Lowell in World War One: January 21, 1918 to January 26, 1918

This is the 41st 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 21, 1918 – Monday – Fuel order may be lifted if the weather conditions improve, says McAdoo. He also said that the operation of the railroads under government control is being greatly improved which might work out the entire fuel problem. Lowell’s observance of heatless holiday. The first heatless holiday was observed yesterday. Only those factories engaged in making munitions or other essential war items were open. The list included US Cartridge Co, International Steel & Ordnance Co, Newton Manufacturing Co, US Worsted, Silesia mills, Boott Mills, Beaver Brook mills, Bay State mills, Talbot mills in Billerica, and the Saco-Lowell shops.

January 22, 1918 – Tuesday – All essential ships in New York Harbor supplied with coal. The industrial shutdown east of the Mississippi and the heatless holiday of yesterday have permitted coal to be delivered to all essential ships in New York harbor and to regions hardest hit by the recent cold spell. Lowell received 28 cars of coal this morning which was distributed to the mills and to coal dealers. This will relieve matters to some extent, but Lowell could use a lot more coal. Strikes and disorder continue in Austria.

January 23, 1918 – Wednesday – Embargo on all freight except food, fuel and war munitions ordered by McAdoo. Director General acts on recommendation of assistant. Reopening of manufacturing plants after five day suspension. Industrial Lowell in the hardness again. It was “business as usual” in Lowell today. All mills and factories resumed operations after their five day shutdown. General Pershing reported that three American infantrymen were killed in action on January 21. Eight others also died, one from a noncombat gunshot wound, the others from disease. Widespread disorders as result of war weariness, hunger and anti-Germanism in Austria.

January 24, 1918 – Thursday – German ultimatum to Russian delegates. Russia must give up all the Baltic provinces or the Germans will resume military operations within a week, the German delegates at the Brest Litovak negotiations informed Russian representatives today. US ship sunk in Mediterranean. The steamship USS Owasco was torpedoed by a German submarine near the Spanish coast. Hanson’s stable in Rock street mass of flames. While a crowd of 100 were listening to the auctioneer at the regular Thursday sale of horses at the stables of the CH Hanson Co on Rock street shortly after 1 o’clock, flames suddenly appeared in the upper floor of the building. With the help of those in attendance, all 50 horses in the building were saved, but at this writing, the entire building is aflame and the fire chief has sounded a general alarm.

January 25, 1918 – Friday – Central Powers reply to peace terms of President Wilson and Lloyd George. US has executed 14 as German spies. Good weather only hope to avoid shut down of all business in New England due to very serious coal shortage. James Storrow said that under normal conditions, New England would consume 150,000 tons of coal each day, but it is only receiving one-fifth of that now.

January 26, 1918 – Saturday – Revolution in Germany. Reports of grave disorders in Berlin with rioters clamoring for peace. Fuel committee plans ‘homeless week.” Local dealers have two weeks’ supply of coal on hand but people must conserve their fuel as much as possible. John O’Donoghue, chair of the local fuel commission, said that he is considering a “homeless week” in Lowell in which people would visit their neighbors’ houses for a week and thereby save coal by not heating their own homes. Lowell soldier dies at base hospital. Ralph W Tewksbury, son of Mr and Mrs John Tewksbury of 841 Varnum ave, died yesterday at the base hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He was 22 years old. Fire still smouldering at Hanson’s stable. The six firemen on duty supervising the removal of hay from the building called for two pieces of apparatus when the fire flared up again today.

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