Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, November 4, 2018, pg. 3
One hundred years ago on November 11, 1918, Germany officially surrendered and World War I ended. Here in Albion however, local residents "jumped the gun," so to speak. Patriotism and anticipation ran high here in the final days of the War. On Thursday, November 7, 1918, the Albion Recorder announced in big front-page headlines that Germany had quit and an armistice had been signed, based upon a United Press wire it had received. They thought the War was over, and the word spread fast.
Unfortunately, it was only a preliminary surrender agreement that had to be officially ratified by the governments of the U.S. and its Allies, and the German government. That agreement was not signed until Monday, November 11, the official day the War ended. November 7 has subsequently been dubbed by historians as the "False Armistice Day."
Not accurately informed, Albion saw a huge "end of the War" celebration beginning at 2 o'clock in the afternoon of November 7, which continued through late in the night. Factory whistles blew, sirens sounded, and a quickly-arranged parade occurred. The Albion Recorder reported on November 8, "Following the parade, which was led by the Post Band, the entire S.A.T.C. and the College girls, came nearly 70 hastily improvised floats carrying American and Allied flags, and truckloads of wildly enthusiastic noise dispellers who pounded on everything from huge sheets of iron to each other."The Albion College Student Army Training Corps (SATC) were armed with their guns and bayonets during the march.
The Boy Scouts lit a huge victory bonfire at the corner of S. Clinton and W. Center Sts. that evening, and a special celebration service was held at the Methodist Church on E. Erie St. The next morning as the truth became known, it was embarrassingly noted that the premature local celebration could be considered "a rehearsal" for the real armistice which occurred a few days later.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of the Albion College SATC soldiers marching on "False Armistice Day," November 7, 1918, on the west side of the 200 block of S. Superior St. (present site of the new Marriott Hotel). Notice the Bijou Theatre on the far left in the Eslow Block, followed by the Singer & Son Furniture and Undertaking, with the Afton A. Dibble Clothiers next. Beneath the feet of the marchers are the interurban (electric street car) tracks which were in use here the first two decades of the 20th century."How many of our readers had ancestors who served in World War I?
World War I, Nov. 7, 1918, Albion College soldiers
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic