Lowell in World War One: May 27, 1918 to June 7, 1918
This is the 57th 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 for the past two weeks:
May 27, 1918 – Monday – Germans renew big drive. Battle on 50 mile front. Attempt simultaneous push through to the Channel ports in north and to strike for Paris in the south. More Lowell men leave for Camp Upton. 80 men from Lowell left the Middlesex street station at 7:15 this morning, bound for Camp Upton, New York, and the training they will receive as soldiers of the national army. Biggest rate increase in history of railroads. McAdoo increases freight and passenger rates and boosts railway wages $300,000,000. Arrest made in Lowell diamond robbery. Police in Boston arrested a man who confessed to the robbery. He said that he and a companion had followed the man from Worcester to Lowell to do the robbery, and that they had divided the spoils upon reaching Boston later in the day. Lowell Police Superintendent Redmond Welch expressed displeasure that this information had been made public while the investigation was ongoing.
May 28, 1918 – Tuesday – New gains for Germans. Huns push on after capturing Chemin-des-Dames and cross Aisne River. French bear brunt of fierce fighting. British left flank forced to fall back. Yanks counter attack and hurl Huns back. Lowell goes over the top in Red Cross drive. The Red Cross campaign closed last night with a dinner at Edson hall on Kirk Street. Lowell alone raised $154,000 with a quota of only $112,000. The people of Lowell are fully awake to the great struggle in France, and they are willing to give generously to the cause.
May 29, 1918 – Wednesday – British and French lose more ground. Germans push on south of Aisne. Allied reserves rushing to front. Yankees again repulse the Huns. More coal for New England. Substantial increase in supply of anthracite promised by fuel administration. Memorial Day exercises in public and parochial schools were conducted today. In almost every instance, the program included some reference to the present war and the part Lowell men have taken in it. The rest of the city will observe Memorial Day tomorrow with due solemnity and appreciation of the great sacrifices being made. The highlight will be the parade of veterans and supporting organizations which will begin at the South Common at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Exercises at Lowell General Hospital today recognized the graduation of a new class of nurses and the dedication of the new James Cook Ayer building.
May 30, 1918 – Thursday – Memorial Day
May 31, 1918 – Friday – Huns gain toward Marne. Enemy continues advance in center. Allied left flank also forced back. Fall of Rheims now seems imminent. Annual Memorial Day parade. Civil War veterans and escorts paid tribute to nation’s defenders past and present. 77 Civil War veterans marched. They were escorted by younger veterans of the Spanish War and other military organizations. As the years go by, the escorting bodies predominate the roster of the parade as far as numbers go, but it is probably that until the last veteran has made his last march, the aged men in blue will continue to be the magnet for the loudest applause. Wholesale market at Washington Park. The Lowell Market Gardeners and Fruit Growers’ association opened its wholesale market at Washington park this morning. Judged by the sales this morning, the affair will be a success. Of course, it will take a few days before the dealers of the city who were accustomed to buying at their doors get into the habit of calling at the market every morning for their fruits and vegetables.
June 3, 1918 – Monday – U-Boats sink ships off Atlantic coast. Germans carry submarine warfare to American shores and are attacking and sinking vessels along the coast. Boston and other ports along the coast are closed. Seventy-five more Lowell men left for Fort Slocum today. Men arrested here taken to Devens. As usual, the bootleggers and hippers were doing the rounds Saturday and Sunday, and as a result of the activity of the police, six men, who it is alleged aided and abetted in securing liquor for soldiers were placed under arrest. They were taken to Ayer this morning to be arraigned before the federal commissioner.
June 4, 1918 – Tuesday – Victory for US troops. Americans in dashing counter attack hurl back Huns on important front. Yankees join French and hold up German rush. Hun sea raiders kill 350. The City of Columbus safe. Survivors of Carolina land. Warships, chasers and planes scouring seas for Hun pirates.
June 5, 1918 – Wednesday – 250 more survivors land. All but 10 passengers from the steamer Carolina saved. American troops now on five battlefronts. Many Lowell men register for the national draft. Approximately 250 Lowell men who are 21 years of age registered for the national draft today at various exemption board centers around the city.
June 6, 1918 – Thursday – Ask $16,000,000 to guard US against enemy raids. Seek balloon and seaplane stations along the coast. French hurl back large masses of German troops. Huns launch new attacks in attempt to break Franco-American lines along the Marne. Yanks kill 1000. Streets of Chateau-Thierry strewn with German dead after battle. High praise for Americans. Everybody turns out to see the circus. Lowell took on a holiday appearance this morning when Barnum & Bailey’s circus struck town and showed residents what’s what in a real circus street parade. At 10:30, the long glittering line moved through Central and Merrimack streets with solid walls of spectators on either side of the streets.
June 7, 1918 – Friday – US Victory. American Marines launch second attack on Hun lines and capture Torcy and push on to Bouresches. “Soldiers of the sea” fight like tigers and make advance of two miles. Thousands now in Class Four under Selective SErvice Act will now be put in classes one and two, making more men eligible for the draft. Big drive for thrift and war savings stamps opened today. Lowell and the rest of the state will be in the throes of an energetically conducted thrift and war savings stamp campaign, and it is expected that one out of every four persons in the city and state will have invested in the miniature government securities by the end of the drive.