7th Annual Sarasota World War I Conference - FILLING VERY FAST - ENROLL NOW!

  • Activity Level: Easy

“And we saw Europe - the last opportunity - in its old guise . . . In 1914 it blew up, of course. The lights went out and it was never the same again." - George C. Marshall

What was once called The Great War has largely been overlooked, obscured by the vivid moral clarities of the greater war that followed. World War I was a bloody preview of World War II - machine guns, air and submarine warfare, poison gas - these were technologies that applied the tools of mass production to human slaughter. Killing became impersonal, mechanical and vast.

World War I was more than just a war between nations. The "old world" was dying, and a new one had yet to be born. People of all classes and nations saw the conflict as some great cleansing fire that would lead to a better world. By the time it was over, millions of men and their dreams of progress had died in the trenches of Europe and on far-flung battlefields.

As we continue through the centennial of World War I, we present our seventh annual World War I conference - in a setting that couldn’t differ more from the terrible trenches of Verdun and the deserts of Mesopotamia. We will headquarter at the Sandcastle Resort on the white sands of Lido Beach, and enjoy the warm breezes and spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico.

We have assembled a fine group of historians whose topics of presentation should be compelling. Among these will be Robert J. Laplander, the pre-eminent authority on The Lost Battalion, and returning will be the much-heralded Mitchell Yockleson, known to many of you from his frequent television appearances.

This will be a content-rich program that should enhance your understanding and appreciation of The Great War. Space is Limited - so Enroll Now - and Join us in Sunny Sarasota!

Jay Wertz

Jay Wertz is the author of six books including two award-winning volumes in the War Stories: World War II Firsthand series, D-Day: The Campaign Across France; and The Pacific: Volume One – Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal, as well as the recently released The Pacific: Volume Two – The Solomons to Saipan. He is also the author of The Civil War Experience 1861-1865; and with Edwin C. Bearss, the co-author of the Smithsonian’s series, Great Battles and Battlefields of the Civil War.

Douglas Batson

DOUGLAS BATSON is a former military geographer and an expert in the geography of World War I. He portrays Dr. Isaiah Bowman, then-Director of the American Geographical Society (AGS). In January 1918, President Wilson tapped Bowman to lead "The Inquiry," a group of distinguished geographers who served as a precursor to today's National Intelligence Council.

Edwin C. Bearss

Ed Bearss, historian emeritus of the National Park Service, is the most well known battlefield guide in America and leads military history tours year-around of the Civil War, American Revolution, American West, and World War I and World War II in Europe. He is acclaimed as one of the stars of Ken Burns's award-winning PBS series, The Civil War. In 1956, he helped locate and raise the ironclad gunboat Cairo, one of the most significant artifacts of the Civil War.

George A. Kranz

George Kranz is a middle and high school teacher and a guest speaker to various high school  classes on the subject of World War I. Previously he was a Florida parole and probation officer working primarily with youthful offenders. His interest in World War I was sparked by the discovery of an old chest in the attic of a relative's house that contained a treasure trove of items owned by a WWI veteran who had served on the Western Front.

Robert J. Laplander

Robert J. Laplander is the leading authority on the ‘Lost Battalion’ of the 77th Division and the author of Finding the Lost Battalion: Beyond the Rumors, Myths and Legend of America’s Famous WW1 Epic. He is featured in the television event The Great War; a 6-hour, 3-part record of America’s contributions in WW1 presented as part of the American Experience series for PBS in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the war.

Erin R. Mahan

Erin Mahan is Chief Historian of the Department of Defense, and previously served as an Associate Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University, and also as a historian at the Department of State, where she edited several volumes of Foreign Relations of the United States. Her publications include Kennedy, de Gaulle, and Western Europe and articles on NATO, the Berlin Crisis, and U.S. and French foreign economic policies during the 1960s. 

Mitchell Yockelson

Mitch Yockelson is an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where he  heads the Archival Recovery Team (ART). Additionally, he teaches military history at Norwich University. He is the author of Borrowed Soldiers, Americans under British Command, 1918; MacArthur: America’s General; and Grant: Savior of the Union. A fourth book, Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the Germans in Autumn, 1918, will soon be published.


   Registration Fee per person: $195

Registration Includes continental breakfast and lunch.


WE'RE SWITCHING CREDIT CARD SOFTWARE so online registration is currently unavailable

FOR NOW, CALL 800-298-1861 to complete your credit card registration; or SEND CHECK to:


Box 78, Winchester, VA 22604

Monday, January 22

7:30 AM-8:30 AM        Continental Breakfast in Ballroom

8:00 AM throughout      Books on Sale – A. Parker Books, Sarasota

8:00 AM throughout      World War I Memorabilia Display - courtesy of George A. Kranz

8:30 AM –9:30 AM       The Opening Battle on the Frontier: Disaster for the FrenchEdwin C. Bearss

9:45 AM -10:45 AM       Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Great WarMitchell Yockelson

11:00 AM-12:00 N        The Sick Man of Europe" - The Ottoman Empire and How We Got the Middle East of    Today - Erin R. Mahan

12:00 N - 1:00 PM        Group Lunch in Dining Room

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM       Finding the Lost Battalion Robert J. Laplander

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM       The Inquiry: Wilsonian Peace and America on the World StageDouglas Batson

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM       From One War to the NextJay Wertz

We reserve the right to change the order and topics of presentations, and to substitute faculty members as circumstances may dictate.

Sarasota WWs Conferences 2018

We will be headquartered at the Sandcastle Resort on Lido Beach, 1540 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236 where we have reserved a block of rooms at the special discounted nightly rates of

  • $144 Non-View -- $164 Court View -- $183 Poolside -- $204 Gulf Front.

To reserve a room under our block call 800-225-2181 and identify yourself as a registrant for the World Wars Conference. Our attendees WILL NOT be assessed the Sandcastle’s $25 per day Resort Fee.

For attendees not staying at the Sandcastle, parking is available on the street - and local bus service (SCAT - Route 4) has a stop across the street from the hotel.


Sandcastle Resort on Lido Beach
1540 Ben Franklin Drive
Sarasota, FL
United States