During Apirl 2017 the PBS World War I broadcast of "The Great War" brings to mind again Savannah's role during WWI. It was April 6, 1917, that the United States of America declared war on Germany, and entered World War I.
We share a few back stories and places of interest for you to visit in Savannah today.
At Ships of the Sea Museum, the "PROPAGANDA OF WAR! SAVANNAH LINE" exhibit runs April 4, 2017 - October 15, 2017. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into WWI, this year the Museum will feature the exhibit, "Propaganda of War! Savannah Line" highlighting the effects of two world wars on the Ocean Steamship Company of Savannah through the use of "imagined" and "re-imagined" propaganda posters. Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Georgia played a significant role during America's participation in World War I (1917-18). The state was home to more training camps than any other state and by the war's end had contributed more than 100,000 men and women to the war effort. -- Source: Georgia Encylopedia
VISIT TYBEE ISLAND AND HISTORIC FORT SCREVEN near the Tybee Island Lighthouse.
The Savannah Volunteer Guards occupy tents at Fort Screven in 1917, when the United States entered World War I. Built on Tybee Island from 1885 to 1897, Fort Screven was one of the state's five major military installations at that time. Source: GeorgiaEncyclopedia
|Fort Screven, Tybee Island, Georgia during World War I. |
Photo: Library of Congress.
The Otranto Disaster. On the morning of September 25, 1918, about 690 doughboys (infantrymen), mostly Georgians from Fort Screven, boarded the old British liner Otranto, which set sail with a large Allied convoy bound for England. The Otranto was a medium-sized, prewar passenger liner that, like so many others, had been pressed into military service by the British Royal Navy. As the convoy entered the Irish Sea on October 6, still a day from port, a storm developed with gale-force winds. A tremendous wave struck the Kashmir, a converted troopship within the convoy, causing it to break ranks and veer hard. It rammed at full steam into the unsuspecting Otranto and caused severe damage to the liner. With a gaping hole in her side and a loss of power, the Otranto was helpless against the strong, storm-driven current, and she began to drift toward the nearby Scottish island of Islay and its rocky coast. The Otranto began to sink slowly before a huge wave pushed the ship onto Islay's rocks. The ship broke apart and quickly sank. Approximately 370 men were killed, an estimated 130 of whom were Georgians.The tragic 1918 sinking of the British Otranto upset many Georgia communities. Nearly every county in the state lost at least one man when the ship went down off the coast of Scotland.
|In downtown Savannah, Independent Presbyterian|
Church (left, spiral church).
Juliette Gordon Low birthplace, (right, 4 story mansion).
Photo taken between 1900 - 1915.
Source: Library of Congress
Visit the birthplace of Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low, on the corner of Oglethorpe Avenue and Bull Street, Savannah.
Did you know? On June 24, 1885, the future U.S President Woodrow Wilson married Ellen Louise Axson of Savannah in the parsonage of Independent Presbyterian Church, the same church with its prominent steeple featured in the movie, "Forrest Gump". Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), the 28th U.S. president, served in office from 1913 to 1921 and led America through World War I (1914-1918). An advocate for democracy and world peace, Wilson is often ranked by historians as one of the nation's greatest presidents.
|Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah GA USA|
Visit the photogenic Independent Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Bull Street and Oglethorpe Avenue in the historic district.
February 7, 1923: In Savannah, Georgia, the last World War I Army of Occupation troops returned from the Rhine. On January 24, 1923, the Eighth Infantry withdrew from the fortress Enrenbreitstein and began their journey back to the United States aboard the transport St. Mihiel. The St. Mihiel arrived in Savannah, their first American port, on February 7, 1923. The ship, carrying 1,200 soldiers, 64 wives, and 19 children, was greeted with great fanfare. The Chatham Artillery fired the Washington guns [Bay Street, near City Hall], the first station rang the "Big Duke" bell [Oglethorpe Avenue at Abercorn St, Fire Station median], and crowds of people gathered to meet the ship at the Ocean Steamship Company terminals. Following the disembarkation of the troops, there was a large parade that included military bands, military veterans, a company of Marine from Parris Island, local militia groups, and the Eighth Infantry regiment. At the conclusion of the parade, the soldiers were treated to a Georgia barbecue in the Forsyth Park extension. Chatham County farmers donated all the pork and Savannah businesses donated the other supplies for the barbecue which included "mulligan," hot rolls, and soft drinks. Source: Galileo.USG.edu | Note: "Mulligan" is a stand-in term for any Irishman, and mulligan stew is simply an Irish stew that includes meat, potatoes, and vegetables.
