News and Updates


MARTIN, Tenn. – The 2016 Tennessee Great War Commission Symposium will be held at various West Tennessee locations Nov. 4-6. The symposium, hosted by the Tennessee Great War Commission, seeks to tell the story of the Volunteer State and its citizens during World War I. All events are free and open to the public.

An opening commemoration ceremony will begin at 5 p.m., Nov. 4, at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson. The event will honor the men and women of Madison County who served in the Great War and include proclamations from Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris and city of Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist, as well as a carillon concert performance of patriotic songs.

The World War I Symposium will officially begin with registration at 8:30 a.m., Nov. 5, at the Casey Jones Railroad Museum in Jackson. Attendees will hear keynote speaker Dr. George Nash present on “Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Food Administration and Dr. J. A. H. Morgan” at 9:10. Nash is a widely recognized authority on the life of President Herbert Hoover and is the author of several books and journal articles on the subject.

The symposium will continue with a presentation by Dr. Tara Mitchell Mielnik, historian and preservation planner with the Metropolitan Nashville Historical Commission, at 10:15. Mielnik will give a lecture titled “Building Powder City: Old Hickory Village, Tennessee.”

Linda Wynn, a faculty member in the Department of History and Political Science at Fisk University, will conclude the morning program with a presentation titled “Black Communities in Tennessee.”

After lunch, attendees can tour an exhibit featuring trains from the World War I period at 12:15 p.m. and view a military exhibit and reenactment beginning at 1:30. The symposium will reconvene at 3 p.m. in Jackson’s Bemis Museum for a final presentation titled “The Bemus Mill in the Great War” by Dr. Nancy Parrish, adjunct professor at the University of Northern Ohio.

read more
Articles of Interest

World War One: The many battles faced by WW1's nurses

Nurses and volunteers on both sides faced constant danger

Nursing in World War One was exhausting, often dangerous work and the women who volunteered experienced the horror of war firsthand, some paying the ultimate price. But their story is surrounded by myth and their full contribution often goes unrecognised, writes Shirley Williams.

In his much-admired book published in 1975, The Great War and Modern Memory, the American literary critic and historian, Paul Fussell, wrote about the pervasive myths and legends of WW1, so powerful they became indistinguishable from fact in many minds. Surprisingly, Fussell hardly mentioned nurses. There is no reference to Edith Cavell, let alone Florence Nightingale.

Yet the myth of the gentle young nurse, often a voluntary and untrained VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment), in her starched and spotless white uniform, was universally admired. It echoed centuries of stories from King Arthur and the Round Table to Shakespeare's Henry V, where rough but brave warriors encountered graceful young women who...

read more
WWI Centennial Commission

World War One Centennial Commission

The Commission was established by the World War One Centennial Commission Act, part of Public Law 112-272 passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Obama on January 16, 2013 Public Law 112-272 passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Obama on January 16, 2013. The Commission is responsible for planning, developing, and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War One; encouraging private organizations and State and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial of World War I; facilitating and coordinating activities throughout the United States relating to the centennial of World War One; serving as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and plans for the centennial of World War One; and developing recommendations for Congress and the President for commemorating the centennial of World War One. The Commissioners serve without pay.
What's Trending

Fall 2016 Great War Commemoration:
The Home Front in West Tennessee
Jackson – Bemis - Dresden


TeVA: Alvin C. York Collection

Alvin Cullum York (1887-1964) was one of the most decorated soldiers of the First World War. A recipient of the Medal of Honor and the French Legion of Honour, York is considered one of the greatest of Tennessee’s native sons.


Great War Commission of TN FaceBook

The Great War Commission has the duty to formulate, develop and execute plans for projects and activities that facilitate the recognition by Tennessee of the centenary of World War I, with particular emphasis on those Tennesseans who made the supreme sacrifice and those who returned home gravely wounded.


TN Great War Commission

Feel free to email us with questions, comments, relative events, feedback, and much more!


World War I Propaganda Posters, 1917-1918 (Andy Pouncey collection)

ART EXHIBIT Germantown -- October 1 – November 15

Germantown Community Library, 1930 Germantown Road South, Germantown

Tennesseans in World War I: Tennessee Counties Go to War

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, which the United States entered in 1917. The Tennessee State Museum honors the Tennesseans who served during the war both abroad and at home.

More than 80,000 Tennesseans enlisted in the armed forces during the war. The 30th “Old Hickory” Division of the Army, named after Tennessean President Andrew Jackson, was comprised of troops from Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Tennesseans also enlisted in the Navy, the Army Air Corps, and the Marine Corps, while others stayed at home and aided the war effort from a distance.

©2015 Great War Commission of Tennessee. All rights reserved.