tv How World War I Affected the U.S. CSPAN March 2, 2019 10:30pm-11:49pm EST
feeling that they will test us. and that is what happened. her women cap. step for step. announcer: eileen rivers sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. announcer: american history tv, historian garrett peck talks about his book "the great war in america: world war i and its aftermath." warhronicles how the impacted americans as well as societal issues such as prohibition, women's suffrage, and race riots. the smithsonian associates hosted this event. it is about one hour and 20 minutes. we are thrilled to welcome back up battery and smithsonian associates speaker garrett peck. an author, historian, and to her, he is the author of a new book "the great war in america: world war i and its aftermath." which just came out today. it is available for purchase and signing following his presentation. [applause]
in addition to the tour, his temperance to our prohibition related sites has been featured on c-span come up with tv, and the history channel. he has lectured at the library atconverse and often speaks historical societies, literary clubs, and trade associations. before i turn it over, i want to thank our friends for generously donating their green had 10, and preparing the world war i era cocktail simple that will -- that we will taste after the presentation. now, join me in welcoming garrett peck. [applause] garrett: thank you all so much for coming out here tonight on the publication date of my new book, my seventh book, "the great war in america: world war i and its aftermath." i am really thrilled to be here today. the factmore thrilled that c-span is here tonight. the rest of the nation can watch
this as well. next hour or so, i want to talk about world war i and its importance to the u.s. and the world. this may come as a surprise, but world war i is the most important war of the 20th century. yes, i did say that. not world war ii. world war i. buddy'sr ii is the sequel where they had to re-fight all of the issues that were not resolved at the peace conference that should have been. in this case, the united states has largely forgotten about world war i which is unfortunate. we do not like the outcome. which resulted in the huge partisan squabble between congress and the president. president woodrow wilson. of years after their world war, most americans thought getting involved in the war was a mistake. and we wanted to forget about it. world war ii, the country achieved -- we were basically a global superpower. the bad guys were really bad. and we kicked their butts. in the country ever afterwards
the world war ii generation. whereas world war i has been largely forgotten about. the importance of world war i first off, there were four global empires that fell at the end of this war. you had the modern middle east map later on. in addition, you had bolshevism released upon the world. we experienced our very first read scare in this country. not the 1940's. rather in 1919 we thought the bolsheviks had arrived and our workers were returning communist. it was amazing. there are our parallels to that the to our own time, discussion around immigration. the discussion around nationalism and america first. by the way, woodrow wilson invented that term. he meant it in a completely different context to how it is being used today. did not have the nationalism context that you hear being bantered around today.
discussion, i went to talk about how the country was affected by world war i, and how aswere treated from our role a global superpower and back into isolationism with the result of having to fight the war again one generation later. needng here into things, my slides to move -- there we go. if you can name one word why the country went to war against germany on april 6, 1917, it was submarines. the german submarine campaign was a national security threat to the united states. this is luta near, which many think this is what brought the u.s. and to the war. this was two years before we declared war. it is very emblematic. it is what everyone thinks about. they think about the lusitania being sunk and americans on that being killed.
this particular piece i will talk a bit tonight about the things that came about during the war such as propaganda and fake news. the things we hear about today were alive and well back then. for example, this painting showing lusitania being struck. you might notice it already has a hole in the side. there is a second or peter hitting it. there was not a second herb peter and only one. about 30 seconds later, there was a massive secondary explosion. -- the brits did not know what caused the explosion so they created a they that a second one hit ship. they determined it was the steam valves bursting. propaganda was part of it. the submarine campaign which the germans re-declared under the warfare in the early 1917, that is what drew us into the war ultimately.
after the lusitania was sunk, president wilson, and i am on the advisor council of the woodrow wilson house, so he figures prominently in my book. country wasd the really divided over the question of getting involved in european conflict. for example, the biggest ethnic group at the time in the country were german-americans. another very large group were irish-americans. as they were called back then, hyphenists. neither wanted to support the english. as you may imagine. you also had a great number of people who supported the english and french. the country was divided. we had a large number of socialists, and a larger number notacifists, which you do see much anymore today. after the lusitania was sunk, wilson went on a campaign around the country in 1916, called
preparedness with the idea of trying to get us up and running and trying to get congress to pass a greater defense budget. he did succeed, they increased the size of the army, at least by budget. also they created a larger navy, at least the budget for it. it took a long time to build either one. we were woefully underprepared for the war. which we will talk about in a few minutes. the german summary and campaign posed a national security threat to the united states. the germans renewed the campaign in early 1917. we immediately severed diplomatic relations with the germans. then there were two more months, a window, where we sat and waited for the germans to have some kind of overt action against us which they did with the zimmerman telegram. then president wilson realized there is no avoiding the war. we have to go to war. you see him delivering his famous war address on april 2, 1917.
