The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Embrace Delco's Poppy Program

Table setting at Essington’s Corinthian Yacht Club features
Poppy pins, seed packets and growing instructions.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Delaware County and nearby areas have embraced the Destination Delco Poppy Program and featured it at their recent meeting at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Essington.

As stated by Susan Mescanti, Commemorative Events Chairman, “We would love to be included among those groups and individuals participating in the World War I Commemorative Events.”

The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

Most of DAR’s volunteer work is accomplished by the grassroots efforts of chapters on the local level which focus on the mission areas of DAR by encouraging members to become involved in these initiatives in their local communities.

Pictured are the four Chapter Regents with the poster and the table set-up.  The Chapters represented were Delaware County, Flag House, Lansdowne, and Robert-Morris Quaker City.

Poppy Distribution at Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College

Masters Gardeners Deb Soutar and Director Linda Barry will be providing Poppy Seed Packets and growing information at three upcoming events at Scott Arboretum.

Saturday, April 29th: Arbor Day Open House, 9 AM-Noon, Wister Center, Scott Arboretum

Saturday, May 6th: Scott Members Plant Exchange, 10 AM-11:30 AM, Wister Center, Scott Arboretum

Friday, May 12th: 5:30 - 7:30 PM and Saturday, May 13th: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM: Scott Selections Spring Sale, Wister Center, Scott Arboretum

If you haven’t yet received your FREE seed packets, these events provide a wonderful opportunity to pick up packets and discuss growing with the Master Gardeners of the Penn State Extension.

Destination Delco and Delaware County Council are looking forward to having Poppy Gardens in fields, back yards, front yards, planters and visible spots within the entire County.  Be part of it, then share photos of your garden by uploading them to this website (upload capabilility will be available by May 13)

World War One in the Golden Age of Illustration

a lecture by James C. Thompson
presented by the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society

Sunday, April 30, 2017
2:00 pm
Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge
41 Rose Valley Rd., Rose Valley, PA 19063
Reception and Book Signing to Follow
$15 members
$20 non-members
For reservations, call 444.444.2961, or Click Here!

www.rosevalleymuseum.org

James C. Thompson is the author of two recent books on American illustrators and their art:
Painting America’s Portrait – How Illustrators Created America is the second book in the “Painting America’s Portrait” series. In the first, James Thompson uses over 300 illustrations to show how America’s artist admen and storytellers capitalized on three decades of advances in corporate advertising and image reproduction technology to create highly dramatic and colorful images. Their business during these notorious decades was to sell products with pictures. By 1914, they were better and more successful than ever. Their success notwithstanding their Golden Age ended with the Great War. Mr. Thompson begins his sequel with an account of the war prior to America’s entry in April 1917. Among the first acts of America’s wartime President was to create a “Committee of Public Information” to manage public opinion and build public support for the nation’s new mission. The committee’s chairman, George Creel, recruited the most celebrated illustrator of the day, Charles Dana Gibson, to draw his colleagues into the enterprise. With Gibson’s help, hundreds of illustrators became producers of “propaganda art.”

For more information on the book, click here.

Posters from the Library Collection of Philadelphia 

“Beat Back the Hun” is also in the collection of George H. Rothacker and will be on display during the lecture along with other of his posters at the Thunderbird Lodge on April 30th.

April 8th Events Benchmark for World War 1 Remembrance in Delaware County

Inaugural Ceremony
Tore Fiore welcoming all to the Inaugural Event of the World War One Delco Commeration Committee at the Honorable John v. Diggs Courtroom #1 at the Delaware County Courthouse
The day began at Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom #1, fittingly named after World War I veteran, the Honorable John V. Diggins, where the World War One in Delco Centennial  Committee was to be publicly recognized for their contribution to the County.

American Legion members Harry Seth and Don Rose
Colors were posted (flags put in place) by Harry Seth and Don Rose of the Brookhaven American Legion Post #94, accompanied by the Knights of Columbus from several communities, in full dress.   Kelly Briggs, a frequent leading performer at the Media Theater, sang the National Anthem..

