Upcoming Events:

Sunday March 8th, 2020 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

"A Day to Honor and Study Jewish Military Service"

Free and Open to the Public

Tower Hall, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose


10:00 AM Tower Lawn: Reception opening the exhibit:

 "Uncommon Valor: Jewish-American Medal of Honor Heroes" in the Foyer of Tower Hall March 8th to April 10th, 10:00 to 5:00. (Closed March 31st). This exhibit features memorabilia pertaining to 27 Jewish Medal of Honor winners from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.


11:00 AM Morris Dailey Auditorium, Tower Hall: 2020 Jewish Studies Levinson Memorial Lecture: “American Jews and Military Service” Judge Quentin Kopp

1:30-5:00 PM Morris Dailey Auditorium, Tower Hall: 2020 Burdick Military History Symposium: Jewish Military History, moderated by Dr. Jonathan Roth, Professor of History, San Jose State University


"Zionists in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War"

Ignat Ayzenberg, Coordinator of Jewish Studies, San Jose State University


“The Boys of Camp Ritchie: From refugees to instruments of justice”

Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Brun, California State Guard Military Museum Command


"Jewish Military Chaplains: An American Tale"

Dr. Ronit Stahl, Assistant Professor, Department of History, U.C. Berkeley

Sponsored b the San Jose State University College of Social Sciences, History Department, Jewish Studies Program, the Burdick Military History Project and the California State Guard Military Museum Command.

Past Events:


Thursday, April 6th at 6:00 pm
A Commemoration of the One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Entry of the United States into World War One
Commandant’s Room
Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel
609 Sutter Street (at Mason)
San Francisco CA
A commemorative ceremony with a Color Guard will be followed by narration and readings from contemporary speeches, editorials and letters illustrating the mood of the country before Woodrow Wilson asked the Congress to declare war on the Central Powers.  Refreshments will be served courtesy of the Marines’ Memorial.
Admission to this event is free and open to the public.
Directions to the Marines’ Memorial: BART to Powell Street, walk up to Sutter, turn left and go one block to Mason. Parking is available at the Sutter/ Stockton Garage at 444 Stockton.
For more information contact Carol Taylor at (415) 673-6672 or
Friday, April 7th, 2017 1:00 pm
VeteransWrite Meeting
Room 390, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 4th and San Fernando, San Jose CA
Writing group for veterans and their family members, students and non-students, meets every first Friday of each month from 1:00PM - 4:00PM in the MLK library, Room 390.
All levels of writing experience welcome. Short fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Small group setting. Feedback provided if requested.
Tuesday, April 11, 6:00 pm
Dr. James Wright speaks on his new book “Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and its War”
Marine’s Memorial Club and Hotel
609 Sutter Street (at Mason)
San Francisco CA
A Marine veteran, James Wright is the Eleazar Wheelock Professor of History Emeritus at Dartmouth College and its former president.  General James Mattis writes: “With honesty and compassion for those who carried and still carry burdens from the war years, no book better captures the totality of that era."  A wine reception will follow.
This event is free and open to the public. To register go to
For more information contact Carol Taylor at (415) 673-6672 or
Saturday, April 15th 1:00 to 5:00 pm
The 2017 Charles B. Burdick Memorial Military History Symposium
“The Lead-Up to America’s Entry into World War One”
Washington Square Hall, room 109
San Jose State University
 “The 1916 Mexican Expedition” Dr. James Armstead; “American Air Power in the War” Dr. RG Head (Brigadier General, USAF, Ret.); “Not Completely Unprepared:
The U.S. Military Before World War One” Mr. Mike Hanlon; “American Reaction to the Armenian Genocide” Dr. Dennis Papazian; Moderator: Dr. Jonathan Roth
Admission to this event is free and open to the public.  
For Directions to San Jose State University see
For more information contact Dr. Roth at (408) 924-5505 or


Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 10:00AM

Room 255 Martin Luther King Library
San Jose State University
The World War One Historical Association
Bay Area Chapter Meeting
 "American World War One Poetry: Beyond the Cult of the Soldier Poet" presented by Dr. Karen English.

Karen English is on the faculty at SJSU where she teaches in American Studies and the English and Comparative Literature programs.  Although Dr. English's academic field is American Transcendentalism, she has been drawn to poetry of the First World War since her early teaching days. Dr. English received her Ph.D. from UNC at Chapel Hill. She has been at SJSU since 1989.

Dr. English will speak about Joyce Kilmer, Alan Seeger, Mary Borden, Lucian B. Watkins, and John Peale Bishop, all of whom served in the war. Twentieth-century scholars of British and American literature accepted two premises: war poetry is strictly defined as "the lyric, ironic, antiwar, masculine voice that speaks from personal experience about the ghastliness of modern warfare"; and American war poetry of the era is inferior in scope and artistry to verse produced by the poets of the British Empire.  Twenty-first century literary studies are finally discarding this reductive paradigm in order to enrich our understanding of the diversity of American World War One poets and their authentic responses to experiences of total war.

This talk is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.  For more information contact Diane Rooney at

Saturday, September 10, 2016. 

