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Search Results for "NY Times"

'Poilu' is not the Right Word! (NY Times, 1916)

The novelist, journalist, anti-Semite and French Academy member Maurice Barres (1862 - 1923) had some opinions regarding the word "Poilu" (the popular and affectionate slang term for the French front line soldier, which translates into English as "hairy guy"). In the following one page essay he presented a history of the word and continued with an explanation as to why it bugged him:

"It lacks dignity. To my taste it belittles those whom it is meant to laud and serve. A hero can hardly be expressed by this brazen-faced and slanderous epithet. And yet, since it has taken root in our battlefields now for more than a year, one hesitates to speak ill of this word, in which so many admirable acts are somehow visible. It is winning it's historic titles".

In the end, no one really cared what Maurice Barres had to say on this topic and the sobriquet "poilu" remained in place.

 

The Lynching Records: 1885 - 1912 (NY Times, 1913)

A report from THE NEW YORK TIMES stated that, relative to the population, 1912 saw a drop in the number of lynchings. Included in this brief is a record of lynchings that occurred between the years 1885 - 1912.-from Amazon:

 

The Battle of the Cooties (NY Times, 1918)

"Cooties", in the World War One sense of the word, were tiny little bugs that lived in the seams of uniforms for that unlucky multitude who lived in the trenches. Being an equal-opportunity sort of parasite, they plagued all combatants alike, regardless of one's opinions concerning Belgian neutrality, and were cause for much complaining, scratching, discomfort and the creation of way too much juvenile verse.

The attached article from 1917 tells the tale of some fortunate Doughboys and their encounter with a U.S. Army "Cootie Graveyard" (read: delousing station):

"They entered a bedraggled, dirty, grouchy lot of sorry-looking Doughboys. They came out with faces shinning and spirits new. They knew they had before them the first good night's rest in some time and sans scratching."

As far as cooties were concerned, the American infantrymen of the Great War had it far easier than his European comrades and counter-parts, for he only had to contend with them for the mere six month time that he lived in the trenches, rather than the full four years.

 

The View from the German Trenches (NY Times, 1915)

Originally appearing in the Berlin TAGEBLATTT, this dispatch, written by Bernhard Kellerman (1879 - 1951), was later translated and printed in the NEW YORK TIMES magazine, CURRENT HISTORY. It reported on the hardships and morale of German infantry serving in Flanders during the second year of the war.

 

A New Word for the Dictionary (NY Times, 1914)

In our era it doesn't seem terribly odd that a fresh, exciting and highly popular industry would begin generating new words to fill our dictionaries, and 1914 was no different. The attached article introduced the readers of THE NEW YORK TIMES to a new verb contributed by the early film industry:

"The verb 'to film' having gained currency, it must be graciously admitted to the language. It will soon be in the 'advanced' dictionaries and it must be recognized. The old idea of protecting the English language from invasion is extinct. To 'film' means to make a picture for a 'movie' show'".

During the past twenty years, Hollywood provided us with a whole slew of terms, such as "dramedy" (a combination between a comedy and a drama) and “romcom” (romantic comedy), "sitcom" (situation comedy) to name only a few.

Click here to read another article about the impact of film on the English language.

 

American Lynchings on French Soil (NY Times, 1921)

(The article can be read here)
This article from 1921 reported on a disturbing series of lynchings that took place between the years 1917 through 1919 by U.S. Army personnel serving in France during the First World War. The journalist quotes witness after witness who appeared before a Senate Committee regarding the lynchings they had seen:

"Altogether...I saw ten Negroes and two white men hanged at Is-Sur-Tille. Twenty-eight other members of my command also witnessed these hangings and if necessary, I can produce them."

It was alleged that the murders were committed under the authority of American officers who willingly acted outside the law.

If you would like to read more about African-American service during W.W. I you may click here.

 

Submarine Warfare: The First Seven Months (NY Times, 1915)

Information released from the British Admiralty concerning the number of British merchant and fishing vessels lost to German U-boat attacks during the first seven months of the war. The article names eight non-military ships sunk during March 1915. In addition, the Admiralty also stated the total number of British merchant and fishing vessels lost through German naval attacks from the start of the war through March 10, 1915.

Click here to read about the new rules for warfare that were written as a result of the First World War - none of them pertain to the use of poison gas or submarines.

 

The Slaughter of the Aristocrats (NY Times, 1915)

This 1915 article goes into great length listing the names of all the assorted European noblemen and plutocrats who fell during the first year and a half of the First World War.

