JCHS partners to get another history book published

Jackson County Historical Society is partnering to publish another regional history book published through Mid-Continent Public Library’s Woodneath Press.

The next history book project is Frontlines to Headlines: The World War I Overseas Dispatches of Otto P. Higgins by local historian by James J. Heiman. Publication of the book was recently announced the book will be released in April 2019.

The book is a narrative review of the complete collection of 218 overseas World War I dispatches, which includes a sampling of dispatches and 42 field photographs by Kansas City Star journalist Otto P. Higgins and published between May 1918 and July 1919.

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Both the dispatches and the photographs were created by embedded divisional correspondent Otto P. Higgins and published in The Kansas City Star between May 1918 and July 1919.

Descriptions of the dispatches are presented in narrative form in the book and organized sequentially in monthly installments by date of composition, followed by a representative sampling of photographs and intact articles.

The articles covered the troop movements and battles of several Kansas City-area and Missouri-based Army units which were part of the American Expeditionary Force led by Gen. John Pershing.

The author served as a personnel psychology specialist with the U.S. Army Infantry Human Research Unit during the Vietnam War and several graduate degrees. He currently is a teacher at Metropolitan Community College—Blue River and continues to research and write about community ritual and memorialization of the First World War.

His books include Voices in Bronze and Stone:  Kansas City’s World War I Monuments and Memorials and other published articles.

Other books which JCHS has published with Woodneath Press include Cowtown: History of the Kansas City Stockyards by Edward Mathey, Jr. and The First Beverly Hillbilly: The Untold Story of the Creator of Rural TV Comedy a memoir about Paul Henning written by his wife Ruth.

This 1918 film was produced by the U.S. Committee on Public Information - Division of Films and directed by Herbert C. Hoagland. The promotes US involvement in the European war. The committee, led by George Creel, used many modern medium to share information including radio and movies shown in local theaters. Records from the committee provide many details about the movie. Pershing's Crusaders, based on a 1918 committee report, was shown in over 4,000 theaters including showings in Kansas City and St. Louis and had grossed $182,000 by through May 1919.