Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee Meeting


Arkansas State Library

Members Present

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

Members Absent

Dr. Lisa Speer – Arkansas State Historian
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


Michael Westergren – American Legion
Carolyn Ashcraft – State Librarian, Arkansas State Library
Maggie Herrick – Arkansas Department of Education
Elizabeth Hill – Arkansas Women’s History Institute
Jared Craig – Graduate Assistant, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Bill Ridgeway – Boy Scouts, Fleet Reserve Assn, Ark. Chief Petty Officer Assn.
Holland Doran – Team SI
Julie Robbins – MHP/Team SI

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Fisher at 9:31 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 September 14, 2016, meeting. Dr. Screws made a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Lt. Col. Lynch. A vote was taken, all approved the motion. No one opposed. The motion was passed to approve the minutes of the September 14, 2016, minutes.

Dr. Fisher calls on Team SI to report on the website.

Report on Website


Mr. Christ would like to point out the 29 page timeline of WWI in Arkansas is the result of Mr. Craig’s hard work. Ms. Hill has also contributed to the podcasts on the WWI website.

Ms. Robbins lets the committee know the website is not live and they are getting a sneak preview and that some glitches that have not been fixed yet.

The home page is responsive so the screen will size itself and content will re-arrange itself so the information will be maximized depending on if the viewer is on a cell phone, tablet, or a desktop.

The vertical logo is at the top of the screen, which is helpful since most tablets and cell phones are vertical screens.

The Governor Hutchinson WWI video is near the top. The video is uploaded to the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee’s YouTube channel. This video on the Arkansas website is a link from the YouTube page.

A few areas are highlighted such as upcoming events and WWI timeline. The theme is simple because many users might be over a certain age and the layout is simple, easy, straightforward, big, and easy to use.

The footer at the bottom of the site is simple such as contact us, layout of the site, events, and acknowledging the partnership with the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

The top of the website is also simple. Some of the key features include the WWI sites and memorials in Arkansas. It is a Google Map that has pins that are blue with a piece of the AR WWI logo. There are a few ways to find a memorial such as searching for a particular memorial or looking on the map.

The research and education section includes the Timeline, podcasts, bibliography, and lesson plans.

The memories section of the website will allow people to submit their images for display on the website and a link to the Arkansas State Archives in order to donate artifacts.

There is also a link to United States World War I Centennial Commission website. By including the text describing the national site, it will help elevate the AR site in Google searches which makes people more likely to find the Arkansas site when googling key words or phrases.

Dr. Fisher calls on Dr. Screws to report on the lesson plans subcommittee meeting.

Report on Lesson Plans Subcommittee

Dr. Screws reminds the committee of the members: Kristin Dutcher Mann of the UALR History Department; Pat Ramsey, UCA History Department; Laura Beth Arnold, Social Studies Coordinator of the Little Rock School District; Mike Polston, Staff Historian of the Butler Center/Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; Brian Irving, State Archives, and George West, Education Outreach Coordinator of the Butler Center.

The subcommittee had their second meeting on October 28. There will be a three-day teacher workshop on June 28, 29, 30, 2017. It will be through University of Central Arkansas and held at the National Guard Museum in Camp Robinson. The lesson plans that are created from the workshop will be listed on the Arkansas WWI website.

Ms. Herrick lets the committee know she would like some inquiries from the workshop created. An inquiry is larger than a lesson and smaller than a unit. This allows the student to delve deeper into a topic.

Dr. Fisher praises the subcommittee for creating a teacher workshop.

Ms. Hill points out that she is excited that more focus will be placed in the classroom on women in WWI.

Dr. Fisher calls on Mr. Christ to report on the November 11 event.

Discussion of November 11 Event

Mr. Christ reports the event will take place at 10 a.m. on November 11 which is also Armistice Day at the Old State House Museum in the Riverfront Room, which has a big screen. Dr. Fisher will welcome everyone and speak on the committee and its mission. Dr. Fisher will then introduce Stacy Hurst, Director of Department of Arkansas Heritage, who will introduce the Governor’s video. She will then introduce Dr. Lisa Speer. Dr. Speer will speak on opportunities for people around the state to make donations of materials related to WWI. Dr. Speer will introduce Mr. Christ who will unveil the WWI website to the public. It should take approximately an hour.

Dr. Fisher calls on the committee for an update on Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee partners.

Discussion of Potential Partnerships

Mr. Christ informs the committee that he contacted ALCOA and did not receive a response.

The Arkansas Historical Association is ready for a partnership. The theme of the AHA’s April 2017 conference in Pocahontas will be called “Great War, Great Change” and focus on WWI.

KUAR will be producing WWI minutes as when they partnered with the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

Mr. Christ will be getting in contact with other local public radio stations to see if they would be interested in hosting the minutes as well.

Buck Foster was able to get in contact with AETN and didn’t get much of a response.

The Arkansas Humanities Council is aware of the commemoration and will help in any way they can.

Mr. Christ received no response from the Pryor Center.

The Sequoyah National Research Center at UALR is excited to partner since they have a lot of material on the code talkers of WWI.

The Arkansas Association of College History Teachers will let Buck Foster set up a panel in their upcoming meetings.

Dr. Fisher calls on the committee to report on the kick-off event.

Discussion of Kick-off Event

Mr. Christ reports that there has been no new news since the last event. The event will still take place on April 8, 2017 at the Old State House Museum.

Discussion of Sanctioning Procedures

Mr. Christ reports that the guidelines and sanctioning requests are included for the committee to look over. Mr. Christ reports that the process for the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission required that every sanctioning request would have to go to a subcommittee through email and they would have to approve every single request. That Commission has 770+ events over the 5 year course and most of them were very appropriate and were approved.

Mr. Christ is proposing that Ms. Kubaiko and Mr. Christ could approve the requests that are obviously appropriate. If there are any questions, an appointed subcommittee could either approve or deny the request. If a request is denied, the applicant has the option to appeal at the next WWI meeting. If the event is time sensitive the appeal can be sent to the committee members via e-mail.

Dr. Screws make a motion to approve the sanctioning procedures. The motion was seconded by Lt. Col. Lynch. A vote was taken, all approved the motion. No one opposed. The motion was passed to approve the sanctioning procedures of the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee.

Dr. Fisher calls on Ms. Kubaiko to report on the National World War I Memorial Page.

World War I Memorial Page

Ms. Kubaiko reports that she is currently working on submitting all of the Arkansas memorials to the national WWI site.

Dr. Fisher calls on Lt. Col. Lynch to report on the Broadway Bridge.

Report on Broadway Bridge

Lt. Col. Lynch reports that the closing ceremony took place on September 28, 2016. Lt. Col. Lynch was able to highlight the war memorial status for WWI veterans. The new Broadway Bridge will open in Spring of 2017. The new bridge will still maintain its status as a war memorial for WWI veterans.

Lt. Col. Lynch decommissioned the Broadway Bridge for which there is no set ceremony. Lt. Col. Lynch based the custom ceremony on a ship decommissioning ceremony, which involves a bell ringing 8 times and wreath being tossed over into the Arkansas River.

Schedule Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 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 Lt. Col. Lynch seconded the motion.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:43 a.m.