Lowell in World War One: August 13 – August 18, 1917


This is the 18th 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 (and from last week too):

August 13, 1917 – Monday – Five American passengers and 14 others on board US steamer lost. Steamer City of Athens struck mine and went down near Capetown, South Africa. State Guard Battalion for Lowell. “In the event of a German attack on Lowell the city will not be without its defenders for a fourth company of the State Guard is to be organized as soon as possible. Applicants must be over age 31, or between 18 and 21. The Ayer Camp. A large number of Lowell people visited the military camp at Ayer yesterday and found the Lowell boys in excellent shape. Although the camp has been named Camp Devens, Camp Lowell would not be an unsuitable name for it.

August 14, 1917 – Tuesday – Peace Move by Pope. Pope Benedict sends specific proposal to heads of all the belligerent governments. Appeals to end war. Elaborate plans for Military Day. The Sixth Regiment band will give a concert on the South common Thursday evening in connection with the moving picture show which the park board is to stage there on the same evening. There will be seven reels shown: two educational, two comedy, two travel, and one patriotic. All men who have been accepted under the draft have been invited to participate in the parade and are requested to report at the band stand at the North common at 3 pm. The parade will proceed through all the major downtown streets to the South Common.

August 15, 1917 – Wednesday – U.S. to reply to peace proposal by Pope. Gala day for Ninth at Framingham. In the afternoon were sports, including horse and mule races and flat races for the men. As a sideshow, there was the “newest thing in ‘shoe repairing while you wait.’” Everything in readiness for military parade. U.S. Cartridge Co’s annual outing will be held next Saturday at Nantasket beach. A special train will bring those attending to North Station in Boston. From there, they will march to Rowe’s wharf where the steamer will take them to Nantasket. At the beach a program of sports will be carried out and everyone will go bathing.

August 16, 1917 – Thursday – Lowell gives grand welcome to her soldier and sailor boys. Parade starts from North Common at 4 p.m. Route of parade – Common, Salem, Cabot, Merrimack, Central, Middlesex, and Thorndike Streets to South Common. Ceremonies on South Common will be conducted facing Summer Street. Motors and vehicles please observe Highland street as one way from Gorham. Park all cars backed up slantwise to the curbs. Band concert by Sixth regiment band 8 to 10 o’clock. Moving picture show by park commission on the slope south of the pond at 8.

August 17, 1917 – Friday – Lowell’s soldiers’ and sailors’ day proved grand success. Lowell is playing a sterling part in the war and even though she does no more than what she has already accomplished, her reputation for patriotism will be maintained.

August 18, 1917 – Saturday – 250 killed in explosion. Powder plant blown up in Quebec village. Two divisions of Massachusetts Troops to be in first expedition to France. Believed that General Edwards will command the men from New England.