Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee Meeting
MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History Little Rock, Arkansas
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
Sarah Jones – Designee, Arkansas Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Lt. Col. Ken Griffin (Retired) – Military and Veterans Affairs Liaison, Office of the Governor
Angela Kubaiko – Administrative Analyst
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
Buck Foster – University of Central Arkansas
Kent Goff – Mississippi Valley Educational Programs
Michael Westergren – American Legion
Jake Sandlin – Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Alex Vernon – Hendrix College
Allison Reavis – Department of Arkansas Heritage
Carolyn Ashcraft – State Librarian, Arkansas State Library
Maggie Herrick – Arkansas Department of Education
Elizabeth Hill – Arkansas Women’s History Institute
The meeting was called to order by Dr. Fisher at 9:34 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 July 27, 2016, meeting. Mr. Griffin 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 July 27, 2016, minutes.
Report on Broadway Bridge:
Lt. Col. Lynch informs the committee that the Broadway Bridge will be closing for replacement on September 28, 2016. The Broadway Bridge was originally dedicated for World War I veterans. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has asked the National Guard to oversee the military process of decommissioning the bridge as part of the ceremony.
When the new bridge is ready, the new Broadway Bridge is supposed to retain its World War I memorial status.
The ceremony will be on September 28, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. People will be invited on the bridge to witness the closing and decommissioning ceremony.
There will be live social media feeds to have as few people as possible congesting the bridge so as to not delay construction for the day.
Dr. Fisher calls on Mr. Christ to report on the website.
Report on Website
Mr. Christ is loading content for the website. There are 66 sites to visit on the website, but he expects to have 100 by November 10. The first of the audio podcasts have been recorded. The podcasts are in partnership with UALR’s Mass Communications Department. There are plans to record video podcasts. Elizabeth Hill recorded two podcasts on Arkansas Women During World War I. The Facebook page is live.
UALR graduate assistant Jared Craig is finishing a comprehensive timeline for Arkansas in World War I.
The website will be unveiled on November 10 so it can be in the newspapers on Armistice Day.
The website will have several sections including an About Us page, Sites and Memorials, Events, Traveling Exhibit, Research and Education including a Timeline and Bibliography. It will also have a Links page, which will include a link to the National WWI site as well as the National Memorial that was designed by Arkansas native Joseph Weishaar. A Memories page will feature content submitted from the public such as photos of ancestors who were WWI veterans as well as letters. The website will also link to lesson plans available.
Mr. Griffin has stated he will be able to get in contact with Governor Hutchinson to produce a video of Governor Hutchinson talking about his WWI veteran ancestors.
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 100th anniversary of the United States entry into WWI. They will have a small teaser exhibit ready for the Kick-off April 8, 2017 event.
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies will have an exhibit in 2018 that will focus on individual soldiers in Arkansas. They are also working on creating student-assisted lesson plans about WWI collections around the state. They are also working on a What’s In Your Attic? program that has a goal of bringing more photos into publically accessible spaces.
The Arkansas State Archives will have an exhibit titled: Arkansawyers on the battlefield. They have an amazing collection of artifacts. They will open the exhibit in January 2017. They also have the traveling exhibit and artifacts potentially available to be on loan to other museums.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will host an exhibit on the African American Arkansan experience in the war. This will open in late 2017.
The State Capitol will likely do a small exhibit focusing on the preparedness efforts in 2018 in the Capitol. They will also have space available for the Arkansas State Archives’ exhibits.
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will focus on War Propaganda because of their collection of posters from WWI. They will also work with the Arkansas Humanities Council. They will provide travel grants for students to visit the museum to see the posters. They will also host a temporary exhibit featuring political cartoons from Suffragette Magazine,
The Centennial of Women’s Suffrage and World War I are going to be commemorated nearly at the same time so there will be lots of cooperation between these two events. On October 25, 2017, the museum will host first person re-enactors portraying Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. They will argue about the US’s entry into WWI.
Clinton Presidential Library will host the Theodore Roosevelt re-enactor on October 26, 2017, to provide programs for students.
The National Guard Museum will focus on the National Guard’s role in WWI using artifacts from the era. They will feature WWI speakers at a monthly history roundtable. They will also help to promote the history of Camp Pike in WWI during its centennial.
The Arkansas Museums Association is going to help get the word out about the community centennial events.
Dr. Fisher calls on Dr. Screws to report on the lesson plans subcommittee.
Report on Lesson Plans Subcommittee
Dr. Screws reports the committee will meet for the first time at the National Guard Museum on September 23. There was a delay due to teachers/professors starting new semesters.
The committee includes: 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, and George West, Education Outreach Coordinator of the Butler Center.
Dr. Fisher wants the subcommittee to both identify and help create lesson plans.
Dr. Screws asks Maggie Herrick and Kent Goff to attend the meeting for their input.
Discussion of Potential Partnerships
Mr. Christ reports that he contacted the Quapaw Council, which includes 35 counties of Boy Scouts. Bill Ridgeway will probably be the contact person. He is also a member of the Arkansas Chief Petty Officers Association and the Fleet Reserve Association. We will also work with these organizations.
The Arkansas Department of Education will partner with the committee and Maggie Herrick will be the contact person.
Mr. Christ was not successful with contacting the Red Cross.
Mr. Westergren mentions the 100 Cities/100 Memorials program. This program offers money to help refurbish WWI memorials.
Mr. Foster suggests reaching out to ALCOA because of the bauxite and zinc mining that took place in Arkansas during WWI.
Mr. Christ mentions the Arkansas Historical Association will meet on October 8 and partnership discussion will take place.
Dr. Screws mentions partnering with KUAR and the local PBS affiliate.
Mr. Goff suggests partnering with the Arkansas Humanities Council.
Ms. Ashcraft suggests partnering with the Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History at the University of Arkansas.
Dr. Screws suggests partnering with the Sequoyah National Research Center.
Dr. Screws also suggests partnering with the Public History program at UALR for internships as well as ASU’s Public History program.
Discussion of Kick-off Event
Mr. Christ lets the committee know nothing else has developed since the last meeting. 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 that 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. Screws will have a report on the lesson plan subcommittee for the next meeting.
Mr. Christ will have a report on the Arkansas Historical Association at the next meeting on partnering.
Lt. Col. Lynch will have a report on the decommissioning of the Broadway Bridge.
Mr. Christ will report on the Arkansas Historical Association’s decision on the Elaine Massacre.
Mr. Christ will have a report on the Arkansas Association of College History Teachers partnership status.
The WWI Committee will approve event sanctioning procedures.
Mr. Christ informs the committee that he met with Davis Scricklin of the Butler Center. The Central Arkansas Library System has a two hour radio program on KABF every Friday called Radio CALS. They are very interested in any guest content related to WWI. Mr. Christ will share the WWI podcasts for broadcasting. Mr. Goff has volunteered for a time slot on Radio CALS.
Schedule Next Meeting
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, at The Arkansas State Library 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 10:32 a.m.