congress did debate the issue for four days. this was a contentious issue. it was not like pearl harbor where we declared war the same night. there was a lot of division within congress itself. they debated this issue for four days. -- this isly, wilson his most important speech of his entire career, very famously he makes this remark "the world must be made safe for democracy." this was, by the way, the most idealistic war we ever got involved in. by far. we thought we were going to save the world from itself. germaning against militarism and the central powers. it is incredible the idealism the u.s. took to europe in this war and the fact that we were willing to send an army over to fight in europe which had never happened before. there were so many firsts that happened because of this. if you ever go down to the d.c. war memorial, it is the only
local memorial that is on the national mall. it is a beautiful temple. i have a picture later on. if you look closely, one of the plaques on the side, the great war for civilization. do you see the idealism there? to europeng to war -- to save the world. that was our vision. as well as what president wilson took to the paris peace conference and came face to face with a reality that the allies had other desires such as punishing germany rather than creating a new world order of peace and a way to mitigate conflicts. have all seen this a very famous propaganda poster. propaganda had been around already. the allies were using it. in the united states, we took it to a whole another level. in part because we hired george creel. he was a madison avenue executive. he really recognized the importance of propaganda and how
you can use it to get public support behind this war. there was a great deal of division within american society. they wereeclaration, still there. we passed the sedition act and the espionage act and the trading with the enemy act that basically silenced people from criticizing the war effort. at the same time, we had to come up with a lot of propaganda to convince people to support the war efforts to support the war effort spread this famous painting here done by the artist himself, it is a self-portrait. [laughter] garrett: he made himself look much older. he was a young man. he placed himself on a very garish uncle sam outfit. appealing to your duty as an to join theizen u.s. army. more than just having a poster saying join the u.s. army, it is uncle sam wants you and he is pointing at you. you better sign up because the country is counting upon it. this is all part of the
howaganda to affect american see the war and their willingness to support the war effort. controversially, right as the nation is discussing going to war in 1917, the militant wing of the suffragists led by alice paul start protesting in front of the white house. languageell from the used on these posters, they are using president wilson's words against him. very clever. they met with him in january 1917, and asked for his support for suffrage. like many presidents do when they want to punt on an issue, he says, this is a states rights issue. that is when a president says that word, it means he does not want to get involved. or she. -- ratheriser controversial. they kept up this picket in front of the white house. even after the war declaration. signs, some their
of the signs started calling wilson kaiser wilson. mobs started forming and ripping the signs out of their hands so the women struck back by chaining themselves to the fence which got him arrested and sent to the warehouse -- workhouse. wilson eventually came around on this question and threw his support behind the 19th amendment which is a moment that gave women the right to vote in 1920 care that was in part because the republicans have first thrown their weight behind it. he felt he had a debt of catching up to do. the role of women in the war was absolutely astronomical. women earned the right to vote because of the war. we had to make that crystal clear to women stepped up big time to support the war efforts and served. in the military itself. most of them as civilians whether they were bureaucrats, or within american red cross. this is another really famous propaganda poster from the war. this is for the american red
cross. you will -- do you see what they are copying? mikel angelo's painting. -- michelangelo's painting. you have a woman holding a wounded doughboy. this is propaganda. trying to get women support to go to france and support those soldiers as nurses or work on the red cross canteen, or whatever. the slogan across the bottom, the greatest mother in the world. you get to emulate st. mary. by going off to france. hundreds of thousands of women signed up to work for the red cross. it is really amazing. they served in the united states, they built these canteens along the train lines. for example, edith wilson, president wilson's second wife and also eleanor roosevelt worked at the canteen at union station. the soldiers were coming through by the trains and they had to greet them there with sandwiches
and soup and writing paper, anything the soldiers would want. anything to help with the morale as they are moving to the port cities to jump on the ships that will take them to europe to the fight. many thousands more volunteer to go to france to operate red cross canteens. others became what were known as done at lassies. they operated these donut frying machines and handed out donuts to the soldiers. as a veteran, let me tell you, being able to have hot food when you are in the field is like the best meal you have ever had. can't really underestimate the importance of having a hot meal. and having a friendly face to provide that to you is really wonderful former out. women, they stepped up big time in the war. many people don't know this but there were nearly 12,000 women who served in the united states navy during the war. the first branch that really began bringing women under arms. in this case, during the war,
they were called yomenettes. might be a surprise, but the united states marine corps deploying women as soldiers and marines. they deployed around 300 united states marines as women. brought as well number of women to work on the switchboards. they were referred to as the "hello girls." they ran the army boards in france. they were not in uniform or anything. they were not officially in the army. they struggled for decades later trying to get veteran status. to me, these women are veterans. they were on the front lines. why wouldn't they be veterans? women made a huge impact. if anyone came out of the war in great shape, it was women. they earned the right to vote in 1920. i talked earlier about the
advent of fake news during the war. i will give you some examples. first off, our largest brewer here in washington, d.c. was christian hi rick, and the brewers were german-americans. of course, the moment we declare war against germany, the temperance forces begin spinning beer drinking into treason. there is this rumor that goes around, and it is reprinted in the new york times, whereby christian heinrich has erected at his farm in hyattsville, has a large concrete flooring he has established so german artillery can be established and bombard the nations capital. [laughter] this is complete fake news but the new york times printed this. this was in the hysteria leading up to the war after the zimmerman telegram was posted. the bureau of investigation, the precursor to the fbi, sent men out to his house to search the house.
