Archive for March 11th, 2010

Mary Miles Minter: Waving the Tomahawk and Dancing the War Dance

March 11, 2010


As Told By


To Send Bullets to Huns.

I guess I’m a bit emotional or temperamental on this subject of Liberty Bonds and my reasons for buying them, and generally get worked up mightily over it. When it comes to any subject touching upon the protection of American or American ideals or dealing with the atrocities of the Germans I just can’t help waving the tomahawk and dancing the war dance a few measures.

I buy Liberty Bonds because the government won’t sell me a cannon and let me take it across to Germany and use it myself on those nasty baby-killers. If they’d let me do that, I wouldn’t buy a Liberty Bond because a Liberty Bond means that I’ll get my money back some day with interest on it and the way I fell about it, I don’t want anything back that I can send to the Germans! They’re welcome to all I’ve got in the shape of shells and bullets, but since a girl is not allowed to do this then I must do the next best thing and make it possible for someone else to take the cannon and the bullets over there.

Honestly, my reason for buying every bond I can stagger under is not because they are the best investments in the world, because they have all the safety of hte greatest security behind them or because they pay good interest and are free from most forms of taxation (which is reason enough, goodness knows, for the fellow who squeezes the dollar) but I buy them because I have a mother and a sister and a grandmother; I buy them because I know a little year-old baby that lives next door; I buy them because I have a sw–(but that’s nobody’s business) and everytime I look at them I say, “Just because your’re mine and I love you doesn’t make you  any different before God from the mothers and sister and grandmothers and babies and –” you know, everything that lived in Belgium and France when the war started, and every time I look into their eyes, I can imagine that it wasn’t Belgium at all that was raided, but America, and I can see those blood-soaked Germans doing to my people what they did to others and I — but there, there, I’m getting excited. All the same, I feel that if it hadn’t been for those poor people who were sacrificed it might have been my own people — that even yet if the Germans aren’t wiped off the face of the earth there is still a chance of its being my people — my people — the people I know and love and live with, and I see red!

I’m a baseball fan. Aren’t you? Ever since I was knee high to a duck and ran away from home and played with the boys on the vacant lots I have loved baseball. We used to buy bats for a quarter each — not very good bats — but good enough. I remember I had a sweetheart then who was the best batter inthe lot. I bought him a bat — he hit the ball with it so hard that it broke my nice shiny red club and I cried but he knocked the ball so far we made four home-runs in a row and I was so happy I kissed him even while I cried over the bat. I often wish I could buy baseball bats instead of bonds and hit the Germans with them so hard I’d break every bat over their heads and drive them clear off the lot. Somebody told me that every quarter now-a-days paid for five bullets. That’s the real reason I buy bonds.

The Pittsburgh Press – Oct 3, 1918

City of Orange, CA (Image from

From the City of Orange website:

At the time of World War I, Orange residents supported the war effort with many Liberty Bond rallies. One of the bond parades at the Plaza was filmed and featured the movie star Mary Miles Minter, the war tank “Victory” and Company 76. A Peace Parade and Program for returning soldiers and sailors was held on Christmas Day 1918 in the Plaza.

Taylor and Minter (Image from

Cold Case Crimes Los Angeles has an interesting piece regarding the murder of William Desmond Taylor.  Evidently, Mary Miles Minter had  a relationship with him at one time. You can read  the theories of “who done it”  at this LINK.

WWI: Snapshots and Snippets

March 11, 2010

New York, Dec. 7. — There is no happier woman in the metropolis today than Mrs. Margaret O’Brien, mother of Lieutenant Patrick O’Brien, American member of the British Royal Flying corps. She is expecting her son any day to tell her with his own lips the story of his miraculous escapes, first from death when his airplane dropped 8,000 feet to a point behind the German lines and then from the train which was bearing him to a German prison camp after he got out of a German hospital.

Mrs. O’Brien has had a short telegram saying the airman was safe in England and was coming home to join the American air forces.

O’Brien, flying over the German lines August 17, engaged four enemy flyers. He dropped one of them before he received a bullet in the hip and his plane was disabled. When he became conscious after his fall he was in a German hospital. His fellow flyers had posted him as missing and given him up for dead.

He was put aboard a train with other prisoners to be transported to a prison camp, but leaped off the train while it was going 30 miles an hour.

