Where Do We Go From Here? America in the First World War

Dr. Ron Edgerton as General John J. Pershing brings WWI to life! Portrayal followed by Q & A, so you can ask the General your questions

Please join us as we continue our commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the United States in World War I.

Dr. Ron Edgerton will portray General John J Pershing

April 5, 2018 at 4 pm

Nantis Library

703 Birch St.

Gilcrest, CO

April 25, 2018 at 2 pm

Golden Community Center

Beaver Brook Room

1470 10th St.

Golden, CO 80401


General John J. Pershing (1860-1948)

Jack Pershing seemed doomed to be late for everything. Born in Missouri in 1860, he came along too late to fight in the Civil War. Posted to New Mexico territory after graduating from West Point, he arrived a month after Geronimo's surrender. Ordered to the Dakotas in 1890, he just missed the terrible Wounded Knee massacre. When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, he had hardly fired a shot in combat. He commanded a troop of Sioux Scouts and a unit of 10th Cavalry African-American soldiers, earning him the nickname "Black Jack."

Black Jack Pershing led the same 10th Cavalry troops in Cuba. They fought in the Battle of Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights, only to watch Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders claim all the glory. Not until four years later did he win fame as the great Moro fighter who pacified Philippine Moslems in the Philippine-American War. The next year met Helen Frances Warren (Frankie), daughter of Wyoming Senator Francis Warren, Chair of the Senate Military Affairs Committee. Thanks to President Roosevelt's strong recommendation and Senator Warren's endorsement, he gained promotion from Captain to Brigadier General in 1906, jumping over 862 higher ranked officers in the process.

There followed two more tours in the Philippines, the last as military Governor of Moro Province.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, President Wilson appointed him Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Elements of that great army of over 2,000,000 men fought at Cantigny, Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood, at St. Mihiel, and finally in the greatest battle of American military history, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Pershing returned home at war's end a national hero.

He served as Chief of Staff from 1921 to 1924. He modeled what it meant to be a modern American military officer. Upon retirement, he wrote extensively and was still editing his memoirs when he died on July 15, 1948.

Recommended Reading
Pershing, John J. My Experiences in the World War. 2 vols. Frederick A. Stokes, 1931.
Smythe, Donald. Pershing, General of the Armies. Indiana University Press, 1986.
Vandiver, Frank E. Black Jack, The Life and Times of John J. Pershing. 2 vols. Texas A&M University Press, 1977.
Walker, William. Betrayal at Little Gibraltar. Scribner, 2016.
Woodward, David R. The American Army and the First World War. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Yockelson, Mitchell. Forty-Seven Days, How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I. New American Library, 2016.


Ron Edgerton

In 1973 Ron Edgerton arrived in Greeley with his family as a young Professor of Asian History at University of Northern Colorado. Between 1985 and 2000 he directed UNC's Honors Program while also teaching courses in Asian History and the Life of the Mind Program. Ron is completing a book on Jack Pershing and America's first military encounter with militant Islam - the Moro War in the Philippines, 1900-1914.



Book Discussions of The Last of the Doughboys

Please join this scholar facilitated book discussion of The Last of the Doughboys, by Richard Rubin at various libraries throughout the Front Range.

The Last of the Doughboys, by Richard Rubin (2013). In 2003 Rubin set out to talk with every living American veteran of World War I that he could find. He spoke with dozens of centenarian veterans, ages 101 to 113. He collected their stories in this book. The author calls this "a mosaic that tells a story about the United States of America and the First World War.” This is a book about America's experience of that war, at the front, behind the lines, and at home; how it infiltrated, influenced, shaped, and determined every last facet of life in the United States, no matter how small or seemingly removed; and how it continues to do so to this day.

High Plains Library District - Centennial Park Library

Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 7 to 8:30 pm

2227 23rd Ave., Greeley, CO 80634

Discussion facilitator:  Dr. Ron Edgerton (UNC)


Longmont Library

Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 7-8:30 pm

409 4th Ave., Longmont, CO 80501

Discussion facilitator:  Dr. Todd Laugen (MSUDenver)


Lafayette Library

Thursday May 10, 2018, 6-7:30 p.m.

775 Baseline Rd., Lafayette, CO 80026

Discussion facilitator:  Rose Campbell (Regis Univ)


Denver Public Library, Central Branch

Floor 5 10th Mountain Division Room

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:30 p.m.

10 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver, CO 80204

Discussion facilitator:  Rose Campbell (Regis Unive)


Loveland Library

Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:30 p.m.

300 N Adams Ave.

Loveland, CO 80537

Discussion facilitator:  Rose Campbell (Regis Univ)


Golden History Museum & Park

Wednesday May 23, 2018 2 p.m.

923 10th St., Golden, CO 80401

Discussion facilitator:  Rose Campbell (Regis Univ)


Anythink Library

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:30 p.m.

9417 Huron St., Thornton, CO 80260

Discussion facilitator:  Dr. Dereck Everett (MSUDenver)


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