This is the ninth 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 28, 1917 – Monday – Tribute to Mass National Guard. Acting Adjutant General E. Leroy Sweetser predicted that all Mass National Guard units will be at full strength by Memorial Day. “We are taking only the best men and we want men who are looking for a chance to be real soldiers.” City Council suspends Foye and Thomas. Superintendent of Water Works Robert Thomas and Purchasing Agent Edward Foye were both suspended for 30 days “for the good of the service” by the city council. Councilors also asked the city solicitor to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against the publisher of a local newspaper. Surveyors at Work on site for Ayer Camp. Surveyors began marking the sites for the new army mobilization camp in Ayer for buildings, pipes, drill grounds, and rifle and artillery ranges. Circus on Lakeview Avenue Grounds. The World of Pleasure show arrived in Lowell last night. This company of nearly 300 people will perform twice daily on the old Lakeview avenue baseball grounds with the opening performance this evening.
May 29, 1917 – Tuesday – Memorial Day 1917 – Boys of ‘61 and Boys of ‘17 – (this is day before Memorial Day). G.A.R. Veterans and Spanish War veterans will visit cemeteries at 1 pm then proceed to South Common. Parade will commence at 3:30 pm. Thorndike to Middlesex to Central to Merrimack to Moody to Monument Square for ceremony. Then up Moody to Cabot to Merrimack past reviewing stand at City Hall then dismissed. Troops called in Race Riot. East St. Louis, Illinois. A mob of perhaps 2000 persons went through the Negro quarter during the night, shot one colored man, seriously wounding him, and beat a score into unconsciousness, then dispersed before daybreak. The incident began after rumors were circulated that a white woman had been assaulted by the Negroes just after a committee from the Central Trades and Labor union had attended a city council meeting to protest the importation of any more colored laborers into St. Louis.
May 30, 1917 – Wednesday – Memorial Day – no paper
May 31, 1917 – Thursday – Call Conscription Act Unconstitutional (Peace conference at Madison Square Garden). LHS Field Day at Spalding Park; Memorial Day Parade a splendid turnout; Big display of flags; exercises at Monument Square. Memorial Day observed with the best public parade in years including 81 Civil War veterans who marched the entire way. “Battery B of Lowell with Captain Sumner H. Needham in command came next, but most of the men were in civilian clothes, for they have not yet received their uniforms.” Many quasi-military units also marched in parade.
June 1, 1917 – Friday – Graduation exercises at Textile School. The annual commencement exercises of the Lowell Textile were held at the school hall this afternoon and attracted a large gathering of relatives and friends of graduates. F. G. Coburn, a naval constructor of the United States Navy, was the speaker of the day. Big crowd enjoys Lowell High School Field Day exercises. The annual field day of the Lowell High School regiment and the Girls’ battalions at Spalding park yesterday proved to be one of the most successful in the history of the school. The weather was ideal, and thousands of parents and friends of the students gathered at the park. More arrests in anti-conscription plots. With only four days before draft registration day, the department of justice today exerted every energy to quell anti-conscription agitation, which has resulted in a number of arrests in various cities. Three American sailing ships sunk by U-boats
June 2, 1917 – Saturday – Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia arrested by Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Delegates in Petrograd. Change in terms of enlistments (those enlisting in National Guard will serve for duration of war, not for three years active and three years reserve, as had been the case previously). Lowell Man on Ship Hit by Torpedo (Michael Sweeney of 829 Princeton St, crewman on Norwegian ship torpedoed off coast of Belgium; all survived). Want boy discharged from British Army. Mr and Mrs. William Taylor of 45 East Merrimack Street have asked Mayor O’Donnell to assist them in securing the discharge of their son, Fred Taylor, from the British Army. Fred Taylor went to England at the outbreak of hostilities with a shipload of horses for the English army. While there, he enlisted in the King’s Liverpool regiment and was sent to France where he has been wounded twice. He is now recuperating in a hospital in England and wishes to return to America so he can enlist in the United States army and fight for Uncle Sam.