Dec 23 2014
Radio host Kojo Nnamdi at WAMU in Washington, D.C. hosted a discussion on the role of African Americans in World War I, and then honored the Christmas Truce which occurred 100 years ago!
A century ago, the “Great War” began in Europe. World War I would ultimately claim 14 million lives over four years, including 499 soldiers from the D.C. region. As centennial celebrations begin around the world, one local historian is pushing to recognize the largely forgotten African — and African American — soldiers who had pivotal roles in both the beginning of the conflict and its final battle. Kojo explores the unique history of blacks during the war, and honors the Christmas Truce, a historic ceasefire which occurred 100 years ago this week.
Listen to the discussion with historians C. R. Gibbs and Stanley Weintraub online, and share your comments on these historic events!
African American soldiers of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action. Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Strorms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor. 1998 print. Records of the War Department General and Special. Staffs. (165-WW-127-8). Public domain.
And for a detailed historical account of the Christmas Truce, stop by MOAA’s Battle of the Bilge blog to read more!