Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee Meeting


Camp Robinson North Little Rock, Arkansas

Members Present

Mark Christ - Designee, Department of Arkansas Heritage
Dr. Raymond (Ray) Screws - Director, Arkansas National Guard Museum
Dr. Lisa Speer - Arkansas State Historian
Dr. Shawn Fisher- Professor of History, Harding University
Zac Lehr on behalf of Lt. Col. Joel Lynch - Public Affairs Officer, Arkansas National Guard
Angela Kubaiko - Administrative Analyst

Members Absent

Peter MacKeith - Dean, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Arkansas
Major General Mark Berry-Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard; Director, Military
Dept. of Arkansas
Sarah Jones - Designee, Arkansas Department of Veteran's Affairs
Lt. Col. Ken Griffin (Retired)- Military and Veterans Affairs Liaison, Office of the Governor


Georganne Sisco - Education Director, Old State House Museum
Buck Foster - University of Central Arkansas
Kent Goff - Mississippi Valley Educational Programs
Allyson Johnson-Mangan Holcomb Partners
Julie Robbins - Mangan Holcomb Partners
Michael Westergren - American Legion
Laura Leger - American Legion
Carolyn Ashcraft- State Librarian, Arkansas State Library
Ross Rogers - American Legion


The meeting was called to order by Dr. Fisher at 9:35 a.m.

Dr. Fisher asks all of the guests to introduce themselves.

Approval of Minutes

Dr. Fisher asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the May 25, 2016, meeting. Dr. Speer made a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Dr. Screws. A vote was taken, all approved the motion. No one opposed. The motion was passed to approve the minutes of the May 25, 2016, minutes.

Proposed PowerPoint Presentation

Mr. Christ presents a PowerPoint presentation, which was discussed at the previous meeting. It is an overview of the WWI Committee and its mission. This Power Point is appropriate for use by any of the committee members during a talk to groups such as Rotary Clubs. Mr. Christ emphasizes that the PowerPoint includes Arkansas's role in WWI. For example, mining and manufacturing for WWI. Training facilities were built to train troops such as Camp Pike and Eberts Field. German Americans were registered similarly to the Japanese Americans in WWII. The most famous Arkansan veteran was Herman Davis.

Mr. Christ points out the WWI Traveling Exhibit that is available through the Arkansas State Archives

Mr. Christ lets the Committee know we will be working with the National WWI Centennial Commission to coordinate and help promote each other as well as promote the National WWI memorial designed by a young architect from Arkansas.

Dr. Speer lets the committee know the Traveling WWI exhibit is popular and is in frequent rotation. The Arkansas State Archives' website has a place to reserve the exhibit. Dr. Fisher ncalls on Mr. Christ to report on the website.

Report on Website

Mr. Christ has been pulling together content for the website. The Sitemap of the site with all of the proposed sections is distributed to the committee. The website will be unveiled on November 10 so it can be in the newspapers on Armistice Day.

Dr. Speer suggests a way for people who are interested in donating WWI materials. Dr. Speer also suggests rewording the Photos folder to something like Share or Memories. Mr. Christ suggests a form getting more information about the materials that connects directly with the Arkansas State Archives.

Mr. Rogers suggests having a lesson plan ready for classrooms, and this may make teachers more open to having guests in the classrooms to talk about WWI. Mr. Christ lets Mr. Rogers know that the website will have links to WWI lesson plans.

Mr. Westergren suggests short video podcasts for the classroom setting.

Dr. Fisher asks Mr. Christ how the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission handled lesson plans. Mr. Christ tells the committee they simply had the lesson plans on the website.

Mr. Christ lets the committee know the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission had audio podcasts. The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission had a partnership with the UALR School of Mass Communications. Every semester they would assign a student engmeer. The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission had approximately 80 podcasts.

Ms. Robbins lets the committee know that Department of Arkansas Heritage has access to teacher list-servs that will facilitate communication about the educational material available as well as an advertising budget for this purpose.

Ms. Robbins lets the committee know a YouTube channel is necessary in order to view videos on the WWI site. Dr. Fisher asks for a report at the next meeting about the progress of a Facebook page and YouTube channel for the WWI Committee.

Dr. Fisher calls on Mr. Christ to report on the Little Rock area Museums meeting.

Report on Little Rock Area Museums meeting

Mr. Christ reports on the meeting on July 20. There's an effort to figure out who will curate what during the commemoration so that everybody's not doing the same thing.

