Next up… “Holidays in the Heartland” at the Schuster Center, November 2!

Holidays in the Heartland VISTA display-page-001

Wright State’s “Holidays in the Heartland” concert at the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton has become an annual — and highly popular — Miami Valley tradition. This year, thanks to the primary creative force behind the HIH concert — Dr. Hank Dahlman, director of WSU’s CELIA program — the concert will have a WWI theme. Much of the second half of the concert will feature music associated with the Great War, with narration by Dr. Paul Lockhart (History, Wright State) and video imagery by Imagewerx. Sunday, November 2, 2014, at the Schuster Center. Tickets are available online at, by phone (888) 228-3630 or at the Schuster Center box office. Details here.

Here’s a sneak peak:




HIH youtube screenshot

Two more upcoming WWI events at Wright State…

Tomorrow (Thursday, 10/16/14) — Dr. Tammy Proctor (Utah State University) will be speaking at Wright State on civilian labor in the First World War; a month from now (Friday, 11/14/14), Dr. Mark Van Wienen (Northern Illinois) will give a lecture, also at Wright State, on American poetry in the beginning of World War I. Check them out! Details can be found here. Both events sponsored by Wright State CELIA. Hope to see you there!

While Your Hearts Are Yearning


Our next CELIA event: “While Your Hearts Are Yearning: Popular Music of World War I,” Saturday, 11 October 2014.
It’s finally here: our first CELIA/Dayton in the Great War event. Dr. Christopher Oldstone-Moore, History Department, Wright State University, has put together an exciting show of popular music from Britain, Canada, Australia, and the United States in the Great War, featuring performances by our talented faculty and students of the School of Music, Wright State University. It’s events like this that make Wright State’s World War I commemoration unique. You’re in for a real treat.

Concert begins at 7:30pm at Schuster Hall in Wright State’s Creative Arts Center. It’s free and open to the public. Free parking is available to visitors (go to the WSU Parking Services website here;  see campus map here).

We’ll see you there!





Ottoman troops Jerusalem Nablus Rd

Ottoman troops on the Nablus Road, Jerusalem

When we think of the First World War, it’s the Western Front that usually springs to mind. But it was a world war, after all, fought on many fronts, and not just in Europe. The fighting in the Middle East was equally crucial, and the impact of the Great War on the region is still very much visible today. Professor Issam Nassar (Department of History, Illinois State University) will discuss Jamal Pasha’s failed attempt to seize control of the Suez Canal in 1915, featuring images by local Jerusalem photographers Khalil Raad and John Whiting. The Raad/Whiting photos show Ottoman preparations for the war, the men and commanders of Pasha’s Fourth Ottoman Army, military installations, and much more, bringing this largely forgotten campaign back to life. Using photographs as historical documents, Dr. Nassar will examine the role photography — and propaganda — played in the war.

The event is open and free to the public. Free parking is available to visitors (go to the WSU Parking Services website here); Dr. Nassar will speak in the large lecture hall in Oelman (109 Oelman; see campus map here).

Sponsored by: War & Society, Wright State University; Department of Art and Art History, Wright State University; Department of History, Wright State University; University Center for International Education, Wright State University.


Two things to bring to your attention: first, the new page on this site — Media. Here we’ll link audio and video content relating to the Great War Dayton project as it comes up. Right now that includes two interviews on WHIO’s “Miami Valley Voices” with Ron Rollins and Paul Lockhart.

Second — much of interest is just coming to light in archival collections in the region and in private hands. Special Collections and Archives at Wright State University is digitizing much of their manuscript material relating to the First World War, like the Palmer Coombs diaries and papers (check them out here). The folks at Dayton History keep uncovering treasures of their own. I’ll be profiling some of them on our “Dayton in the Great War” Facebook page, so check it out here. Interesting things on the horizon.

It’s here!

The article on our “Dayton in the Great War” exhibit at Carillon Park is now in the print edition of the Dayton Daily News…yesterday, actually. You still need a subscription to see the online article here. But now there’s video, which you can view whether or not you have a subscription.

Coming up this Sunday, April 6, 8am: my interview with Ron Rollins (DDN), on “Miami Valley Voices,” WHIO 95.7FM, or online. This is a two-parter, so the second half will air April 13 at 8am.

Hopefully this will garner some attention. Apparently people are already calling into Dayton History with objects they want to donate.

The Great War in the news…

Well, it didn’t appear in today’s Dayton Daily News as originally anticipated. I have been assured that it will be so, soon. Tomorrow: shooting a video trailer for the documentary. Wednesday: interview with Ron Rollins (Cox Media) on Dayton in the First World War, the CELIA project, and the 2016 Wright State/Dayton History exhibit on Dayton in the Great War. Big things are happening! 

 And if you haven’t already seen the Wright State “War & Society” Tumblr, check it out. For now, the focus will be on the Great War…and especially its impact on Dayton.