Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Great War: April 9, 1917

In 1917, April 8 was Easter Sunday, so no newspaper was published that day. On the next day, however, Monday, April 9, the front page of the Hudson Evening Register reported on a patriotic rally that had taken place on Easter night at the Universalist Church. The story carried the headline reproduced below. (It will be remembered that war had been declared only the previous Friday.) Excerpts from the text of the article are transcribed following the headline.

The urgent need of men to man the ships of the United States navy was emphasized at the Universalist church last night.
One of the speakers further said that Hudson young men had not been responding in the way that they should be to the call.
Two men of the navy made addresses, and there were present a number of the Civil war veterans, members of the Sons of Veterans and a number of the khaki-clad soldiers of the Co. H 71st regiment, New York city, who are on duty here. There was a large audience, every pew being filled. It was a big patriotic rally for Navy night of the church into which was blended the anthems and solos of the Easter music. The service opened with the singing of "America," and the national colors had their place along with the floral decorations, the pulpit being draped with a large American flag, while many were hung about and a row of smaller flags were along the choir rail. . . .
In opening [Lieutenant Philip M. Hambsch] said that one of the chief obstacles was due to women, who held their boys back from enlisting. Many applicants were rejected owing to poor teeth, and here was a matter in which mothers could help, by seeing that boys take better care of their teeth in the future. . . .
Albany, Troy, Utica, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Glens Falls, Pittsfield all were recruiting with a lively spirit, but Hudson was "not there." No young men, who have no dependents, is [sic] worthy the name of American who does not come forward at this time. What is the reason here in Hudson for this slackness? asked the speaker. He did not believe it was because the young men were not patriotic, but they did not realize the urgency and seriousness. It was the most important matter before the United States to-day. We have splendid ships undermanned, a stupendous ship building program, the greatest in world's history, is under way, and all these ships will require men. . . .
The service closed with everybody singing "The Star Spangled Banner."
During the service a hymn written by Mrs. Luella D. Smith was sung, which was written especially for the occasion. It will be found in another column.
Gossips found the hymn written by Mrs. Luella D. Smith in another column, and here it is--five quatrains, each with an abab rhyme scheme.


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