Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Eyewitness: 1917 a Musical Send-Off for Mckeesport Recruits

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Eyewitness: 1917 a Musical Send-Off for Mckeesport Recruits

Article excerpt

McKeesport musicians braved clouds and cold to serenade the city's draftees as they boarded a train for basic training in Virginia 100 years ago.The 42 soldiers called up to serve in World War I were among 456 men from around Allegheny County starting their journey south, Oct. 6, 1917.

The men assembled at the McKeesport YMCA. There "automobiles, decked with the national colors, had been provided," The Pittsburgh Gazette Times reported on Oct. 7. "Six of the future soldiers headed a big parade carrying a flag on which they collected about $75 to be used in buying 'smokes.' " That $75 was equal to about $1,400 in modern currency. Music for the march was provided by the band of National Tube Co., the community's largest employer and source of McKeesport's nickname: "Tube City. …

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