searchnt to the farm to it. what it turned up to be was his family's mazza leave him he was building for his wife. these rumors got started that this column of germans ready to rise up against their adopted state. that never happened. there were rumors that every german might be a spy or a soldier in the kaiser's army and be willing to fight against their adopted country. another example of fake news is from senator of wisconsin, one andhe leading pacifists leading the pacifist wing of the republican party, senator "fighting bob." he was a pacifist, let me remind you. he gave a speech and he was from wisconsin, he gave a speech in minnesota, and it was basically saying the germans were not justified in thinking the lusitania in 1915 -- in sinking the lusitania in 1915.
there was a reporter who wrote the whole thing down wrong and that was listed in all of the newspapers. it basically had him saying that he believed the germans were justified in think -- in sinking the lusitania. this caused outrage. there were people sending him death threats, congress threatened to impeach him. it was incredible. he went on the floor of the senate and made a three-hour not only justifying his own actions and saying, look, correct the record. more importantly, this is one of the classic speeches in congress making the case for freedom of speech during wartime. had not had a major first amendment decision from the supreme court. this was uncharted waters. this idea that we have to watch la tongues during wartime, follette is arguing against this. he points out that at any time, we need to be able to speak up
if we see things like for whistleblowers. people have a right to speak up if they see malfeasance going on. after he made this speech, things died down and congress reimbursed his legal expenses and for all of the trouble they put him through. he never was impeached. his son took over his senate seat. fighting bob junior came into the senate later on. [laughter] as you can imagine, to fight a modern war, you need a heck of a bureaucracy to fight the war. you need volunteers who are going to be all of the typists and whatnot. this is a picture of the national mall. this is now the site of constitution gardens. they built in these temporary buildings to house thousands of people who would work for the emanations department, the war department, and so on. they needed a huge number of volunteers to staff the bureaucracy for this war. they built temporary buildings on the national mall.
again, temporary buildings? no. there is another view of that. during this walking tour in october, i asked the group, how long do you think these building stayed up? one person shouted out the answer. does anyone know how long these were here? until 1970. the guy knew right away. he said, i worked in that building in 1969, and they tore down the building the next year. incredible. they expanded the building in world war ii on the other side of the reflecting pool. they built another series of buildings. then build a bridge to connect the buildings together. then they tour those down to get ready for the nation's bicentennial in 1976. temporary buildings turned into something more permanent. kind of amazing. aroundo the discussion american armaments. we were much better prepared for world war ii. we had an aerospace industry --
we invented the airplane. remember that? the wright brothers in 1903. we had no aerospace industry in 1914. none. incredible. not just the airplanes, but the tanks and artillery pieces we had to borrow from the allies even though we were producing and mules and shoes and boots and uniforms and everything else. we had no munitions production. just incredible. no weaponry production we could make rifles and machine guns. we had to borrow a lot of our heavy equipment from the allies themselves. in this case, the cocktail we will sample tonight later on is called the french 75, and it is named after that i'll piece. it was an incredible top-secret weapon from the french. it had this top-secret hydro-pneumatic design that enabled come along to fire the gun, it he would go back into the same position. then you could have the shells landed in the same spot every
time. which is really revolutionary. considering civil war time, you pointed the gun, shot it, had to re-aim it every time. really remarkable. when i was in the service, i was an artillery. was captain harry truman. the only future president to fight during the war. presidentstwo future in the service at the time. the other was eisenhower. he was in gettysburg. we never -- he never got employed overseas. kind of amazing if you think about that. harry truman is very important, we will talk about that, as how he carries forward president wilson's legacy. and in crafting a new piece after the world war after the treaty of versailles. he is our only world war i who serves. contrast that to world war ii. we just lost george h.w. bush, we only have one president -- world war i president left which is jimmy carter and -- jimmy
carter. every president was a world war ii president. much longer -- larger world war ii looms over world war i, right? important, truman was a reader of history. he loved history. and he studied the outcome of this war and realized, we have to take a different tack after the war was over and come up with a different way to create peace, rather than cementing revenge with our enemies and having to fight a war against them one more time. was the outcome of the first work at we had to rolla heavily upon our allies to give us all of our munitions and our heavy equipment during the war. what was amazing once we started this war in 1914, the u.s. army numbered 108,000 soldiers. largely arrayed to fight the last war which was against the american indians on the frontier. the largest numbered 108,000 soldiers. largely unit was regiments. we were so not prepared to fight a modern war. world war i was a giant battle
-- a giant ch with all of the trenches and artillery and poison gas and aircraft. the front lines were barrett -- would barely move. thousands of people make it killed. we were not ready for that at all. astonishing is even though we were only involved in the war for 19 months, that's it, it is amazing, yet we draft 4.7 million young men and sent 2 million of them to fight in france. it is incredible. an incredible achievement. many were only halfway trained by the time they got to france and the may had to fight we did not get into the fight seriously until the end of may of 1918. we were only in the fight for the last five and a half months. thats our role, the fact we took over a portion of the front and drove the germans back about 20 miles. that is what earned us a spot at the table. it was a significant achievement. it is dramatic going from nearly no army to 4.7 million soldiers
and creating ships and everything else we had to go do. it is really remarkable for what we were able to achieve. i wanted to show you one of the artifacts, one of the objects, 8000 objects we have at the woodrow wilson house. the wartime president and he retired after he left the white house to washington, d.c. the house is full of memorabilia from his presidency. house to washington, d.c. and in particular, from the paris peace conference. what you see right here, this is a french 75 shall, this is the very first artillery shell that american soldiers fired. this is from october 1970. that -- 1917. that is his bedroom. this is the bed he died in. looking at the mantelpiece, do you see where the arts -- the artillery shell is? that was important to him. he felt a huge responsibility for having sent all of the soldiers over to france or we lost, by the way, 116,000 soldiers.