June 2, 2017, is National Doughnut Day in the USA!
Victory Drive -- which stretches 19.82 miles from Ogeechee Road to Tybee Island -- was established in 1919 in honor of the war's soldiers. A palmetto palm treet was planted for each Georgia soldier who died.
A monument to the soldiers, sailors and Marines of World War I is located in Daffin Park at the intersection of Victory Drive and Waters Avenue.
History has revealed that while the original idea behind the creation of Victory Drive rested firmly on its identity as a war memorial following World War I, the function of the corridor has gradually evolved to accommodate a modern lifestyle. From its inception as a dirt street, to a race track, to a scenic memorial passageway to its support of residential and commercial development, Victory Drive has served the City of Savannah as not only a physical roadway, but also a record of the passage of time. The corridor, through its many uses and features, also reflects the social, cultural, and economic ideals that shaped the American landscape. Excerpts from MPC, "Victory Drive Historic Corridor Study: Commemorating the WWI Veterans And the Patriotic Fever of Savannah and Chatham County"
Additionally, History Channel offers additional insights into the modern, global distinctions and outcomes from WWI, "The One Things You Should Know About World War I".
Looking for happenings in Savannah during 2017? Here are a few more ideas of things to do in Savannah that you want wish to add to your itinerary.
- April 15-16: Free admission Weekend of National Park Week at Fort Pulaski National Monument
- April 16: Easter Sunday
- April 21: Kahlil Gibran and the Feminine Divine exhibition opens, Jepson Center, Telfair Museums
- April 22-23: Free admission Weekends of National Park Week at Fort Pulaski National Monument
- April 22, FREE Family Day, 1-4pm, Jepson Center, Telfair Museums on Telfair Sq.
- April 28: Savannah Orchid Show, Coastal Botanical Gardens
- April 29: Savannah Philharmonic Season Finale: Rachmaninoff & Dvořák, Johnny Mercer Theatre
- April 29: SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival, Forsyth Park
- April 30: Sunday Supper in the Strawberry Patch, Coastal Botanical Gardens
- May 12: SCAD Sandarts Festival, Tybee Island, Georgia
- May 14: Mother's Day (USA National Holiday)
- May 20: SCAD Fashion Show
- May 21: Free admission to Ships of Sea Museum, celebrating National Maritime Day (May 22 official)
- May 29: Memorial Day (USA National Holiday)
- June 2, 2017, National Doughnut Day in the USA. Doughnut Recipe. Richard Bertinet video & recipe.
- June 3: SCAD Commencement, Savannah
- June 18: Father's Day
- July 4: Independence Day (Tuesday)
- August 3-27: Savannah Voice Festival (opera)
- August 25: National Park Service's Birthday. Free admission to Fort Pulaski National Monument
- September 4: Labor Day (USA National Holiday)
- September 30: National Public Lands Day. Free admission to Fort Pulaski National Monument
- October 15: Fort Pulaski National Monument's 92nd Birthday. Free admission to Fort Pulaski National Monument
- November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend. Free admission to Fort Pulaski National Monument
|Private, in room breakfast at Zeigler House Inn, a|
favorite Savannah bed and breakfast on world famous
Jones Street in the historic district.
ABOUT ZEIGLER HOUSE INN
Featured on "Wheel of Fortune", Zeigler House Inn was fully renovated to an historic inn in 2002. This upscale mansion, now a romantic getaway inn on magnificent Jones Street in uptown Savannah's historic district, serves stately bed and breakfast lodging with delicious cuisine (compliments of caterer-turned-innkeeper Jackie Heinz, a southern 'steel magnolia' from Kentucky).
With French-inspired decor -- a nod to Revolutionary hero, General Marquis de Lafayette -- the 7 private suites and private rooms afford Europe-meets-Savannah style, plus southern comforts for a leisure trip and/or business travel enhanced with local flair. Each of private suites and rooms uniquely features a private kitchen or kitchenette, plus private bath.
Contact: 121 West Jones Street, Savannah, Georgia USA 31401; Phone: 866-233-5307; email firstname.lastname@example.org; zeiglerhouseinn.com; twitter @ZeiglerHouseInn; Facebook
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