Monday, September 9, 2019

The Great War: September 8 and 9, 1919

The Armistice that ended the fighting in World War I was signed on November 11, 1918, and the Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended the war, was signed on June 28, 1919. On September 8 and 9, 1919, Hudson staged a gala Welcome Home Celebration for veterans of the war. The festivities began on Monday, September 8, with a banquet at the Armory for all who had served. At the banquet, Mayor Charles S. Harvey presented Honor Medals to the veterans on behalf of the City of Hudson. After the banquet, starting at 10 p.m., there was a Block Party at Union and South Fourth streets--"dancing on street pavement" to music provided by the Hudson Band.

On Tuesday, September 9, the celebration continued with a "Monster Street Parade," which began at 1:00 p.m. The parade was followed by a "Concert by Massed Bands and School Children." The commemorative program described the concert in this way:
At the conclusion of the street parade all of the bands in the parade will assemble and form one band of 300 pieces at Public Square and march from that point down Warren Street thence over South Fourth Street to Washington Park, where a chorus composed of school children of the city will sing.
The festivities continued that night, with "Vaudeville and Entertainment at the Playhouse" at 8:15 p.m. and a "Victory Ball of Welcome" at the Armory, beginning at 10:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, September 9, the Columbia Republican ran this message on its editorial page:

Although the parade happened on the very same day, the Columbia Republican had this coverage of the event on its front page for Tuesday, September 9.

Hudson's day of days is over. With out-stretched arms the citizens greeted its heroes yesterday afternoon when over 400 of the World War veterans in squad and column formations made the greatest division of the greatest parade that the city has ever witnessed. It was the first time that the veterans had ever been seen in military formation. In the same swinging stride that carried them thru the camps and then thru France, Belgium, and Germany, they went thru the streets crowded with civilians while the applause and cheers were deafening. It was the proudest moment of the lives of the boys.
The weather was most pleasing. A drop of 20 degrees in temperature made it possible for the men to wear their complete uniforms and then the clouds that threatened at any minute to stop the parade before it formed, rolled away and left a day ideal for marching.
The rumor that not many of the boys would parade was dispelled by the men themselves long before the hour of starting. They assembled early in front of the armory. There had been no preliminary plans made for formation. This was left for the men themselves. There were no commissioned officers, non-coms, and the like yesterday. Every man had equal rank. . . . Every one wanted every one else to have a good time. All men were regarded as squads and it was because of this feeling; because every man took it upon himself to stick to military discipline during the parade, that it was such a wonderful success.
At the start of the parade and while it was passing thru the upper part of the city the men were without music to hold step and they had to resort to the one, two, three, four call of the men to hold cadence. The Hudson Band was assigned to the division, but it was followed by mounted aides, the gun caisson and the funeral caisson and other parade features. This brought the men too far behind the band. Captain Harold B. Evans and Mounted Aide Hallenbeck quickly remedied this by pulling another band out of another division and putting it directly behind the men. The change was remarkable and the veterans then showed Hudsonians for the first time the results of their long training. Without an order the men marched perfectly.
The parade was the largest ever seen in this city and it was witnessed by a great crowd. The weather no doubt kept down the crowd and again no attempt was made to advertise the event outside of the city as it was a celebration for the boys of Hudson and vicinity alone.
The parade was tremendous in size. It reached from one end of the city to the other and then three-quarters of the way back. It was crowded with features. It was set off by the greatest display of local floats ever seen in this section. It was augmented by a wonderful turnout by the Masonic fraternity. The fraternal bodies in general turned out with large memberships. The showing made by the Tenth Regiment was worthy of the applause the National Guard members received all along the line. The turn out of the Red Cross was a big feature of the event. The ladies turned out in uniform in great numbers despite the threatening weather. The manufacturing plants were represented as they have never been before in a parade. There were ten bands and three of the best drum corps in the State to furnish music.
Sadly, the account of the parade in the Columbia Republican was not accompanied by pictures. There were, however, descriptions of the floats in the parade. These are some of the more intriguing ones.



1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful article that you have shared. Our factories and businesses were honorably supporting those that served. This was a real sense of community.