Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Great War: June 18, 1917

A website called Home Before the Leaves Fall: The Great War has this to say about the American Red Cross during the months after the United States entered World War I: 
By the spring of 1917 the war in Europe was at its most intense. Word about the dismal trench conditions in France and Germany was reaching citizens of the United States and the reality had sunk in that American combat troops were going to be deployed in Europe in large numbers. Driven by these circumstances and a growing patriotic duty in America, citizens offered their help to the Red Cross in greater numbers than ever before. . . .
The Red Cross also provided women an unprecedented opportunity, both at home and abroad, to show their patriotic spirit and strip away preconceived notions of women and the public sphere. Women played a vital role in the Red Cross and in the relief effort overseas. . . .
All this is reflected in the article that appeared in the Hudson Evening Register on June 18, announcing the opening of a new Red Cross headquarters in Hudson.

Miss Jennie R. Denegar has generously donated to the Hudson branch of the Red Cross society her store at 530 Warren street, and the work will be done there this week instead of at the parish house of Christ church. The new headquarters are coincident with the big drive of the Red Cross for war contributions, and it is the sincere hope of the officials of the local organization that there will be a large attendance at the gatherings to be held in the building, as the call for dressings is incessant.
The new temporary headquarters will be open from 9 o'clock in the morning until 9 o'clock at night, and in the evening the kits for the "F" company members will be made. The Red Cross buttons will be on sale there, and women are needed. New members of the organization will be cordially received, and membership cards given to new members and those who enroll in the Red Cross this week. This is a new feature, Mrs. Gillette, who is an ardent local Red Cross worker, explained this afternoon. Every member is entitled to a card showing that he or she has enrolled in the organization. . . .
"We wish you would emphasize the fact that women are needed at the new headquarters," a member of the organization stated to-day. She also declared that the following motto had been decided upon: "If you can't give a dollar to become a member, you can give your time, can't you?"
Displayed in the headquarters is an abundance of surgical dressings made by the local branch; also night shirts for the wounded, convalescent robes, pajamas and hundreds of other useful things in the hospital. Two large boxes ready to be sent to the front filled with surgical dressings are also shown.
This is 530 Warren Street, the newly designated headquarters of the Red Cross in 1917, today.


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