100 Years Ago - “Scranton’s Own” Returned To United States Following Their Tour Of Duty In France During The Great War
April 21, 1919 City ambulance crew arrives in N.J. The Army Ambulance Section No. 581, better known as Scranton’s Own, was back on American soil on Easter Monday. The men arrived April 20 on Easter Sunday at Pier No. 6 in Hoboken, New Jersey, from their trans-Atlantic journey aboard the Great Northern. Thousands were on hand to greet around 3,000 soldiers at the docks in Hoboken. Along with the cheering crowds, a band played such songs as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Hail! Hail! The Gang’s All Here!” As members of “Scranton’s Own” made their way off the ship, they yelled to friends and family, asking how things were back in Scranton, when was the policeman’s ball, asking about family members and if Scranton went dry yet because of prohibition. After receiving a meal, the men of Scranton would be traveling to Fort Dix for a few more days. They were expected home in Scranton by April 24. Celebrating Easter Christian churches throughout the world celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on April 20. In Scranton, Elm Park Methodist Church was filled with about 2,000 congregants who heard a sermon by the Rev. Dr. George P. Eckman and seasonal music sung by Dorothy Clayworth Piper, Reba Morgan, Philip Warren, Arnold Lohmann and Harold Stewart Briggs. Elm Park also honored the members of the church that died fighting in the Great War. Immanuel Baptist Church welcomed 60 new members to its church during its Easter service. At St. Peter’s Cathedral, a choir of 40 boys and men sang for the Pontifical Mass and the altar was filled with white roses and lilies. BRIAN FULTON, library manager, oversees The Times-Tribune’s expansive digital and paper archives and is an authority on local history. Contact Brian at email@example.com or 570-348-9140.