Tuesday, January 26, 2016

[286] Kidnapping the Kaiser from the castle on the next ‘MTSU On the Record’

MURFREESBORO — An MTSU doctoral student tells the tale of several Tennessee youths’ attempt to kidnap Kaiser Wilhelm II after World War I on the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Darrin Haas, command historian with the Tennessee Military Department, will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org).

Haas, who is writing his dissertation on Tennessee’s memorialization of World War I, was a rescue swimmer with the U.S. Navy for five years. At present, he serves as a military police major in the Tennessee Army National Guard with tours in Iraq and Kosovo on his service record.

One of the anecdotes Haas tells is about the bungled 1919 attempt by Luke Lea, future publisher of The Nashville Tennessean, future American League president Lee McPhail and other Tennessee soldiers to kidnap the German kaiser (emperor) from the Dutch castle where he was living in exile. The failed plot was created during nights of drunken revelry in Europe.

“They weren’t going to talk about it,” said Haas. “They weren’t going to bring it up. They were hoping to kind of never be found out, really. Of course, the newspapers got ahold of it and it just blew up into this kind of sensationalized story.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to http://bit.ly/mtsu-otr.

For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

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