"The great world conflict which broke out soon after [the murder of Archduke Ferdinand] has placed the pall of mourning over every third home in the belligerent countries of Europe... The dreadful slaughter has fallen with especial heaviness on the upper and wealthy classes..."

The writer, Charles Stolberg, also included the names of the most admired European athletes who gave their lives for king and country.

 

Letter from a Veteran (NY Times, 1916)

An experienced Canadian trench fighter gives some tips to an American Guardsman.

"Men enthuse over descriptions of bayonet charges. They are no idle pastimes, so it behooves all soldiers not only to become absolutely perfect in bayonet exercises, but to practice getting under way, keeping abreast with your mates and having a firm hold on your rifle. The soldier may say, 'Oh, that bayonet exercise isn't practical in a charge." No? Very well, that may appear right to some, but I should advise every one knowing every parry, thrust and counter so thoroughly that after they become second nature you can then do whatever your intuition at the moment directs."

 

The Effects of War on Character (NY Times, 1915)

The attached W.W. I letter is a reflection on the effects of war upon character written by a British officer on the western front to his wife.

"You need not fear for a 'disgraceful peace' coming from fatigue on the part of the fighting men. It is the resolution of the talking men you will need to look to."

No truer words...

 

The Winter Look for Flappers (NY Times, 1922)

"Stockings Scare Dogs"

-so ran the sub head-line for this news article from the early Twenties which attempted to explain to one and all what the new look for the winter of 1921 - 1922 was all about.

 

Mustard Gas Warfare (NY Times, 1918)

A 1918 NEW YORK TIMES article that reported on the expectations among the French and British for the United States to both use and manufacture mustard gas now that they have joined the war against Imperial Germany. The reporter went to some length elucidating as to the nasty, obscene and vile nature of mustard gas:

"Several months ago when I was making an experiment, some mustard gas got between two of my fingers. It was so little that it escaped notice. It was not until 9 o'clock that night that my hand began to look puffy. The next morning it was badly blistered."

 

The Collapse of the European Aristocracy (NY Times, 1919)

"The three great military monarchies which have lately fallen to pieces - Russian, Austro-Hungarian and German - were all based upon an aristocracy of large landed properties, whereas the other European countries had become parliamentary and democratic states. Europe was thus divided between two political orders, founded on two social orders, in fact, into two different worlds between which the river Elbe was approximately the boundary..."

"The war proved a decisive test of the stability of the two social orders; the democratic states went through it without flinching, the monarchies which had which had engendered the war in the hope of strengthening their position have gone under; from their defeat has sprung the revolution, which is overthrowing all aristocracies."

Click here to read a 1916 VANITY FAIR article about how the war had affected the British upper class.

 

''A Negro Poet'' (NY Times, 1897)

Here is the NY Times review of Lyrics of Lowly Life (1897) by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 - 1906), who was a distinguished African-American poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. If Helen had the face that launched a thousand ships, then Dunbar had the poetry to launch at least twenty thousand schools - for it seems that is about how many there are named for him.

 

Flappers Were Nothing New (NY Times, 1922)

Since the preceding article was jam-packed with intolerant remarks from the "lip-service" corner of the Holier-Than-Thou clerical crowd, it seemed only fitting that we post this article which dwelt upon the far more accepting and just a wee-bit more Christian feelings of yet another clergyman who tended to think that the flappers were not really as queer as everyone liked to think they were.

"Painting faces is no new thing except on occasion. Belles and famous beauties of the past painted for State occasions. But then it was not good form to wear paint in daylight. Now it is, apparently. That many young women now carry this to extreme is not unusual..."

Click here to read an article about the demise of a popular 1940s hairstyle.

 

Suffragettes Attack President Wilson (NY Times, 1918)

Here are two remarkably brief letters that were addressed to the editors of THE NEW YORK TIMES commenting on a seldom remembered assault that was launched on President Wilson during the Summer of 1918 by a group of Washington, D.C. suffragettes.

Click here to read about the WAC truck drivers of W.W. II.

 

The Evolution of the Tank (NY Times, 1919)

A three page article concerning the development of tanks during the First World War. While they were being created on the drawing boards of Britain's W. Foster Company, the code name for these land dreadnoughts was "water tanks"; hence the name.