the majority of whom died from the influenza virus of 1918. this is how deadly it was. it was more deadly than german bullets were all trailer he -- or artillery shells. with every war, there is always unintended consequences. once you pull the trigger, you have no idea how things will end. world warand in particular, froe paris peace conference. i of course, each side when they started the war in 1914, they thought they would be back home in time for christmas. that did not happen. president wilson kept offering mediation during the war. neither side was willing to take it because they thought they could win. even though there was this huge stalemate going on. despite our best efforts and the eventually ended up joining the war, and that of course earned us a spot at the peace table. the soldiers quickly came back to the united states are we had a victory parade for them and so on. this is pennsylvania avenue showing a temporary arch they
built over the avenue and regiment marching through and past the white house. all of the soldiers got parades and whatnot. just because you get to have a victory parade does not mean you won the peace. in this case, there was a big fight ahead when wilson believed he had to go to europe, this is the first time by the way a sitting president has ever left the united states, ever. it was hugely controversial. also controversial in the sense that he was not willing to delegate the negotiations. generally presidents don't negotiate treaties, they delegated to the state department or trade representative or whomever. in this case, he believed it had to be him to negotiate this peace treaty. because he had the idea of the league of nations and he wanted to make sure the league of nations was baked into the peace treaty. and it would force everyone to join the league of nations and the senate would have to ratify it. andon goes out to europe
they start negotiations. it takes than seven months to get to a peace treaty. very contentious. he's squaring off -- he is there on the far right. on the left, david lloyd george of england. prime minister orlando from italy. then george clement, the prime minister of france. would sayically -- i it was four against one. wilson did have allies. but the allies all had different goals. they all wanted territories, they all wanted reparations from wantedmans, and they all to punish germany in particular which is why they built the war guilt clause. meaning the germans had to directly except blame for starting the war even though it was more like the streams who started it. once you have admitted guilt, now you are liable for the payments. this is why the allies wanted to do it. also the germans caused most of the damage to northern france
and belgium. idealismhere wilson's comes face-to-face with the allies and what the reality of what they wanted. which was security and funds and whatnot and to crush germany. france had been attacked twice in four decades. infact, clement witnessed 1871. and then of course it comes around again in 1914 the the germans invade a second time. france's main goal was to get germany. they wanted to make sure germany could never rise again or ever attacked germany again. of course, you know what happens in may of 1940. they get overrun in six weeks. it's amazing. part because the punitive nature of the peace treaty which in and so on which leads down -- which leads to adolf hitler and right-wing revision from his side.
we get another wore a generation later. wilson negotiates his peace treaty. one thing he has not reckoned with is the fact that one week we had thearmistice, midterm elections and the democrats lost control of congress. there is a republican majority in the house and the senate. a compromisingn mood. this is his own fault also of the senate majority leader who said, you want to get your treaty through. wilson was not willing to negotiate. the senate ultimately voted twice on the treaty and wilson sabotaged his own treaty. he suffered a stroke during a barnstorming campaign.
they rushed him back to the white house, he suffered a stroke. the senate voted on the treaty. democrats and republicans he was not willing to compromise. they voted on it again in march. wilson sabotaged it once more. it is partially his fault but also the senators fault. they were stubborn and not willing to compromise. the allies said, except the reservations. just get it ratified. just joining league of nations, it is important the u.s. join. it is our idea. the u.s. never ratified the treaty. we never join the league of nations. which then creates these open questions about what might have stateed had the u.s.
engaged in world affairs? could things have been better? he probably would have come to power anyways. u.s. stayed engaged rather than retreating to our shores. answeron is not the every of the world is a dangerous place and we need allies. it is a lesson we learn from world war ii. that is one of the consequences, the failure of the peace that leads to the next war. we also have in 1919, the 's first red scare. in 1919. this summer is known as the red summer. i, inflationwar was roughly 100%.
