Vintage Friday: 17 Fast Facts of 1917


Independence Square NGM-v31-p292

By Ledger Photo Service. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What made the news a hundred years ago in 1917? The biggest crises involved World War I. Here’s a quick look at the year.

  • Under President Woodrow Wilson the United States entered WWI against Germany and its allies.
  • National Geographic published a stirring photo of thousands of Americans pledging their support to the President and American flag by resolution in Philadelphia.
  • The United States implemented the military draft for WWI.
  • The U.S. Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia was commissioned.
  • John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was born.
  • The United States bought the Virgin Islands (then known as the Danish West Indies) for $25 million in gold.
  • Thousands of African Americans participated in a Silent March for civil rights organized by the NAACP down Fifth Avenue in New York City.
  • Germany carried out the deadliest of its many air raids on London.
  • The British royal family changed their name from the Germanic name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.
    Mata Hari 13

    Mata Hari. See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • German spy Mata Hari was executed by firing squad.
  • Sun Yat-Sen came into power in China.
  • Bolsheviks Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky seized power in Russia.
  • In New York City 20,000 women marched in support of the right to vote.
  • During a food crisis 400 women with babies stormed New York City Hall demanding action about the drastically rising cost of food. As an example, breakfast for four had doubled from 49 cents to $1.02.
  • Price of a loaf of bread averaged 9 cents; price of a postage stamp rose to 3 cents.
    Juan Carreno de Miranda 022

    Juan Carreño de Miranda [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • The 18th amendment was passed, prohibiting alcohol.
  • The Virgin Mary appeared to a number of children in Fatima, Portugal.

What do you think of these fast facts of 1917? What would you like and dislike about living a hundred years ago in the so-called good ole days?


Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance


7 thoughts on “Vintage Friday: 17 Fast Facts of 1917

  1. Mae Clair

    What a tumultuous time in history. I think sometimes when we look back at the “good ole days” we forget there was plenty of unrest too. Very nice collection of newsy bits, Flossie. I always enjoy posts like this.

  2. carmens007

    All in all, mostly news about war and unrest. But if we think that “good news is no news” no wonder. Mata Hari, Fatima vision and communist grabbing power are, for me, the most interesting. I don’t know if I’d have liked to live during those times. It depends in what country. around here, I mean Romania, there were war times, too.

    1. Flossie Benton Rogers Post author

      I grew up during the Vietnam War, and it singed our souls or at least made its mark on us, so to speak. WWI must have done the same to the folks living back then. All those young men going off to war… and the people at home trying to keep things going. The Fatima story is so interesting, isn’t it? Also Mata Hari. It makes me want to read a biography about her.


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