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Tag: World War I

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Macron-Trump: The Divorce is Official

The French-American outpouring of Bastille Day is little more than a distant memory. Invited to France to attend the commemorative ceremonies for the 1918 Armistice, the U.S. president was anything but tactful. The French and American presidents hugged in front of the White House six months ago. Emmanuel Macron was on an official visit to Washington, and Donald Trump expressed...

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Should Marshal Pétain Be Honored?

As the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice is being celebrated, public opinion is divided on the inclusion of Pétain’s name in the list of eight French marshals honored by the Elysée Palace on Saturday 10 November. Pétain is a major historical figure, having been both the hero of the Battle of Verdun in World War I, and the collaborationist,...

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The Hello Girls, the Voice of the U.S. Army in France

The first women recruited by the U.S. Army were equipped with helmets and gasmasks just like their male counterparts, but they were armed with telephones. Some 223 French-speaking American women served as switchboard operators during World War I. Nicknamed the “Hello Girls,” they acted as a link between the front line and the rear guard and between French and American...

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World War I in France Seen Through the Lens of Lewis Hine

A hundred years ago, France was caught in the final year of World War I. American photographer Lewis Hine traveled across the country in 1918 for the American Red Cross, documenting their work with refugees, orphans, and wounded soldiers. Lost for decades, his poignant work has recently been made public by the Library of Congress. Lewis Hine has been acknowledged...

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1918-1926: The Never-Ending War

La Paix Impossible is the sixth instalment of the Apocalypse history documentary series on 20th-century military conflicts. Produced using nothing but restored color footage, the two 45-minute episodes depict the interwar period (1918-1926) and the rise of nationalism. A film by Isabelle Clarke and Daniel Costelle, narrated by Mathieu Kassovitz. Interview. France-Amérique: Why have you called the 1918-1926 period "la...

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Passing the Torch: America One Hundred Years Ago

November 11, 1918, marked the end of World War I and the beginning of American omnipotence — and this era continues today. What exactly do we commemorate on November 11 in France and America? There were no real winners in the Great War. The French and their allies from Britain, the United States, Belgium, Serbia and elsewhere were decimated by...

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Versailles’ American Splendor

The Château de Versailles is a symbol of French excellence in the arts, emblematic of absolute power and the height of the monarchy’s reign. But it actually owes part of its current grandeur and beauty to a number of Americans who financed its restoration throughout the 20th century. "What I must do is not what other people do, but what...[Subscriber]

Sergeant York Gets His Very Own Comic Book

An avenue in Manhattan bears his name, but who really remembers Sergeant York, the most decorated U.S. soldier of World War I? He proved his mettle in France during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, whose 100th anniversary is currently being commemorated, and is now the subject of a comic book published by Association of the United States Army. On October 8, 1918,...

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Trump to Attend WWI Centennial Commemorations in Paris

After he canceled his plan for a "big parade" in Washington, Donald Trump has announced that he will be joining Emmanuel Macron in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The U.S. president, impressed by the Bastille Day military parade he witnessed on the Champs-Elysées on July 14, 2017, was forced to cancel his...

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The Birth of U.S. Naval Aviation on the Ile d’Oléron

On August 20, 2018, Ile d’Oléron (in the Charente-Maritime département) will be paying homage to the 383 U.S. soldiers who lived on the island during World War I. Posted more than 400 miles from the trenches, these pilots, sailors, and mechanics from the U.S. Navy were tasked with defending the French coast against German submarines. Located on the Atlantic Ocean...

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Yann Castelnot, Remembering Native Veterans

Frenchman Yann Castelnot, a Quebec-based amateur historian, has identified thousands of indigenous soldiers who fought for Canada and the United States since the arrival of the Europeans in the 17th century. In recognition of his archiving work he received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Province of Quebec and was congratulated by the Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs. Exactly...

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Two Bikers Ride Across America for the Armistice

Two French bikers have decided to cross the United States on a 1918 Harley-Davidson that first arrived in France with American troops in World War I. The two Frenchmen thunder down Interstate 65 on the way to Chicago. Pierre Lauvergeat leads the way at 55mph on a hundred-year-old Harley Davidson. His traveling companion Christophe de Goulaine follows closely behind in...

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1918, the Beginnings of Jazz in France

During World War I, Afro-American musicians posted to France popularized a new form of music. This “syncopated ragtime” was the beginning of jazz. An exhibition organized at the New Orleans Jazz Museum through November 15, 2018, takes a look back over this period. “Here, on February 12, 1918, the first jazz concert was played on European soil.” This declaration is...

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The Hundred-Year Anniversary of the Battle of Cantigny

This weekend will see France and the United States commemorate the hundred-year anniversary of the Battle of Cantigny, named after a little village in the Somme. This particular event was one of many during World War 1, but marked the first U.S. military offensive in Europe. Some 199 American soldiers were killed during the Battle of Cantigny between May 28...

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“The Guardians”: The Great War Through the Eyes of Women

Seven years after his acclaimed Of Gods and Men, director Xavier Beauvois is back to pay homage to the women of rural France who were obliged to work in the fields when the men left to fight in World War I. His latest movie, The Guardians, will be out in the U.S. this Friday. France, 1915. The country is at...

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Remembering the Americans Who Gave Their Lives for France

A U.S. government agency founded in 1923 with offices outside of Paris continues to preserve the memory of the 67,629 American soldiers killed during the two World Wars and buried in France. The 150 students from the elementary school in Charly-sur-Marne have just left, and the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery falls silent once again. This military cemetery covers 42 acres of...

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The Harlem Hellfighters: African-American Fighters in French Uniforms

Some 4,500 Black American soldiers, victims of segregation laws in force in the U.S. army, fought in French uniforms during World War I. Nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters, these soldiers displayed exceptional valor in combat. Here is their incredible yet little-known story. "Up the wide avenue they swung. Their smiles outshone the golden sunlight […]. New York turned out to tender...[Subscriber]

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Tearing Down the Statues

Embarrassing symbols of American history are being torn down one by one; after removing Confederate flags in the past, the focus has now been turned to statues. A commission in New York has been tasked with identifying exactly which symbols are to be confiscated, starting with the name “Philippe Pétain” engraved on Broadway. French people will hardly be surprised by...

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Anne Morgan, an American Heart

Anne Morgan, daughter of U.S. banking tycoon J.P. Morgan, was certainly from a “good family,” but was anything but faint-hearted. From 1917 to 1924, she led major private fundraising campaigns and recruited an army of 350 U.S. women volunteers to help civilians in war-ravaged France less than 30 miles from the front. A touring exhibition on the life of the...

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Jazz, a Transatlantic Love Story

The arrival of the ocean liner Queen Mary II in New York harbor, on Saturday, July 1, marks the return voyage of the first American soldiers who fought in France during Wold War I, but also the birth of a new form of music, jazz. A number of African-American musicians took advantage of the French infatuation with this new American art form and...

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Château de Blérancourt Restored with Two Million Dollars from U.S. Patrons

The Franco-American museum, Château de Blérancourt, in Picardy, has been closed for renovation for 12 years, and will reopen on Sunday, June 25. This major project was made possible by a U.S. charity, the American Friends of Blérancourt. The Executive Director of the American Friends of Blérancourt, Larry Horne, is preparing for the big day in his office, located on...