wages could not keep up. strikes all over the countries and they were demanding better pay. the people, considering bulls of ex had just taken over russia, fear becoming us had to come to our shores and are workers were going to become red . the picture you see is the house of mitchell palmer. anarchist carrying a bomb to blow up his house. this is on dupont circle. he tripped on the sidewalk and blew himself up. injured butas not the facade, the windows were blown in. them, palmer the excuse for what i call the red round up. young j edgar hoover
launched a campaign to roundup everything. there were a series of raids in earlynd -- late 1919 and 1920. they sent them over to ellis island. essentially deportation hearings. they sent them to the soviet union. the boat was the buford. arc.amed the soviet process. no due we had never encountered anything like this before. we had no aclu. it was created during this time, affectively. there were no guardrails to an attorney general who is effectively writing his own agenda. wilson has had a stroke and is not minding the store. mitchell palmer is doing his own
thing, trying to keep the country safe from the reds. he is doing it also because he was to run for presidency in 1920. there were anarchist. this was a man-made crisis. you're mongering. we are going to round them up and show how tough we are on those reds. ultimately, the whole thing backfires. the acting secretary of labor named post. the department of labor is in control of ellis island and immigration. the secondne after raids occur, he starts reviewing the documentation. how little evidence there is against these different people. he starts releasing everyone. all the cases out the window. j edgar hoover and mitchell palmer work set -- upset.
he stood his ground and made a wonderful speech in congress. he is a person who stood for the rule of law rather than deportations of people not convicted of crimes. simply because they were socialists or coming as. another major thing, what we call this the red summer, there were 25 race riots around the country. this is the closest we have ever come to a race war ever in our country. every single case, 25 cities, every single case is the white community attacking the black community. there are a couple of different issues that lead to this. in some cases, because african-american workers had served as scabs during strikes. white workers are upset. cases, the african-americans who had gone off to war thinking if we fight for our country, the country
will have to respect us. we are making our sacrifice just like mike -- white soldiers are. we demand equality. white southerners in particular did not want to hear this. they had built this caste system. the result is these race riots throughout the country in the summer of 1919. we had one here in d.c.. the centennial of that will be coming up next july. seven months from now. i did mention earlier there was one good outcome that came out of the war. women got the vote. the sacrifice women made, the contribution women made during the war was so significant, so the republicans were the initial big supporters of women getting the vote. eventually president wilson through the democratic party's support behind it. for the firstte
time in 1920. paul -- alice paul who was tiny. she was fierce. she was raising a glass to tennessee, the 36th state to ratify the amendment, the one that put it over the top. for those of you who know me, my prohibition.c is we get prohibition because of world war i. the largest ethnic group in the country, the german-americans. they were also the brewers. the temperance movement use a lot of propaganda against the germans. pushed the 18th amendment during measure toa wartime save grain to beat the kaiser's army. they pushed it through congress. -- the last state to ratify it was nebraska, january
of 1919. two months after the armistice. this is a wartime measure. as part ofes this their patriotic duty. no dissenters allowed. we need this to beat the kaiser, let's have prohibition. nobody thinking of the consequences, there really wasn't any kind of national consensus about taking our beer way. i love this photo. one of the very few dry congressman. umbrella overan the capital building showing we are now dry. congress employed its own bootleggers. in d.c., we had about 3000 speakeasies. new york had an estimated
30,000. all it really did was deregulate the alcohol market. usa buyer had no idea what you are buying. or simplyiment scotch some industrial alcohol with turpentine and food coloring -- was it legitimate scotch or simply some industrial alcohol with turpentine and food coloring? maybe some regulations directly good, you know? amazing here. i am going to discuss how we memorialize war. world or two gets all the attention. a big memorial on the mall built a decade or so ago. in d.c., we don't have like a national world war i memorial, at least not yet. have isest facility we in kansas city. 1926, the liberty museum. now it is the national world war
i museum. and memorial, added in 2004 could we do have plans for pershing park to have a national memorial for the great war. in the nations capital. at this point, i would say the most important memorial, nationwide, the war is the tomb of the unknown soldier. that was inaugurated i warren harding. president wilson attended. you can tell from the image the tomb itself has not been built, what i have is the casket. they had one for world war ii and vietnam. the korean war. they also found out who's the -- to the vietnam soldier was and removed his remains.
many other places followed. many localities built local monuments. whatever time you came from, you might see a small monument just like they have in europe for the dead who died. for the soldiers who fought and gave their lives. also on the national mall, two different memorials. the first division monument, 1924. that take obelisk. i'm sure you have seen these. the other one, some people refer to as the feather monument. it looks like a feather. that is the second division memorial. built in 1936. hybrid of that was a
an army the grade -- brigade with the marine corps parade -- brigade. that was the unit that fought in the low would -- bellau wood. brutal battle, a lot of casualties. we have the d.c. war memorial. appropriate.d to worldn it into a national war i memorial and washingtonians were not going to have it. we roped in congressman eleanor holmes norton to take up the cause to read i like to liken it to having a cat. you have to simply distract someone with something else. they came up with the idea of, you cannot have this memorial but how about pershing park?
