News of the Great War dominated the pages of the January 19, 1918 issue of The Havre Plaindealer. Most of the articles had to do with food consumption and the need to increase food production. The need for food was not needed for just our troops, it was also needed for the Allies and their people. Articles such as these peppered the newspapers:
“SEND FOOD OR SURRENDER
“America must feed her associates in this war. They are no longer able to feed themselves and, unless we come to their rescue, are face to face with starvation. Starvation for them means defeat for us.
“OUR “LINE OF DEFENSE”
“Our first line of defense is in Europe, under the German guns. Behind that line is a country torn by war, its food production cut far below the danger line. Unless we make up the deficit, those people will be forced to surrender. If they begin to starve, our first line of defense is going to move toward Washington instead of Berlin.
“Europe needs millions of tons of food. American cannot supply it unless our consumption is reduced. Our surplus of wheat has already been shipped and still we must send millions of bushels each month. There is but one way it can be done, and that one way is by individual economy at the table, substituting other foods for those which must be sent abroad. Our ability to do so will measure our efficiency in the war. The minute our supply stops, Europe approaches starvation, and when Europe approaches starvation she will be unable to help us longer in the fight.
“KITCHEN “FOOD BASES”
“So closely is the world linked today that the war has been brought into every American household. The armies are fighting today 3,000 miles ahead of their food base, a thing which would have been impossible in any other war. There is a “food base” in every kitchen in America. The efficiency with which the housekeeper administers her important command will measure the amount of food that can be sent to the front. If the supply stops, the war stops, and we are defeated.”
Another article from the state food administrator, Alfred Atkinson, stated Montanans needed to reduce their wheat consumption by 30 percent, as well as increase production during the next growing season. He also pleaded for households to save fats and sugar. On the women’s page, a French method of making bread out of sea water was described, thus potentially reducing the amount of imported salt from France during the war.
It wasn’t all gloom and doom. Havre’s social set was busy getting together for a good time and for local fundraisers, as described in the Plaindealer’s Society column:
“On Monday Mrs. W. C. Lange entertained a number of young men at a six o’clock dinner in honor of the sixteenth birthday of her nephew, Merle Brannon. The hostess, assisted by Miss Harriet Carrier and Miss Marcia Lange, served a four course dinner. Later in the evening the guests attended the Orpheum theatre. Those invited were: Merle Brannon, Joe MacKenzie, Geo. Wilson, Dan O’Neil, Bud Skylstead, Kenneth Loranger, Ted Buttrey and Gene Brundage.
“Return to Spokane.
“Mr. and Mrs. Thad Raymond left Thursday for Spokane, after spending the past several months in Havre. On Wednesday evening they were honor guests at a dinner party given by Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Webber, at which eight intimate friends of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond were present.
“Celebrates First Anniversary.
“Little Lois Anne Foster celebrated her first birthday on Tuesday afternoon and had as her guests, Jean MacKenzie, Tom Ashton, Clinton Holt, Foster Brown, Ruth, Jane and Robert Rhoades, and Marjory Runkel.
“Silver Tea was given by the ladies of the Methodist Aid society on Thursday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Tasker. The hostess was assisted by Mesdames Spooner, Houtz and Christenson.”