The invocation was given by Pastor Ben Granier of the Full Gospel Assembly of Brookhaven, after which Destination Delco's Executive Director gave introductions including Judy Reese’s service dog
“Shakepeare,” a Bouvier des Flanders, who represented the World War One dogs who brought supplies to the troops and pulled carts with wounded soldier from the fields to safety during the Great War.

Judy Reese’s service dog “Shakespeare” and Tore Fiore
Founders of the Committee, Barbara and Anthony Selletti were introduced and spoke of the Committee’s mission, “ to honor and remember all of those men and women who gave their time and their lives in the conflict that began in our country and our county 100 years ago on April 6, 1917. Barbara Selletti went on to tell the stories of the men and women who served on the home front, “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless  Wednesdays,”  “Victory Gardens.,” the significant role of the Knights of Columbus, and countless other  civilian sacrifices so that our troops would be well-fed. She went on to tell of the nurses who took care of the wounded and dying on the front lines,  the young women transported to France to assist as ambulance drivers, and the girls who gave their lives overseas during the conflict. (Click here for the complete text of her speech.)
Anthony and Barbara Selletti

Kelly Briggs, who has appeared on Broadway in “Les
Miserables” and “CATS” and also toured with both productions, provided an a cappella interlude of World War One era songs including “Over There” and “It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary”. His performance was followed by remarks about the commemoration and the committee by County Council Chairman Mario J. Civera, Jr.

Kelly Briggs
Council member John McBain then read the Resolution given by Council on March 29th to the Selletti’s and their Committee.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Rounds, P.E , president of the Williamson College of the Trades recited a moving rendition of Flanders Fields, a poem written by another Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrea of the Canadian army in 1915 after the death of a friend in Belgium. The poem became an anthem for all of the allied troops and recruiters for service during the War.

Flag Folding Ceremony with flag folded
Committee Member and Marketing Specialist George Rothacker then spoke of the Delco Poppy Program, and of Destination Delco’s  mission to “Paint Delco ‘RED’ with poppies this summer with poppies. “ We are hoping that homes, businesses and institutions plant poppy gardens to show Delco as ‘one community’ dedicated to a common goal of commemorating ALL of the men and women who sacrificed during the Great War.’

Veronica Garubbo
Veronica  Garrubbo, a local teen who has performed at the Media Theatre in the Broadway Series Productions of “13 the Musical,” Aladdin, Jr.,” and  “Snow White,” and is currently featured in “West Side Story” as Clarita, treated everyone to a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America.”

The event inside the Courthouse concluded with a Benediction by Pastor Granier, only to be followed
up by a “Flag Folding Ceremony” on the Courthouse steps orchestrated by the Knights of Columbus.
Flag being rotated by members of the community and the Knights of Columbus.

“Memories of the Great War”

Premiere of Barbara & Anthony Selletti’s film
of family member remembrances of relatives serving in World War One

“Memories of the Great War” premiered in the screening room of Vinyl Revival, adjacent to the Lansdowne Theatre.
Red Cross Nurse (left) is Ginger Daddona of Morton., and Food Conservationist (right) is Danielle Murray of SW Philadelphia
 The second event of the day featured two public previews of historians Barbara and Anthony Selletti’s film ”Memories of the Great War” shown in a viewing room at “Vinyl Revival”,  an original “vinyl” record store located in the historic Lansdowne theater complex, with space donated for the occasion by the proprietors.The 1300 seat Lansdowne Theater is undergoing a massive restoration that when done may have asignificant  economic and cultural impact on the County. Currently, the theater exists in it‘s unrestored state and was the perfect venue befitting reenactors in a battlefield scene.

Lizzie Reed and Ryan Berley
preparing pans for doughnouts
Ryan Berley, co-owner of Franklin Fountain and Shane’s Candies in Philadelphia and his partner Lizzie Reed provided “original recipe” World War One Doughnuts, that contained no sugar, in keeping with the mission of conservation to provide sugar to the men on the front lines.
 
Barbara Selletti portrayed a “volunteer” of the era, while Berley and Lizzie heated oil and made coffee using an original  cauldron and coffee pot made from a munitions casing.

Display of Lansdowne American Legion Post 65
Knights of Columbus, the American Legion and members of 

Eugene Hough with Shakespeare
outside the Lansdowne Theatre
Saving Hallowed Ground manned displays telling of their organizations and their service to the community while Destination Delco distributed FREE Poppy Seeds, growing instructions, pins and VFW poppies to visitors.