congress said, yes. own localed our memorial. 499 washingtonians who died during the great war, of whom seven were women. they are listed simply in alphabetical order. not singled out by race or sex or rank. a galaod telling -- terry and. citizen soldiers from washington dc. it is a bandstand. you can also rent it, people have weddings. memorial commemoration on the centennial of the armistice couple of weeks ago. leslie, pershing park. right across from the willard hotel. who has been to
pershing park? you may be get a quarter of the people. it was built in 1981 and no one goes into it other than homeless and skateboarders. it is being repurposed. the u.s. world war i centennial ofmission is in the process revamping the park and building a 60 foot wide bronze sculpture. i will show you in a moment. a soldier's story, his story of going to war. they hope to get this thing unveiled by the third ofiversary of the centennial the armistice, the hundredth anniversary of the tomb of the unknown soldier. 2021, they would like to have it unveiled. things always take a long time in d.c.. like with the eisenhower memorial. it is complicated.
the maquette looks like. from the far left, showing a soldier doughboy leaving home. his wife and children. training, the one you see, one image where he is looking directly at the viewer. the big image in the center. is the portrayal of shellshocked, what we see today, ptsd. backhen, they called it -- then, they called it shall shock. people would be comatose if a shell landed near them. he is giving his wife his helmet. and about thel common soldier and their experience and sacrifice. hopefully, we will have this
thing unveiled. it would be a great and way overdue addition to commemorate our veterans who fought in this awful war. that should have been the war to end all wars. to the end.y here i am hoping new columbia is here. good. very cool. we will come back to them. do a little q and a. forward,o bring them yme ones who provided the g for tonight. they take their name from george cassidy, a world war i veteran. he became congress's main bootlegger. he became known as the man in the green hat. famously, he wrote six front-page articles, spilling the beans on congress.
four out of five congressman in his estimation drank alcohol during prohibition. a gin named after that. what we would like to do is q and eight. we have a little time. we have microphones that are going to come around from c-span. i am going to repeat the question. the microphone is for the television. right over here. >> my question, you are talking about the red scare. if any u.s.scuss forces actually went to russia during the 1920s. was the redion scare ended american soldiers go to russia during this upheaval revolution could
be the answer is yes. we sent soldiers to vladivostok to keep the japanese from making a land grab on the trans-siberian railroad and we also sent them to murmansk and archangel. they did not know what their mission was. it is one of these mission creep things. you start off doing one thing and the next thing you know, you forget why you were even there. ,e did in fact intervene attempted to in the russian civil war. 20 russians, they lost million people during the civil war. eventually, the bolsheviks won. thank you for asking that question. one in the back. >> you mentioned the treaty of versailles. like we never approved
it at all. i thought it was only the league of nations. does that mean we were technically at war with germany until world war ii? >> the question was if we never isified the treaty, the fact wilson baked the covenant for the league of nations into the treaty. to ratify the treaty meant we could join the league of nations. we never ratified the treaty. that is that big fight. thus we never joined the league of nations. technically, we were still at war with germany until president harding negotiated a separate piece that was nonpunitive. in 1921. it is really remarkable. there was a question in the back. >> going to world war i and
world war ii lectures, i do not hear about the fact in the middle east. -- the effect on the middle east, china, and asia. there was something woodrow wilson did to the chinese, a type of the trail. could you explain those aspects. >> the question was about the other parts of the world impacted by world war i. the middle east. both the french and the british very much wanted to essentially the ottomanch of empire which was collapsing. they greeted these different countries you see today. iraq, afghanistan, lebanon, syria, kuwait. they created these nations and drew the borders. these were essentially artificial boundaries. done largely because the british and french wanted the territories. oil was discovered in
mesopotamia, iraq. this creates huge problems. no one in the world wants to be colonized. empires, most of them fell apart after world war ii. it has created a long-lasting resentment we are still dealing with. you see this in the arab world. we basically colonized them. we promised freedom and put another empire on top. in the case of china, early on in the war, japan declared war because they had eyes on germany's far east colonies. they seized the different islands the germans had. the germans had a peninsula of land. the japanese seized it. at the paris p's conference, they demanded to take over the german concession -- peace conference, the demented take over the german concession.
everyone was telling president wilson, don't do it. what had happened a month before, the italians had walked out over another territorial issue. fearfult wilson was so the japanese were not going to join the league of nations. he signed off on the japanese, allowing them to take over the german concession. it is right south of beijing. it sticks out into the east china sea. that was a hugely controversial issue. most americans thought it was a huge mistake. he did it for political purposes , to keep the japanese appeased. did it? no. a decade later, they are making more against china. seizing more territory. it feddid was appease -- their desire to build more empire. it is a shame. a bunch of hands.
close to you. right there. more expensive on zimmerman, please. >> more expansion on the zimmerman telegram. >> this is a fascinating story and i have a whole chapter called the decision about wilson's decision to take us to war. with the back story, when the germans declared unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, they sent a telegram from berlin to the u.s. that happened to be routed through the american embassy. agreement, so they routed the cable through our embassy. right below the unrestricted submarine warfare declaration was another telegram called the zimmerman telegram. that was directed toward the mexican government. we forwarded -- it was supposed
to be forwarded on. should the u.s. ever get involved in the u.s., it was an offer for an alliance with expo. should the u.s. get involved, we offer an alliance with you to make war. as a result, we will offer you to reclaim texas, new mexico, and arizona. telegrams that went through, routed through the u.s. embassy. , they were listening in on our communications. they got them in london. they intercepted them. even as we are transmitting them on to d.c.. they held onto the telegram for little while, they wanted to see with the u.s. would do. we immediately severed diplomatic relations, but two more months passed by before we declared war. it was cold room 40, the british intelligence arm, they sent it
to the american embassy in london. saying, we intercepted this and we are giving it to you. they ask a it in london at our embassy. march 1, 1917. that is the overt action that wilson was looking for to take us to war. it becomes the straw that breaks the camel's back. it is a submarine warfare campaign that leads to the war. it is the telegram that is the last straw. we were kind of manipulated into the war over this. they wanted our money and our ships. a few questions. what is your take on wilson?
