Today in History:

NYC Wreath-Laying to Mark RMS Lusitania Centennial

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On Thursday, May 7th, 2015 at 10am, the U.S. World War One Centennial
Commission will host a commemorative event in New York City, to honor
the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the RMS Lusitania. This
event is free and open to the public.

There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at City Pier A, in Manhattan’s
Battery Park, with honored guests and descendants of Lusitania
passengers, including Dr. Libby O’Connell, Commission member and the
Chief Historian of the History
Channel. [

The location is symbolic, as the pier’s clocktower houses the first
memorial dedicated to World War One in the United States. Further, the
location overlooks the Statue of Liberty, and is not far from Pier 54,
where the RMS Lusitania departed on her final voyage, one hundred years

Map is here  [

Media members who are interested in attending this event can get more
information by contacting the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


World War I was a terrible global conflict that was fought between July
28, 1914, and November 11, 1918. Some fifty countries were involved in
fighting that spanned across Europe, Asia, Africa, and at sea. The
United States entered the war on April 6, 1917. During 18-months of
American involvement, over four million Americans served in the
military, and two million of them deployed overseas. Over 340,000 of
those people were wounded in the fighting, and 116,516 American service
members died during the war.

The war, and its aftermath, made enormous impact on the world - it
dramatically shifted national borders, it brought new technology to
industry and transportation, it changed attitudes toward women in the
workplace, and it created new movements in the arts. The war’s effects
are still with us, today, one hundred years later.


The RMS Lusitania was a British-flagged luxury passenger liner managed
by the Cunard line from its christening in 1906, until her tragic
sinking in 1915. The ship was sunk by German submarine U-20 during
declared hostilities between Great Britain and Germany, in an ocean area
considered by Germany to be a militarized zone. The loss of life was
horrific, with 1,198 of the 1,959 people onboard killed, including 128
Americans. The news of the Lusitania’s fate shocked the world, and
ultimately led the American public to support the U.S. joining World War
One, on the side of the Allies.


Pier A was built from 1884 to 1886 to serve the New York City Department
of Docks and Harbor Police. The engineer in charge of construction and
design was George Sears Greene Jr. (1837-1922). The pier was expanded in
1919 with a clock installed in the pier's tower as a memorial to 116,000
US servicemen who died during World War I.

The clock is a ship's clock and was donated by Daniel G. Reid, founder
of United States Steel Corporation. The clock was unveiled at noonon
January 25, 1919 by Rear Admiral Josiah S. McKean, with speeches made by
Mayor John Francis Hylan and Docks Commissioner George Murray Hulbert.
It is said to be the first World War I memorial erected in the United
States. (from Wikipedia)


The U.S World War One Centennial Commission is the United States
government’s official entity for marking the centennial of World War
One. The Commission was created by Congress via the World War One
Centennial Commission Act on January 16, 2013, and will exist from now
until 2019.

The Commission was created specifically to:

    * Plan and execute commemorative programs and projects
    * Encourage private organizations and State and local governments to
organize and participate in commemorative activities
    * Facilitate and coordinate commemorative activities throughout the
    * Establish clearinghouse for information about centennial events
    * Make commemoration recommendations to Congress and the President

In addition, the Commission has been authorized by Congress to create
the National World War One Memorial, in Pershing Park, a site near the
National Mall in Washington, DC. The memorial will honor the sacrifice
of those who answered the call to serve, and who fostered the armistice
after the war. The Memorial will be built using public donations.

You can follow the Commission’s activities on the web:

At our website

On our Facebook

On our Instagram   WW1CC    

And on our Twitter 
WW1CC   using hashtags #WW1CC and #WWI

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