Saving Hallowed Ground promotes engagement with and appreciation of the past by connecting individuals and communities with historic preservation and commemoration initiatives. John Marks manned their booth at the theater.

Inside the Vinyl Revival screening room, the film series “Memories of the Great War” enjoyed “standing room only” at each of its presentations.

Eugene Hough, a member of the Saving Hallowed Ground organization and the Uncommon Individual Foundation, posed outside the theater with service dog Shakespeare for photo opts.
U.S. Army (retired) Major Kurt Sellers proudly display a rifle made in the Eddystone Rifle plant at the Balwin complex where 37% of all the rifles used during the Great War were manufactured. Click here for story.

We Remember....

Catherine Meyer holding a photograph of her maternal grandmother Catherine Brennan Super in front of the monument installed in memory of the 133 persons who lost their lives in the explosion. Catherine Super was not scheduled to work on the day of the explosion, but never returned home or her body found.
Knights of Columbus preparing to walk to the burial site prior to the ceremony.
In 1917 the Eddystone Ammunition Plant, located outside of Chester, was one of the busiest munitions factories in the country piercing fuses and filling shells with gunpowder. On Monday, April 10th at about 9:55 a.m., just days after the U.S. had entered the war, “F” Building of the plant was torn apart by a trio of explosions. One hundred and thirty-three persons, mostly girls, lost their lives in the explosion. The majority of the women killed worked in the loading room.

Many of those killed were never accounted for and bodies and body parts were collected and placed in a mass grave in the Chester Rural Cemetery located on Route 352 in Chester.

Catherine Brennan Super
On April 8, 2017, 100 years past, citizens of the community, the Knights of Columbus of many areas, and ancestors of those who died, gathered to remember the victims of the explosion that happened just four days after the United States entered World War 1.
Pastor “Charlie” Thomas

Beth Gross of the Eddystone Council, and Herberta Kerestus, Sharon Martin, Claire Wilson, and Kellie Walters
of the Eddystone Historical Society organized the event. Beth Gross told the story of the factory and the people who worked there. She also told of the community that bonded with the victims and their families with never a question as to what they could give or how they could help. People throughput Delaware County responded with clothes, shelter, food and whatever was needed.

Pastor “Charlie” Charles Thomas of the Eddystone Methodist Church officiated and provided solace and “grace” in his short tribute and prayer. He said that “God was there that day....and though God could not change what happened, his will was clearly shown in the actions of community.”

Till this day, no one knows the real story of what caused the explosion, but for many families, this ceremony provides closure on an event beyond the realm of reason.
Beth Gross speaking of the events leading u to the explosion, the tragedy, and the community who stepped in to serve.


This is a series of stories pertaining specifically to people, companies and events significant to Delaware County from America's entry into the Great War till its conclusion following the Armistice
early in 1919. This post will be updated as more stories are made available. If anyone has a story or photos pertaining to Delco’s participation, please email it to george@rothackeradv.com
 

Eddystone Plant Manufactured Rifles for American Forces in World War by Kurt Sellers


Section 1: turning and planing
Section 2 : planing and drilling
Section 3 shaping and finishing 
Section 4 drilling   

A  boiler and shavings vault occupied the westernmost end of the building adjacent to section 1.  A carpentry shop and staining facility  projected northward from section 4 forming an ‘L’ at the eastern end  of the  building. (click here for story)

Baldwin Locomotive Works Contributes to the Allies Fight in WW One by Kurt Sellers 

During World War I, the bays of the building contained different wood working functions.

Section 1: turning and planing
Section 2 : planing and drilling
Section 3 shaping and finishing 
Section 4 drilling   

A  boiler and shavings vault occupied the westernmost end of the building adjacent to section 1.  A carpentry shop and staining facility  projected northward from section 4 forming an 'L'  at the eastern end  of the  building. (click here for story)

The Eddystone Munitions Disaster of 1917 by Kurt Sellers 

The manufacture of artillery ammunition in Eddystone, Pennsylvania during World War I is forever associated with the fatal explosion of April 10, 1917.  Numerous articles have been written on this tragedy.   Less known are details of the ammunition plant itself and its subsequent role during the war.  

