STUMP » Articles » Memory Monday: Second and Third Weeks of July 1918 » 30 July 2018, 21:13

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Memory Monday: Second and Third Weeks of July 1918  


30 July 2018, 21:13

Well… this is a pickle. The site I usually go to, NYS Historic Newspapers, seems to be down. Perhaps they hit their bandwidth limit for July?

That said, I grabbed weeks 2 & 3 of July 1918 already. If the site is down indefinitely, I have a different historic newspaper source I may try, but it won’t have the Brewster Standard.


So I noticed two deaths of relatively young people.

Man died age 38… after having been mowing his lawn:

Woman, age 21, dies after having suffered tuberculosis.

I don’t think either is Spanish flu-related. It sounds like the woman had been suffering from tuberculosis for a long time, and the man… well, he may have died of a heart attack, just as my own dad did at age 38.

I want to point out something, though: the 21-year old woman had been married 5 years, and left behind 2 children, the older one being 4 years old. Given the year, I know I have forebears who married and had kids that young. But it is an interesting contrast to people who get married closer to age 30 and have their first kid when they’re over age 35.

I kinda liked having young-ish grandparents.


I don’t know if that was “fake news”, but Germany was pretty desperate at this point in WWI. They tried to finish off Britain/France before the U.S. could be in Europe in force… but by July 1918, they were in a hopeless situation.

Here are some letters from U.S. men back to the home front:

I wonder sometimes, reading these letters published in the newspapers… did they even bother to censor these letters? Because there’s often a lot of comments I would have thought would not get through military censors.

This one made me smile:

Of course, being one of the Georges, he was from the German king line that started with King George I in the 1700s. Of course, those Hanoverians got replaced with Saxe-Coburg and Gotha when good Queen Vicky married Prince Albert. It was during WWI that the Germanic-derived royal family (whether you go with Hanover or Saxe-Coburg) changed their names to Windsor.

So why not celebrate the upstart colonies?


I think I mentioned the Chautauqua before — the Chautauqua movement started in New York, and you may as well just say “TED Talks”. Seriously, American has been doing this stuff for a long time. Of course, we’d love TED Talks.

Anyway, it seems they did some sort of patriotic Chautauqua in 1918 in the area, and it sounds like it wasn’t just in the Brewster area.

Before I get to the serious stuff, here’s some patriotic singing:

Okay, enough nice stuff, here’s the nasty stuff:

I think some of this was in recognition that the Germans had to be really ground down before they gave up, and so you needed to give Americans the idea that they might have to be in Europe for a long time. (Turned out, it didn’t happen… that time.)

And an idea of the whole program:

The dates of the Chautauqua… and some timely questions:


Oooh la la.

And the newly-voting women registered in political parties:

I want to note the proportions of the women in particular parties. In specific, how many women signed up for the Prohibition party, compared to men. And compared to the other parties.

Yes, Prohibition was tied to the feminist movement, fwiw.

And a call for nurses:

Given that the war would be over in November 1918, and that the Spanish flu would be raging then, I wonder how many of these recruited nurses-in-training got deployed for dealing with the pandemic rather than war casualties.


A pep talk from the former president:

Be thrifty!

That advice will come in handy about 14 years later.

And here’s one weather-related holiday that fell to the supremacy of the groundhog:

I have never heard of that particular legend.