Lowell in World War One: Nov 12 to Nov 17, 1917

This is the 31st weekly 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:

November 12, 1917 – Monday – Wilson appeals to organized labor. President makes appeal for full support for government in conduct of war. Speaks at A F of L convention in Buffalo. Declares war cannot be won unless all factions unite in common cause. Red Triangle campaign gets good start. Volunteers gathered for lunch at the YMCA where it was announced that the drive had raised $10,093 this week. License Board hearing resumed today. The Lowell No-License League is petitioning the city council to remove members of the license commission for “general misconduct,” meaning they were negligent in granting liquor licenses to establishments which later had the licenses suspended. The hearing lasted throughout the day. John Lawless, a carpenter of the Saco-Lowell shops, was killed at work this morning when a piece of wood struck him in the chest, fracturing several ribs which pierced his lung. Death was almost instantaneous. He was using a circular saw when the piece of wood he was sawing flew in the air and struck him.

November 13, 1917 – Tuesday – Powerful efforts by invaders to pierce Italian front. Secretary Baker’s weekly review of military operations released today emphasized how events around the world are connected. He cited as an example how the political situation in Russia left that country’s armies ineffective. This allowed the Germans to shift troops from Russia to the Italian front where the reinforcements have brought considerable success.  Asks Locks and Canals to pay for bridge. The city council voted today to have the city solicitor demand from the Locks and Canals Co the cost of construction of a portion of the new bridge across the canal at Pawtucket Falls. Funeral today for Rev Smith Baker, DD. Services were held at the First Congregational Church after the body arrived from Maine, where Rev Baker died. Burial was in the family lot at Lowell Cemetery. Suggests plan for half time school. Lowell boys who are unwilling to go to school because they are compelled to earn money outside will be given a chance to do both if the plans of Mr. Fisher, the principal of Lowell Vocational School, are carried out. Charged with illegally keeping liquor. Barthelemie Croteau was sentenced to two months in jail and ordered to pay a $100 fine after being convicted of illegally keeping liquor at his home at 95 John St. Liquor Officer Palmer testified that he had watched Croteau’s home for three hours and saw 42 men and 6 women enter. Three of the men came out staggering drunk. When the police searched the apartment, they found numerous empty liquor bottles.

November 14, 1917 – Wednesday – Austro-German advance slows up under determined Italian resistance. Berlin reports capture of additional positions east of Asiago. British hold Passchendaele Ridge in spite of fierce counter attack. President Wilson acts to avert big railroad strike. Wilson will host a conference at the White House with the leaders of the “big four” railroad worker unions, but if negotiations fail to avert a strike, Wilson is prepared to have the federal government take control of the railroads. Schools may close for want of coal. “No money, no fuel, and no fuel, no school” said School Committeeman Richard Brabrook Walsh this morning while commenting on the municipal council’s rejection of a request for $14,000 for additional fuel of the public schools. Universalists hold meeting here. The Merrimack Valley conference of Universalist churches was held in Lowell today at the Grace Universalist church in Princeton street. Football at Textile School campus. Lowell Textile football team lined up against the strong team representing the sophomore class of Tufts college this afternoon at the campus on Moody street.

November 15, 1917 – Thursday – American soldiers carry out successful ambush in no man’s land. German detachment flees from American patrol. Italians foil Austro-German attempts to cross the Piave. All movable art treasures taken from Venice. Petrograd said to be burning. Gompers and other labor men praised for steps to avert strikes in ship building and munitions industries. Villa forces defeat Federal troops. Francisco Villa’s forces defeated Mexican federal forces to gain control of the town of Ojinaga after a two hour battle yesterday. Red Triangle campaign reports nearly $75,000 to date.

November 16, 1917 – Friday – Italians open flood gates of Piave and Sile Rivers to check Austro-Germans. Inundation of triangle to prevent enemy movement to flank right wing of the Italian Army. Pershing reports death of three American soldiers, two from sickness and one by accident. Red Triangle campaign workers enthusiastic. A luncheon was held at the YMCA today to report on money raised so far which is $94,975 towards a goal of $200,000. New half million dollar corporation for Lowell. William Whitman of Brookline, who purchased the Bigelow Carpet Mills on Market Street a few days ago, today secured a state charter for the Lowell Manufacturing Co. It was expected that United States Cartridge Company, which now rents the mills for cartridge production, would buy the facility. It is not known what Mr. Whitman plans for the complex. Mass meeting at the High school. An assembly of all students at Lowell High School was held this morning to form a branch of the American Junior Red Cross, to help boost the Red Triangle campaign, and to stir up a little enthusiasm for the football game with Haverhill tomorrow.

November 17, 1917 – Saturday – Defeated in battle and deserted by officers, Kerensky flees. Italians repulse invaders. Red Triangle goes over the $100,000 mark. Mayor O’Donnell orders carload of sugar. The news that there is soon to be a break in the sugar shortage here will be well received, and the people of Lowell will appreciate the mayor’s efforts on their behalf. One of the largest crowds of the season greeted the Lowell and Haverhill high school football teams at Spalding Field this afternoon. Auguste Rodin, famous sculptor, dead.

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