WAY BACK WHEN, 100 years ago today, on November 11, 1918, the word reached Santa Barbara, that the Great War in Europe had ended. The next day the paper wrote, "Within 15 minutes after the first news was received, State Street was alive with revelers. Long lines of cars coursed the thoroughfares, cow bells, tin cans – anything that would make a noise – rattling behind; horns honking and the occupants shouting an accompaniment." Peace! Peace at last!
Way Back When in Santa Barbara -- 100 Years Ago
WAY BACK WHEN, 100 years ago today, on November 5, 1918, in the midst of the Spanish Flu pandemic, the local paper wrote, "Beginning at noon Wednesday, November 6, no person will be allowed to enter or to ride upon any streetcar, auto bus, taxicab or other vehicle … without wearing a mask, veil or handkerchief securely fastened over the nose and mouth. By order of the Board of Health of Santa Barbara."
WAY BACK WHEN, 100 years ago today, on October 26 1918, the local paper reminded people to turn back their clocks. Daylight Saving Time had begun in the United States in March 1918 for the first time when folks set their clocks ahead. Now people were being reminded that it was time to change their clocks again. Although this was the first year for "spring ahead; fall back," there were no more disruptions than we experience today.
WAY BACK WHEN, 100 years ago today, on October 20, 1918, the Lockheed/Loughead brothers of Santa Barbara announced their plans to fly their F-1A plane from Santa Barbara to Washington, D.C. They had set a record in April when they flew their seaplane from here to San Diego, and had high hopes for this next trip. [Spoiler alert - this new venture did not end well. More info will be coming in "Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1918."]
Way Back When, 100 years ago today on October 14, 1918, the dreaded Spanish Influenza pandemic hit Santa Barbara. As if the telegrams arriving with news of local boys dying in the war in Europe were not bad enough, now we were battling the flu here at home. I'll be giving a talk about the flu and WWI called "Countdown to Armistice" at the Goleta Historical Society on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m., and at the SB Central Library on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. (Both the flu and the war will be part of my "Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1918" book to be released soon.)
WAY BACK WHEN, 100 years ago today, on October 4, 1918, boys at Santa Barbara High School who had signed up for the quasi-military cadet corps were being taught how to throw hand grenades! Fortunately, they were not practicing with live ammo. The cadets were told to gather "rocks about the size of large goose eggs. As soon as the cadets bring enough of these rocks … [they will learn] the principles of hand grenade work." Yikes!
WAY BACK WHEN, 100 years ago today, on October 1, 1918, the local paper in Santa Barbara had the headline: "You Can't Build Without Uncle Sam's O.K." The subhead explained, "War Industries Board's Permit Required Before Any House Can be Erected." Folks in Santa Barbara and around the country could look at plans and dream about building a home, but they had to wait until the war was over to build their dream home.
WAY BACK WHEN: 100 YEARS AGO TODAY – On September 24, 1918, the city of Santa Barbara was in an uproar. The local paper called it, "The Handiwork of a Fiend … Flag is Torn and Tied into Knots … An American flag has been perversely and fiendishly desecrated … The flag was flying on the roof of the Veronica Water bottling plant on Montecito Street Saturday night … The flag, in its mutilated condition, was discovered this morning and hauled down … the pole was on the roof of a two-story building, and it must have caused the flag's enemy considerable difficulty to reach it."
WAY BACK WHEN: 100 YEARS AGO TODAY – On September 14, 1918, Santa Barbara was recovering from an unseasonable storm. The local paper reported, "The storm has been threatening several days, and broke in a fury of wind, strong from the southeast late Thursday night. This morning, the seafront is strewn with wreckage." A yacht and a fishing boat were driven onto the beach. "A score of small skiffs were driven ashore and pounded to pieces … last night, hundreds of citizens gathering along the [Cabrillo] boulevard to watch the swells pounding against the sea wall, or break far out from shore, throwing tons of white spray high in the air."
WAY BACK WHEN: 100 YEARS AGO TODAY – On September 7, 1918, the local paper reported on a "first" on the streets of Santa Barbara. If she could drive halfway across the country without a male companion (Gosh, oh golly!), she could certainly drive a taxi around Santa Barbara.
The local paper marveled, "Just a year ago today, Santa Barbara acquired a resident such as few California cities can boast of – a woman taxi driver … Bess Laskey, transcontinental motorist, [was] tire changer, and general mechanic for the party of three which consisted of herself, a college chum, and … Laskey's daughter of seven years. Throughout the trip, the party camped out as two pioneer women would."