"The first armored battle cars, or "tanks" were a British invention developed from an American automobile tractor used for agricultural purposes on the Western prairies. They made their initial appearance at the battle of the Somme (Flers), September 15, 1916."

However, it should be known that they were first used to greatest effect in the Battle of Cambrai (November 20 through December 7, 1917).

Click here to see a diagram of the W.W. I French Renault tank.

Read about the Patton tank in Korea...

 

The Ground Taken by the German Armies (NY Times, 1915)

Here is a numeric account, estimated by the Germans, indicating how much of Europe was conquered and occupied by their army on the first anniversary of World War One. The report also accounts for the amount of land being occupied by the Entente powers, and the number of Allied prisoners, machine guns and artillery pieces taken by the central powers within this same time frame. The report was interpreted by the Berlin-based American Association of Commerce before being filed in its entirety by the Associated Press:

"The territory occupied by the Allies... is about the size of the State of Connecticut."

"The territory occupied by the Central Powers... is about the size of the State of Missouri and about one-third the size of the German Empire."

 

Trench Warfare Tips from a Veteran (NY Times, 1916)

An experienced Canadian trench fighter wrote the attached columns offering sound advice to the American National Guardsmen he knew were bound to enter the war at some point.

"Men enthuse over descriptions of bayonet charges. They are no idle pastimes, so it behooves all soldiers not only to become absolutely perfect in bayonet exercises, but to practice getting under way, keeping abreast with your mates and having a firm hold on your rifle. The soldier may say, 'Oh, that bayonet exercise isn't practical in a charge." No? Very well, that may appear right to some, but I should advise every one knowing every parry, thrust and counter so thoroughly that after they become second nature you can then do whatever your intuition at the moment directs."

 

CARRY ON by Coningsby Dawson (NY Times, 1917)

Attached, you will find the 1917 review of Carry On by Coningsby Dawson (1883 - 1959). The book is a collection of the author's beautifully crafted letters that were written to his family while he served on the Western Front during the First World War. Dawson's ability to convey the urgency of the allied cause was so well received he was assigned to write two additional books by the British Ministry of Information: The Glory of the Trenches and Out to Win, both published in 1918 (neither of the two were any where near as moving as the one that is reviewed here).

Click here to read about W.W. I art.

 

Karl Marx Reviewed (NY Times, 1887)

To be sure, the book review of Das Kapital by Karl Marx that appeared in The New York Times in 1887 was very different from the review that same paper would give that book today. For this reviewer, Marx was one of the "advocates of chaos", and a "militant political economist":

"If he is anything, Karl Marx is a man in a towering rage. His paragraphs are replete with kicks and cuffs. He wants to slap your face if you are a bourgeois; to smash your skull if you are a capitalist."

Click here to read an article by Leon Trotsky.

 

''The German Concrete Trenches'' (NY Times, 1915)

"Some of the trenches have two stories, and at the back of many of them are subterranean rest houses built of concrete and connected with the trenches by passages. The rooms are about seven feet high and ten feet square, and above the ground all evidence of the work is concealed by green boughs and shrubbery."

 

Controlling the Radical Presses (NY Times, 1917)

Here is a World War I article that appeared on the pages of the New York Times some four months after the American entry into the war and it reported that the U.S. Government was obligated to close all news and opinion organs that questioned any efforts to prosecute the war or support the allied nations. The New York Times reported that the government was granted this power under "Title 1, section 1, 2, and 3 of Title 12 of the Espionage Act" (signed by President Wilson on June 13, 1917). Although no publications were named, the reader will be able to recognize that the only ones slandered as "pro-German" were those that would appeal to the pro-labor readers.

To learn how many African-Americans served in the W.W. I American Army, click here.

 

Secretary of War Newton Baker Visits the Front Trenches (NY Times, 1918)

Attached is a front page story from a 1918 NEW YORK TIMES that covered the important visit Secretary of War Newton Baker (1871 – 1937) had made to the American front line trenches during his World War I tenure at the Department of War. During this trip the former Ohio Governor donned trench coat, helmet and gas-mask while chatting it up with the Doughboys.

Click here to read an article from 1927 by General Pershing regarding the American cemeteries in Europe.

 

A Letter from One Who Saw the First German Prisoners (NY Times, 1915)

This W.W. I letter was written by a French infantryman who had participated in one the earliest battles of 1914. In this letter, that managed to make it into the French, British and American papers, the Frenchman took a good deal of time to describe his impressions of the first German prisoners to be taken in the war:

"Their appetite is so great that, though in [the] presence of a French officer they will click their heels together properly, they never cease at the same time to munch noisily and to fill out their hollow cheeks."

