The Year 1918

A time of war, peace, sports heroes and cheesecloth window coverings

BT_funeral. World War I, “the war to end all wars,” ended on Nov. 11, 1918. The United States lost nearly 117,000 soldiers during the war. This photo, circa 1918, shows a military funeral procession in downtown Ishpeming. (Photo courtesy of Superior View)

Gipp. Laurium native George Gipp, “the Gipper,” was the premiere college football player of the day.
(Superior View photo)

By Larry Chabot
A century ago, in 1918, Nelson Mandela was an infant, as were evangelist Billy Graham, baseball legend Ted Williams, Walmart founder Sam Walton, and cosmetic queen Mary Kay. They may have passed on, but over 70,000 Americans born that year are still alive.
It was a time of war and peace, of the grippe and George Gipp. The U.S. had just over 100 million people, less than a third of today’s population. World War I – naively dubbed the “war to end all wars” – waged furiously in Europe until an armistice on November 11 silenced the guns. The Upper Peninsula mourned its war dead: at least 447, some in combat, some from accidents and some from illness. Houghton County had the most fatalities with 85, followed by Marquette with 64; Menominee 57; Gogebic and Chippewa, 40 each; and Delta, 37.
After the war, the Veterans of Foreign Wars added new units and named some of them for local soldiers who never returned, like Milton Preiss of Rockland. The American Legion was formed in 1919 (one of its founders was Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.), and it, too, honored the fallen by naming posts for them, like Richard Jopling in Marquette and William McGlue in L’Anse.
Contributing to those stressful times was a worldwide…

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