Lecture Series


The Great War Institute Presents: Veterans Day Lecture Series, 2023

Title: “Pershing of the West: The Formative Days of Blackjack Pershing in the American Frontier”

Date:  November 21, 2023

Time:  6:30 p.m. CST

Location:  The National World War I Museum and Memorial

Speaker: Tim McNeese

Description: Most Americans familiar with General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing know him as the commander of American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the latter days of World War I. But Pershing’s military career began in 1886, with his graduation from West Point and his first assignments in the American West as a horsebound cavalry officer during the final days of Apache resistance in the Southwest, which still represented a frontier of blue-clad soldiers, Native Americans, cowboys, rustlers, and miners. During the next thirty years, he experienced postings across the West, from Dakota Territory to Montana to California to Texas. Even Pershing’s prolonged posting in the Philippines was a “western” experience as the Philippines represented a new American frontier abroad, even as the frontier days of the American West were closing. All of Pershing’s experiences in the American West prepared him for his ultimate assignment as the top American commander during the Great War.   


The Great War Institute Presents: Veterans Day Lecture Series, 2021

Title: The Legacy of Colonel Charles Young”

Date:  November 5, 2021

Time:  7 p.m. CST

Location:  The National World War I Museum and Memorial

Speaker: Brian Shellum

Description: Born to enslaved parents on 12 March, 1864 in May’s Lick, Kentucky, Charles Young was the third African American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy West Point, first African American National Park Superintendent (Sequoia National Park, California), first Military Attaché to Haiti and the Dominical Republic, and first African American Colonel in the U.S. Army. The legacy of Colonel Young’s service in the Indian Wars, Spanish American War, Philippine American War, Pancho Villa Expedition and World War I are continued through the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio, and collection held in the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. 


Co-Host: The National World War I Museum and Memorial

The National WWI Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism, and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National WWI Museum inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations.


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Co-Host: The World War I Historical Association

The World War One Historical Association (WW1HA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting interest in the period of 1914-1918 and perpetuating the memory of all those who served their nations. WW1HA strives to build an awareness of the First World War and its profound and lasting effects through our print and digital publications, our regional chapters’ programs, battlefield tours, the annual Tomlinson Prize for the best new book on the period, and annual events that feature speakers from around the world.

WW1HA was created in 2011 by the merger of the Western Front Association – US Branch and The Great War Society. Both organizations had been active since the 1990s.

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