From the Archives

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: 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, ...

World War I in Lawrence: City enjoys potato week

“POTATO WEEK IS LATEST ANTI-GERMAN CAMPAIGN,” announced a headline in the Lawrence Journal-World in early April 1918. “Every potato eaten saves that much wheat,” said State Food Administrator Walter Innes, who had designated April 8-13 as “Potato Week” in Kansas. “Potatoes have ...

World War I in Lawrence: Unpatriotic speech rubs some residents the wrong way

In the spring of 1918, a speech given by a visiting orator raised the hackles of several of Lawrence’s patriotic citizens, including Mayor W. J. Francisco. Scott Anderson, formerly a pastor in Los Angeles, California, gave a lecture in the Fraternal Aid Union Hall titled “War Clouds and ...

World War I in Lawrence: Liberty Bond drive opens with a parade

The opening of the Third Liberty Bond drive occurred on the eve of the first anniversary of the U.S. entry into the “Great War,” and Lawrence kicked off the celebration at 2 p.m. that Friday afternoon, April 5, 1918, with “all whistles and bells in Lawrence (in) the biggest clamor ever ...

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

Local news reports show that anti-German sentiment infiltrated the Lawrence mayoral race of 100 years ago. The Lawrence Journal-World of Jan. 31, 1918, dropped a hint that there was “every indication that the pro-German candidate for mayor of Lawrence is soon to be announced. Of course he ...

World War I in Lawrence: Hoard food at your own risk

Wartime food restrictions specified the quantities of certain foods residents were permitted to keep on hand, and people were not hesitant to report friends or neighbors who were suspected of crossing the line. In March 1918, the Lawrence Journal-World reported that some unnamed person had ...

World War I in Lawrence: KU students do their part

A mix of war-related University of Kansas news occupied the front page in early March, 1918. On March 8, the Journal-World announced that Roy Stockwell, former secretary of the University of Kansas Y.M.C.A. and a 1911 KU graduate, had been “decorated with the Croix de Guerre by the French ...

World War I in Lawrence: Residents hone their green thumbs for the war effort

With the approach of the warmer months, patriotic Lawrence residents were showing an interest in “war gardening.” Professor Charles A. Shull, of the department of botany at the University of Kansas, spoke in Lawrence this month on “scientific intensive gardening,” by which “every ...

World War I in Lawrence: Locals encouraged to return to ice-harvesting tradition

As recently as 50 or even 25 years before the Great War, Lawrence residents had spent a good part of the winter cutting and storing ice from area ponds and from the Kansas River, and “extensive ice houses on the river bank” had a capacity of several hundred tons. Local “ice men” ...