Neighborhood: Mount Washington
Named for the First Battle of the Marne, an Allied victory in the First World War in September 1914. Previously this alley was informally called Kaiser Wilhelm Street but had no official name. Amid anti-German sentiment during the war, John Bukner wrote a letter to the Pittsburgh Post in August 1917 complaining about the name. It was officially named Marne Way in February 1918 in defiance of the German emperor.[2, 3, 4]
The reason that the street was named after Kaiser Wilhelm in the first place is unclear, but several applications for water connections on the street were submitted in June 1915 or 1917 using the kaiser’s name.[2, 3] The Hartford Daily Courant editorialized, “The naming of the street [as Kaiser Wilhelm Street] was, in all probability, a piece of political folly of which the originator must now feel heartily ashamed.”
See also Berlin Way.
Bukner, John. “Objects to street name.” Pittsburgh Post, Aug. 7, 1917, p. 6. Newspapers.com 86672332.
“Kaiser Wilhelm will rage at news from Pittsburgh: Street mysteriously and unofficially named in his N [sic] honor has been rechristened and, adding insult to injury, renamed Marne way.” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Feb. 14, 1918, p. 6. Newspapers.com 85860163.
“Kaiser Wilhelm wiped off map; that is, city street directory: Mt. Washington thoroughfare unofficially named after German emperor is officially called Marne way, by action of council.” Pittsburgh Post, Feb. 14, 1918, p. 3. Newspapers.com 87696779.
“‘Pittsburgh promotes progress.’” Union Postal Employe, vol. 14, no. 11, Nov. 1918, p. 32. Google Books IEg2AQAAMAAJ.
“Twenty pages.” Hartford Daily Courant, Feb. 16, 1918, p. 12. Newspapers.com 369550473. Reprinted as “It was an unnamed street,” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Feb. 23, 1918, p. 4 (Newspapers.com 85829743).