Friends and Neighbors: World War I history comes to life

Dirk Langeveld of New London, author of “The Artful Dodger: The 20-year pursuit of World War I draft dodger Grover Cleveland Bergdoll,” was the guest on The Day’s latest Recorded History podcast posted in October.

Langeveld also gave a presentation Oct. 17 at New London Public Library about his book, and plans another talk at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Custom House Maritime Museum.

The book revolves around the case of a young daredevil from a wealthy brewery family who fled to Germany to escape a prison sentence for dodging the draft.

Unlike tens of thousands of others who dodged the draft, he was subject to much abuse and even two kidnapping attempts. Bergdoll also had a brief flirtation with piloting airplanes, receiving one of the nation’s first flying licenses, and knew the Wright Brothers.

To find the podcast, go to or type “Recorded History” into your favorite podcast site. To find all of The Day’s history podcasts in one place on Facebook, visit Recorded History-TheTimesCT.

Friends & Neighbors is a regular feature in the Times. To submit an item, email


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