Doughboy Day at Fort Jay Sept. 17


In the parade, 2015.

I’m the volunteer coordinator for an event that I’m really excited about. It is to bring World War I history to Governors Island. Last year, my friend David Ernst got me into the reenactor world as a participant in the Veterans Day Parade. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it, and the people I met through it. I was also already on the research trips for my new book about the war and it’s impact on New York. So I am now combining two things I really am a big fan of, Governors Island and Doughboys.

Here is the press release. I hope you will attend.

A platoon of living history reenactors will bring World War I Doughboys to Governors Island National Monument on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, for a free exhibition. See demonstrations and hear stories as reenactors portray famous New York regiments including the Harlem Hell Fighters at Doughboy Day at Fort Jay.

The centennial of American involvement in the “Great War” is in 2017 and this group of volunteer reenactors will share the story of U.S. participation. Both men and women will be in full uniform and provide displays and talks about the role America played in World War I. It is free and suitable for all ages.


Ebony Doughboys, a group of African American living historians who are focused on telling the story of the outstanding record of service of African Americans during the First World War. Founded in 2014, they will have displays of equipment worn by black soldiers in the war, and a 20-minute vignette on the life of Eugene Bullard, America’s first black fighter pilot, portrayed by actor Chadd Gray.

Visiting authors will tell the stories of New York City involvement in the war, Governors Island’s role in supporting the war, and key U.S. victories at the Hindenburg Line and Meuse-Argonne.

Actress Laurie Gaulke will represent women in the war with her show, Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in Neuvilly.

The events run 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Governors Island National Monument. The displays will be on the Parade Ground, the Ebony Doughboys will be in the Castle Williams Gazebo, and talks will be in Fort Jay.

Supporting Organizations:

Governors Island National Monument manages 22 acres containing Fort Jay and Castle Williams. The U.S. National Park Service provides education and historic interpretation of the island.

World War One Centennial Committee for New York City is dedicated to planning, producing, and coordinating events and activities commemorating the First World War in New York City and the surrounding areas.

U.S. World War One Centennial Commission has a mission to plan, develop, and execute programs, projects and activities to commemorate the Centennial of World War I. An Act of Congress created it in 2013.

If you are a Doughboy reenactor and wish to participate, email Kevin Fitzpatrick: info (AT) governorsislandguide (DOT) com.