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Front page, Feb. 13, 1917: Buffalo street car service is 'worse than ever'

Here are some highlights from the Buffalo Evening News from Feb. 13, 1917:

In January 1917, the International Railway promised the area more street cars, better service and improved conditions. Dozens of street cars ran across Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Lockport, the Tonawandas, Lancaster and Depew — they were the main mode of local transportation. The Buffalo Evening News took a strong stand against the company and published an appeal to its owner to fulfill his promise to Western New York.

Meanwhile, there was another transportation crisis happening locally. The railways were tied up for days and the city desperately needed coal. The Buffalo mental hospital only had enough coal to last a day. Many industries threatened to close from the loss of revenue, and food supplies were also running short. The mayor of Jamestown went so far as to order police to stop any railroad car running through the city to commandeer the coal.

Internationally, the United States was still dipping its toes in the waters of World War I. A bill was introduced in Congress for the United States to open its ports to help any allied country. Sen. Saulsbury explained: "It is a step that may be effective in the present international crisis without a declaration of war on our port."

In Albany, a tax was proposed on electric power generated from Niagara Falls and other power plants. The state would get $1 per unit or horsepower and the measure was seen as a way to make the power plants pay for using the state's natural resources.

Here's the front page of the Buffalo Evening News from Feb. 13, 1917:

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