Lowell in World War One: July 2, 1918 to June 28, 1918

This is the 61st 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 for last week and this week:

July 2, 1918 – Tuesday – Brilliant success for Yanks on Marne Front. Pershing’s men capture Vaux and 275 Germans. Americans surprised Huns near Chateau-Thierry and gained important ground. Effective assistance to American artillery by French. Government investigators are in Lowell. Cotton mill strike conditions remain the same (strike began yesterday). Investigators sent here by State Board of Arbitration. Will confer with Labor Union and mill officials. Fewer operatives reported for work this morning. Council passes new ordinance regulating motor vehicle traffic. The ordinance was introduced by Mayor Perry Thompson who said that police had no authority to enforce prior rules. The new ordinance restricts the speed of motor vehicles to 15 miles per hour in all sections of the city and regulates where and for how long vehicles may stand in downtown.

July 3, 1918 – Wednesday – National War Labor Board men in Lowell to help settle strike. Special field representatives arrive from Washington in answer to a telegram from the Lowell Mill Treasurers Association. Speedy termination of cotton mill trouble expected. The Board members will offer their services to both sides and will not interfere with the strike until all other means are exhausted. But if both sides agree to submit their case to the board and be bound by its decision, the board will decide the matter. The mill treasurers have already agreed to be bound by a decision and the board members will meet with President John Golden and Secretary/Treasurer Sara V Conboy of the United Textile Workers of America, who are both in Lowell now. A “pageant of the Allies” will be the big Fourth of July event in Lowell tomorrow.  Events of the day will include a lawn party and field day on the Sacred Heart Parish Grounds on Moore street; the Bistany Brother’s Circus at the Lakeview avenue grounds; dancing at the Kasino and at Lakeview Park; horse races at Golden Cove Park; Lowell Boy Scouts field day at Spalding Park; Golf tournament at Vesper Country Club; a midway at South Common; and the “Big Allied Street Parade” at 6 pm. The route of the parade is from the armory on Westford street to Chelmsford to Thorndike to Middlesex to Central to Merrimack to Bridge to Sixth, countermarch to Read, to Seventh, to Bridge, to Merrimack, and upon reaching Cardinal O’Connell Parkway, turn left on Market and dismissal.

July 4, 1918 – Thursday – Independence Day

July 5, 1918 – Friday –  Secretary of War Baker acts to end Lowell Strike. Baker has requested Henry Endicott, chairman of the Massachusetts public safety committee to take charge of the textile strikes in Lowell, Manchester, NH, and Pawtucket, RI. Baker sent the order to Endicott by telegram, which stressed that “it is vital that maximum production in New England textile industry be resumed at the earliest possible date” so that “soldiers who are so rapidly being sent to France may be properly equipped.” The strikers have already agreed to have Mr. Endicott adjust the grievance. If the mill treasurers also agree, the workers will return to work while Mr. Endicott investigates the matter and then issues his decision. Most wonderful parade in the city’s history. Representatives of twelve nationalities marched through Lowell’s streets last evening, carrying flags of their respective homelands, all under the aegis of the Stars and Stripes. An estimated 75,000 people watched as 5000 participants marched by, including many mothers, fathers, and wives of the boys “over there.”  Many patronize city swimming pool. The municipal swimming pool on the Pawtucket boulevard along the bank of the Merrimack River opened for the 1918 season yesterday and was well patronized throughout the day. War moving pictures on South Common. Lowell is going to have free war moving pictures on the South common during the summer months. Films will be forwarded to Lowell weekly from the Bureau of Commercial Economics in Washington. The pictures will be of a patriotic nature and will seek to arouse interest in the various phases of the war.

July 8, 1918 – Monday – Australians launch new drive and gain ground in Somme sector. French actively engaged in artillery duel along Marne. Americans help to improve and straighten Allied line. Tension all along front in anticipation of new Hun drive. Dry legislation. Legislation to prohibit the sale of distilled liquors, wine and beer after January 1, 1919 was agreed upon today by the senate agriculture committee.

July 9, 1918 – Tuesday – French smash German lines north of Paris and advance over a mile. French infantry assisted by taks delivers smashing blow and hurls Germans back a mile. German counter attack repulsed. Wage demands. U.S. Cartridge Co employees still refuse to accept 20 percent increase. Contemplated strike action said not to be sanctioned by international body.

July 10, 1918 – Wednesday – Big Hun guns roar on eight mile front. Enemy plans big drive in effort to retake ground won by Yanks and Australians. City Charter. Attorney James Murphy went to Boston today to seek an order from the state supreme court to compel Mayor Perry Thompson and the city council to cooperate with the citizen group that has filed a petition to place a question on the upcoming ballot to give citizens an opportunity to vote for the Plan B charter for the city. The court filing alleges that the mayor and the council have improperly frustrated efforts to place this question on the ballot.

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