By walking at night, swimming rivers and eating such foods as he could find in the fields he reached the Dutch frontier to find himself barred in by wide entanglements of charged wire. He went back into a forest, built himself a bridge of branches and at night threw his bridge over the entanglements. As he was crossing, the bridge gave way and O’Brien received a shock he will never forget. He dug his way under the entanglements with his hands and walked through Holland to a boat for England.

Seventy-two days elapsed from the day he was dropped by the bosche airmen until he set foot in England.

St. Petersburg Daily Times – Dec 8, 1917

It is Col. Gardner now. He was representative from Massachusetts and fought for preparedness. Soon after declaration of war, he resigned his seat in congress and enlisted as colonel in the officer’s reserve corps.

The Pittsburgh Press – May 31, 1917

Sadly, Major Augustus Peabody Gardner (he was promoted) died of pneumonia before making it to the front lines. NYT obituary: PDF LINK

A 2009 article about the sad shape of the Gardner Auditorium in Massachusetts can be found at BOSTON.COM

“Captain” Stark as Mrs. Stark is called by the band of fearless Florida girls she heads, is a sister of Hoffman Philip, new U.S. minister to Columbia. The girls, armed with rifles and automatics patrol the east coast of Florida in the vicinity of Mayport in search of pro-German activities.

The Evening Independent – Apr 22, 1918

The Red Cross

The Crimson Cross.

Outside the ancient city’s gate
Upon Golgotha’s crest
Three crosses stretched their empty arms,
Etched dark against the west.
Blood from nail-pierced hands and feet
And tortured thorn-crowned head
And thrust of hatred’s savage spear
Had stained one dark cross red.
Emblem of shame and pain and death
It stood beside the way,
But sign of love and hope and life
We lift it high today.

Where horror grips the stoutest heart,
Where bursting shells shriek high,
Where human bodies shrapnel scourged
By thousands suffering lie;
Threading the shambles of despair,
Mid agony and strife,
Come fleeting messengers who wear
The crimson cross of life.
To friend and foe alike they give
Their strength and healing skill,
For those who wear the crimson cross
Must “do the Master’s will.”

Can we so safely sheltered here,
Refuse to do our part?
When some who wear the crimson cross
Are giving life and heart
To succor those who bear our flag,
Who die that we might live —
Shall we accept their sacrifice
And then refuse to give?
Ah, no! Our debt to God and man
We can, we will fulfill,
We, who wear the crimson cross,
Must “do the Master’s will.”

— By Elizabeth Brown Due Bridge, in Sault Ste Marie (Mich.) Daily News.

St. Petersburg Daily Times – Dec 7, 1917

Posts about  WWI canteen workers:

Diary of a WWI Canteen Worker

Canteen Worker Goes the Extra Mile for a Wounded Yank

The Average New Yorker Becomes a Canteen Worker

From Soldier’s Mother to Canteen Worker

The Boy Enlists.

His mother’s eyes are saddened, and her cheeks are stained with tears,
and I’m facing now the struggle that I’ve dreaded thru the years;
For the boy that was our baby has been changed into a man.
He’s enlisted in the army as a true American.

He held her a moment in his arms before he spoke,
And I watched him as he kissed her, and it seemed to me I’d choke,
For I knew just what was coming, and I knew just what he’d done!
Another little mother had a soldier for a son.

When we’d pulled ourselves together, and the first quick tears had dried,
We could see his eyes were blazing with the fire of manly pride;
we could see his head was higher then it ever was before,
For we had a man to cherish, and our baby was no more.

Oh, I don’t know how to say it! With the sorrow comes the joy
That there isn’t any coward in the make-up of our boy.
And with pride our hearts are swelling tho with grief they’re also hit,
For the boy that was our baby has stepped forth to do his bit.

The Carroll Herald – May 30, 1917

The “Tea Party” and the Kaiser

March 11, 2010

For the freedom of the world. Subscribe to the National Loan at the Banque Nationale de Credit. Signed: SEM 1917



My grandsire painted red his hide
In ancient Mohawk style,
And crept down to the Mystic side
To wait a little while.

Then other Yanks in redskin guise
Collected at the bay
And took the tea ship by surprise
And threw the tea away.

Old George the Third was much adverse
To freedom for the Yanks
His taxes were a deadly curse —
He taxed and gave no thanks.

