Armistice Day, 1918: “Peace Finds College Anxious For Old Life”

“As the din of war gradually subsides on the campus and vague and various rumors float about, it may not be out of place to look a few weeks into the future and prophesy a bit about the athletic situation.”

It’s the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour (sort of) of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year. It’s also the 93rd anniversary of Armistice Day, on which the Allied powers made peace with Germany in Compiègne, France, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the—well, 1918.

I clawed through the Argus archives seeking the volume on that day, or week, wondering how the news reverberated in Harriman Hall or the Alumni Gymnasium. What I found was different: with few exceptions, it appears the Argus did not print regular volumes in the fall of 1918, I assume as a wartime-related measure. (Wes historians or alums, feel free to correct me.) There was, however, a December 13 issue, featuring a sort of apology for the slow publishing schedule:

There is, however, an article headlined “Peace Finds College Anxious For Old Life,” refocusing attention on what really matters—athletics, clearly—in the wake of the peace treaty. The effect of war on school is palpable, nonetheless. “The president has already had nearly a hundred letters from men who are planning to return,” the article reports, at least fifty in January.” The conclusion’s pretty solid: “If the matter of personnel counts for anything, then Wesleyan is going to be the place to spend the next few years.” Try 93.

Full article here and here.

Also, a “Class History” of the Class of 1919 from the 1919 Olla Podrida.

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