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Front page, Feb. 20, 1917: 'Virile, aggressive' citizen group formed to fight 'heartless and greedy' trolley company

Here are some highlights from The Buffalo Evening News of Feb. 20, 1917:

* The 74th Infantry – local soldiers who were stationed at the Texas-Mexico border – returned home to great fanfare. Gov. Whitman, Mayor Fuhrman, visiting evangelist Billy Sunday and other local officials were all on hand to greet the troops. The articles describes the patriotic scene:

"Whistles shrieked, bells were rung, bombs were exploded, blending into one great din. But those on the sidewalk heard only the steady rhythmic beat of the feet on the pavement as row on row of men in khaki marched up Main Street."

* A "virile, aggressive" citizen group was being formed to advocate for better trolley car service in Western New York. Street cars were the main mode of transportation and the company that operated the service hadn't been keeping up with needed improvements. The citizens' organization was created to "band citizens together for their own protection against the constantly spreading tentacles of this heartless and greedy octopus."

* Mabel Boardman, a higher-up in the American Red Cross, visited Buffalo and made speeches at the Hotel Statler and the Twentieth Century Club. She urged more support for the Red Cross as America teeters on the balance of war.

* Germany was still practicing unrestricted submarine warfare around the globe. More than two weeks had passed without an "overt act" that President Woodrow Wilson was waiting for in order to enter World War I, but America was still holding its breath.

Here's the front page of The Buffalo Evening News from Feb. 20, 1917:

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