19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, September 22, 1914: <<no entry>>
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma has not mentioned World War I in the diary. How aware was she of the War? The Milton Evening Standard, her local newspaper, had regular stories about it. Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that you might enjoy reading what the paper said on September 22, 1914 about the War.
35 thoughts on “World War I in the News on September 22, 1914”
Very much enjoyed the newspaper clip. Great idea!
I’m glad that you found it interesting.
I imagine she was aware but wanted to keep it at bay. In 1914, the US wasn’t in it yet so maybe it didn’t touch home yet.
Yes, I think that you are right. It probably still seemed very distant, since the US wasn’t involved yet.
World War I has faded away for most of us;I think we think of WWII as more “our” war. I was so struck by the centenary memorials in Europe this summer. Have you seen the poppies flowing from the Tower of London? Heartbreaking.
Somehow I’d missed seeing any news accounts about the poppies at the Tower of London. After reading your comment, I googled it. The poppy installation art sure is powerful. It really creates a vivid visual impact as it expands to show the British fatalities during the war.
That’s kind of what I mean, Sheryl. WWI seems so much “their” war, I mean Europe’s, than ours in our collective memories. Germany, France, Great Britain lost millions of young men. Can you imagine the number? That’s why this poppy exhibition is so incredibly moving.
Yes it is amazing that Helena never mentions it. I wonder, back then news seemed older and the world wasn’t so connected. Now days, it is basically real-time and we are so connected globally.
In 1914 the war may have still seemed very distant since the US wasn’t yet involved.
Your thought is interesting … I do wonder how people followed the war other than the paper. It’s surely not like today with 24 hour cable (I’d prefer it to be FAR less than 24 hours).
In September, 1914 there were articles almost every day in the newspaper about the war–but since people weren’t bombarded with news stories 24 hrs. a day back then, they may have thought less about it than we would now.
You know I love all that you are doing here. So much related to what I’m doing with writing “My Father’s House.” I knew my parents never stopped grieving the death in battle (WWI) of my father’s best friend and their best man. Researching it, I realized that my father and Swanie would both have gone for draft-related physicals the day before the wedding. According to my big sister, my mother told her my father was embarrassed having to remove all his clothes. Because he was not yet a naturalized citizen, he was not drafted.
I was able to track down the full name of his friend (whom he must have met at Upsala College). A park was named in Swanie’s (for Swanson) honor in his home town. I haven’t determined what has happened to the park, though it’s on my list when I get to writing that stage of my father’s journey.
I wish you grandma would keep on writing …
It’s always wonderful to hear that you enjoy this blog. It had to have been so hard for your parents to lose your father’s best friend in WWI. WWI was such a rough war. In addition to the soldiers who were killed, the use of mustard gas during that war sounds horrific–and there was so much battle fatigue (which I think is an old-fashioned term for post-traumatic stress).
Particularly sad, I think, is that people like my Dad, coming to the U.S. thought they were coming to a place isolated from the horrors of war. And then after WWI they really believed it had been the war to end all wars.
100 years since WW1 … I was just thinking about this this morning before I saw this post. When I studied my Great-Aunt’s diaries, entries during WW2, it took a few years before she included a lot of comments and most were about local boys in the fighting. Jane
The war probably still seemed very distant to Grandma in 1914 since the US wasn’t yet involved. Just like your great-aunt, I bet that Grandma probably though more about the war once local boys were fighting.
I wonder if she writes about it later, when we join. How long is the diary?
The diary goes from January, 1911 through December, 1914–so there are about 3 more months of entries that I’ll be posting.
Helena is making you work very hard these days, since she isn’t writing herself! We’re lucky that you keep coming up with such interesting angles!
Grandma apparently was having a dry spell. Thanks for your kind words–I try my best when Grandma didn’t write anything.
I just included a news clipping about the start of WWII on my Mom’s 75 years ago diary entry a day or two ago. They had listened to a Fireside Chat by the President, in 1939, on the radio… link to text of speech, and audio of it… lots of changes in 75,100 years… but much still the same. What fun!! 😉
Thanks for letting me know about the article. I particularly found it interesting that there were shortages of sugar and other foods as early as 1939.
Here is the link to the post that Dr. Bill mentioned in case others would like to read it:
I wonder if Helena will include entries about the Great War later, when reality sets in.
You’ll have to wait and see. . though the diary ends in December, 1914 and the US didn’t enter the war until several years later.
Wow. So interesting to read that article. I wonder what your Grandma thought & how she felt about what was going on.
sigh. . . I wish that she would have told use what she thought about it, though I recognize that, in 1914, she probably didn’t realize that the US would eventually become involved in it.
Thanks, Sheryl. It is interesting to read the original accounts. Germany must have seemed very far away a hundred years ago.
That’s what I’m thinking, too. With the US not yet involved (and local boys not yet fighting), the war probably seemed very distant to Grandma.
It surprises me that she doesn’t mention it but I suppose we have to remember that communications weren’t great then. My mother very much highlighted that point, even about WW2, in which her beloved double first cousin was killed.
Yes, communications were so much slower back then–they won’t have even had a radio back then.
It is funny that a history buff like myself never thought about WWI when reading about Helena, her life keeps it so far away. If she is like my daughter she has no thought about it since the US is not yet involved. My daughters theory is there is not much she can do about it so why concern with it. So although aware of what is going today, Michelle doesn’t give it much thought, Helena might have been the same way. I am going to miss her diary entries.
I think that you are probably right about Grandma not giving it much thought. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want to do when the diary entries end. I have enjoyed doing A Hundred Years Ago so much and I don’t want to give up blogging when the diary ends. I’m going to do a post later this week about my future plans. I think think you’ll like what I’m thinking of doing.
I am happy that you are going to continue blogging. It was fun getting to Helena but it was also fun getting to know you! 😀
Thank you for the kind words. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know you.