This is the 32nd 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 19, 1917 – Monday – Austro-Germans hurl heavy masses against Italian line. Turn railroads over to Wilson if crisis arises. The four railroad brotherhoods who have demanded increase wages have agreed to mediation but today’s announcement by the Railroad War Board eliminates the possibility of a strike by giving the president a free hand in running the railroads. Red Triangle fund here passes $120,000 mark. Commissioner may resign. Commissioner Frank Warnock, commenting on the school committee’s request for more money, said that if he had to ask for more money for his department, he would resign. The request by the school department was to buy more coal. While he acknowledges that the price of coal has risen sharply, Commissioner Warnock said the school department should learn to live within its means. City primaries tomorrow. The polls will open at 1 pm and close at 8 pm. Voters will nominate two candidates for mayor, four for commissioner and four for the school committee. Candidates for mayor are Andrew Barrett, William Carroll, James Casey, John Gilbride, Dr. Rodrigue Mignault, James O’Donnell, and Perry Thompson.
November 20, 1917 – Tuesday – US Destroyer sunk – 21 lives lost. Italy’s Armies holding firmly most vital point of Piave Line. Austro-Germans checked by heroic resistance of Italians. Americans and Germans again clash. Anglo-American War Council in London. City Council passes jitney ordinance. City primaries today.
November 21, 1917 – Wednesday – Great British victory; famous Hindenburg line broken. British spring surprise on Germans in Northern France, attacking on 30 mile front and breaking the Hindenburg Line to a depth of five miles. Anglo-American War Conference in London event of highest importance. School children were looking for sugar. Several hundred children of the public schools called at city hall this morning in an endeavor to get what they called “their share” of the carload of sugar that has been ordered by the mayor. Candidates selected for mayor, aldermen and school board. After a campaign that did not arouse great excitement or great enthusiasm, the nominations in Lowell yesterday brought out a comparatively light vote and placed on the ballot for the city election, December 11, the names of Dr. Rodrigue Mignault and Perry D Thompson, as candidates for mayor. Incumbent Mayor O’Donnell finished fourth and will not be on the general election ballot.
November 22, 1917 – Thursday – British Drive Goes On. Further progress by Byng’s victorious army toward Cambrai announced. Haig’s blow represents true strategy. Boston Publishers sued by Lowell man. The libel case of Robert J Thomas, superintendent of the Lowell Water Department, against New England Publishing Co, publishers of the Boston American, was opened before Justice King and jury at the civil session of the superior court at the courthouse on Gorham Street this morning. This is an action of tort in which Thomas claims that an article in the Sunday, January 14, 1917, Boston American was false, malicious and defamatory, and asks for $25,000 in damages.
November 23, 1917 – Friday – British consolidate gains and prepare for another plunge toward Cambrai. Hearing in Thomas libel suit resumes today. Two soldiers arrested here sentenced. Daniel Hagan and Louis Welch, both members of the 303rd machine gun battalion at Camp Devens, were sentenced to six months at hard labor by a court martial for stealing a car in Lowell. State Commission wants sewers. The Massachusetts Homestead commission has started work on the erection of several houses on Hildreth street, Homestead road, and Richardson street, and has asked the city to expedite the laying of a sewer in those areas. Knife used in Adams Street assault. Frank Sobezak and Frank Laba were charged with assault and battery on John Patorzak last night. At a hearing in police court this morning, testimony was that the three had met in a barroom where Sobezak and Laba asked Patorzak to “set ‘em up.” He refused and his two companions took offense at his lack of sociability. The result was an assault with a knife and considerable excitement in the neighborhood until the police arrived. The defendants were found guilty and sentenced to six months in the house of correction.
November 24, 1917 – Saturday – British advance on six mile front. Further gains for Gen. Byng’s forces against German lines west of Cambrai. Russian Ambassador ignores Bolsheviki. Ambassador Bakhmeteff formally notified the state department that the embassy does not recognize the authority of the extremists now in control of the foreign office at Petrograd. Honors for Lowell Men at Plattsburg. Three Lowell men were commissioned as army officers after excelling at the reserve officers training camp at Plattsburg. Lorne Lee Cupples was commissioned as a captain in the Ordnance branch. Cupples is well known in Lowell, being the former superintendent of the Whitall Manufacturing company. He came to Lowell in 1899 from Newport, NH. He is married and lives at 116 Grove Street. D. Redmond Kearney is the son of John Kearney of 142 Third street. He is 28 years old. His brother Paul is also in the course at Plattsburg. Another brother, Frank, is a private stationed at Camp Devens. Stephen Kearney, the city engineer, is another brother as is Dr. Joseph P. Kearney. Lt. Kearney is a graduate of Lowell High and was employed in the office of Amasa Pratt, the lumber dealer and most recently worked for Newton Manufacturing Company. 1LT Rousseau Haynes received his education in Dorchester. After graduating from high school there, he came to Lowell and worked for F E Nelson Co as the manager of the graphaphone department. He recently married Miss Alice Schick. They live at 28 Warwick street.