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May 21

World War 1 bond drives

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A decorated vehicle of World War I vintage was used as a float in a bond drive parade. It is pictured here moving up Monterey St. in front of the Stag Billiard Parlor. The original picture came from Zaidee Andrews.

10-2-1918-ww1-death.jpgAs Memorial day arrives a few notes from 1918.They called it the Great War or The War to End All Wars. Sadly it planted the seeds for an even greater conflict about 20 years later.According to Wikipedia the  First World War resulted 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded. For a point of reference Spanish Influenza spreading at the time killed 50-100 million.On page 3 of the Daily Telegram October 2, 1918

SAN MIGUEL BOY ISKILLED “OVER THERE”

Mrs. Kelley Receives the SadNews of Son’s Death.

Staff correspondence to The TelegramSAN MIGUEL, Oct. 2–The sad news came to Mrs. J. Kelley Sunday noon that her son Joe Clark Kelley was killed in action in France on Sept. 14.Joe has been “over there” for nearly a year and had gone through two previous big drives without a scratch. Joe has many friends here who extend their sympathy to Mrs. Kelly and her family.

One of the hallmarks of the era was the sense of shared sacrifice at home.War bond ads were in every paper, sometimes taking up a full page. Back then China was not loaning the United States money so the government relied on citizens to buy war bonds.Some of the ads appealed to a sense of patriotism, another had the drawing of a dead soldier with the tag line, “They are dying over there. Are you Buying over here?”10-3-1918-ww1.jpgAnother sacrifice was the drive to save food so that supplies could be diverted to the soldiers and the refugees. A story on the same page outlines a food conference in San Francisco attended by Miss Whiting of the California Polytechnic School.

The main idea emphasized at the conference was the rigid necessity for each man, woman and child to “carry on” in conserving food. The winning of the war depends on each individual’s ability and desire to do this. 

The man in charge of this relief operation carried it off successfully and would later become president, Herbert Hoover.The Telegram had a lot of pictures from wire services,  but sadly very few local pictures.One of the goofiest wire stories was a composite photo made up of four men in the armed forces. The best stories take a major topic and put some sort of face on it.It gives readers insight and relates on a human scale.This story fails by taking the face away from the participants.

Related posts:

  1. 1918 Spanish Influenza on the Central Coast III
  2. Spanish Flu of 1918 Part II