STUMP » Articles » Memory Monday: Fourth Week of June 1918 - and the perspective of history » 2 July 2018, 04:27

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Memory Monday: Fourth Week of June 1918 - and the perspective of history  


2 July 2018, 04:27

Throughout the 1918 scans of the Brewster Standard, I have noticed what poor quality they are.

Many of the scans of 1870 papers are much better… but I bet the paper quality in 1870 was better than during the war time of 1918.

But this is the sort of thing one needs to think about. A lot of people are very now-focused, and have no clue what the people were like prior to the Present Year.

It helps a lot to actually study history, and I don’t even mean in terms of interpretation, etc. Just see what people actually did and published. It’s very “fun” to slap your own interpretation on top of whatever people were doing 500-1000 years ago, but it’s much more productive to put off the interpretation and see what they had to say about themselves.

Yes, we can see what bullshit some of their self-conceptions were…. but if you really think, you can think about how we may be also deluded about our Present Day “virtue”.

Something to think about. Because there were a few things that I wasn’t expecting in the 1918 paper, and I was wondering “what the heck?”

Before that…


This is not new. This specific notice has been run for weeks in the paper.

Whooping cough killed a lot of kids… and, unfortunately, due to idiotic anti-vaxxers, more babies are dying from this now. People don’t respect the deadliness of infectious disease and thus can “enjoy” crank theories about vaccines causing autism, etc.


So, this caught my eye, on the effectiveness of African-American troops — the relevance is their effectiveness in WWI, and the poor treatment from U.S. institutions caused many African-Americans to note how better they were treated in Europe. This also occurred in WWII.

I didn’t grab the whole piece, but it was unexpected and interesting in perspective:

From the same piece:

This was the conclusion:

Look, there weren’t a lot of African-Americans up in this area of NY a hundred years ago, and frankly, not many are here now. I’m curious why this author felt the need to write this in particular, at this time. Was there something going on?

That’s part of the mystery of history — we know how many things ultimately turned out, but many times, we don’t think about how the people going through things thought about it.


Sometimes, I have no clue. I’m no historian. I just like reading history.

But this “false issues” thing?

And then the chauffeur issue?

Driving was a lot more difficult before easy-starting engines and power steering, forget about automatic transmissions. But… well, I guess people were upset that their chauffeurs were being drafted.


So much depends
our new sofa
very odd furniture ads


Speaking of the past as a foreign country, let’s check out the movies playing that week in 1918.

Here is the Wikipedia article on this movie:

My Four Years in Germany is a 1918 American silent war drama film that is notable as being the first film produced by the four Warner Brothers, Harry, Sam, Albert, and Jack. It was directed by seasoned William Nigh, later a director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was based on the experiences of real life U. S. Ambassador to Germany James W. Gerard as described in his book. The film was produced while World War I was still raging and is sometimes considered a propaganda film.

Ya think?

What else was playing?

Let’s see the IMDB pages for these films.

The Son of Democracy (1918) – no real info
The Aryan – some kind of Western, where the “hero” kidnapped a woman and made her a literal slave
The Habit of Happiness (1916) – Douglas Fairbanks plays a guy who thinks laughter is literally the best medicine, and that thought gets tried

That last sounds interesting, but I’m not sure about the others.

One more movie:

By its IMDB notes, it sounds like it’s a bit anodyne given: “Taglines: NOT ONE GRUESOME, HORRIBLE OR NERVE RACKING SCENE IN IT’S 8 REELS” … dude, it’s a war movie and there’s nothing even nerve wracking? Are you serious?


Here are a few for the war effort.


Just a few more things that caught my eye, but not sure they’re at all significant.

I’m very skeptical.

Again, I’ve been setting a scene by what is normally showing up in the papers. I’m wondering what will happen when the Spanish Flu really starts hitting the New York area.