Down by the Old Missouri

Armistice Day parade in Pierre on November 11, 1937. The parade route made it’s way down Capitol Avenue, the State Capitol is in the distance.

100 Years AgoWith everyone remembering November 11 of last year, both the boys who took part in the struggle on foreign soil and those who were at home, that date rolled around this year, but with a very different weather condition than that experienced in this community in 1918. The day last year was bright and the weather warm for the season, while this year a blizzard raged. The crowds expected from the country were unable to come to Pierre for the first annual Armistice Day celebration and the preparations of the American Legion for the entertainment could not be carried out, all because of the storm. But the spirit of the day was not lacking, and people generally joined hands to make the best of the circumstances and with good success. As had been planned, the football game between Lead and Pierre high schools was played on Hollister field early in the afternoon with a fair crowd out to boost. Following the game, a program was held in the opera house. G. H. Jaynes presided, and the numbers were all graciously given by different local talent. The American Legion went to no end of trouble in preparation for the celebration and of course all concerned were greatly disappointed at the weather conditions, but the public was well satisfied with the entertainment given.

50 Years AgoAbout 200 people marched silently up main street in Pierre today (November 11), wheeled at the Sioux Avenue intersection and marched down again in response for a “patriotism” march call by State Legion Commander Marvin Mackner. Members of the Pierre Legion Post and Veterans of Foreign Wars service clubs led the way. There were no incidents nor heckling reported. A small group of Pierre youths have announced they will conduct a peace walk in the capitol city Friday afternoon (November 14). Frank Driscoll of Pierre said he and others are inviting all “concerned about bringing peace to Vietnam” to express their concern by joining in the walk. It will begin at 4:45 p.m. at the parking lot behind Woolworth’s store and go along Capitol Avenue and down Pierre street, Driscoll said.

25 Years AgoOn the 11th day of the 11th month 76 years ago, an Armistice was signed ending the war to end all wars. This day is now known as Veterans Day and is a time to honor all those who died so Americans have freedom. A history of Veterans Day and a narrative tribute to the flag were given by Juell Johnson in his Veterans Day address at a program today sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The November 11, 1918, armistice between the Allies and Germany stopped the fighting in World War I. “When the fighting died down, this war to end all wars was history,” said Johnson. Approximately 8.5 million people had been killed, 7.5 million were prisoners or missing, and 21 million had been wounded. The news of peace produced celebrations in large cities. In New York City, more than one million people jammed Broadway and threw ticker tape on Wall Street. November 11 went on to be called Armistice Day in the United States. November 11 did not become a legal holiday in the United States until 1938, Johnson said. Veterans organizations urged that November 11 honor all veterans. In 1954, Congress passed a law which changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.

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