Category: tuesdaythoughts

              “On parade, the Pershing
smile became a proverb. It broke a thousand cameras”

‘What the world admires
in General Pershing is his modesty. He has been a
soldier without swagger. He won battles, but he did not boast or brag about them.
Some people think that he had too little praise for others; if so, he expected
no praise himself. He did not flatter the doughboys. At times, perhaps, he was
inclined to be hard on them. If,
however, he was strict, it was only because he knew that he was risking
their lives, and he did not want those lives to be lightly thrown away. Any man
who honestly looks death in the face must be stern when he stands at
attention.

But at mess — yes, and
on parade — the Pershing smile became a proverb. It broke a thousand cameras.
If Pershing can smile, it is because his conscience is at ease.
So
transparent is his honesty that he has never had anything to conceal, except
his plans from the enemy, who, more than once, were taken by surprise when he
attacked.

The big thing about
this big man is the simple fact that he hates fuss. When the
reporters try to interview him, he sits tongue-tied. He cannot explain
things to the press. At the art of publicity and advertisement, he is a
mere tyro. And some boosters — to whom any quiet fellow is a boob — have
undervalued Pershing. They are wrong.

But when Pershing says
“yes,” it is yes. And his “no"
is no. He settles large issues with short words. And throughout his brilliant
career, he has known his place.

There are officers — not so far, some of
them from the
United States — who would profit a good deal by General Pershing’s example of
self-restraint…”

After
WW1, Philip W. Wilson (1875–1956) American correspondent for the Daily News
– Photo: September 17 1919, General Pershing, saluting and smiling, during the
Victory Parade in Washington

Note: The Victory parade in Washington took place September
17 1919
, on the 132th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the United
States (although not planned as such a celebration).

“The reception in Washington was very
enthusiastic, and every available space along Pennsylvania Avenue, down which
the parade passed, was crowded to the utmost with people eager to see the
troops who had remained longest abroad and who had been most often in the
fight. Flowers were showered in the path of the regiment as it passed along the
avenue. Newspapers both at the capital and in New York declared the two parades
to have been the greatest of the kind in the history of the nation.” Source

YouTube showing the Sept 17 1919 Victory Parade in
Washington
+ Several photos @ the Library of CongressGeneral Pershing’s
diary entry for Sept 17 1919

                              
“We are going to do a bit of landscape work in a small
way”

‘August 27 1919, Paris – Yesterday morning I
received my Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army after two years and two months of service, long enough
for me – Am now a civilian – Today I signed a contract with the American Army
to take care of the work at the cemetery at Suresnes, just thirty minutes from
Paris. The A.E.F. has a cemetery there with over a thousand graves which has to
be in good shape. The work will be done by French labor and does not amount to
very much after things are once put in to shape. My salary is 150 dollars a
month which will just about let my wife and I live but then it was a case of
take that or starve to death while I was awaiting developments…’

Several
weeks later, Allen Peck writes about his work for the cemetery:

‘Spent the day in inspecting and obtaining
prices on evergreen
trees and various species of plants for forming hedges – Walked through miles
of nurseries – We are going to do a bit of landscape work in a small
way: about forty trees of about six or seven varieties, and a hedge across the
back of the grounds to form a sort of back curtain or screen to set off the
white crosses and the various shades of evergreens. I don’t know
how it will finally look, but I trust, all right.’

American
aviator who just married a French lady and decided to settle in France for a
while – Allen Peck’s WW1 Letters Home 1917-1919 – Photos: 1918 & 1919, scenes at the
American Cemetery of Suresnes – Gallica, Library of Congress, APS Library

                                                “Only Radio—100% of it—nothing else”


Now that the war is won, now that the amateurs have won their war, by defeating a proposed
new law which would have destroyed American Radio
Amateurism —we will witness the most wonderful expansion of the radio arts ever
dreamt of. The amateur is here to stay and so is radio in general. I predict an
astounding growth of the art during the next ten years. Every other house will
have its radiophone, to converse with friends and relatives, for business and
for pleasure. Marvelous inventions will be made in Radio during the next
decade—unbelievable now!”

July 1919, Hugo Gernsback, Publisher/Editor
of Radio Amateur News – “Shhhh…. N.A.A.’ is calling!” – The
first Radio Amateur News issue, July 1919

BTW,
Radio
Amateurism
is a “worthwhile
hobby” for women too.

