Winston-Salem Journal readers opened their newspapers on the first day of 1915, one hundred years ago, and these were the headlines:
Russians Cross Carpathians Third Time: French Report Successes in the West…America’s Note of Protest is Published by Agreement in England and America…Hundreds Watch the Old Year Pass Into the New One…Big Exposition Opened by Wilson at Midnight Hour…$21,000 Balance in State Treasury.
Much of the right front page space in the newspaper was filled with war news, and included photographs of the damage done to several English towns by a German raiding squadron.
Next to the war news was the announcement of the opening of the Panama-California Exposition by President Wilson, taking place at midnight the previous evening. The Panama–California Exposition was held in San Diego, California, between January 1, 1915, and January 1, 1917. The exposition celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and was meant to tout San Diego as the first U.S. port of call for ships traveling north after passing westward through the canal. The fair was held in San Diego’s large urban Balboa Park. The Exposition was planned to be open for one year, but the time was later extended to two years. Several buildings were constructed for the exposition and were later used as permanent structures. Balboa Park was developed during this time, and the San Diego Zoo was also established. The image above shows the guidebook for the exhibition.
On the local front, the watch night service at Home Moravian Church was described in an article. The service took place at 11:30, with a filled-to-overflowing auditorium. Bishop Edward Rondthaler and Reverend J. Kenneth Pfohl took part in the service. Several hymns were sung during the service, including “Now Let us Praise the Lord with Body, Soul and Spirit.” Bishop Rondthaler commented that this hymn had been sung 114 times in that building, as the old year passed into the new year. The band accompanied the hymn-singing.
Bishop Rondthaler read the Memorabilia for 1914, reminding the audience of the many events and people who played a part in the year just passed. The Memorabilia included world, state, and local events, plus the events of the local Moravian churches. It also mentioned people who had passed away during 1914. Bishop Rondthaler’s Memorabilias were informative for summarizing the year for the audience, and they are invaluable to readers today for the detail in local happenings that he recorded. Dr. Rondthaler’s Memorabilias were collected and published in a book on his 50th anniversary (1877-1927), with an additional volume containing 1928-1930 published after his death in 1931.
In other front page headlines, the American complaints against the treatment of American commerce by the British fleet were made public. Also, an article announcing that North Carolina had $21,000 in the state treasury explained the anticipated income and expenditures that would have a bearing on the treasury.
New Year’s Day in 1915 was on a Friday, and apparently the stores were open for business. Several retail businesses sent New Year’s greetings to their customers in advertisements, thanking them for their patronage and announcing an upcoming sale. Myers-Westbrook Company, located on North Liberty Street, sponsored the following ad:
which reads, “Joyous and Prosperous New Year. To those we know and those who know us: Just rounded out a splendid business year, many thanks to you for your part in it. Watch what the new year has in store for you- one of the Greatest Money-Saving Events ever held – our January Clearance Sale. Watch the papers for Big Ads to Follow.”
Many other ads filled the pages, with most businesses sending New Year’s greetings and thanks for patronage. The Ideal Store printed a New Year’s wish, “May the New Year Bring to You Joy in Life, Unbroken Friendships and a Multitude of Cheerful Memories.”
May that wish come true in 2015. Happy New Year!