by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent
As war loomed, the day’s headlines reflected the coming conflict:
Russia In Danger of Civil War
Situation Is Alarming; 160,000 Strikers in Capital; Industries Stopped
Wires Are Cut and All Traffic Ceases
Street Fighting General and on Top of All the Finns Threaten to Revolt
Albanian Situation Grows Alarming; Italy to Send Squadron
The Journal reported then completion of the National Guard training at Gearhart:
Dusty Warriors Are Home Again
Tired and Hot the Sunbrowned Veterans of Camp and Beach
Gladly Sample the Home Cooking
With perspiration streaming down their dusty, sunburned bakes members of M company, Third regiment, O. N. G. , who have been at the annual encampment of the guards at Gearhart for the past ten days, trooped through Salem’s streets yesterday evening at five o’clock headed for the armory where cool citizen clothes awaited. They were tired and hot, especially so because they had left the cool sea breeze at Gearhart for the hot, sweltering valley. They were glad to get home again but they were also sorry that the encampment was over, for this year’s work was the most instructive and the time was spent the most pleasantly of any camp in recent years.
The Banner Encampment
It is the unanimous opinion of all old guardsmen that the encampment this year was the most pleasant and profitable that the Oregon boys have ever had. Drill, which consisted first of company close order drill and hen extended order of company, battalion, and regiment, occupied the morning hours from 8 o’clock until 11:30. In the afternoon the men were free to do as they pleased, but a large number watched the movements of the regulars as they solved problems of attack and defense.
The lead editorial addresses the prospects for peace and prosperity, from the perspective of the Chamber of Commerce:
News comes from Paris that after years of effort and travel on the part of two Americans, Edward Albert Filene, of Boston, and John H. Fahey, of Boston and Washington, D. C., an international commercial entente has just been reached which, in the opinion of diplomatists of that European capital, may prove in the future to be one of the greatest powers for world peace ever devised.
On the theory that the commerce of nations has led to more wars than probably any other one thing, Filene and Fahey, representing the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, with offices in Washington, set to work to bring about the formation of a sort of a Hague Peace Tribunal of the commercial world. They have just succeeded, and with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the international body of business men is now on the lookout for a man broad enough to act as “administrator.” His salary will be large, but, Filene and Fahey say, “so must the man.”
Fahey is president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, with headquarters in Washington, but he is a Bostonian, and a former newspaper man. Filene, also a Bostonian, is vice-president of the congress of Chambers of Commerce, a national Councillor of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States and a permanent committeeman for the Sixth International Congress. The two Americans have been in Europe for months working for the world’s business headquarters idea, and they will be there six weeks longer. They have visited England, Germany, France, Italy and most other nations, talking with statesmen, diplomats, business men and speaking before business organizations.
“Our mission has succeeded,” Filene told the United Press correspondent in Paris the other day. “The various nations have agreed to come in and we are now looking for the right man to act as administrator. Headquarters will be at Brussels, where offices on a small scale have already been opened. The idea, in a nutshell, is to prevent friction in the world of business; to furnish a medium through which the nations of the world can get better acquainted in a business way. There will be an international organ in which will be published documents of interest to all, from a commercial viewpoint, and by means of this and other machinery at the disposal of the central bureau at Brussels, the differences may be aired and adjusted and understandings between nations arrived at. Once running smoothly, we expect the Brussels bureau to do much in the way of smoothing over many of the difficulties between the nations of the world.
Considerable friction has existed between France and the United States for months past, it is pointed out, because of a different way each nation has of looking at the tariffs and the manner of levying duties. The new ”commercial entente” between the nations of the world, it is said, will go a long way in the future toward dispelling such misunderstandings.
The optimism that commerce could insure and promote peace was effectively derailed by events in Vienna and Belgrade. At six o’clock, Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, ambassador of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Serbia, delivered an ultimatum to the Serbian foreign ministry.
Austria-Hungary, with the support of Germany pursued a hard-line policy towards Serbia. Austria-Hungry planned to force a military conflict that result in an Austrian victory before any other nation could react.
The ultimatum required the Serbia acquiesce to an Austro-Hungarian inquiry into the assassination, compromising Serbian sovereignty. The ultimatum required Serbia to suppress all anti-Austrian propaganda and to root out organizations believed to have aided and funded the assassination. Vienna required an answer to the note within 48 hours, which Austria knew Serbia could not accept.
Serbia notified Russia. Germany and Austria expected Russia to back down. Russia did not and ordered parts of its military to prepare for mobilization.
The Serbian government ordered its army to mobilize. Ironically, Serbia accepted most of the terms of the ultimatum, but refused to condone intrusions that would compromise Serbian sovereignty. This Vienna would not accept. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, beginning the First World War.