April 6, 1917: United States enters World War I

Today is the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I. On April 4, 1917, the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war on Germany, and on April 6, 1917, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 50 for the declaration.

Because America did not have a large standing army, the process of mobilization went slowly and it was not until the end of June, 1917, that major U.S. Army and Marine combat units arrived in France. Many men from Lowell joined the military, and the war affected the entire community.

Each week during the World War I centennial, I will post a summary of local newspaper headlines for that week in 1917-18. The first installment, March 20 to March 30, 1917, was posted this past Monday.

By November 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served in France. More than 100,000 of them lost their lives and another 200,000 were wounded.  Nearly 200 Lowell residents lost their lives while serving in the military during the war. In the 1920s and afterwards, the city named nearly 50 squares and public places for some of those who were killed in action. Here is the list:

Armand Alix square – Salem and Common streets
Joseph G. Belanger square – Thorndike and Middlesex streets
Bernard Boisvert square – Lakeview and Aiken streets
Charles K. Buk square – Coburn and Jewett streets
George W.Brick square – High and Andover streets
Cranna-Manning square – Fletcher and Adams streets
Philip Chalifoux square – Riverside and Moody streets
Henry Cognac square – Merrimack and Pawtucket streets;
William H. Clouatre square – Moody and Aiken streets
Lorne E. Cupples square – Westford and Pine streets;:
John L. Connolly square – Fletcher Cross and Willie streets
Raymond E. Chappell square – Nesmith and Rogers streets
Richard Corbett square – Pond and Pleasant streets
James H: Dankert square – Lawrence, Wamesett and Rogers streets
John T. Durkin playground – Chelmsford street
Michael Fenton square – East Merrimack and High streets
William Gallagher square – Gorham and Thorndike streets;
Edward T. Gillls square – High and Rogers streets
Ralph G. Hurd square – Third and Durant streets
Lt. Paul T. Kearney square – formerly Merrimack square
Capt. Paul T. Kittredge square – Nesmith Park and Andover streets
Ralph Lashua square – Merrimack and Cabot streets
Frank J. Lyons square – Bridge and First streets.
Athenasios Michalopous square – Suffolk and Market streets
Frank McPherson playground – Bridge street
Thomas F. Mann square – Gorham and Highland streets
Manuel T. Martin square – Central and Charles streets
Arthur R. McOsker circle – D street and Harris avenue;
Francls H. McOsker square – Agawam and Lawrence streets
Joseph Mercier square – Moody and Tremont streets
Raymond B. Messer square – Chelmsford and Powell streets
William J. Molloy square – Gorham and Carlisle streets;
Peter R. Moulton square – Hampshire and West Sixth streets
John J. O’Donnell playground – Gorham street
Manuel W. Perry square – Smith and Powell streets
George F. H. Rogers square – Towers corner
Charles J. Roy square – Middlesex and Branch streets
Gerald T. Silk square – Bridge and Hampshire streets
Eugene A. Tansey square – East Merrimack and Nesmith streets
Joseph Veilette square – Hall and Pawtucket streets;
James A. Welch square – Rogers and Fairmount streets
Joseph Worthy square – Broadway and Dummer street;
William E. Coleman playstead – First street.
Eugene A. LaJeunesse square – Mammoth Rd, Riverside St, Varnum Ave
Constaninos Aggelokos Plaza – Lewis street – dedicated Jan 5, 1943
Private William Dube square – Woburn & England St – dedicated 1929 by VFW
Crotty Circle – South Common – dedicated May 31, 1949
Mahlon Web Dennett Gate – UML North campus – dedicated May 18, 1929
Quinns-Holmes Bridge commonly known as Hunts Fall Bridge – Robert L. Homes was a WW1 vet and former American Legion Commander.

Cawley Stadium is named for Edward D. Cawley who served as an Ensign in the US Navy during WWI. He was a football star, coach and owned the land where the stadium was built. The stadium was renamed June 17, 1946.