fax what is my take on woodrow wilson. i am on the advisory council of the woodrow wilson house. i view him as a prophet of democracy. even though he came up short on the questions of race and segregation in the federal government, he had a tremendous way offor building a mitigating conflicts before they turn into war, which is the league of nations idea. harry truman copies afterwards. even though he comes up short with the piece, he has planted the seed that we carry forward in the 1940's and 1950's. i think he is a profound person. he's one of our better presidents, i do believe. given he did not want to become a wartime leader, how effectively he took this nation to war and lead this country to victory. who would have thought we would
send 2 million soldiers to france in 1.5 years and beat the german army. up theh we have ramped economy. ship fact is and what not -- factories and whatnot. he came up short, but the seed was planted for what harry truman would later take on. i am an admirer. he is the main character in my book. next question. we have a few in the front. wait for the microphone, please. you can be on national tv. >> i volunteer at american we have pershing's desk. his telephone on display in the museum. showing the loops of the
videos of when he was in the parades. determined doughboy, where it came from. your research, did you hit on what you think is the most plausible? >> the question where does the careerughboy come from there is not one explanation. there is a lot of mythology. i don't know honestly with the right answer is. the ones you commonly here, the soldiers wore buttons on their shirts and they looked like they were bakers. button up shirt. we are out there in the field, we got covered in dust. one of those things. it's interesting that award does not get used again. it is a very specific term for world war i. world war ii bank, gis. part of the
mythology of the war and i do not know the answer to that question. thank you for asking. right behind in the red jacket. flax i have a similar question about terminology. why we use the term of the armistice. we say that repeatedly for the ending of world war i. we never call -- use again for any of the wars that followed. .> korea korea has an armistice. >> is very technical difference between an armistice that and some other indian? -- is there a technical difference between an armistice and another ending? >> why does world war i and with an armistice. the germans army realized they were beaten. the kaiser abdicated. the frenchter,
agreed to allow the germans to have an armistice. an official cease-fire but it comes with terms. a lengthy list. all of france's military goals. allgermans had to evacuate sounds lorraine. alscaince and lorraine. the german army never officially surrendered. this is problematic for what comes in the 1920's. you have right-wing revisionists like adolf hitler who said we never surrendered to read army was still fighting. no, your army was getting its but kicked. ofs is part of the mythology ashes on, victimization. you hear that from the kkk.
we are victims. that is what the fascists are about. bigarmistice is a cease-fire but with conditions. it had to be renewed until a treaty was signed. june, 1919. whiche another armistice is ongoing in korea. there is no peace in korea. on sincebeen going 1953. thank you for that question. we have two questions back here. >> referring to the armistice signedi believe it was and two before the official time to stop shooting, something like that, that is why we have the 11th hour and the 11th day. there was a time of a couple of days where all the top generals
knew we have agreed to stop fighting. my question is, what was the not stoppingwe are it in to do it -- if we know we are stopping and two days, why do we keep going and have that many more people wounded and died? because everybody who has heard of it knows it is coming? >> this is a little bit of misinformation. 7,n at that moment, november fake news got published there was an armistice signed and everyone went ballistic. there was an fact no armistice. the german delegation was already negotiating with the french. but they had to go back and forth several times across the lines. ofwas not until the middle the night, early morning november 11, that they agreed on the armistice. even though they had been
negotiating for a couple of days. the german government signed off saying we want an armistice. .hat is when they met he agreed to give them an armistice. they set the time clock running for six hours later. they signed it at 5:00 in the morning and it was start at 11:11. to give enough time so it would get to various posts. >> back to wilson and the 14 points. don't you think he was someone naive thinking self determination would work in places like austria-hungary and the balkans? >> it is a sticky issue. 14 points were addressed. one was freedom of the seas. addressed to great britain which had built a great blockade around the north sea.
that conflict was never resolved. we would allow ethnic groups to form their own countries. about a dozen countries came out of europe. specifically out of the collapse of the austro hungarian empire. in 1918. we created poland. 13nt number 13 of the points. there were 25 points. it is interesting to see i don't know of hypocrisy is the right word. the french were in no way to self-determination for the austrians. they forbade the austrians to join with the germans. you have a german-speaking, even
to this day, part of italy that the italians wanted and they took. wilson allowed them to have it. not everyone got self-determination. the poles did and other places. it becomes very sticky, these questions. it is war. things are complicated. we have wilson's idealism coming face-to-face with the reality on the ground. the end result target of the mess. results are a mess. what or two questions and the we have cocktails. you said the is states -- united states had almost no aviation industry, but it was the first war where the airplane had an impact. in your opinion, what impact did it have?
