The U.S. Army was established on June 14, 1775 and this year marks its 246th birthday. This year’s them is “Honoring the Courage of the American Soldier.” For more on events associated with this year’s birthday, check out the following links:
BG(Ret) Kennard Higgins will be presenting a talk entitled “America’s Anchor: A Naval History of the Delaware River and Bay” at the Delaware Military Museum located at First Regiment Road, Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at 1:00 PM. The talk is free and open to the public and the museum will be open at 12:00 noon.
[From AUSA National]
On April 17, 1917, with Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Hugh Scott overseas trying to get the Russians to stay in the war, U.S. Secretary of War Newton Baker has his staff flushing out one of Scott’s ideas for universal conscription to grow the Army rather than solely depending on volunteers. They’ll have to sell Congress on the idea.
World War I did not make the world safe for democracy, as President Woodrow Wilson hoped when he asked Congress to declare war in 1917. As we now know, the war with Germany that started for the United States on April 6, 1917, did not end all wars. However, it made the U.S. a leading world power and created five important legacies that continue to shape our Army.
Among the war’s lasting legacies:
- Compulsory military service and organization of state militias into an organized federal army deployable beyond the nation’s borders happened because of the Selective Service Act of 1917.
- The concept of a planning staff, first introduced in the early 1900s by then-Secretary of War Elihu Root, matured under the leadership of Wilson’s brilliant secretary of war, Newton D. Baker.
- Professional education and a systematic approach to training took root during World War I.
- Divisions became the module for deployment and employment.
- Three generations of officers gained important experience during World War I, managing mobilization or fighting in France. Their experience, informed by education and reflection during the interwar period, enabled them to raise, train and lead the enormous Army that fought and won World War II.
The featured first exhibit of the Delaware Military Museum will honor the centennial of the First World War. Delaware played an outsize role before the United States had even entered the war, with Powder mills, shipyards and armament manufacture.
[Editor’s Note: As we remember the 100th anniversary of the “War to End All Wars,” we should all be mindful of the contributions of first state Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. There is an excellent online exhibit on Delaware’s contribution to World War I called “Drawing America To Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts” | An online exhibit by the Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs.]
[News Release from the Delaware Military Museum]
WILMINGTON DE. – April 1, 2017: The featured first exhibit of the Delaware Military Museum will honor the centennial of the First World War. Delaware played an outsize role before the United States had even entered the war, with Powder mills, shipyards and armament manufacture.
On display in the museum visitors will re-live the era on the home front and overseas with uniforms, maps, images, and artifacts of the “Great War”. Reproductions of images in the collection of the Delaware National Guard by Delaware artists such as Gayle Hoskins and Frank Schoonover of the Brandywine School will be on view.
The collection highlights the experience of Lieutenant S.B.I. Duncan, a Delaware National Guardsman from New Castle with the 59th Infantry Pioneers who served in France. His photos, uniform, helmet, and documentation will be on view to tell his unique story.
Kennard Wiggins author of Delaware in World War I, will give a talk on his book at 2 PM.
Delaware’s first museum dedicated to its military will open Saturday April 15, at 10 AM. The museum includes Delaware’s most extensive military library and archive.
The new museum is co-located with the Delaware National Guard Wilmington Readiness Center and the Mid County Senior Center on First Regiment Road, just off McKennan’s Church Road. It will be open on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10 AM to 4 PM.
The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation, Inc.
First Regiment Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19808-2191
About us: The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation has preserved and restored military artwork throughout the State of Delaware. The Foundation has compiled an extensive collection of military artifacts and archival materials. The DMHEF library and archives are a rich source for Delaware history educators and researchers.
Contact: Kennard Wiggins, Curator. email@example.com, 443-553-6314