Monday, December 31, 2018

The Great War: December 31, 1918

The Armistice, signed on November 11, 1918, brought an end to the fighting of World War I, but the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the state of war between Germany and the Allies was not signed until June 28, 1919, and the Welcome Home Celebration for the returning soldiers and sailors in Hudson didn't happen until September 1919. As 1918 ended and 1919 began, the people of Hudson were still very much preoccupied with the war, and for this reason Gossips is going to continue this series, periodically sharing war-related items that appeared in local newspapers a century ago.

On Christmas night 1918 there was a Victory Ball at the armory in Hudson to raise money for the reception fund for returning soldiers and sailors. On December 31, 1918, the Columbia Republican, which was a weekly newspaper, featured an article about the ball on its front page.

The Victory Ball held at the State armory topped Christmas Day with one of the best social events of many months. Before 8 o'clock a continual parade of dancers marched in to the spacious armory. Many who did not dance went to look on and visit among friends.
The overture began at 8 o'clock and until 9 o'clock an unusually good concert program was given by Stafford's orchestra. A number of soldiers and sailors were present in their uniform, gave a military touch to the affair. At 9 o'clock the dancing began and continued until 2 in the morning. There were twenty dances and two extras given. The music was up-to-date and the fantastic toes stepped in harmony to its rhythm. About five hundred people were in attendance.
The armory was prettily decorated with Christmas greens and National colors. There were several boxes erected and were occupied by a large number of persons.
For the first time there was no grand march held. At different times during the dance program spotlight numbers were given which added variety to the program.
The ball was held for the benefit of the fund for the reception of homecoming service men and close to $600 was realized. The committee in charge deserves great credit for the capable and efficient manner in which the ball was conducted. The affair was a great success and the appreciation shown by those who patronized it is deserving credit. . . .
Sadly, I know of no photographs that were taken at the ball.

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