‘The delights of lying in the grass
among trees and listening to the birds singing instead of to the whistling of
the shells…’

WW1, John
Shakespear
– Photo: Henri Roger

              “But all
those I had seen at the front, dusty, dirty, mud-encrusted, blood-stained”

‘On the 14th of
July 1919 I stood on the high balcony of a friend’s house in the Champs
Elysees, and saw the Allied Armies ride under the Arch of Triumph, and down the
avenue to the misty distance of the Place de la Concorde and its obelisk of
flame.

As I stood
there, high over the surging crowds and the great procession, the midsummer sun
blinding my eyes, and the significance of that incredible spectacle dazzling my
heart, I remembered what Bergson had once said of my inability to memorize
great poetry: “You’re dazzled by it.”

Yes, I
thought; I will not remember all this except as a golden blur of emotion. Even
now I can’t catch the details, I can’t separate the massed flags, or
distinguish the famous generals as they ride by, or the names of the regiments
as they pass. I remember thankfully that a grand mutilé for whom I have secured
a wheeled chair must have received it just in time to join his group in the
Place de la Concorde . . .

The rest is all a glory of shooting
sun-rays reflected from shining arms and helmets, from the flanks of glossy chargers,
the dark glitter of machine-guns and tanks. But all
those I had seen at the front, dusty, dirty, mud-encrusted, blood-stained,
spent and struggling on; when I try to remember, the two visions merge into
one, and my heart is broken with them.’

Edith
Wharton
, American novelist, short story writer,
playwright, and designer.
Throughout the war she worked tirelessly in charitable efforts for refugees, the
injured, the unemployed, and the displaced – A Backward
Glance
– Photo: watching the
July 14th 1919 parade from a balcony on the Champs Elysees – @
gillesphotosanciennes

“Have a patriotic, not a political, celebration on the
Fourth. Remember that your country’s welfare has a claim on your thought and
effort in time of peace.”  

1919, Home
and Community, July, The Farmers’ Bulletin

Photo:
July 4 1919, Virginia – Back at the farm, wearing patriotic party hats in celebration of the 4th
of July – West Virginia University

                                            
   

“waiting, waiting, waiting”

   

“Why we’re here:
we’re here because we can’t
get home. The ocean is too wide, If it was narrow as the
Rhine, We’d swim to the other side. So we’re waiting, waiting waiting
until the ocean’s dry, then we’ll hike back to God’s country to Mother and
mince pie.”

June 1919, American
soldiers in France & Germany, waiting to go home – The Amaroc News: The Daily Newspaper of the
American Forces in Germany
  – Photo: spring 1919, American soldiers
in Brest, France, waiting to sail home –Tom Caulley

                
“Why not just put me down as short, stout, and gray?”


May 28 1919
“I am not ashamed to tell you that I am
63, although many take me for 20 years more than my real age,” replied
Mrs. Smith (pictured in the center) when the election commissioner asked
her age. “Why not just put me down as short, stout, and gray?”

In Nebraska, the anti-suffrage forces
gathered signatures to suspend a limited woman suffrage act signed in 1917. But the women suffragists fought back and won
their battle in court. Read this great story here.

                                                   “They will not go back”

‘May 21 1919 – The
real triumph belongs to the women.

Our
objective was the national enfranchisement of women. A tiny step, you may say.
True! But the first step in the long struggle of women for political, economic
and social emancipation.

How revolutionary will be the
changes when women get this power and responsibility no one can adequately foretell.
One thing is certain. They will not go back. They will never again be good and
willing slaves.

It has been a long, wearying
struggle. Although drudgery has persisted throughout, there have been moments
of great joy and beauty. The relief that comes after a great achievement is
sweet. There is no bitterness.

All along women have kept their
faith in women.’

May-June 1919, celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment –  “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens,  American suffragist, woman’s legal rights advocate and author –
Photo: May 21 1919: “the real triumph belongs to women”

Note:
On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the 19th
Amendment

and 2 weeks
later, the Senate followed. The 19th amendment to the constitution guarantees
all American women the right to vote.

“Teaching a child to read a map, like teaching a child to read a book, should be one of the principal goals of every geography teacher.”

Becoming
French: Mapping the Geographies of French Identity, 1871-1914
– Photo: 1919,
American treacher working with the American
Committee for Devastated France
showing French schoolgirls how to read the French map – Ministère de la
culture, France