Category: tuesdaythoughts

‘The delights of lying in the grass among tree…

‘The delights of lying in the grass
among trees and listening to the birds singing instead of to the whistling of
the shells…’

WW1, John
– Photo: Henri Roger

              “But all those I had seen at the…

              “But all
those I had seen at the front, dusty, dirty, mud-encrusted, blood-stained”

‘On the 14th of
July 1919 I stood on the high balcony of a friend’s house in the Champs
Elysees, and saw the Allied Armies ride under the Arch of Triumph, and down the
avenue to the misty distance of the Place de la Concorde and its obelisk of

As I stood
there, high over the surging crowds and the great procession, the midsummer sun
blinding my eyes, and the significance of that incredible spectacle dazzling my
heart, I remembered what Bergson had once said of my inability to memorize
great poetry: “You’re dazzled by it.”

Yes, I
thought; I will not remember all this except as a golden blur of emotion. Even
now I can’t catch the details, I can’t separate the massed flags, or
distinguish the famous generals as they ride by, or the names of the regiments
as they pass. I remember thankfully that a grand mutilé for whom I have secured
a wheeled chair must have received it just in time to join his group in the
Place de la Concorde . . .

The rest is all a glory of shooting
sun-rays reflected from shining arms and helmets, from the flanks of glossy chargers,
the dark glitter of machine-guns and tanks. But all
those I had seen at the front, dusty, dirty, mud-encrusted, blood-stained,
spent and struggling on; when I try to remember, the two visions merge into
one, and my heart is broken with them.’

, American novelist, short story writer,
playwright, and designer.
Throughout the war she worked tirelessly in charitable efforts for refugees, the
injured, the unemployed, and the displaced – A Backward
– Photo: watching the
July 14th 1919 parade from a balcony on the Champs Elysees – @

“Have a patriotic, not a political, celebratio…

“Have a patriotic, not a political, celebration on the
Fourth. Remember that your country’s welfare has a claim on your thought and
effort in time of peace.”  

1919, Home
and Community, July, The Farmers’ Bulletin

July 4 1919, Virginia – Back at the farm, wearing patriotic party hats in celebration of the 4th
of July – West Virginia University



“waiting, waiting, waiting”


“Why we’re here:
we’re here because we can’t
get home. The ocean is too wide, If it was narrow as the
Rhine, We’d swim to the other side. So we’re waiting, waiting waiting
until the ocean’s dry, then we’ll hike back to God’s country to Mother and
mince pie.”

June 1919, American
soldiers in France & Germany, waiting to go home – The Amaroc News: The Daily Newspaper of the
American Forces in Germany
  – Photo: spring 1919, American soldiers
in Brest, France, waiting to sail home –Tom Caulley

                 “Why not just put me down as …

“Why not just put me down as short, stout, and gray?”

May 28 1919
“I am not ashamed to tell you that I am
63, although many take me for 20 years more than my real age,” replied
Mrs. Smith (pictured in the center) when the election commissioner asked
her age. “Why not just put me down as short, stout, and gray?”

In Nebraska, the anti-suffrage forces
gathered signatures to suspend a limited woman suffrage act signed in 1917. But the women suffragists fought back and won
their battle in court. Read this great story here.


                                                   “They will not go back”

‘May 21 1919 – The
real triumph belongs to the women.

objective was the national enfranchisement of women. A tiny step, you may say.
True! But the first step in the long struggle of women for political, economic
and social emancipation.

How revolutionary will be the
changes when women get this power and responsibility no one can adequately foretell.
One thing is certain. They will not go back. They will never again be good and
willing slaves.

It has been a long, wearying
struggle. Although drudgery has persisted throughout, there have been moments
of great joy and beauty. The relief that comes after a great achievement is
sweet. There is no bitterness.

All along women have kept their
faith in women.’

May-June 1919, celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment –  “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens,  American suffragist, woman’s legal rights advocate and author –
Photo: May 21 1919: “the real triumph belongs to women”

On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the 19th

and 2 weeks
later, the Senate followed. The 19th amendment to the constitution guarantees
all American women the right to vote.

“Teaching a child to read a map, like teaching…

“Teaching a child to read a map, like teaching a child to read a book, should be one of the principal goals of every geography teacher.”

French: Mapping the Geographies of French Identity, 1871-1914
– Photo: 1919,
American treacher working with the American
Committee for Devastated France
showing French schoolgirls how to read the French map – Ministère de la
culture, France


                                              “Worry and care were thrown to the winds”

“We sailed
from St. Nazaire on March 13th. We were a happy
outfit. The first two days out were strenuous, as the weather is always nasty
in the Bay of Biscay, and the sea is always rough. There was some sea-sickness, but
nothing like what it was on the journey over, as the men were not crowded and
were allowed to remain on deck and smoke after dark, all of which was denied on
the way to France. Worry and care were thrown to the winds, and there were few
kicks left in the system of any soul aboard. The distance from St. Nazaire to Charleston was 4,135 miles. The vessel passed
in sight of the Azores and just north of Bermuda, and arrived at Charleston on
the afternoon of March 27th.”

1919 – History of the Fifty-fifth Field Artillery Brigade – Photos:
1919, a vessel transporting American troops leaves Saint Nazaire, France – Private collection – Matthieu1856
Delcampe, France.


                                                                    That crazy mask

“We carried that crazy mask around with the same
tenacity that the proverbial little lamb clung to
Mary; the mask clung to us from early morn till
late at night. No matter where we might go, it was our constant companion. When
we arose in the morning, it immediately asserted
its precedence over everything else, and when we returned to our bunks at night,
it could be found clinging to us with friendly devotion.”

American soldier’s memoir – Twelfth U.S. Infantry,
– Photo: WW1 soldiers wearing their “crazy mask”.

“Today is Mardi Gras and the only possible amu…

“Today is Mardi
Gras and the only possible amusement around here would be “to play” with our gas
masks… but they are too warm and stink of ricin.”

Mardi Gras in WW1 – Un régiment spinalien
dans la Grande Guerre – Photo: WW1 soldiers trying on their gas masks – Cultural Collections, UON Library