(click here for story)

A “Thank You” to Our Library and Historical Society Community Partners

Counter display at the Primos Library
From our first meeting with, Brad Dillon, Public Relations & Grants Coordinator for the Delaware
County Libraries we were delighted with his enthusiasm for the World War One Poppy Program and the local history behind the project. Brad worked diligently to inform the individual libraries about the project (a list of participating libraries is included at the bottom of this page). Many libraries are enthusiastic about planting gardens or planters, and others are involved in creating displays of books and materials related to World War One.

Through the process of distributing seeds, we also have leaned of some individual libraries and historical societies who have had, or are planning events pertaining to the Great War.

Haverford Township Free Library

The Haverford Township Historical Society and the Haverford Township Free Library are partnering to bring WWI exhibits and programming to the Township in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.  The Library was among 50 libraries nationwide selected as a host site for a traveling exhibit World War I and America, a national initiative of The Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Library programs have included World War I and American Art, a middle school history club tour of the traveling exhibit, and reading and discussion groups which run through April 23rd.  Topics include:  Why We Fight, Race and WWI, American Women at War, and At Home/Coming Home: The Toll of War.

Haverford Township Historical Society

Members of the Historical Society are currently developing a display to be used at various local events, including the Heritage Festival on June 4th.  A World War I Memorabilia Night is scheduled for Wednesday, April 12th at 7:00 at the Library.  The Society will exhibit World War I artifacts both from the warfront and the homefront, and the public is invited to bring any artifacts they may have to share, as well as oral histories of the World War I era.

YOU CAN STILL BE A PART OF IT . . .

Is Great-Uncle George’s doughboy uniform tucked away in the attic?  Are love letters from a hundred years ago a prized family heirloom?  Do you remember a vivid family anecdote from “over there”?  These and whatever treasures you may have from the World War I era are exactly what we’re looking for!  Bring your WWI era memorabilia and stories to the Library on April 12th at 7:00 for a show-and-tell style evening of sharing, listening and learning.  Not sure if your items fit the bill?  Contact the Historical Society at info@haverfordhistoricalsociety.org and we’ll let you know.

PLEASE LET US KNOW OF  UPCOMING PLANS OF YOUR ORGANIZATION

Drop me a line at george@rothackeradv.com and I will add your agenda on this post.

Thank you again, to all who are participating.

Places in Delco Planning Poppy Gardens
• Aston Library
• Yeadon Library
• Newtown Library
• Primus Library
• Radnor Hotel
• Wayne Hotel
• Rose Tree Tavern (Destination Delco
   Tourist Bureau - Rose Tree Park)
• The Grange in Havertown 
• The Clarion Airport Hotel
• Thunderbird Lodge in Rose Valley
• Massey House in Broomall
• Penn State Brandywine 

• Smedley Park
• Lansdowne Veterans Park
• The Garrett – Williamson Foundation  - Newtown 

  Square
• Schoolhouse Center in Folsom
• Smedley Park 
• Triangle Garden of Haverford Green
• Containers lining Eagle Road in Haverford
• Haverford College  at the edge of their meadows in
  the Pinetum area
• Wallingford Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
• Gardens throughout Swarthmore - Swarthmore Horticutural Society
• Third Presbyterian Church, Chester
• Artillary Gun, 14tgh Street & Providence Road, Chester
• 9th Street Garden - Chester
• Old Chester 1724 Courthouse - Chester
  Crozer Library - Chester
• Primus Library
• Yeadon Library 
• Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast in Glen Mills
• Neumann University

Poppy Seed Distribution Centers

Destination Delco Tourist Bureau
1501 N. Providence Road
Media, PA 19063                      610-565-3679

Master Gardeners of Delaware County
Penn State Extension Offices
20 Paper Mill RoadSpringfield, PA 19064              610-690-2655

Aston Library
3270 Concord Rd.
Aston, PA                                  610-494-5877 

Collingdale Public Library
823 MacDade Blvd. 
Collingdale, PA 19023             (610) 583-2214

Haverford Township Free Library
1601 Darby Rd. 
Havertown, PA 19083              610-446-3082  
(as of March 9) 

