THIS DAY IN 1918 IN THERECORD
Friday, June 14, 1918. “The significance of the Stars and Stripes and what they stand for was ably demonstrated today by an outpouring of the public such as has not been witnessed on Flag day in many years past,” The Record reports. This is the second Flag Day observance since the U.S. declared war on Germany in April 1917. American forces are engaged in heavy fighting in France, and local casualties are being reported more frequently. Today’s paper reports the death on June 5 of Sergeant Daniel Vincent Lenahan of Lansingburgh. Along with fellow members of the Mochus Club, Lenahan enlisted of April 8, 1917, two days after the U.S. declaration of war. He was one of the first Americans to cross the Atlantic with General John J. Pershing’s division that May. Lenahan’s parents, who live at 790 Second Avenue, were notified of his death by the adjutant general’s office yesterday. While the Lenahans mourn, “All residents having flags displayed them during the day and many blocks throughout the residential sections of the city were covered with the national colors, residents vying with one another in the display of patriotic sentiment for the day set apart to honor the flag which has stood for freedom and democracy since the Declaration of Independence.” So many people go to Albany for the big parade that “the streets of the city were almost empty during the afternoon.” Cluett, Peabody closes early so its workers can see the spectacle.
Hoping not to be outdone, Watervliet tonight holds “the greatest demonstration in the history of the city; one that proves the willingness of its citizens to do their level best to win the war; one that will live in the memory for many years to come.”
An estimated 5,000 people march or ride in the Watervliet parade, which also features “a score of floats bearing impersonations of every character prominent in the history of this country, with a multitude of ingenious devices seldom seen in such a parade.”
The highlights of the day in Troy are a flag raising at Troy High School honoring the 243 graduates now serving in the U.S. military and the Red Cross carnival in front of St. Patrick’s Church on Sixth Avenue.
“The whole street was ablaze with electric lights and strung across the street were Japanese lanterns and flags and pennants,” our reporter writes. Noller’s Band performs outside the church entrance while hundreds of couples dance the night away between Douw Street and Ingalls Avenue. Organizers raise approximately $800 (equivalent to more than $13,000 in 2018 money) from ice cream and cake sales and other concessions.