But when the Mohawk Boston men
Dumped all the tea to port
Kind George began to think again
And arm for warlike “sport.”

He sent his Hessians over here
To kill Cap. Barker’s boys.
To burn the school and meeting house
and other such annoys;

But when they came to Bunker Hill
That jolly day in June
And Warren met ’em with a will
They piped another tune.

The Yanks have got a job today
That’s worthy of the race;
The kaiser treads a rocky way
And spars to save his face.

But all the Yanks have gone to France
En route for old Berlin;
If we buy Bonds at every chance
You bet the Yanks will win!

Our grandsires dishes King George’s will
And salted all his tea.
Our boys will do the same for Bill,
Kaiser of Germany!
The only way to push the work
And make Berlin our own,
Is this: Get busy, do not shirk

The Carroll Herald – Sep 25, 1918

The allied flags bearing down on Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Liberation Loan. By Abel Faivre 1918.

The two images in this post can be found HERE, along with several other French Posters from WWI.


By Robert Adger Bowen,
of The Vigilantes.

Somewhere in France! ‘Tis all that I may know
Of him, my hero, with the first to go
where Duty to his country’s high emprise
Called to the answering manhood in his eyes,
As calleth Deep unto the depths below.

For him there was no waiting for the slow
Uncertain summons. In his ear the blow
Of clarion sounded, ringing to the skies,
Somewhere in France.

His soul aflame with service seemed to glow
He smiled at Death, nor shrank from that grim woe
He knew full well was oft the soldier’s prize;
Nor may I grieve if so my hero dies
To sleep in fields where blood red poppies grow,
Somewhere in France.

The Nevada Daily Mail – Nov 24, 1917


Tom Robinson, the plumber, bought a hundred-dollar bond,
Though he truly loved his country, of his cash he sure was fond.
“I’ve bought because it’s duty,” said he to Doctor Jones,
“I’ve got to do my little bit to help the Allied loans.”

The Doctor said: “I bought some bonds, then with them bought a car.
You owe me just a hundred.” Said the plumber: “There you are.”
And handed Jones his new-bought bond; then Jones paid off a debt
Of a hundred to the furrier — before he could forget.

The furrier had bought some clothes — an honest man was he —
“Let’s pay with Uncle Sam’s good bond that helps to set men free.”
And so he paid. The clothier squared up an old account
With his jobber — so the bond went on, intact in its amount.

The jobber owed the grocer for the things his family ate.
Said he: “I’ll pay in Libertys — you need no longer wait.”
Then the grocer paid the butcher, who owed the carpet store.
And he in turn reduced his debt and helped along the war.

“I’d like to buy a dress now,” said the carpet merchant’s wife,
“A hundred-dollar one will do — with bargains stores are rife.”
The modiste got the bond. Said she: “I know what I will do.
I’ll have the bath room fixed up fine and made to look like new.”

And so, ere long, Tom Robinson, the plumber, had his bond,
And no one in the country will be quicker to respond,
when Uncle Sam’s next loan appears. The moral of this tale
Is Buy a Bond and Pass It On — our country cannot fail.

— By Richard A. Foley, of Philadelphia

Reading Eagle – Dec 9, 1917


(At the outbreak of the civil war in 1861, the government offered a loan to the public to provide funds for carrying on the war. This poem was written at that time by one of our great authors and it is equally appropriate now when the government loan in  the form of Liberty bonds is offered to the public. It is well also to remember that the bonds afterwards rose to command a premium.)
Come, freemen of the land,
Come, meet the great demand.
True heart and open hand,
Take the loan!
For the hopes the prophets saw,
For the swords your brothers draw,
For liberty and law,
Take the loan!

Ye ladies of the land,
As ye love the gallant band,
Who have drawn a soldier’s brand,
Take the loan!
Who would bring them what she could,
Who would give the soldier food.
Who would staunch her brother’s blood.
Take the loan!

All who saw her hosts pass by,
All who joined the parting cry,
When we bade them do or die,
Take the loan!
As ye wished their triumph then,
As ye hope to meet again,
And to meet their gaze as men,
Take the loan!

Who could press the great appeal
Of our ranks of serried steel,
Put your shoulders to the wheel,
Take the loan!
That our prayers in truth may rise,
Which we press with streaming eyes
On the Lord of earth and skies,
Take the loan!

-Edward Everett Hale.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 30,  1917