Lowell in World War One: Dec 31, 1917 to January 4, 1918

This is the 38th 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. Because of last week’s snowstorm, I missed posting this, so here are the headlines from one hundred years ago last week:

December 31, 1917 – Monday –  French victory on Italian front. British regain ground lost on Western Front. Present cold spell causing great suffering. McAdoo acts to relieve New England coal shortage. Military honors for Lowell man. Lt George Wilkins, son of Mr and Mrs Alfred Wilkins of 16 Ware street, formerly stationed at Camp Devens, has been selected to attend machine gun school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. At Lowell High Lt Wilkins was the colonel of the student regiment, and at Harvard, he was a prominent member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. New Year’s Eve in Lowell. Lowell will observe New Year’s day tomorrow as a legal holiday for the second time. No elaborate program has been arranged for the day itself, but there will be plenty doing in the downtown section tonight, despite the record cold.

January 1, 1918 – Tuesday – no newspaper

January 2, 1918 – Wednesday – Congressman and Mrs. Rogers back from war front. Attacked by submarines on the way to Europe. Narrow escape from floating mines. Under shell fire for days. In London during German air raid. Ditched in auto accident in Italy. Congressman addresses Lowell men of Company M encamped on banks for the Marne. Rush US troops to battle front. American delegates back from Inter-Allied War Council recommend the constant and speedy despatch of American troops to the European battle front. Use city men and teams to deliver coal. The city council authorized the use of the men and teams of the public works department to deliver coal from coal yards to the homes of people who are badly in need of fuel. Badly burned lighting fire. Mary Kryonka, aged 23 years, was badly burned at her home at 219 Adams street. The fire in her kitchen stove was burning low so Mrs. Kryonka poured kerosene on it. There was a flare up that caught her clothes on fire and she was burned from head to toe. She was taken to the Lowell Corporation hospital by ambulance and is in critical condition.

January 3, 1918 – Thursday – Russia to resume fighting if Germany declines to meet demands. Crisis in peace negotiations. Russia demands conference be transferred to Stockholm. Break will upset German plan for big drive in West. McCall inaugurated for third term. Gov Samuel McCall took the oath of office for his third term today. Lowell Roaming in the Gloaming. Lowell will observe its first “lightless night” this evening in accordance with a recent order of the fuel administrator. Businesses must extinguish all exterior lights on Thursday and Sunday evenings in an effort to conserve fuel. Is it Cold Enough Yet? Today was the sixth consecutive “sub-zero” day. The weather man predicts snow for this evening and that means a little more moderate temperatures.  196,000 tons of coal for New England. Director General McAdoo ordered additional coal be sent to New England to alleviate shortages, however, congestion on railroads may delay its arrival.

January 4, 1918 – Friday – Outlines plan to run railroads. President Wilson addresses joint session of Congress. Submits plan for legislation to make government operation effective. Lays special stress on guarantees to roads and stockholders. New cabinet seat for Munitions Secretary. The Senate military committee today proposed a new cabinet department and secretary, to be called the Secretary of Munitions to operated during the war and to implement presidential directives on arms, ammunition, food, clothing, equipment, and transportation. 50,000 slackers in United States. Provost Marshal General Crowder has reported that at least 50,000 who have been called have failed to answer to the army draft. Warmer tomorrow says weather man. Residents of the cold stricken northeast are happy to hear that the temperature will rise a few degrees in the coming days.

One Response to Lowell in World War One: Dec 31, 1917 to January 4, 1918

  1. Paul Sweeney says:

    Deja vue all over again as Yogi Berra famously said! “Residents of the cold stricken northeast are happy to hear that the temperature will rise a few degrees in the coming days.”

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