 

Ulysses by James Joyce (NY Times, 1922)

Here is the 1922 review of Ulysses by James Joyce as it appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES:

"Before proceeding with a brief analysis of Ulysses and comment on its construction and its content, I wish to characterize it. Ulysses is the most important contribution that has been made to fictional literature in the Twentieth Century."

An interview with Joyce can be read here...

 

The Lincoln Memorial (NY Times, 1923)

 

The War Begins (NY Times, 1861)

"The ball has opened. War is inaugurated. The batteries of Sullivan's Island, Morris Island and other points were opened on Fort Sumpter at 4 'oclock this morning... The answer to General Beauregard's demand by Major Anderson was that he would surrender when his supplies were exhausted, that is, if he was not reinforced."

Here are the dispatches from Charleston that appeared on the front page of the New York Times on April 13, 1861.

 

A Woman War Worker Cartoon (NY Times 1917)

Attached is a cartoon that was created during the third year of the First World War by a British cartoonist who feared that women have, through the years, been loosing their feminine mojo - that charming thing that truly separates them from the males of the species.

 

The Decorated Marines from Belleau Wood (NY Times, 1918)

An eyewitness account of the decoration ceremony that took place on a lawn of an unnamed French chateau in the Marne Valley on July 11, 1918. The ceremony was presided over by U.S. Army General James Harbord (1866 – 1947) and well over 100 Marines of the U.S. Second Division were cited for their "deeds in the fighting North-West of Chateau-Thierry".

*Watch a Short Film-Clip About the Battle of Belleau Wood*

 

Lusitania Torpedoed (NY Times, 1915)

A short column from the front page of The New York Times dated May 6, 1915 in which one of the Lusitania survivors recalled that famous submarine attack and it's immediate aftermath:

"...Immediately we both saw the track of a torpedo followed almost instantly by an explosion. Portions of splintered hull were sent flying into the air, and then another torpedo struck. The ship began to list to starboard."

In 2008 Mr. Gregg Bemis, the American who is the owner of Lusitania, and sole possessor of all salvaging rights, examined the remains of the great ship where it rested some eight miles off Ireland's South-West coast and provided proof-positive that the ship was indeed hauling armaments.

 

Gas Attack Horrors (NY Times, 1915)

French novelist Pierre Loti (né Julien Viaud: 1850 - 1923) filed this dispatch from a forward aid station in the the French sector where he witnessed the suffering of the earliest gas attack casualties:

"A place of horror which one would think Dante had imagined. The air is heavy, stifling; two or three little night lamps, which look as if they were afraid of giving too much light, hardly pierce the hot, smoky darkness which smells of fever and sweat. Busy people are whispering anxiously. But you hear, more than all, agonized gasping. These gaspings escape from a number of little beds drawn up close together on which are distinguished human forms, above all, chests, chests that are heaving too strongly, too rapidly, and that raise the sheets as if the hour of the death rattle had already come."

Click here to read about the new rules for warfare that were written as a result of the First World War - none of them pertain to poison gas.

 

W.W. I Zeppelin Raids on London (NY Times, 1915)

Printed during the seventh month of the First World War, this is a collection of assorted musings that first appeared in The London Times involving what was known for sure regarding the subject of German zeppelins. In an attempt to understand the true speed, range and fuel capacity of a zeppelin, the author refers to a number of previous voyages that the airships were known to have made during the pre-war years. Concerns regarding the amount of ammunition that could have been carried is also mentioned.

*A Newsreel About the Destruction of Zeppelin L31 and the Burial of It's Crew*

 

T.E. Lawrence (NY Times, 1919)

"One of the most romantic figures of the entire war was Thomas Lawrence, a young Oxford graduate who had specialized in archeology... To Colonel Lawrence more than any other man was due the efficient organization of the Hejaz Army. He worked in perfect harmony with King Hussein and Prince Faisal, to whom he was second in command."

"The Germans and Turks alike soon discovered the presence of this young Englishman among their Arabic opponents in the desert and, realizing the menace of his mysterious and amazing successes, put a price of $5000,000 upon his head".

"Blonde as a Viking, he walked about the streets of Jerusalem or other cities, in full panoply of Arab royal costume, plunged in some inner dream".