The Old State House will focus on the Homefront effort. It will open on April 6 which is the 1001th anniversary of the United States entry into WWI.

2017's Department of Arkansas Heritage's Heritage Month will focus on WWI as the Old State House as the host agency. Part of the reason the Old State House survives is it because the State War Memorial Building for WWI.

The Arkansas State Archives will focus on the war on the battlefield. They have an amazing collection of artifacts. They will open the exhibit in January or February of 201 7. They also have the traveling exhibit and artifacts potentially available to be on loan to other museums.

The Historic Arkansas Museum will host the traveling exhibit in January 2017 in the Study Gallery.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will collaborate with the Old State House and they will focus on the medical end such as the Spanish Flu Influenza epidemic. The war also directly affected UAMS. Approximately 75% of their doctors were in the military during the war. They will also host small exhibits on campus.

Clinton Presidential Library will host speakers or events. However, they will not do an exhibit.

They could possibly get some national speakers to speak at the center.

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will focus on War Propaganda because of their collection of posters from WWI. They will also host first person re-enactors portraying

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. This will take place in September or October of 2017.

Arkansas Women's History Institute will commemorate the Women's Suffrage Centennial. They are hosting the Sewell Belmont House Traveling exhibit, which includes a lot of WWI content.

The State Capitol will likely do some small exhibits in the Capitol.

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum will continue its permanent exhibit on the USS

Arkansas. They might add additional information about life aboard the ship.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will host an exhibit on the African American experience in the war. This will open in late 2017.

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies has a lot of photos and a great website.

The Jacksonville Museum of Military History will have several events commemorating WWI.

The National Guard Museum will focus on the National Guard and Camp Pike in WWI.

That group will meet again in on August 31 for further discussion.

Discussion of U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and National WWI Museum

The National Commission can help promote our events. They have a national database of WW monuments that we will begin feeding our memorials to this website to be listed. The only one currently on the list is the Herman Davis memorial in Manila. The Commission has monthly conference calls focusing on different issues. The last conference call talked about a 100 memorials in 100 cities project. This is a project getting towns to restore WWI monuments.

Discussion of Potential Partnerships

Dr. Fisher asks about a potential partnership with the Red Cross. Mr. Christ says he will check into this. Dr. Fisher also suggests the Boy Scouts as a potential partner.

Dr. Screws asks about the Arkansas Department of Education.

The American Legion will be a core partner.

Mr. Christ lets the committee know about Arkansas Association of College History Teachers.

Mr. Christ has reached out to The Arkansas Living History Association, the Arkansas Museums Association, and the Arkansas Historical Association. They recently met and voted to have the 2017 conference in Pocahontas focus partially on WWI.

Discussion of Speakers Bureau

Mr. Christ informs the committee about Abby Burnett's program about WWI Casualties and the Gold Star Mother Campaign.

Michael Dugan of Jonesboro will do a presentation on WWI songs worldwide.

Elizabeth Hill has a 30-45 minute program on Arkansas Women in WWI.

Amanda Page has a program on researching your WWI ancestors.

Dr. Screws will do a program on Camp Pike.

Dr. Fisher suggests a sub-committee or advisory group that will deal with producing/finding lesson plans.

Discussion of Kick-off Event

Ms. Sisco tells the committee that the Old State House is planning a kick-off event on Saturday, April 8, 2017. It is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. There will be a variety of activities such as short lectures where people could drop in. There will be living history activities inside and on the front lawn as well as hands-on activities for kids. There will also be an official kick-off in the morning by members of the WWI committee will attend. It might also include the kick-off of Heritage Month as well.

Discussion of agenda items for next meeting

Dr. Fisher wants a report on social media and Facebook for the next meeting.

Dr. Fisher wants a sub-committee to deal with the lesson plans.

Dr. Screws agrees to be on the committee and suggests the other members should be educators not on the WWI Committee. Dr. Screws suggests the Social Studies Coordinator for the Little Rock School District.

Dr. Speer suggests the Social Studies Coordinator for the Department of Education, Pat Ramsay, and Kristin Mann at U ALR.

Dr. Fisher wants a report on the formation of the sub-committee at the next meeting.

Schedule Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock. It will begin at 9:30 a.m.


Dr. Fisher asks for a motion to adjourn. Dr. Screws makes a motion and Dr. Speer seconded the motion.

The meeting was adjourned at 10: