From our archives: 'Take no sides' in European war
What we thought: 100 years ago
Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials and articles from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following items appeared in the Telegraph on Aug. 10, 11 and 12, 1914.
Just pull in your horns
The United States may or may not have any favorites in the European free-for-all, knock-down-and-drag-out fight, but there is plenty of bloodshed already, and our best move is to pull in our horns and take no sides.
We all have grandstand seats, and let us look on in a quiet, unassuming sort of way.
If we get mixed up in the row, we might be treated as peacemakers do when they step in and try to settle a family fight – the European family might resent our putting our oar in and get together and give us a trouncing.
If Mr. Wilson can accomplish the pacifying of the warring nations, he will be a greater figure in the history of the world than Julius Caesar or Napoleon.
Perhaps when the realization of the real horror of the war impresses itself upon the masses of the people of Europe, they will rise up and demand peace. They would surely be justified.
If we can bring about peace, it is worth a big price, but unless we can, let us make no move that will involve the United States in the epidemic of blood-thirst that seems to be sweeping the eastern hemisphere. – Aug. 10, 1914
The day's war news (summarized)
French forces forced to abandon Muelheusen – take position near city and engage Germans in action.
The Russians are concentrating a considerable army in Finland.
Vienna reports that the Austrians have captured Miechow in Russian Poland, defeating the Cossacks, who lost four hundred in killed and wounded.
The Cunard liner Lusitania, which left New York last Wednesday, will arrive here [United Kingdom] tonight, according to a wireless from the vessel.
It is said that Holland will maintain its neutrality unswervingly. – Aug. 11, 1914
War news delayed
A dispatch to the Telegraph this afternoon from the Associated Press says:
Editors: Increasingly rigid censorship at London is causing great delay in news matter from Brussels. There is no direct communication with Germany or Austria. Paris dispatches are delayed as much as 17 hours. – Aug. 11, 1914
It will require all the tact and diplomacy that Washington commands to keep Uncle Sam out of the big fight. Japan is brewing trouble, and her newspapers are demanding a declaration of war upon Germany. It would be mighty easy for [the] United States to become involved. Our ships will be bound to get into trouble and adventurous young Americans with their "gun running" and other attempts to evade blockade will be pretty apt to get into trouble. – Aug. 11, 1914
Waterway set to receive ships
Panama Canal will open to world's commerce Saturday four months ahead of time.
Washington, D.C., Aug. 12 – More than four months ahead of the date set when the Board of Consulting Engineers in 1906 estimated that it would take until January, 1915, to complete the Panama Canal along the lines then under way, the United States government finds itself ready to begin business next Saturday in selling tickets of passage to ships of all nations through the new gateway.
It is just ten years since the government advertised its purposes to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and it is nearly 400 years since a Spanish engineer first suggested such a project.
For a time the epoch which this triumph of engineering marks will pass unnoticed so far as celebrations go, for it is not until next spring that the great demonstration will be made, but from next Saturday on, the Panama Canal will be an accomplished fact, and the commerce of the world will gradually accustom itself to the new groove.
What it will mean to the world at large and to particular nations, and especially to the United States, is a question around which a great deal of controversy has waged. The question will now be answered by the canal itself. – Aug. 12, 1914
Food prices up
Unscrupulous dealers in America are taking advantage of the European war scare to raise prices of foodstuffs.
They are arbitrarily boosting prices on commodities on which there is no reason for a raise, or else, in many cases, they put twice the raise on the price the consumer pays compared to the slight raise they may be forced to pay.
Government investigation should stop this. – Aug. 12, 1914
Stage driver back
Gaston drove a stage from Chicago to Galena via Dixon – left here in 1853
His name was Gaston, and in the early pioneer days, Dixon was familiar to him. He used to come whirling into town on the driver's seat of a regular old-time stage coach.
Today, he came whirling into town in a coach on the C. & N. W., and a changed Dixon met his eyes.
Gaston used to drive stage from Chicago to Galena for the firm of Fink & Walker, and Dixon was one of his stops. He left this country when the stage went out, and not since '53 has he been in this city.
You can imagine that he finds little to remind him of the days of '53. Gaston is enjoying his stay here, however, and is finding a few, very few, old friends, and here and there he discovers an old landmark. – Aug. 11, 1914
Mothers, don't leave your baby carriages standing over gratings in the walks while you do your shopping in the stores. Physicians say the drafts of air which come through the gratings from the cellars are bad for baby. It is a dangerous practice. – Aug. 11, 1914