“100 Years of Honoring Our Veterans”
There are more than 25 million military veterans in the United States.
Veterans Day is the American name for the international day of remembrance called Armistice Day. It falls on 11 November,
the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the World War One. It is a federal holiday and a state holiday in all 50 states.
The same day is observed elsewhere as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day.
All major hostilities of World War 1 were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German
signing of the Armistice. Armistice Day was first commemorated in the United States by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and many states
made it a legal holiday. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 inviting all Americans to observe the day, and made it a legal holiday
nationwide in 1938. The holiday has been observed annually on November 11 since that date - first as Armistice Day, later as Veterans
Day - except for a brief period when it was celebrated on the fourth Monday of October.
Newspaper History - Leavenworth Times
(Taken from the Leavenworth Times November 11, 1918)
“The Leavenworth Times first received word of Allies and Central Powers signing the Armistice at 4am, November 11, 1918. Then all of a sudden a bedlam of whistles, bells and shots ruined all thought of sleep in Leavenworth and the wildest celebration in the city ever has known was underway. Leavenworth Mayor John C. Seitz declared a holiday as soon as he received word of the Armistice and by noon every business house in the city was closed and all employees were parading in the streets, shouting, blowing horns, screaming, throwing confetti and otherwise giving vent to the emotion brought on by the word of “world peace.”
(Taken from the Leavenworth Times November 12, 1918)
“Leavenworth went wild. Following the flash of glorious peace news and victory to Allied arms that arrived early yesterday morning, crowds of screaming, noise making, confetti-throwing, and gloriously happy people representing all ages from small children to gray-haired men and aged women, thronged the downtown streets from early in the morning until midnight. Never before in the history of the town has such a celebration been held, for everyone was thinking of a son, brother or other relative ‘over there’ whose task was finished and soon would be starting back.”
(Taken from the Leavenworth Times November 11, 1919)
On Tuesday, November 11, 1919, the headlines in the Times read – “Business Will be Suspended in City Today, All To Join In The Welcome Home Celebration”, and that was the start of the nation’s oldest Veterans Day observance, the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade.
The first parade/observance was on November 11, 1919, organized by Leavenworth business owner William Small of the William Small and Company Dry Goods. All businesses including banks were closed, as well as all public schools. All downtown store front windows displayed patriotic themes and were kept covered until 11a.m. when they were unveiled and judged. The Hines Band gave a concert at Fourth and Delaware Streets, community singing and athletic contests took place until 2:20p.m., when the automobiles and civic organizations began a line of parade from the court house.