Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tobacco and Beer for Warriors

I was saving this for September, when these articles and ads were published, as part of our ongoing series of looking at the news from one hundred years ago each month, but with the news in today’s Conway Daily Sun, (pages 10-11) I felt I had to share this now. In a remarkable coincidence, today’s paper echoes an effort to support the troops during World War One. 

This Saturday, April 15th, Cigar Shenanigans will honor veterans through a program where one can donate cigars and beer to our military while enjoying a good time yourself and doing good for others.

One hundred years ago, The Reporter was the local newspaper and the paper took it on itself to coordinate a tobacco fund.
The article below is from the front page of the September 13, 1917 Reporter newspaper.  

(Click on images to enlarge them).

This was part of of a larger effort by other groups such as local ladies sewing clubs, the Red Cross, YMCA, and libraries to give soldiers a taste of home.

We actually mentioned the World War One soldier support efforts at the Conway Historical Society’s program on World War One memorials last night. (in case you missed it we have two more programs and an exhibit coming up and the info from last night’s program will be posted online soon). You can learn more about those programs here and here.

The article is continued below (click on images to enlarge them).

On a related personal note, I was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area and one of our favorite places to go was Ybor City, which according to the Federal Government was the cigar capital of the world.

Way back we are related to the brewers of Cottrell Old Yankee Ale.  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

US Declares War on Germany One Hundred Years Ago Today

We will get to that, but let’s start with the front page of the local newspaper, The Reporter, published Thursday, April 5, 1917, the day before the United States declared war on Germany.

There were a number of topics covered on the front page, but nothing about the war raging in Europe. That was covered later inside the paper. Instead there was an article about the County officers taking their oath. It included a photograph of Arthur R. Shirley. We will hear more about him and his family later.

The public was invited to inspect the new North Conway Loan & Banking Co. This is now the Met Coffee House and a display space for the Mount Washington Valley Arts Association.

There was a small notice about a whist party held to raise funds for Belgian relief.  

There was an advertisement proclaiming the benefits of electricity over coal or wood.

There was a report on a masquerade ball held at the Masonic Hall, and a piano recital and other social events, but nothing about the war until page four.

On page four, we find some references to the war. After reporting on the health of A.C. Kennett, there was the news that Miss Marion Weston Cottle, a lawyer with offices in North Conway and Boston, offered to lead a cavalry regiment of women in case of war.

Page five had an article with the provacative headline “Danger from German Invasion” that explored the question of farmers in NH.

The North Conway Loan and Banking Co. was on the cover of the paper again in the next week’s edition on April 12. This time it included a photo

In this first issue since the declaration of war there were a number of notices for patriotic meetings, flag raising events, and a proclamation for a day of fasting.

Still no headline about the declaration itself,

In probably the longest and most detailed report about war preparations to date, (April 12, page 5) there was the news that New Hampshire College Professor W.C.O’Kane had been appointed to the state committee on the conservation of the food supply. He was to use his knowledge of “economic entomolgy” or applied study of insects to help insure adequate food for the war effort.

Who knew there was such a thing as “economic entomology?” This is in fact the same professor O’Kane mentioned in previous blog who embarked on a one hundred mile circuit in the White Mountains with Arthur Walden and his sled dog teams to study gypsy moths and their impact on the forest.

There was an article with the title, “Hurry-ups, Take Notice” warning that you can not marry to get out of your military obligation.

So there it is, all the news that’s fit to print from Conway’s local newspaper.

However, there were also many other dramatic and revolutionary movements going on at the same time not mentioned in The Reporter. 

One hundred years ago this month Marcel Duchamp created one of the most famous sculptures of all time. Hugo Ball presented Dada performances at the
Voltaire in Zurich Switzerland.

 Ironically, Lenin lived in exile close to the Cabaret Voltaire. The current issue of the Smithsonian magazine, details the triumphant return train trip Lenin took back to Russia to take power.  

As we mentioned in a previous blog about the news from March 1917, Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated his throne on March 15. The Reporter published the following editorial on March 22, “The world has made history fast the past week. The revolution in Russia, changing a dynasty of over 300 years existence to practically a republic was done in the twinkling of an eye, so to speak, and that without any bloodshed practically. It is a dream long held by the mass of the Russian poulace come true. And it is a conceded fact that if the people had had the reigns of government the past ten years or more in some of those central European countries there would have been no such barbarous war as the one now being waged. Germany is trembling in the balance lest the Russian revolution spread to the Kaiser’s domain. Let is come - the sooner the better. And when it does come the end of the war will come quick.”

Well it did come, and soon, but was it for the best? and did it help end the war quick?
Stay tuned as we look at the news from one hundred years ago again next month.