1826-1926: Lowell’s Centennial Celebration

On March 1, 1926, the city of Lowell held an all-day observance of its one hundredth anniversary as a town. The day began with 4000 students at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and another 2000 at the Cyrus Irish Auditorium at Lowell High. Here’s the schedule for the morning program:

1. Overture, “The Gay Sultana” performed by High School Orchestra
Grand March from “Tannhauser” performed by High School Regimental Band
2. Singing – “America”
3. Address by Frederick Roy Martin
4. Instrumental Music
Cornet Solo
“Blue Danube Waltz” performed by High School Regimental Band
5. Singing – “America the Beautiful”
6. Readings by Miss Amy Baker
7. Singing – “The Star-Spangled Banner”
8. Finale, March, “The Black Horse Troop” by High School Orchestra
Ballet Egyptian, Part I performed by High School Regimental Band

The afternoon program, also from the Auditorium, was broadcast live across New England by the “Edison Electric Illuminating” station (WEEI) via a line provided by the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. Here’s the afternoon schedule:

1. Prelude to Act 3, “Lohengrin” performed by the Symphony Orchestra”
2. Invocation by Rev Appleton Grannis, Rector of St Anne’s Church
3. Introductory Address – Lowell Mayor John J Donovan
4. Address – Massachusetts Governor Alvan Fuller
5. “Hallelujah Chorus” by Lowell Centennial Chorus
6. Address – Frank Stearns, Chairman Centennial Committee
7. Anniversary Overture – Symphony Orchestra
8. Message of Greetings – William Cardinal O’Connell
9. Soldiers’ Chorus from “Faust” by Lowell Centennial Chorus
10. Male Chorus – “Shepherd’s Sunday Song” and “Home, Sweet Home” by Masonic Choir
11. Anniversary Poem by Ralph Shaw
12. “The Pilgrims” by Lowell Centennial Chorus
13. Finale of “Fourth Symphony” by Symphony Orchestra
14. Oration – by Hugh Molloy, Superintendent of Schools
15. Finale – “American Fantasy” by Symphony Orchestra
16. “Star Spangled Banner” by Chorus and Audience
17. Benediction by Rev John J McGarry

The evening program was a concert at the Auditorium followed by a dance program.

One Response to 1826-1926: Lowell’s Centennial Celebration

  1. PaulM says:

    Can I saw that for all the conventional wisdom that Lowell was a hollowed out city in 1926, and no doubt the economy was the cause of much suffering, the community was a sophisticated and complex cultural entity as evidenced by the high art selections in these programs and breadth of local cultural talent involved in the celebration?