Armistice! — 1918

wwi_returning-troops-parade_1919_portalDowntown parade for returning troops — June, 1919 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Dallas found out that the Great War had finally ended at around 3:00 in the morning of November 11, 1918 when the siren atop the Adolphus Hotel sounded with “maniacal shrieks.” People poured into the streets to celebrate.

The crackle of revolver reports began to sound. Sleep was murdered, even had one been so disposed, and many residents from all parts of the city foregathered in the downtown district to jubilate and exult in various ways until daylight came. (Dallas Morning News, Nov. 12, 1918)

Giddy celebrations and impromptu parades were the order of the day, and the joyous spirit that erupted throughout the city is reflected in this Dallas Morning News report of “the first day of world peace since August, 1914” (click to see larger image):

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DMN, Nov. 12, 1918

Local businesses got in on the action by placing heart-felt patriotic advertisements (some of which also quietly reminded readers that Christmas was just around the corner).

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When World War I officially ended on November 11, 1918, the military and civilian deaths and casualties totaled more than 37 million. All everyone wanted was for their loved ones to return home safely and for life to return to normal as quickly as possible. There was a lot to be thankful for that Thanksgiving.

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Sources & Notes

Photo of the 111th Engineers from the Tarrant County College Northeast, Heritage Room, via the Portal to Texas History, here. It shows the 1500 block of Main Street, looking west toward Akard. See the same view today here (the short white  building at 1520 Main is currently occupied by the Iron Cactus; in the 1919 photo, that address is occupied by Thompson’s in what looks like the same building). (See another parade photo of the same block here. The detail is much, much better!)

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Ads from the Dallas Morning News, Nov. 12 and 13, 1918.

The Wikipedia entry for World War One casualties is here.

Click pictures for larger images.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.