Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee Meeting


Arkansas National Guard Museum inside Camp Robinson

Members Present

Dr. Shawn Fisher – Professor of History, Harding University
Dr. Raymond (Ray) Screws - Director, Arkansas National Guard Museum
Mark Christ - Designee, Department of Arkansas Heritage
Dr. Lisa Speer – Arkansas State Historian
Lt. Col. Joel Lynch - Public Affairs Officer, Arkansas National Guard
Angela Kubaiko – Administrative Analyst

Members Absent

Peter MacKeith - Dean, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Arkansas
Major General Mark Berry – Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard; Director, Military Dept. of Arkansas
Lt. Col. Ken Griffin (Retired) – Military and Veterans Affairs Liaison, Office of the Governor
Sarah Jones – Designee, Arkansas Department of Veteran’s Affairs


Georganne Sisco – Education Director, Old State House Museum
Daniel Cockrell – Old State House Museum
Kent Goff – Mississippi Valley Educational Programs
Seth Goff – Mississippi Valley Educational Programs

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Fisher at 9:46 a.m.


Dr. Fisher asks all of the guests to introduce themselves.


Approval of Minutes


Dr. Fisher asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the May 17, 2017, meeting. Dr. Speer made a motion to approve the minutes.The motion was seconded by Lt. Col. Lynch.A vote was taken, all approved the motion.No one opposed.The motion was passed to approve the minutes of the May 17, 2017, minutes.

WWI Memorial Tree Project Update


Ms. Kubaiko reports that all of the supplies have been gathered to send to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France to collect the soil.It’s being shipped by FedEx to and from France along with the proper permits to receive French soil.Mr. Christ has been in contact with State Forester Joe Fox.The goal is to have one tree in each of the 75 counties in Arkansas with Meuse-Argonne soil in each planting.The goal is to plant the first tree with the battlefield soil at the Old State House on September 23, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.

The website will be updated to reflect the memorial tree application process by September 23, 2017.

Dr. Fisher calls on Ms. Kubaiko to report on the WWI events.

WWI Events Update


Ms. Kubaiko reports that during the calendar year of 2017, 49 events have been sanctioned by the Commission. Since the inception of the WWI Centennial Committee, 52 events have been sanctioned and those events have resulted in 24,946 attendees.

Dr. Screws reports that the National Guard Museum received a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council for a permanent Camp Pike Exhibit which opened in July 2017.He also reports that the third lecture scheduled with Colonel Damon Cluck has been postponed due to medical issues.

Dr. Fisher calls on Dr. Speer to report on the Traveling Exhibit.

Traveling Exhibit Update

Dr. Speer reports that the traveling exhibit will visit 32 locations by the end of 2017. It is currently booked for 2018 through July 6, 2018.

Dr. Fisher calls on Mr. Christ to report on the WWI Seminar.

WWI Seminar


Mr. Christ reports that the Old State House will host two mini seminars requiring free registration on Arkansas in WWI.The first will be on September 23 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and will feature Dr. Fisher giving an overview and context, Elizabeth Hill talking about the War on the Homefront, Carl Drexler from Southern Arkansas University talking about manufacturing in Arkansas and how WWI affected it, and Cherisse Jones-Branch from ASU talking about African-Americans during the war.After the seminar, it is tentatively scheduled for the ceremonial tree planting to take place.The second seminar will be in 2018.

Dr. Fisher calls on Dr. Screws to report on the WWI lesson plan.

WWI Lesson Plan


Dr. Screws reports that the WWI Teacher Workshop ran from June 28 - June 30, 2017, at the Arkansas National Guard Museum on Camp Robinson.Fourteen teachers participated in the workshop.The teachers visited the Arkansas State Archives and the Butler Center.Dr. Screws and Dr. Fisher gave presentations.It was combined with preparing for History Day.Most teachers were engaged, and hopefully several lesson plans will be created from this workshop.

Dr. Fisher calls on Lt. Col. Lynch for the Minuteman Days update.


Minuteman Days Update

Lt. Col. Lynch reports that the Centennial event will take place on Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16, and will be free and open to the public.There is a golf tournament scheduled for the 15th.The Camp Robinson Centennial 4 Mile Race will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday the 16th. There will be food trucks, displays, military trucks, and the museum will be open.

New Business/Public Input


Mr. Christ reports that Carolyn Ashcraft and her staff at the Arkansas State Library are working on a poster that will reflect 20 books that are still in print that all libraries might want to add to their collections that support programming for WWI Commemoration efforts.It should be ready for distribution by October 1, 2017.

Mr. Christ is working on getting a new producer for WWI podcasts for the Fall 2017 semester.

Mr. Goff reports that he is beginning work on some WWI video podcasts. They will be around 4 minutes long for each video.One example would be to show what a WWI soldier packed as well as how and where he packed it.Another example would be a gas mask video.

Schedule Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock.It will begin at 9:30 a.m.


Dr. Fisher asks for a motion to adjourn.Dr. Screws makes a motion and Dr. Speer seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 10:28 a.m.