Lowell in World War One: May 7 – May 12, 1917

This is the sixth installment of my Lowell in World War One series which commemorates the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War One. Here are the headlines from one hundred years ago this week:

May 7, 1917 – Monday – Victories for French and British. Bellecourt, directly on Hindenburg Line, occupied by Gen. Haig’s forces. Kaiser’s troops mowed down by French fire. Registrars of Voters Offer Their Services for Conscription.  Hugh McOsker, Francis Qua and J Omer Allard, members of the Lowell board of registrars, have offered their services to Mayor O’Donnell to serve as an enrollment board for selective service in this city. Soldier guarding bridge shoots intruder. A Lowell soldier from the Sixth Mass Infantry was guarding a railroad bridge in Franklin, NH, when a man approached him. When the man failed to halt when commanded to do so, the soldier fired a warning shot. The man then reached into his pocket and the soldier shot him. The man, Robert Lydon of Tilton, a Spanish War veteran, was wounded in the arm. Milk producers meet at Board of Trade. Indications are that the Middlesex county branch of New England Milk Producers’ association will vote to raise the price of milk to 15 cents per quart. Mayor O’Donnell gives policemen increase of ten percent.

May 8, 1917 – Tuesday – $1 billion to build American fleet to overcome U-boats. The Shipping Board’s program contemplates diversion to government uses of the products of every steel mill in the country. Army recruiting station at old B&M Terminal on Central street is busy place, enlisting those age 16 to 40 (under 18 need parental permission). Army has great need for men for engineers and also for telegraph operators. Discussion of Jitney Ordinance before City Council. Bennett Silverblatt, representing the Independent Auto Transit Co., and Daniel J. Donahue, representing 29 individual jitney drivers, spoke for nearly two hours this morning before members of the municipal council relative to the proposed ordinance regulating the jitney traffic in this city.

May 9, 1917 – Wednesday – British regain most of ground lost in vicinity of Resnoy. Oil Tanker in Flames Off Nantucket. Lowell Young Men will go to Plattsburgh: 20 men from Lowell are to report for training in the Officers Reserve Corps in Plattsburgh NY. Herb doctor gets half year sentence for assaulting woman. Joseph D. Ouellette, an alleged herb doctor, who came out of jail April 9 after serving a sentence of eight months for assault on a woman, was in police court again this morning charged with assault and battery on Julienne Milhomme. He denied guilt, but after hearing the evidence, Judge Enright found him guilty and ordered him committed to the house of correction for a term of six months.

May 10, 1917 – Thursday – Draft Age Limit 21 to 30: Conferees on War Army Bill Reach an Agreement. Amendment to permit Roosevelt to raise divisions defeated. Amendment prohibiting sale of liquor at Army camps retained. Important gains for British and French in Northern France. British cruisers chase 11 German destroyers. Municipal flag raising suggested by local recruiting officers.

May 11, 1917 – Friday – Great Allied drive along entire front in Macedonia. Joffre at Washington’s headquarters at Newburgh, NY. Russian party to discuss peace. Chinese House refuses to declare war. Public hearings on War Tax Bill Began Today. Bill to improve navigability of Merrimack River from Lowell to Newburyport was vetoed by Governor McCall today.

May 12, 1917 – Saturday – Boston gives Marshall Joffre, hero of the Marne, a mighty welcome. Newspaper censorship clause stricken from Espionage Bill. Vote to have Col. Roosevelt raise army. By a vote of 215 to 178, the house today after stormy debate voted to instruct its conferees on the army bill to restore the Senate amendment to permit Col. Roosevelt to lead a division to France. 10,000,000 men may be drafted. Census Bureau reports number available from ages 21 to 31. Examination for US Naval Academy. City Messenger Owen Monahan has received a letter from Congressman John Jacob Rogers with notice that the examination for admission to the United States Naval Academy will be held at Lowell City Hall on Wednesday, May 16, at 9 am.

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