WWI Centennial Talk: “Who Was Major General David C. Shanks?” by Hoboken Museum Director Robert Foster
As part of the Museum’s World War I Centennial Lecture Series, on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 4 pm, Hoboken Museum Director Bob Foster will answer the question, “Who Was Major General David C. Shanks?”
Shanks was appointed Commander of the Port of Embarkation in Hoboken in World War I, responsible for overseeing the transport of more than 1,700,000 men overseas. For this logistical feat, he later earned the Distinguished Service Medal from President Wilson.
He was transferred back to the U.S. from a command post in the Philippines to head up this effort, and by all accounts did it brilliantly. In addition to the Port of Embarkation, he oversaw all four staging camps in the area. Not content to serve stateside, he finally succeeded in getting himself assigned to command the 16th Division in Europe, just before the armistice was to be signed. A month later, he was back in action as the commander of the Port of Embarkation.
Born in 1861, Shanks graduated from West Point and Roanoke College, served four tours of duty in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and as Military Governor of the Cavita Philippines district, and Inspector General of the US Army there. He authored two books, “Management of the American Soldier,” and “As They Passed Through the Port.” After WWI, he served as Commander of the 1st Corps after the 1920 Army reorganization, retiring in 1925. He later volunteered for the American Federation for the Blind and was buried in Arlington Cemetery.
Due to popular demand for our previous lecture series, advance reservations are strongly advised. Sign up by clicking the button below. Admission will be collected at the door, lectures are $10 ($5 for members); bus tours are $20 ($10 for members).
The lecture series is funded by a special project grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission.