Lowell in World War One: Apr 30 – May 5, 1917

This is the fifth 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:

April 30, 1917 – Monday – American steamer sunk by sub. Part of crew and Naval Lieutenant and nine American naval gunners are missing. President Wilson and Secretary Baker take up War Army bill. Rioting and famine follow bakers’ strike in Chicago. Company M boys off to Newburyport for guard duty. Navy Department’s windshield campaign was begun in Lowell today. Total Navy enlistments in this city up to date is 55.

May 1, 1917 – Tuesday – Germans on way to blow up J P Morgan & Co when arrested. A J Balfour, UK foreign minister, may visit Lowell when in Boston to see his friend, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Reason for visit: to see Lowell mills and munitions plants which are making goods for allies.

May 2, 1917 – Wednesday – Man accidentally shot by Lowell militiaman (who was guarding Boston and Maine Railroad in Laconia, New Hampshire). Registrars of voters to serve as draft board, per letter from Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth. In Lowell, registration will be done by ward and precinct. Election workers expected to do this patriotic duty without compensation. If they won’t, volunteers will replace them. State Senate favors $3.5 million bill to improve Merrimack River. Golden anniversary of St. John’s hospital. Brown and Morse clash at council meeting.

May 3, 1917 – Thursday – British transport sunk. 279 lives lost in sinking of the Arcadian. American survivors tell of strenuous exploits of U-boats. New British drive on battered German line on Arras front. Take officers’ exam for Plattsburgh. J. Lawler Ford, Robert Potter, and Arthur Woodies of this city have passed the physical examination for entrance into the reserved officers’ training camp at Plattsburgh, New York. A number of other Lowell men have already passed the test and are expected to join the training class which begins on May 15.

May 4, 1917 – Friday – Missing boat with 14 of crew of torpedoed US ship saved. British drive ahead in furious battle. Desperate efforts by Germans to stop Gen Haig’s advance fail. Demand resignation of Russian Foreign Minister. Forty hours devotions opened at St. Peter’s Church this morning. The devotions began with a solemn High Mass at 10 o’clock attended by a large congregation including 100 parochial school children attired in white, purple and red.

May 5, 1917 – Saturday – Lowell Cotton Mills Give Wage Increase of Ten Per Cent. Increase is in response to high cost of living, and even though raw material costs are high, mills are getting good prices for their goods. U-Boat Problem Solved. US Naval consulting board has solved U-Boat problem. President Wilson applauds as Balfour speaks on floor of House.