Shortages During World War I
As at most student newspapers across the country, the editors of the papers at the University of Arkansas usually erred on the side of peace whenever the nation appeared to be drifting toward war. While many student newspapers editorialized against entanglement of the United States in the first World War, news reports and editorials of The University Weekly generally ignored the conflict except as it related directly to the campus.
In 1915, the business manager of The Weekly, S.E. Gilliam, organized a local chapter of the International Peace League. Gilliam told The Weekly that the war was “a retrogressive movement toward the goal of barbarism and I am for peace and harmony.”
The lack of coverage of the war during 1916 may have stemmed from the loss of the editor, Tap T. Gill, at mid-year because of his desire to finish his coursework in three years. The paper operated without an editor through the spring. The next year suffered similar problems when the editor, James W. Trimble, apparently quit the paper late in the fall semester of 1916. The United States joined the war in 1917.
In the next school year, the war came home to The Weekly. Editor Herbert Faisst announced early in the semester that he had been called to service but added that he had applied for a furlough for the school year. Faisst was eventually given the furlough. The Weekly added an American flag to its nameplate at the beginning of the semester, and the paper began running short briefs about military service and the draft. Another story looked at the drop in the number of students enrolling in German classes. The university’s first student to receive eligibility for study as a Rhodes Scholar was notified that he was unlikely to receive appointment to a school soon because of the war.
By the beginning of 1918, the paper started a column of general news about the war and military service and printed correspondence from former students serving. Former editor Gill, for instance, sent a note about training at Fort Russell, Wyoming. Another former UA student, “Skeet” Hinton, wrote about landing in England, marching in front of the King and Queen, and then shipping off to another country where his unit took over a narrow-gauge railroad behind enemy lines. A month later, The Weekly reported the deaths of two former students killed during training.
Paper shortages forced The Weekly to suspend publication in the fall of 1918, but the paper resumed publication at the beginning of 1919.
The University Weekly. January 21, 1915.
Ibid. January 17, 1918.
Ibid. February 21, 1918.