Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Military Trotted out Big Guns as Hello Girls Broke the Peace

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Military Trotted out Big Guns as Hello Girls Broke the Peace

Article excerpt

The vestiges of war are varied and random.

The Great War's crisp victory crackled over Jacksonville in September 1919.

From great guns to household chores to a street brawl among liberated ladies, the tinges of combat permeated the town.

Machine guns of American, French and German make came to Hemming Park. A sergeant in a recruiting tent was available to the inspection of all who wandered by.

The household hints lady for The Florida Times-Union found helpful family living tips in the discipline of war.

And rival groups of telephone operators -- Hello Girls, they were called -- demonstrated hand-to-hair combat on a downtown street.

Range-finding devices, periscopes, shells and other devices were arranged in orderly fashion in the display at Hemming Park. Artifacts of war were available to be seen and handled.

"Many people know little or nothing of the make-up of a shrapnel shell," observed The Florida Times-Union (nor neither hitherto had felt the need).

"A number of these projectiles, cut in cross-section in order that the whole interior powder, shrapnel balls fuse and projectile may be seen as they actually are in a loaded shell."

"The little .37 millimeter, or one-pounder, gun that wrought such havoc with the machine gun, will be placed in the park and allowed to remain there for the inspection of every one."

The recruiting officer in charge of Jacksonville, one Col. Tiffany, told the morning newspaper he believed the machines and devices would be of great interest to the ordinary citizen.

"It brings him into touch with the deadly things used in modern warfare of which he has read so much."

Ruth Rich, author of the popular "Up-to-Date Homemaking" column in the Times-Union, found even more value in the lessons of war:

"If there were military training courses for young girls, and if all the boys could have the discipline and training, the homes of the coming generation would be much more orderly than many you find nowadays," Rich wrote.

"Some people have the deepest sympathy for the poor boys who have to be so precise in every thing, their dress, their carriage, their walk, and who have to keep their rooms scrupulously neat. …

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