Lowell in World War One: June 17, 1918 to June 21, 1918

This is the 59th 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 week:

June 17, 1918 – Monday – Austrians hurled back. Italians launch counter attacks and drive enemy across the Piave River. Cardinal at Camp Devens. His Eminence calls Army invincible. Exhorts soldiers to be true to God and flag.

June 18, 1918 – Tuesday – Austrians are stopped everywhere. Italian and Allie armies repel attacks of 1,000,000 Austrian troops and inflict terrible losses. New evidence in Nation-wide war contract graft plot. Thousands of letters containing proofs of elaborate system to mulct US on contracts. Vast sums involved. Hundreds of business offices raided. Boston men indicted. Commencement exercises at State Normal School.

June 19, 1918 – Wednesday – French check new Hun drive five miles from Rheims. Enemy launched attack on fourteen mile front but was repulsed everywhere with heavy losses. Sale of Thrift Stamps on the Midway. There will be a novelty at the South Common midway this year and that will be the sale of thrift stamps, which will be conducted by the Knights of Columbus, the Red Cross and the Red Triangle. Private James Wood of Lowell, formerly employed at US Cartridge Co, has successfully completed a course in advanced aerial work at Fort Worth, Texas and has been appointed an instructor in aerial gunnery.

June 20, 1918 – Thursday – Repeated Austrian efforts to advance sanguinarily repulsed by the Italians. Austrian pressure from Lake Garda to Adriatic grows weaker. Arrest Western Union agents. Postal inspectors also seize suitcases filled with messages filed for transmission by telegraph. The agents were carrying the messages by train, rather than transmitting them by telegraph. This practice, in operation by the telegraph company for some time, violates postal laws that prohibit anyone not officially connected with the postal service from conducting traffic in communications over regular post roads. Homestead experiment complete failure. Henry Charbonneau declared yesterday at the state constitutional convention that the homestead experiment in Lowell, whereby the state has built houses for workers, is a failure because of the small size of the houses, calling them “race suicide cottages” because they are not large enough for the average family.

June 21, 1918 – Friday – Americans hold 38 mile battle front in West. Italians defeat Austrians on Mentello Plateau. American aviators are active on Piave front. Labor trouble at gas plant may affect gas supply. Unless the 12 men who left their work yesterday at the School street plant of the Lowell Gas Light Co return to work today or tomorrow, it is feared that the supply of gas now on hand will be exhausted by tomorrow night. It is understood that the men left work without the sanction of the Firemen’s Union and that they are acting entirely on their own. A company official said that the dispute is not between the company and the workers, but among the workers themselves, however, if they don’t soon return to work, the city’s gas supply will be exhausted.