did it extend the war? or kind of a neutral impact? >> the impact of aviation on the war. i think it was larger than most people assume. you think in your mind of world war i dog fighters and whatnot. snoopy versus the red baron. in fact, they built bombers. they had all kinds of different aircraft, from reconnaissance to balloons. big huge gas balloons both sides would use for reconnaissance. the giant bombers. the germans began bombing london. not to mention the zeppelins they used. aircraft were used quite a bit. it was contentious in the sky. lot of aviators. ours did not carry parachutes. it is interesting to see how the war gets fought in the skies.
we never sees the dominance. the germans had a significant air force during the war itself. would want to have a great air force during that time. fromop the enemy eyes taking photographs or seeing your preparations for an offensive. it is important during the war. it is overlooked compared to world war ii. it is an important facet of world war i. romanticism.n the the red therein. quentin roosevelt. son wase roosevelt's shot down and killed. teddy went into a deep depression. were wounded. roosevelt was supposed to be the republican party candidate again
in 1920, but he dies in 1919 in his sleep. six months after her son was shot down. partyeft the republican leaderless. that was a non sequitur. one more question and then we will talk about our sponsor. >> you mentioned world war ii due to the occurred mistakes of world war i. do you think of world war i, everything had been result, do you think world war ii would have been avoided? >> could world war ii have been avoided? had the peace treaty been a fair treaty. the treaty of versailles was a bad treaty. there were so many mistakes made in the treaty between the punitive nature of it, some of madeistakes wilson himself
like assigning reparations to a commission. the germans kind of freaked out over that. we like going off to college. be a hundred to thousand dollars or $10 million? the germans did not know how much they were going to pay. that upset the germans quite a bit. they thought the treaty was going to be similar to the armistice. we can agree with that. that could have been the basis for the peace treaty. everyone wanted so much more. treatyed into a flawed a that people like adolf hitler and mussolini and others were able to take advantage of. we get the next war. treaties are supposed to end war.
we have learned that lesson from world war ii. did study history quite a bit. he understood the mistakes that were made in 1918, 1919. we had to take a different path. we had to resuscitate our enemies. in italywhat we did and germany and japan. they are all thriving democracies and key trading partners. we rehabilitated them and turn them into trading partners. with that, i want to thank everyone for coming. [applause] one last little thing here really quickly. do you to bring up our sponsor.
michael low, you would come up. ? -- do you want to come up? cofounders who makes green hat gin. thank you. >> sure. i can probably use the microphone. are newtt mentioned, we columbia distillers, the first distillery in washington since before world war i. since 1913, the best we can find. we primarily make green hat gin. did you talk, about george cassidy? left wasw in the upper the bootlegger to congress.
the hat there sitting in the back was a light green. that was his commercial trademark. his green hat. he was known as the man in the green hat. of servingars through illegal booze the 1920's, the core of after aion, he ended up short jail term going to the 1930ngton post and in coming out with a series of six days in a row for page articles bylined the man in the green hat and his real name, george cassidy, pointing out all the hypocrisy on capitol hill.
how prohibition clearly was not working. his articles came out the week before the 1930 midterm elections. those were the elections that threw theears perhaps drys out of control in the house and senate read there were other things going on so it is hard to know how much influence his articles had but they were picked up by newspapers around the country. in two years later, he had a wet house, wet senate, and was able to get rid of prohibition in a matter of months. we thought the men in the green had deserved greater appreciation. his family lives in fairfax. us actually, they helped bottle our first few cases of gin to come off our production line.
what we are going to serve inight is a classic world war prohibition era cocktail called a french 75 you may have heard of it. it is still fairly popular. a sparklingith wine, a champagne, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. there are a couple of origin stories for the french 75. i amne that i like best, not sure whether it is the most accurate. troopsbout the british coming to the continent at the beginning of world war i to help out their french allies. especially the british officers aware deprived were deprived of a couple of
essential elements. one, they did not have an efficient high firing rate fueled artillery piece. field old are to -- artillery piece. and the second, although they gin, they could not get tonic. french hosts help them out. they provided them with andpagne to mix with gin they provided 75 millimeter rapidfire field piece to both the english troops and the american troops. theyonor of the military, named the cocktail the french 75. still have. tomorrow is repeal day, the 85th anniversary.
utah gratifying the 21st amendment. ending prohibition. we have cocktails. i will be glad to sign as many books as you put in front of me. cocktail, books, and we will finish off. thank you very much. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv. onhours of programming american history every weekend on c-span3. >> c-span.
where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. bring youe to unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. mark the centennial year of u.s. participation in world war i, american history tv visited american battlefields, monuments, and cemeteries in northeastern france. next on american artifacts, the village is on the edge of the meuse-argonne cemetery, the last resting place of more than 14,000 u.s. soldiers who died in world war i. we stopped in the village to visit a private museum housed in a former bar.