100 Years Ago: News from the Bloomington, Evening World Friday, August 10, 1917

100 Years Ago: News from the Bloomington, Evening World Friday, August 10, 1917


A Cold Wind is Going To Blow–

The banner headline read “Allies Start New Offensive” in large letters, but the article accompanying it was small, announcing that the British have captured a hill, known as Westhoek Ridge, in Belgium in the middle of the months long Third Battle of Ypres. In other war related news, Corporal Burton Woolery announced that 6 more men have volunteered for Bloomington’s Company F, the local draft board reported that 8 men out of 59 have passed their draft examinations and are not claiming exemptions, Indiana University made ROTC training mandatory for freshmen and sophomore men and the sports writer awkwardly lamented that IU’s football prospects for Fall have been considerable lessened by losing players who have enlisted or been conscripted. Meanwhile, the Red Cross was exhibiting a modern war-outfitted ambulance on the square in hopes of soliciting enough contributions to buy another ambulance to send to France.

The Red Cross ambulance was competing for attention with a veritable barrage of sales from the merchants surrounding the square, if the large number of large advertisements in the Evening World are any indication. Shoes, especially, it seems were on sale everywhere. When I was a child in small town Indiana, 60 years after this newspaper was published, some of the old-time five-and-dime and home town department stores were still keeping up a struggle to compete with the new strip-mall, big box, discount stores. I remember end of summer sales being a big deal then, with clerks hauling merchandise onto the sidewalk around the square. My grandmother took these sidewalk sales very seriously. They must have been the ghosts of end-of-summer-sales past.

Another short note speculated that the song of the katydids, just heard recently in the area, predicted frost in six weeks. Apparently it was time to get ready for winter.

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