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Fort Drum: The First 100 Years Film Showing Apr. 14

From the makers of the nationally televised documentary, “Little Ditch: The Black River Canal,” comes a new 90-minute documentary that tells the story of how a dusty cavalry camp in the early 1900s evolved into a modern marvel of military training for the soldiers of the United States Army.

Fort Drum: The First 100 Years is a historical documentary directed and produced by local filmmakers R. David White and his son and South Jefferson graduate, Matthew White. The movie will be shown at Jefferson Community College on Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. in Sturtz Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

The Whites focused their film on the history of the Fort Drum military base in Upstate New York and its important role in national history. “The film not only follows the chronological events at Fort Drum and its earlier incarnations, but also observes the growth and progress of the U.S. Army as a whole,” says co-director R. David White. “The film highlights improvements in organization, weaponry, tactics and training for the Army.” Fort Drum is one of the largest and most well-equipped military installations in the Eastern part of the United States.

Created as a national training site by President Theodore Roosevelt, Pine Camp grew into Camp Drum and ultimately became Fort Drum. Today, the base is home to the 10th Mountain Division, a premier U.S. Army unit whose troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Individuals featured in the film include Dent Grant, son of President Ulysses Grant, who was commander of the soldiers’ training at the site in the early 1900s. Another character in the film is General Hugh Drum, the namesake of the base, who ordered the enlargement of Pine Camp in 1940 to house a division-sized unit. This journey includes the story of the “Lost Villages” and in 1917, the largest horse-stampede in Army history when four-hundred horses broke free and terrorized the surrounding community. Many even stampeded through Watertown’s  public square.

For more information about Fort Drum: The First 100 Years documentary at JCC, contact the Student Activities Center at 315-786-2431.