This is the 39th 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:
January 7, 1918 – Monday – Draft law constitutional. Supreme Court upholds selective service act. Lowell city government for 1918 inducted into office at City Hall today. Perry D Thompson inaugurated as city’s mayor. No change in assignment of commissioners. Constables, surveyors and weighers appointed. School board will organize tomorrow. Lowell school opened today. All public and parochial schools opened this morning after the annual Christmas vacation which was extended this year on account of the coal shortage. At the high school there was considerable trouble caused by the cold spell but classes went on as usual this morning. All B&M repair work at Billerica shops. The transfer of all Boston and Maine repair work to the shops in Billerica from those in Cambridge started today due to a fire that destroyed many of the existing facilities in Cambridge. Cardinal O’Connell urges loyalty at big service. Cardinal O’Connell addressed members of 22 Holy Name societies at a service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross yesterday, urging them to “stand shoulder to shoulder with our boys over in France in love, affection, and loyalty to America.”
January 8, 1918 – Tuesday – America’s war aims set out in speech by President Wilson who sets out program for world peace containing 14 specific considerations and says United States will continue to fight until these are achieved. Lowell men join Royal Munster Fusiliers. Frank McHugh of 69 Tyler street; Michael J McNulty of 143 Chapel street, and Jeremiah P Sullivan, 111 Fort Hill avenue recently enlisted in the Royal Munster Fusiliers, one of the most famous Irish regiments now in service. Others recently corralled by the British recruiting mission in Lowell are Henry Bird of 35 Smith street and Romelus Clermont of 187 Perkins street, both headed to the Canadian Expeditionary forces. Lowell recruits are also wanted to man the famous British “tanks” about which so much has been heard recently. Any British subject in Lowell working as welders, blacksmiths, boilermakers, electricians, or traction drivers are sought.
January 9, 1918 – Wednesday – Drastic measures to save coal. Conservation of fuel and light ordered by fuel and light administrator Storrow. Theatres, bars and all places of amusement must close at 10 pm. Business houses to open at 9 am and close at 5 pm. No heat or elevator service on Sundays and holidays. Every night but Saturday shall be a “lightless night.” Believe that Lowell sailor mourned as dead is still among the living. Fireman George Rogers of Lowell had been listed as “lost” after the sinking of the USS Jacob Jones on December 6, 1917, but a recent Navy publication listed Rogers as among those rescued after the sinking, raising hope that he is still alive.
January 10, 1918 – Thursday – US Army ready for active service. Secretary Baker answers critics in exhaustive outline of work of Department. Concedes delays in vast undertaking, but declares no army of similar size in history of world raised, equipped or trained so quickly. Army of 212,034 men raised to 1,539,506 in just nine months. Local fuel boards to enforce new order. Copies of the order have been sent to local fuel committees in every community. They are expected to enforce the order. How early closing will operate in Lowell. The negative effect on office buildings in Lowell will be much more pronounced than it will be in Boston. In this city, lawyers, doctors and others transact a great deal of office business at nights and on Sundays by reason of Lowell being an industrial city in which most working people cannot get away from their jobs during the day without loss of pay. Debate on suffrage amendment opens. With President Wilson’s unexpected support and the 11th hour endorsement by a republican caucus, the woman’s suffrage amendment came up in the house today where it is expected to get the two-thirds vote necessary to continue the process.
January 11, 1918 – Friday – Churchill makes powerful appeal for more American troops in Europe. British minister of munitions Winston Spencer Churchill, addressing the American luncheon club today in London, made a powerful appeal for the sending of American soldiers to Europe quickly and in as large numbers as possible. Two men killed and two injured in railroad accident at School Street crossing. The accident occurred shortly after 8 o’clock. The four men, all employed by the Boston & Maine railroad, were transferring lumber from a damaged car to another on a side track near the buildings of the Lowell Gas Light Company. The damage car suddenly collapsed, either throwing the men or causing them to jump into the path of an oncoming passenger train that was travelling at 25 miles per hour. School Board to fix blame for damage to school buildings caused by frozen water pipes. The investigation will determine whether janitors properly drained the schools of water before the shut down for Christmas, or whether the heating equipment itself was defective. Lowell High School ball postponed. The officers of the Lowell High regiment have patriotically decided to postpone their officers’ ball to a later time. Otherwise the ball which was to be held this week at Associate Hall, would have to end by 10 o’clock due to the fuel shutdown order.
January 12, 1918 – Saturday – No doubt now as to fate of Oliver Chadwick. Doubt no longer exists as to the fate of Oliver Chadwick, the intrepid Lowell aviator, for his tomb has been discovered and Germany has agreed to mark his grave. Such was the information received from Congressman Rogers. High war honors for Lowell soldier. Corporal A. G. Stone who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1914, returned to Lowell today wearing two British army medals for gallantry in fighting at Vimy Ridge where he was severely wounded.