Historical article: Speaking, parades, bonfires, hilarity, mark day’s celebration

This article originally ran in the Express on Friday, Nov. 15, 1918.

Support Local Journalism


Monday was a great day—all day. Messages came over the wires in the early morning hours that the armistice terms of the Allies had been signed by the German emissaries, and before 4 o’clock the peals of the joyful bells rang out the sweetest tones of melody ever rung—P-E-A-C-E. From the music of the bells the noises grew in volume and variety. A crowd had soon gathered upon the streets up town and bonfires were soon burning at either end of Main Street and the hilarious throng continued their revelries until the sun came over the eastern skies and as the individuals here and there wended their ways homeward others took their places and the merry celebration was continued throughout the day. A considerable crowd had gathered by 9 o’clock, and forming a street procession starting near the Express office and lead by Old Glory marched the the High School grounds where a flag was raised to the mast-head. Led by Miss Esther Crawford a chorus sang national aires and prayer was offered by Rev. H. H. Wilson and an address delivered by Rev. P. M. Bell. Rev. Bell’s address was particularly pertinent, appropriate and patriotic. He proclaimed the day the greatest day in the history of the world since the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Following the speaking, Mayor Barnes who had presided at the demonstration called for the formation of a procession which marched back up town by way of Railroad Avenue and then through Main. The stores had been closed at 9 o’clock and the hours from 9 until 12 saw a complete suspension of business and a whole-souled devotion to the business of the hour—celebrating the great victory. Kaiser Bill got a’plenty all day. His effigy was kicked from racing automobiles. He was hung at street corners; his carcass was dragged head down and feet first through the streets and more than once his straw stuffed clothes were cast into the blazing fires where figuratively he may have felt the pangs of suffering to which the remaining days of his miserable life on earth are doomed. The people thought that they had made a fairly good out of their celebration during the whole forenoon, but it was not enough. The hilarity never died down but it was followed by a flare-up, and by mid-afternoon it was apparent that another demonstration would have to be held that evening. Committees busied themselves and when 8 o’clock came the stage was set for another carnival–a greater one than in the morning for many more people were out to join in. The band wagon had been moved to the center of Main Street; bonfires were burning at either end of Main Street; anvils were booming; redfire was burning and all the Chinatown supply of firecrackers were being set off at once by the kids. Under the direction of Miss Crawford a chorus again sang the national airs and a speaking program was presided over by Dr. H. C. Culton. Rev. Bell offered a prayer, and the address was to the point and was a plea for the upbuilding of the character of American citizenship as exemplified in the character of Jesus Christ. The carnival of victory was not without it’s fun, for following the patriotic speaking a horrible band led in procession a captive German soldier who was prodded along hands up and pleading ‘kamerad’ and on his front was placarded the word ‘Kamerad’ and on behind ‘Me un Gott.’ Concluding the program the chorus sang “When Johnnie Comes Marching Home” and the crowd began to disintegrate, but the victory peals of the bells kept well up into the night before all had celebrated to their fill the downfall of autocracy, the birth of a new peace upon a war-torn and blood soaked world, and the dawn of a new day for the nations of the earth.]]>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Article

Yolo County Master Gardeners November events

Next Article

Outdoor Adventures with Solano Land Trust in November

Related Posts