Read other articles from 1919.

••Watch a Quick Film Clip About 'Lawrence of Arabia'••

 

Popular from the Start (NY Times, 1917)

This small notice is interesting for what it doesn't say: of all the uniform foppery and up-town military accessories that were made available for American officers of World War I, there was no run on serge, whipcord or fine Melton wools; pigskin was plentiful for custom boots and no one seemed fearful that pewter flasks were scarce. What was in short supply were trench coats. The officer candidates from Plattsburg (N.Y.) were making their desires known: they did not care to risk life and limb only to wear a mackinaw. These men wanted trench coats and the New York Times found that newsworthy (It is interesting to note that the reporting journalist had never actually seen one, or else he might not have said that it extended to the ankle).

 

George Bernard Shaw: An Anti-Militarist on the British Home Front (NY Times, 1915)

A letter written by the celebrated playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1957) to an Austrian friend that appeared in the "Munichener Neueste Nachrichten" as well as the "Frankfurter Zeitung" in April, 1915:

"At that time scarcely one of the leading newspapers took heed of my insistence that this war was an imperialistic war and popular only in so far as all wars are for a time popular."

Click here to read an assortment of Shavian witticisms.

 

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (NY Times, 1920)

"A remarkable book is this latest by Sinclair Lewis. A novel, yes, but so unusual as not to fall easily into a class. There is practically no plot, yet the book is absorbing. It is so much like life itself, so extraordinarily real. These people are actual folk, and there was never better dialogue written than their revealing talk."

 

Salon d'Automne, Paris (NY Times, 1911)

"Among all the paintings on exhibition at the Paris Fall Salon, none is attracting so much attention as the extraordinary productions of the so-called 'Cubist' school. In fact, dispatches from Paris suggest that these works are easily the main feature of the exhibition."

 

A Diagram of a French WW I Grenade (NY Times, 1918)

A black and white mechanical drawing of a World War One French grenade with all parts labeled. In 1918, the New York Times wrote:

"The "pine-apple grenade", or as the French are wont to call it, the "citron" grenade (lemon) is charged with a powerful explosion called shedite, which when exploded on open ground is said to cause injuries at 250 yards. Primed with a sensitive detonator, the grenade is caused to explode when it strikes the ground. Very often the grenade is not thrown far enough, so the that the explosion is likely to cause casualties among one's own troops. Apart from these disadvantages, the grenade is an excellent weapon for hand to hand fighting.

 

The Spirit of Flappers (NY Times, 1922)

Speaking about why she loved the Twenties, Diana Vreeland (1903 – 1989) - observant fashion editor and unique fashion phenomenon, once remarked on a chat show that "there's never been a woman with her clothes chopped off at the knee in history". Indeed - Vreeland would find the attached article about flappers to be spot-on.

 

Immigrant Literacy Tests Passed (NY Times, 1915)

In 1915, some newspaper readers might have preferred to interpret the passage of the Smith-Burnett Immigration bill as a legal measure that would insure a higher standard for immigrants to meet in order to guarantee citizenship; while others tended to interpret the legislation as a restrictive law that was intended only to exclude from citizenship Italians and Eastern-European Jews. This article reported on a massive New York protest decrying the Smith-Burnett bill that was attended by Louis D. Brandeis (1856 – 1941; appointed to the Supreme Court a year later), Episcopal Bishop David Hummel Greer (1844 - 1919) and former president of Columbia University Seth Low (1850 - 1916).

Green Card holders are to this day still required to show fluency in the English language, although the swearing-in ceremony and their voting ballots are often in their native language. Go figure.

In this article Vladimir Lenin speaks of his fondness for The New York Times.

 

Mathew Brady at Antietam (NY Times, 1862)

An anonymous reviewer tells his readers about the mournful spirit that dominated each room at the Matthew Brady Gallery where he attended a unique exhibit of the photographer's Civil War pictures:

"At the door of his gallery hangs a little placard 'The Dead of Antietam'. Crowds of people are constantly going up the stairs; follow them...there is a terrible fascination about it that draws one near these pictures, and makes you loath to leave them. You will see hushed, reverend groups standing around these weird copies of carnage, bending down to look in the pale faces of the dead, chained by the strange spell that dwells in dead men's eyes."

It was on the first day at Gettysburg that the Confederates made a terrible mistake. Read about it here.

 

Yip! Yip! Yaphank! (NY Times, 1918)

 

 
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