This Day in History: The Great War Delays D.C. School Opening

This is an interesting article from the Washington Times, dated August 8th, 1914, exactly 98 years ago today.

French assault Germans in trench warfare
French assault Germans in trench warfare

World War I (i.e., the Great War) had been going for roughly two weeks and the paper reported the impact it would have on the local schools. Many school teachers were spending their summers in Europe when war broke out.

Causing the greatest consternation among education authorities, but great joy to Young Americans, the European war threatens to cause a postponement of the opening of schools throughout the country.

There are at least 100 Washington school teachers, now in the European war zone, making as rapid strides as crippled transportation facilities will permit, toward the seacoasts with a view of catching boats for America.

While it will be about six weeks before the Washington public schools open, no fear that any of the teachers will be detained abroad that long, is felt by members of the Board of Education. A majority of the Washington teachers are in Germany. Quite a number are summering in Norway.

Advices today indicate that hundreds of American teachers are marooned in France, Germany, England and other European countries now in a state of war.

It is practically certain that so long as Germany is engaged in war they will not be able to leave except at the greatest risk.

Colleges also report that scores of professors are among the Americans marooned on the continent.

I imagine schoolchildren all over the District were holding out hope that their teachers would remain stuck and delayed in Europe, extending the kids’ summer freedom.

 

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Karen

    Hard to believe there was a time when public school teachers could afford to spend all summer in Europe.