Middletown Free Library
21 N. Pennell Road

Media, PA 19063                      610-566-7828

Newtown Library
201 Bishop Hollow Rd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073   610-353-1022

Primos Library
409 Ashland Ave.
Secane, PA 19018                    610-622-8091

Ridley Library                        610-583-0593
Ridley Township Public Library
100 MacDade Blvd, Folsom, PA 19033


Upper Darby Libraries 
Sellers Branch | 76 South State Road | Upper Darby , PA 19082
Municipal Branch | 501 Bywood Ave. | Upper Darby , PA 19082
Primos Branch | 409 Ashland Ave. | Primos , PA 19018

Yeadon Library
Longacre Blvd & Arbor Rd.
Yeadon, PA 19050                   610-623-4090

Clarion Philadelphia Airport Hotel
76 Industrial Hwy, Route 291, Essington, PA 19029
844-433-0851   (As of March 7)


Wolff’s Apple House & Garden Center
81 S Pennell Rd, Media, PA 19063
610) 566-1680  (As of March 6) 

Linvilla Orchards
137 Knowlton Rd., Media, PA 19063
(610) 876-7116

Radnor Hotel
591 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids 19087
610-688-5800

Wayne Hotel
 139 E Lancaster Ave., Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 687-5000

  
Please check back for more locations.

Note: You may request multiple packets or contact Destination Delco for bulk seeds for larger gardens: 610-565-3679 


Third Meeting of World War I Delco Centennial Committee - March 25, 2017

The World War I Delco Centennial Committee was held on Saturday, March 25th at the Aston Community Center. Plans were discussed regarding the April 8th events, and discussion of the Agenda at the Resolution Presentation at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, 2017. (Click Here for full agenda of the Delaware County Council Resolution Presentation Ceremony).

Highlights of the Meeting



(left top:) Charles A Gefrorer, originally from Edgmont, shared stories of his grandfather, a decorated solder of World War I, and a frame photo with medals that his father earned serving in 79th Division 316th Infantry in the Great War.

(middle left:) Ryan Berley, who his part of the committee restoring the Thunderbird Lodge in Rose Valley, and one of the owners of Shanes Candies and Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia, brought a World War 1 era cart that he teamed with Judy Reese’ service dog Shakespeare. Dog carts were used during World War 1 to transport supplies and the wounded.

Ryan also brought a Red Cross recruitment banner (shown in the photo at top).

Barbara and Anthony Selletti spoke about the preview of “Memories of the Great War,” their film series of remembrances to be shown at Vinyl Revival within the Lansdowne Theatre on April 8th. (Click here for full information).

Elevators in the Clarion Hotel in Essington proudly
display the poster for Delco's Poppy Planting Program
(bottom left:) George Rothacker reported on the World War 1 Poppy Program, the distribution centers established and the numbers of gardens scheduled for planting in Delco. (Click here for complete information.

Poppy Planting in Remembrance of Those Who Gave So Much....


CLICK HERE FOR UPDATES TO ALL WORLD WAR 1 EVENTS
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
From the Poem “Flanders Field”


The poem  “Flanders Field,” written in 1915 by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrea, was inspired by the death of a friend who died in the Great War, the poem “Flanders Field” quickly became an anthem for propaganda efforts, recruitment and the selling of war bonds during World War 1.

The poem and its image of the “red” poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers became one of the most recognizable memorial symbols of soldiers who have died in combat.

In conjunction with the event, packets of red poppy seeds provided FREE by the Destination Delco Tourist Bureau, will be distributed to homes, historic properties and gardens throughout Delaware County for planting in early spring for a summer and late-summer bloom. 

Some garden centers will be carrying "red" poppy plants suitable for small gardens. We will be providing a list of those gardens for your convenience:

So far, we know that Linvilla and Wolff's both WILL be carrying poppy plants in April and may.

