is tricky, but some historians manage to paint people like the czars of Russia or Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany not just as dusty textbook figures.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Robert Massie about his vivid descriptions of the powerful people pulling the strings behind World War I.

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By 1919, much of continental Europe lay in ruins in the aftermath of World War I. Prior to that conflict, with three European empires ruled by the “Kingly cousins,” most people thought a war was nearly impossible.

All wasn't quiet on the homefront during World War I.

User: Charvex / Wikipedia

Kansas City Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver says he feels good about the designation of Liberty Memorial as the nation’s official World War One Memorial. The bill made it out of committee this week without any House opposition, but similar measures have had a checkered history.

Great War Memorial Plan Inches Forward

Dec 6, 2012
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Kansas City’s Congressman won’t guarantee passage of a bill that would make Liberty Memorial the nation’s official World War One Museum and Memorial.