Laney College, Oakland, California


CO-SPONSORS: World War One Historical Association and League of World War I Aviation Historians

World’s First Strategic Bombing Campaign
by Jack Herris

Knights of the Sky” and the struggle for air superiority
by Dana Lombardy

For more information go to:

 Wednesday June 29, 2016 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, Ten-X, 1301 Shoreway Rd. #200, Belmont CA 94002


SJSU Student Veterans and other Vets: join VetsinTech, a non-profit that helps Veterans get into the tech industry, for their next employer meetup hosted by Ten-X in Belmont.  They will have lots of networking time and several employers on hand to meet with veterans including Salesforce, Intuit, Palo Alto Networks, LinkedIn, and more.  They will be offering LinkedIn and Resume reviews for anyone who wants them. Free food will be provided, and beer for those of age.  For more information, contact Katherine Webster at


Thursday, March 24, 2016, 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Room 255 

Mr. Al Conetto spoke about his new book The Jump: The 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry, in the First Major Battle of the Vietnam War.   Mr. Conetto graduated from SJSU and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from the Army ROTC.  He served in Vietnam as a Platoon Leader and fought in the first battle between U.S. forces and the Vietcong in 1965.  He returned to Vietnam in 1967 as a Captain in the First Cavalry.  In 1993 he received his MA from the History Department, SJSU.For information please contact Dr. Jonathan Roth, (408) 924-5505.

Here is a link to a video of the event:

Tuesday, December 1st, Time TBA

Prof. John Pettigrew will speak about his new book, “Light It Up: The Marine Eye for Battle in the War for Iraq” Tuesday, December 1st, 2015, 4:30 to 5:45 pm Room 225, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library San Jose State University Fourth and San Fernando, San Jose John Pettegrew is a historian of late-19th and 20th century U.S. thought and culture at Lehigh University specializing in the history of thought, culture, war, and visual culture. His current research includes the optics of combat in the Iraq War, and the emergence of empathy in 20th-century social thought. He is the Director of Lehigh’s Veterans Empathy Project. Prof. Pettegrew’s talk is sponsored by the SJSU College of Social Sciences, the History Department and the Burdick Military History Project. For information please contact Dr. Glen Gendzel at or (408) 924-5514.

Saturday, September 19th, All Day

First Air War: An Interactive, Multimedia Symposium, Student Union Ballroom, SJSU campus. 

Exhibits, displays, gaming and vendors focused on World War One Aviation.  Admission to the Ballroom is free and open to the public.  The Ballroom will be open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and food will be available at the food court downstairs.  Co-sponsored by the Burdick Military History Project, the World War One Historical Association and the League of Aviation Historians.  For more information go to

Saturday, September 19th, 11:00 to 4:30

2015 Burdick Military History Symposium: First Air War, Student Union Theater.

11:00 Jack Harris: "Creation of a Legend: Genesis of Fighter Aviation in World War One". This is the story of the origin and development of fighter aviation during World War One, the first air war, and the legend of the fighter ace. The story combines the exploits of the aces, the evolution of combat tactics, and the technical development of fighter aircraft from its primitive beginnings to the armistice, presaging the aerial arms race that continues today, when the fighter is the key offensive aerial weapon.  Jack Herris graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He then served as a Navy aviator, flying P-3B Orion aircraft with VP-46. After leaving the Navy he worked in the Laser Fusion Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, then worked in the high tech industry in Silicon Valley. Jack has written more than 50 magazine articles and 18 books about WW1 aviation. He brings insight into these aircraft both from his engineering and military flying experience. He now publishes new titles under Aeronaut Books—


1:30 Graydon Turnstill: "Warfare on the Eastern Front: Ground and Air." Many people are aware of the events in the air on the Western Front in World War One, but the Eastern Front remains “the unknown war.” This talk will discuss the differences between the Eastern and Western fronts, and then trace the major battles on the ground and in the air in the East. The interaction of such events in the East will be explained in conjunction with the major clashes on the Western Front. Dr. Graydon Tunstall is a Senior Lecturer of History at the University of South Florida, as well as the National Executive Director for Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. He teaches classes on military history with an emphasis on the World Wars. He received his Ph.D. in Modern European History from Rutgers University and has published a number of books and articles including Blood in the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915. Professor Tunstall has won numerous Superior Teaching Awards, and lectured at the Sorbonne, the University of Vienna, multiple U.S. colleges and universities and several World War I Association national conferences.

2:30 James Davilla: "Back to the Future: How the Great War's Air War Influenced Today's Aviation." Although the technology of World War One aircraft is often dismissed as crude and unreliable, many innovations were introduced during the Great War that are still in use today. Stealth, unguided air-to-air missiles, variable incidence wings, and aerial cannons all underwent operational development during this period. This presentation will compare the introduction of these new technologies during 1914-1918 with their current use.  James Davilla is a physician practicing Gastroenterology in San Jose, California, but his passion is military aviation history. His publications include French Aircraft of the First World War, Salmson Aircraft of World War One, and SPAD Two-Seat Fighters. He is currently completing a 50,000-page encyclopedia of military aircraft which covers more than 7,500 different types produced from 1910 to 2010.

3:30 Steve Suddaby: "Unfulfilled Nightmares of World War One Aerial Bombing." 
This is a history of events that never happened—ideas and plans created for bombing in World War I that were never tried or were never successful during the war. These ideas and plans for aerial attacks reverberate into the 21st Century as the 9/11 attacks, drone strikes on terrorist leaders, and Syrian helicopters bombing opponents with chlorine gas. The Great War topics covered include the plan to bomb New York City from Zeppelins, the actual attempts to kill the Kaiser from the air, the plans to destroy London and Paris with firestorms, and ideas about bombing cities with poison gas or biological agents.  Steve Suddaby is past president of the World War One Historical Association. He is a two-time winner of the Thornton D. Hooper Award for Excellence in Aviation History. He and his father Allen published the English translation of René Martel’s 1939 history of French aerial bombing under the title French Strategic and Tactical Bombardment Forces of World War I (Scarecrow Press, 2007). Steve is a retired statistician and CIA analyst with extensive counternarcotics experience in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Co-sponsored by the Burdick Military History Project, the World War One Historical Association and the League of Aviation Historians. For more information call Dr. Jonathan Roth at 408 924-5505 or email

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