Poppy Seed Packets and support material will arrive the week the week of February 19th. We will be distributing from various locations including:

Destination Delco Tourist Bureau
1501 N. Providence Road
Media, PA 19063                      610-565-3679

Master Gardeners of Delaware County
Penn State Extension Offices
20 Paper Mill Road
Springfield, PA 19064              610-690-2655


Aston Library
3270 Concord Rd.
Aston, PA                                  610-494-5877 

Collingdale Public Library
823 MacDade Blvd. 
Collingdale, PA 19023             (610) 583-2214

Haverford Library
1601 Darby Rd. 
Havertown, PA 19083              610-446-3082  
(as of March 9) 

Middletown Free Library
21 N. Pennell Road

Media, PA 19063                      610-566-7828

Newtown Library
201 Bishop Hollow Rd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073   610-353-1022

Primos Library
409 Ashland Ave.
Secane, PA 19018                    610-622-8091

Ridley Library                        610-583-0593
Ridley Township Public Library
100 MacDade Blvd, Folsom, PA 19033


Upper Darby Libraries 
Sellers Branch | 76 South State Road | Upper Darby , PA 19082
Municipal Branch | 501 Bywood Ave. | Upper Darby , PA 19082
Primos Branch | 409 Ashland Ave. | Primos , PA 19018

Yeadon Library
Longacre Blvd & Arbor Rd.
Yeadon, PA 19050                   610-623-4090

Clarion Philadelphia Airport Hotel
76 Industrial Hwy, Route 291, Essington, PA 19029
844-433-0851   (As of March 7)


Wolff’s Apple House & Garden Center
81 S Pennell Rd, Media, PA 19063
610) 566-1680  (As of March 6) 

Linvilla Orchards
137 Knowlton Rd., Media, PA 19063
(610) 876-7116

Radnor Hotel
591 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids 19087
610-688-5800

Wayne Hotel
 139 E Lancaster Ave., Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 687-5000

  
Please check back for more locations.

Note: You may request multiple packets or contact Destination Delco for bulk seeds for larger gardens: 610-565-3679 


Click here for poppy projects, growing instructions and gardens planning for a summer bloom of poppies.

 

IMPORTANT NEWS UPDATE....

 ...from Second Meeting of Delaware County's  World War I Remembrance Committee
FRONT ROW (left to right): Harry Smeck, Beverly Barnes- Delaware County Planning Commission, Elizabeth MacGuire – Collingdale Historical Society, Barb Selletti – WWI Centennial Committee, Tony Selletti – PA WWI Centennial Committee, Tore Fiore – Destination Delco, Ryan Berley – Rose Valley Museum & Hist. Society, Judy Reese (& Shakespeare) – Chichester Hist. Society SECOND ROW (left to right): Herberta Kerestus –Eddystone Historic Society, Sharon Martin, Eddystone Historic Society, Claire Wilson, Eddystone Historic Society, Kellie Walters, Eddystone Historic Society, Beth Gross – Eddystone Council, Mark Anderson – Saving Hallowed Ground, Pat Gallagher- Collingdale Historical Society, Bill Lovejoy – DelCo Veterans’ Affairs, Brian Dillon – DelCo Library System, Neal Pizzano – Knights of Columbus # 913,Jack Cruice, Jr - Knights of Columbus CDA #913 Bill Smeck – American Legion, Springfield,Harry Seth – American Legion, Springfield, Helen Litwa – Chester Historical Society, Rich Paul – DelCo Heritage Commission, Doris Vermeychuk – Elwyn-Davidson School BACK ROW right side, left to right) Brad Busch, Unit Commander, Co. L 109th Infantry, 28th Division P.N.G. (re-enactors), Kurt Sellers – American Legion, Springfield, Richard Smalley- American Legion Post #68, (NOT SHOWN) George H. Rothacker, photographer, Rothacker Advertising & Design) Please forgive any errors in placement, name spellings or those missing. Please call to inform George at 610-566-0334.
On Saturday, February 25th, members of several Delaware County organizations met to implement plans for events marking the Centennial of the US involvement in World War 1. Events will begin on Saturday, April 8, 2017 (two days after the official anniversary) with an official ceremony that will include members of VFW posts and color guards, salute to the flag, reading of the poem Flanders Field written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae and the presentation of  the proclamation by County Council on the steps of the County Courthouse in Media.

Poppy seed packets, growing instruction, and anniversary pins and support will be distributed at this time, officially kicking off the “Paint Delaware County Red” program instituted by the Delaware County Tourist Bureau and County Council in remembrance of all those who served in the Great War from Delaware County. Poppy seeds will also be distributed from Delco libraries, the Tourist Bureau headquarters in Rose Tree Park, and other locations Click here for a current list of locations. Delaware County is hoping to have it's fields and gardens doted with red Flanders” poppies this summer.
 
Starting of Delco Remembrances is a “World War I and America Reading and Discussion Group” with upcoming meetings at the Haverford Library on Darby Road in Havertown on March 26 and April 23rd at 2:00 pm. The discussions will be moderated by Historian Katie Sibley and  English Professor and Veteran Owen Gilman on various topics concerning the Great War. The Library will also "remember" at ”Memorabilia Night” at 7:00 on Wednesday, April 12 at &:00 pm. Community members and organizations are invited to bring and share their World War I attic finds. Click here for more information.

Memorial at the Chester Rural
Cemetery for victims of
the Eddystone Munitions
Disaster in 1917
Poster to be on display
at the Lansdowne Theater.
Coinciding with the proclamation reading in Media on April 8th, there will be public preview showings of the short film, “Memories of the Great War” at Vinyl Revival adjacent to the historic Lansdowne Theater at 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. Inside the Lansdowne Theater Lobby will be a replica of a World War 1 Salvation Army Soldiers Aid Station with living historians dressed in authentic reproduction garments. Poppy seed packets will be distributed at the Destination Delco booth for sowing in early May. Authentic Salvation Army Donuts, coffee tea and lemonade will be served until the event’s end at 3 p.m. Click here for more information.

Also on Saturday, April 8th at 2:00 will be a Remembrance Service at the Chester Rural Cemetery for those who died in the explosion at the Eddystone Munitions plant on April 10, 1917 (Click here for the complete story). For information contact Beth Gross 484-432-7806, or BethAGross144@gmail.com

Following up the “remembrances” in April will be a lecture by James C. Thompson on “World War One in the Golden Age of Illustration” to be held at 2:00 on April 30 at the NEW Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge.” (Click here for more information.)

Cover of James C. Thompson's book on
American Illustration

For those interested in becoming part of “Remembering the Forgotten Generation in Delco,” please join us at the Aston Community Center on Saturday March 25th 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Click here for instructions of the location of the Community Center.


April 8, 2017: Delaware County Council To Issue a Proclamation


The American Entry into World War One came about on April 6, 1917, after two and a half years of efforts by President Woodrow Wilson to keep the United States neutral during the war. At first and for the most part public opinion went along with neutrality, even though even before World War I broke out American opinion toward Germany was already more negative than it was toward any other country in Europe.The citizenry increasingly came to see the German Empire as the villain after news
JONATHAN: You want the freedom of the seas?
Guess that's just what I am wanting.
of atrocities in Belgium in 1914, and the sinking of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania in May 1915. Wilson made all the key decisions and kept the economy on a peacetime basis, while allowing banks to make large-scale loans to Britain and France. To preclude making any military threat President Wilson made only minimal preparations for war and kept the United States Army on its small peacetime basis.

In early 1917, Germany decided to resume all-out submarine warfare on every commercial ship headed toward Britain, realizing that this decision would almost certainly mean war with the United States. Germany also offered to help Mexico regain territories lost in the Mexican–American War. Publication of that offer outraged Americans just as German U-boats started sinking American ships in the North Atlantic. Wilson asked Congress for “a war to end all wars” that would “make the world safe for democracy,” and Congress voted to declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917.

On Saturday, April 8, 2017, Delaware County Council will issue a proclamation remembering those lost in World War One, and those who served throughout Delaware County in many capacities including members of the Armed Forces, doctors, nurses, families at home and others who assisted the effort during the conflict.

Constructed in 1927, the Lansdowne Theater was designed in popular
Moorish style to accommodate 1358 seats.The theater was closed in the 1980s
but the building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1987.
The Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation purchased the building
in 2007 using a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development. Efforts have continued since then to restore the theater
and use it as a catalyst tor evitalize the Landowne Business District,
Following the ceremony, the World War 1 film series, "Memories of the Great War" at Vinyl Revival, with a WW1 themed reception at the venue adjacent to Historic Lansdowne Theater.

Please mark this website for updates to the events and programs planned throughout 2017 and 2018.