1917 begins and the United States finds itself embroiled in the First World War. Although no lives are lost, the Kingsland Explosion in New Jersey cause is assumed to be sabotage by the Germans. Amid calls for war as a result, Woodrow Wilson instead pursues “peace without victory” in Germany. However, the Zimmermann Telegram, the Germans’ offer to give the US southwest back to Mexico, if they cooperate in declaring war on the United States, is the final straw. On April 6th, the United States declares war on Germany. Dallas Love Field is opened to train pilots for aerial combat.
Victory for suffragettes comes when Jeannette Rankin of Montana is elected the first woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives. Universal suffrage is still not adopted and the fight continues. The “Night of Terror” brings beatings from jail guards for the women, the Silent Sentinels, in an attempt to halt women’s rights.
Back in Binghamton, New York, war is new and a bit unreal at the moment, although patriotism is high. Emily uses her musical talents to entertain guests at a home party:
The Binghamton Press, April 13, 1917
The Good Will Social club was entertained las evening by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barber of Mozart street. A picnic supper was served. Mrs. Eva Wilber, the guest of the club, sat at the head of the table in an armchair draped with an American flag. J. Burton Starr and Emily Barber sang several selections. Card and other games were engaged.
By July, the Red Cross fundraising, uniform sewing and bandage rolling for soldiers in Europe is in full swing.
The Binghamton Press, July 14, 1917
Workers in Windows Prepare Many Articles
Mrs. Oliver W. Sears and Mrs. Henry C. Olmsted and their helpers, who have been doing Red Cross work in the windows of the various stores during the campaign, completed one of the busiest weeks of their lives this morning.
The work connected with this phase of the campaign amounts to much more than it appears to on the surface. Those in the windows have been doing actual work, making garments, winding bandages, forming compresses. As many of them were uninitiated in this work, an instructor was provided for each group.
Mrs. Sears and Mrs. Olmsted were the ones who had to see that the workers were provided with materials, and to keep a general supervision over the various groups to see that the articles were being properly prepared. Mrs. Olmsted acted as instructor a great deal of the time.
Many of those doing the work were persuaded much against their inclinations to take part in so conspicuous a manner, but being among those who will not refuse to aid the Red Cross in any possible manner, have done the work cheerfully and deserve to be recognized as those imbued with the spirit of true service and patriotism.
Those who have done the work in the windows during the week are:
Miss Andrews, Miss Mildred Ash, Miss Atkins, Mrs. E. P. Bacon, Miss Edna Badgley, Miss Ellen Bailey, Miss Emily Barber, Mrs. L. W. Ball, Mrs. Ralph Bierer, Mrs Beardsley, Mrs. C. H. Bennett, Mrs. Fred Bull, Miss Eleanor Bump, Miss Mildred Carpenter, Mrs. Charles Clark, Miss Bertha Clark, Miss Ola Corbin, Mrs. Charles Cole, Miss Louise Crane, Mrs. C. C. Crum, Mrs. H. H. Cornick, Mrs. Theodore Dewess, Mrs. E. Dorey, Mrs. Charles Deyo, Miss Elizabeth Ford, Mrs. H. W. Fitzgerald, Miss Marion Fuller, Mrs. Robert Fuller, Miss Fuller, Mrs. Samuel Griffeths, Miss Mary Hubbell, Mrs. E. P. Gillespie, Mrs. George Hess, Mrs. F. F. Hammond, Mrs. James T. Ivory, Mrs. William Johnson, Miss Ada Welden, Mrs. Lewis Weed, Miss Roy Whipple, Mrs. Charles Witham, Miss Ethel Wright.
Mrs. W. F. Jennings, Miss Gerry Jones, Mrs. John Kelley, Mrs. Reed Kellam, Mrs. Charles Keeler, Mrs. Alfred Kressler, Miss Carlotta Lappeus, Miss Sarah Lappeus, Miss Mary Belle Leahy, Mrs. L. H. Lewis, Miss Evelyn McNamara, Miss Helen McNamara, Mrs. Caroline Moon, Mrs. Ellis Morse, Mrs. Walter H. Morse, Mrs. Leon Meade, Miss Helene M. Meagher, Miss Faith Millard, Miss Sally Metzgar.
Mrs. P.J. Oster, Miss Lucia Parsons, Mrs. F. Reynolds, Miss Jenne Queil, Miss Antoinette Rodgers, Miss Mildred Rowley, Mrs. Roy Roberts, Mrs. P. A. Staples, miss Kate Schnell, Miss Flora Schaape, Miss Louise Slatterly, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. G. S. Storrs, Mrs. Mark D. Leroy, Mrs. S. M. Thatcher, Miss Frances Thompson, Miss Edith Wattles.