John J. Pershing considered Fox Conner to have been “a brilliant soldier” and “one of the finest characters our Army has ever produced.” During World War I, General Conner served as chief of operations for the American Expeditionary Force in Europe. Pershing told Conner, “I could have spared any other man in the A.E.F. better than you.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower viewed Fox Conner as, “the outstanding soldier of my time.” In the early 1920s, Conner transformed his protege Eisenhower from a struggling young officer on the verge of a court martial into one of the American Army’s rising stars. Eisenhower acknowledged Fox Conner as “the one more or less invisible figure whom I owe an incalculable debt.”
On Sunday, November 11, 2018, at 1:00 p.m., the USS KIDD Veterans Museum observes the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day with a special KIDD Keynotes presentation examining an individual forgotten by today’s society. Author Steven Rabalais of Lafayette, LA, will discuss this unique man and how he had an influence–both directly and indirectly–on the American generals who participated in BOTH World Wars.
Following the presentation, guests are encouraged to join us in placing poppies beside the names of Louisiana’s World War I fallen servicemen in the Louisiana Memorial Plaza. Poppies became a symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers due to the trenches running through the poppy fields of Flanders in Belgium during the war and also to the war poem “In Flanders Field” by Lt. Col. John McCrae.
Just as the Armistice halted fighting on November 11, 1918, until the Treat of Versailles could end the war on January 10, 1920, so too does this KIDD Keynotes mark the countdown to the end of the museum’s exhibit “Voices from the Lost Generation: Louisianans in the Great War (1917-18).” That exhibit will close on December 30, 2018. It features many World War I artifacts, as well as a walk-thru recreation of a World War I trench and dugout.
Contemporary music of the period will be played leading up to and immediately following the event and a living history interpreter will be on hand to discuss with visitors the uniforms, weaponry, and equipment of the American doughboy.
KIDD Keynotes is a free lecture series hosted by the KIDD that gives members of our community an opportunity to learn about range of issues that impact us all and to find out ways that they can get involved.