August 18, 1914

The headlines report nothing but news of war with advances on one front, defeat on another, and pleas for neutrality from President Wilson:

AUSTRIAN ARMY INVADING SERVIA MEETS DISASTER

DAY’S WAR STORIES FROM ALL POINTS AND TOLD BRIEFLY

ENORMOUS ARMY PRESSES GERMANS ALONG THE RHINE

GERMANS SLOWLY FORCE BELGIANS BACK ON BRUSSELS

PEARLS OF WISDOM FROM LIPS OF OUR GOOD PRESIDENT

The summary of the war news, which the paper would carry throughout the four year conflict:

The Germans were advancing in Belgium today; the French in Alsace.

Allies were being driven back upon Brussels; it was believed the city itself must fall.

Antwerp has been made Belgium’s temporary capital.

Even in Antwerp’s vicinity German cavalry were seen and the city’s fortifications were manned. But for all that the Belgian war office announced “the allies’ position is excellent; German raids in the direction of Brussels have been checked.”

In any event, it was declared Brussels was not of strategic importance.

Belgium was said to have refused a German offer to make terms on any basis which would not hamper the kaiser’s campaign against France.

In Alsace the French were pushing toward Strasburg.

The Germans were in retreat, but it was expected they would make a stint at Molsheim, 12 miles to Strasburg’s west.

The advance was attended by bloody fighting.

The British expeditionary forces had landed safely on the continent.

Russia’s mobilization was completed and the czar’s cavalry was reported far across the German and Austrian frontiers.

Denying this, Vienna dispatches said the Russian invasion of the Styur valley and been repulsed and that Austrians had invaded Russia.

In San Francisco, the German cruiser, Leipsic, took on coal, for the second time, and according out its captain, “I will fight the enemy wherever I may find him.” Upon leaving the harbor and dropping off her pilot, she doused all lights. In San Diego, the paper reported that “coaled to full capacity and stripped for action, the Japanese cruiser Idzuma steamed out of San Diego harbor . . . and was making her way carefully up the coast to San Francisco.”

An advertisement announced that the Barnum & Bailey circus would visit Salem on the 27th of August. “The Wizard Prince of Arabia” described as an Oriental spectacle and ballet and promised the “most stunningly stupendous production in the history of pageantry. Juvenile dreams come true and maturity’s most vivid expectations outdone.” The public is promised the “world’s rarest, costliest zoo and animal nursery – 110 dens of wild beasts, herds of elephants and camels, infant giraffe.” Tickets for admission were 50 cents (children half price) and could be obtained at Patton Bros. stationary store.

In an editorial, the editor discussed the “Censored News of the War”:

The news from the seat of war is so censored that it is difficult to get a thorough understanding of the situation. Places where fighting is going on are in many cases not mentioned, and even when they are the stories are nearly all so censored by one side or the other that the real event is clouded. Each side sees that the news sent out is not unfavorable to it, and as most of the news comes from the French or Belgian side, it is only fair to make some allowances for prejudice and discount to some extend the reports of victories.

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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