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World War I Armistice: Topics in Chronicling America

Newspapers reported the end of World War I on November 7, 1918, but it wasn't truly over until 4 days later. This guide provides access to materials related to "World War I Armistice" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

"Armistice is signed behind allied armies batle lines at 2 o'clock this afternoon." November 7, 1918. The Bemidji Daily Pioneer (Bemidji, MN), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Front page headlines announce that the war is over and crowds throng the streets in New York and other cities on November 7, 1918 to celebrate...except the United Press report is erroneous and the devastating Great War is not quite over. Armistice is declared four days later on November 11, 1918, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, a day now celebrated as Veterans Day. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

November 7, 1918 Several newspapers prematurely announce the end of World War I, triggering exuberant street celebrations. Other newspapers do not accept an erroneous United Press report and instead state that the war’s end is near.
November 8 - 10, 1918 Newspaper coverage focuses on the progression toward armistice, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s abdication, and revolution in Germany. A few newspapers continue to carry false announcements of war’s end.
November 11, 1918 The true armistice goes into effect at 11:00 AM, Paris time (6:00 AM Eastern time).