Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 6:00 am
A century ago, young men in Europe were killing each other by the tens of thousands. World War I, which had erupted just a few months earlier, was raging. Yet on a frozen Christmas Eve, the guns briefly fell silent.
The Christmas Truce of 1914 has become the stuff of legend, portrayed in films, television ads, and songs. On this 100th anniversary of the cease-fire, it is possible to reconstruct the events of that day from letters, diaries, and even the recorded spoken words of the men who experienced the truce.
Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 9:58 am
Nearly two dozen diaries and notebooks of Siegfried Sassoon — among a handful of prominent soldier-poets whose artistic sensibilities were forged in the trenches of World War I — are being published online for the first time by the Cambridge University Library.
Sassoon, who served in the British Army, was a "gifted diarist [who] ... kept a journal for most of his life," the library says.
The shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was fired a hundred years ago this weekend.
The assassination in Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, triggered World War I and changed the course of the 20th century. The consequences of that act were devastating. But the beginning of the story sounds almost like a farce — complete with bad aim, botched poisoning and a wrong turn on the road.
The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.
"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is opening an exhibition called "Native Words, Native Warriors" on an obscure part of recent American history. In World War I and II, American forces needed to communicate secrets to one another. The problem was the enemy understood their language.
"The Germans were very good at English and also good at cryptography and breaking codes," said the exhibit’s curator, Dr. William Meadows.