Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Great War: June 20, 1917

One hundred years ago today, it was Red Cross "Emblem Day" in Hudson. Gossips coverage of the promotion of the event failed to include this display ad, which appeared on page four of the Hudson Evening Register for June 19, 1917.

On June 20, the Register reported that "bright and early nearly 150 women attired in Red Cross uniforms appeared on the streets. They asked folks to do nothing but help the greatest movement the Red Cross has ever attempted. The young ladies 'tagged' pedestrians and autoists. They invited persons to buy a Red Cross thimble or a Red Cross lapel emblem, or if the person accosted owned an automobile they tried to sell him a Red Cross auto emblem." The article goes on to name all the women who participated in Emblem Day.

The news item most intriguing on June 20 appeared one column over on the front page. It reported on what was to happen as the finale of Emblem Day.

Emblem Day of the local branch of the Red Cross will close at 9 o'clock this evening with an inspiring and elaborate electrical demonstration.
A large and attractive Red Cross banner, made by high school pupils under the direction of Miss Nixon, fastened on the cupola of the Farmers National bank will figure prominently. The Albany Southern railroad company has generously donated sufficient "juice" to operate a large "flood" light which will illuminate the banner, and this light has been arranged free of charge by Electrician Joseph Clark. The machine, from which the "flood" light will be thrown will be at the Speed shoe store.
This was the Farmers National Bank building, which stood at 544 Warren Street. Constructed in 1872, it was destroyed in a spectacular fire in November 1926.

The shoe store owned by H. S. Speed, where the floodlight was located, was across the street at 539 Warren Street, which today is a pocket park.


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