100 years ago today, World War 1 came to an end. Known as the Armistice, the agreement was officially complete on November 11, 1918. In Columbus, as in the rest of the nation, the mood was, to say the least, happy.
In what was then said to be the “Greatest Demonstration in History”, Columbus citizens were up before dawn on that Monday morning, consumed in riotous celebration. At least 200,000 people marched through the streets of Downtown. An article on the celebration described the scene in poetic detail:
The lid that throttled pentup enthusiasm during the last few fateful days was blown off with a bang. Bellowing whistles, screeching sirens and jubilant shouts of early risers ushered in the greatest Monday in the world’s history. With each passing minute the pandemonium became greater.
An expanding, bulging, distending, heaving, heightening, thrilling crowd that by mid-morning numbered itself in the thousands, swirled, swayed and twisted itself in one long line of humanity through the ins and outs of High Street.
From every nook and cranny of the city’s far-lying borders came added increments of men, women and children, mad with joy, delirious with triumph, exalted as never before.
WWI had lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918 and had taken about 20 million lives.