Lowell in World War One: August 20 – August 25, 1917
This is the 19th 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:
August 20, 1917 – Monday – French continue to conduct terrific bombardment of German lines. Heavy fighting in progress on Italian front. Series of great aerial raids over Belgium by British airships. Lowell men for France. Several hundred National Guardsmen from Lowell are being trained at Westfield to be mounted military police. They are expected to leave for France in the next two weeks as an advance party for the rest of the Massachusetts National Guard. National encampment of Grand Army opens in Boston.
August 21, 1917 – Tuesday – Senator La Follette urges conscription of wealth to pay for the war. Also urges that less bonds and more taxes be authorized. Lowell GAR Veterans in Boston today. About 50 veterans of the Civil War, members of the General B F Butler Post 42; James A. Garfield Post 120; and Ladd & Whitney Post 185, left Lowell this morning to participate in the monster parade of the GAR in Boston. State and City welcomes GAR Veterans. About 8000 blue-coated, gray-haired men marched in Boston today.
August 22, 1917 – Wednesday – Valiant fight waged by Irish Battalions in latest British offensive northeast of Ypres, Belgium. Sharp fighting around Lens. Rapid succession of blows falls on Germans along Franco-Belgian front. Germans open offensive on northern end of Russian front. (Lowell) Roll of Honor Growing. New names added by the Exemption Boards today. Division 2 calls 173 new men. Textile School included in proposed amendment to state constitution. The proposal would prohibit state funds being spent on institutions not exclusively under state control. This would affect sectarian schools and also MIT, WPI, and the Textile schools at Fall River and Lowell.
August 23, 1917 – Thursday – Fighting on the Isonzo Front. Italians gain more ground. Austria’s Losses 30,000 in two days. Projectile from French battery strikes depot of asphyxiating gas. Struggle for control in Petrograd. If no agreement is reached between the contending groups, open conflict must follow in Russia. General Clarence Edwards names officers, assumes formal command of 26th Division of United States Army. Lieutenant Schuyler R. Waller of Lowell picked for Engineer Train command.
August 24, 1917 – Friday – Bloody Riot in Houston. Twelve or more killed and several injured in Negro outbreak. Negroes of 24th U.S. Infantry fire guns promiscuously and terrorize residents of Houston, Texas. Governor proclaims martial law. Rioters claim Houston police officer slapped woman’s face. Congressman Eagle of Texas calls it a tragic blunder to send Negro soldiers to southern camps. French in stronghold of Verdun front. Preparing for playground fete: Everything is in readiness for the playground pageant to be held next Thursday on the South common to mark the close of the playground season of 1917.
August 25, 1917 – Saturday – French capture Kaiser’s favorite units. French aeronauts win battle of Verdun. Italians smash Austrian line. Thirty-four Negro soldiers charged with murder in Houston riot. Colored troops transferred to Columbus, N.M. Trouble began over report that Corporal had been shot by mounted police. All but three who took part in shooting have been accounted for. School contract conflicts with charter (contract for addition to Bartlett School puts city’s Commissioner of Public Property in charge of project while city charter requires that municipal council have that role). New Theatre. The new Strand Theatre, Lowell’s latest entertainment house, is fast nearing completion. Advertisement: Military Uniforms made-to-order. Guaranteed to fit. Paige Street Tailor, Paul Menassian, proprietor.