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Veterans History Daybook Home >> November 11, 1918

Images from the Prints and
Photographs Collections

Image: Veterans stage bonus demonstration as Congress struggles with deficit.
Veterans stage bonus demonstration as Congress struggles with deficit.

Image: Cartoon shows Uncle Sam standing respectfully before a tomb bearing a bouquet of flowers labeled U.S.
Cartoon shows Uncle Sam standing respectfully before a tomb bearing a bouquet of flowers labeled "U.S." The cartoon was drawn on Armistice Day commemorating the armistice of November 11, 1918 that ended the first World War. Clifford Kennedy Berryman, artist.

Image: Armistice Day, 1931
Armistice Day, 1931. Clifford Kennedy Berryman, artist.

November 11, 1918  Armistice/Veterans Day

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day because on November 11, 1918, the Allied powers signed an armistice or cease-fire agreement with Germany, which drew the combat of World War I to a close. Armistice Day became an annual celebration for English and French as well as American veterans, who had endured a tragic war “over there.” It was not until 1954 that Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in the U.S., a name-change intended to pay inclusive tribute to WWII veterans and, by extension, to all American veterans.

In their own words...

Vincent Cornelius Reed, an infantryman with Company K, 358th Infantry, 90th Division of the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI, saw his company decimated about two months before the Armistice during one of the war’s most significant battles, the St. Mihiel Offensive.

Image of Edward Wadington"There had been a killing frost the night before and everything was covered with frost. As I walked along I came to ... a greenhouse the glass of which however had been all broken & the plants inside killed by the cold. Farther on I came to a rosebush & on it a beautiful pink rosebud. I picked it and placed it in my book for pressing. ... Then the official news came that the armistice had been signed by the Germans. Happy! I was the happiest mortal in the world, I believe. To think it was all over and I was safely through it without injury. I thanked my Father in Heaven over and over that I had been spared and now would have a chance to get home safely once more. ...that night, as it was very cool, we made a good fire in the stove and I wrote letters to mother and Jo telling them the good news."

Quote taken from Handwritten Bound Diary: "Notes of my life as a soldier in World War I..." (see page 79-80).

View Vincent Cornelius Reed‘s online collection -- part of the Veteran's History Project.

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  April 3, 2009
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