040217-nws-wwi

A German helmet is on display at the library at Lake Central High School. It is part of the collection owned by history teacher Tom Clark. Notice the bullet hole in the helmet.

Joyce Russell, The Times

Today marks the centennial of U.S. involvement in World War I, and we have a special presentation in print and online.

Joyce Russell’s front-page story takes a look at how this war affected the nation, and Northwest Indiana in particular. World War I ended in 1918, creating the holiday we now know as Veterans Day.

It claimed more than 116,000 American lives — the third worst in the nation’s history, after the Civil War and World War II. Many of the deaths were the result of diseases like influenza. Some were caused by bullets and bombs.

World War I was the first major war to see aerial battles, just over a decade after the Wright brothers’ first successful flight on Dec. 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It also saw weapons of mass destruction, like poisonous mustard gas.

It is seen by historians as a precursor to World War II.

On Monday, Doug Ross will offer a story about women in the workforce during World War I and how their contribution to the effort affected not just the war and the economy, but also American society.

Online, we’ve built a special World War I page, accessible from the wars section of nwi.com/history, our site built during the Indiana bicentennial year and continuing to grow.

You’ll find photo galleries and historic front pages from the World War I era on a page that you can share with friends and family.

This special print and online report continues our interest in showcasing the Region’s heritage.

Plans are underway to offer a third pictorial history book this year, following the success of earlier books in 2015 and 2016.

It isn’t too early to start sorting through family photo albums, identifying people and places in the photos, and prepare to share them at scanning sessions held in conjunction with our partners at local historical societies. We’ll announce those times and dates later.

Diamonds are a fan's best friend

Are you ready for baseball season? We certainly are.

And so are fans of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Some recently showed us how eager they are by entering our biggest fan contest of both teams.

Entries came in by the dozens from fans around the Region by the end of March, the contest deadline. Fans of all ages sent in photos showing their best Cubs or White Sox gear, tattoos or gatherings.

All of the entries received are in Cubs and Sox galleries online. This week, several finalists will be named for each team and we’ll start voting at nwi.com.

Winners receiving the most votes will be named April 10. The Cubs winner will receive a framed front-page poster of the World Series win. The Sox winner will receive two tickets to a game.

Look for the announcement of voting on The Times’ Facebook page early this week and help name the winners.

Thanks for reading us. Please contact me with any questions about The Times or our many publications.

Bob Heisse is editor of The Times Media Co. He can be reached at (219) 933-3327 or bob.heisse@nwi.com.

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Bob is editor of The Times Media Co. He started in Northwest Indiana in April 2014 following stints as executive editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., and The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.