Old Hometown

Local writer Sarah St. John pulls from the Journal-World archives to compile reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence decades ago.

World War I in Lawrence: Armistice means a happier-than-normal Thanksgiving

Editor's note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. Hearts were undoubtedly full at the first Thanksgiving of the post-war era, which occurred on Nov. 28, 1918. According to the Journal-World for that day, “there was not a ...

World War I in Lawrence: Residents rush downtown to celebrate the armistice

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. Before sunrise today, the long-awaited news of the armistice reached Lawrence. According to an extra edition of the Journal-World, Santa Fe Railway night operator Ralph Tripp ...

World War I in Lawrence: KU students enrolled in mandatory military training

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports on what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. In October of 1918, the armistice was only weeks away, but with no foreknowledge of this, war-work was continuing at a high pitch. Earlier, the state of Kansas had ...

World War I in Lawrence: War doesn’t stop German language classes at KU

In spite of the general anti-German policies common in Lawrence in 1918 and the reluctance to teach the language in the lower schools, there were still at least two reasons considered valid for German studies at the university level. A new three-hour course titled “German for the American ...

World War I in Lawrence: Anti-German sentiment creeps into churches

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. National and local anti-German sentiment, which had been increasing steadily since the beginning of the war, had now infiltrated the Lawrence church scene. ...

World War I in Lawrence: Residents adjust plans because of ‘ice famine’

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. A local labor shortage combined with a mid-August heat wave combined to make ice a rare commodity in Lawrence in the summer of 1918. The Lawrence Ice and Storage Company ...

World War I in Lawrence: Newspaper publishes letters from the front

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. In the summer of 1918, more local soldiers were being sent from their U.S. training camps to overseas locations. With this change came an increase of letters sent to “the ...

World War I in Lawrence: Family has 6 sons in armed forces

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. The youngest son of the Weber family, 500 Illinois St., enlisted last week, bringing the family’s total to six sons in the military. Joe had enlisted for the Navy hospital ...

World War I in Lawrence: Soldiers parade downtown before departure

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. In the summer of 1918, after nearly two months of focused work, the men attending the first Army Training Camp on the University of Kansas campus were nearly ...

World War I in Lawrence: Gasoline merchants stop selling after 6 p.m.

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. In July 1918, following the lead of other cities, Lawrence began an initiative to reduce evening “joy riding” and other recreational driving by making gasoline ...

World War I in Lawrence: Drivers urged to donate old tags

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence during World War I. In July of 1918, Lawrence drivers had made their annual tax visit to the courthouse and were now waiting for their new license plates to be mailed from Topeka. The first ...

World War I in Lawrence: Newspapers forced to cut back on free copies

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. The shortage of paper that had been plaguing newspapers nationwide for the past two years had caused increases in operating costs, but in the summer of 1918, ...

World War I in Lawrence: Brides shun wedding marches by German composers

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. According to a local musician, the familiar strains of the “Here Comes the Bride” or “The Wedding March” were to be banned from this year’s weddings, ...

World War I in Lawrence: Independence Day celebrations have a military bent

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. “The eagle will scream louder this Fourth of July than ever, in spite of the absence of the resonant firecracker and the spectacular sky-rocket.” This was ...

World War I in Lawrence: Residents urged to cut back on sugar

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. Among the food restrictions imposed by the war were limitations on meat, wheat products, and sugar — the latter being especially difficult for families ...

World War I in Lawrence: Chamber of Commerce meeting ends in prayer for troops

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. The Lawrence Journal-World reported this week on a local meeting which culminated in a resolution for a daily moment of prayerful silence: “While it hardly ...

World War I in Lawrence: Italian flag flies over Lawrence post office

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. On Friday, May 24, 1918, local residents observed the unprecedented sight of the flag of another nation flying over the U.S. Post Office in Lawrence. It was the ...

World War I in Lawrence: Douglas County men leave for training

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. Another round of the military draft resulted in several more Douglas County men leaving for training on May 14, 1918. The Journal-World reported the huge crowd ...

World War I in Lawrence: Seniors at KU excused for military service

Editor’s note: Local writer Sarah St. John compiles reports of what it was like to be in Lawrence 100 years ago during World War I. Seniors at the University of Kansas were to be excused from the remainder of the school year if they volunteered or were called up for military service, ...