The Celebration, 1918

Joyous news from the November 14, 1918 Skidmore News (page one, of course):

The Celebration

When the message bringing the peace news came over the wires, about 4:20 o’clock, Monday morning, Skidmore people began at once to celebrate the beginning of the actual close of the greatest war that has ever been fought.

Probably the first outward expression here, of the great joy the message brought, was the firing of a gun somewhere in the south part of town; then the church bells began ringing, shouts and the reports of guns from different parts of the town awakened the people who had not been called by phone when the news first came, each in his own way began a celebration, the memory of which will remain with us all as long as we live.

Not alone the people who live in town, but the inhabitants of the entire country side were immediately informed of the happy ending of hostilities by line calls sent out over every telephone line that emanates from the telephone office here.

Soon after the News came, a bonfire was lighted in the street just south of the band stand, anvils were brought from the blacksmith shop, powder produced, irons heated and soon the firing of the anvils contributed to the din.

School was dismissed for the day and the children were especially active in the manifestation of their joy that Germany had at last been brought to a realization of the fact she could not longer withstand the pressure of the allies and United States arms, and was compelled to yield her autocratic government to the forces of democracy.

At one o’clock the children were assembled at the school house where they were formed in line, furnished with flags, some dressed to represent Uncle Sam, liberty, etc., and marched to the bandstand where the following splendid program was given, G. L. Owen acting as master of ceremonies.

Music by band.
Song, “America.”
Prayer, Rev. M. Moore.
Talk, Rev. D. F. Harrison.
Song, “Star Spangled Banner.”
Benediction, Rev. W. H. Welton.

The singing was led by J. F. Kellogg, and a right good job he did of it, too.

Immediately after the close of the program, an automobile parade in charge of A. C. Dodds, M. A. Sewell and R. A. Walker started, in which the mothers and wives of our sailors and soldiers were guests of honor and were given seats in cars leading in the long line of forty-two cars, many of them beautifully decorated in the national colors. In the parade was one car in which the effigy of the deposed kaiser sat, of course in charge of a watchful guard. From the rear of another car extended a pole; to the end of the pole was tied a rope and at the other end of the rope dangled the effigy of the crown prince who together with his father renounced his right to the once “Imperial” throne of Germany.

What became of the effigy of the crown prince is not known to the writer, but that of his father was consigned to the flames of the big bonfire in Sewell’s woods that was attended by a goodly number after supper.

There was no speechmaking at the bonfire meeting, but the band was there and discoursed sweet music and the crowd joined, lustily, in the cheers that were given for each of the allied nations and for the United States.

This closed the day’s celebration and anyone here who could not see that Skidmore and surrounding vicinity were truly glad the awful war had been brought to a close, he surely has need of services of a competent optician, to say the least.

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