From the Archives: When Veterans Day was Armistice Day


On Nov. 11, 1918, a special edition of the Los Angeles Times proclaimed on page one:


World War Ends as Germany Signs Armistice!


[Extraordinary Service Bulletins by the Associated Press.]

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, (Monday)---The world war will end this morning at 6 o’Clock, Washington time, 11 o’clock Paris time. The armistice was signed by the German representatives at midnight. This announcement was made by the State Department at 2:50 o’Clock this morning.

The announcement was made verbally by an official of the State Department in this form: “The armistice has been signed. It was signed at 4 o’Clock a.m. Paris time and hostilities will cease at 11 o’Clock this morning, Paris time.”….

The Nov. 12, 1918, edition of the Los Angeles Times reported:

One hundred and fifty thousand copies of The Times containing the greatest piece of news every printed–that of the end of the war–were sold yesterday morning as fast as the great Times presses could throw them off. People literally fought for them. Repeatedly the plates were returned to the presses and more copies printed to supply the never-ceasing demand. Extra editions at intervals kept the public informed on the swift movement of events.

The city of Los Angeles came to a halt. Businesses closed as people took to the streets in celebration.

One year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day an annual holiday. In 1954, to honor veterans of all wars, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day.

The first four photos in this gallery are from the Nov. 11, 1918, Los Angeles celebrations. The rest are my favorite images from the annual Armistice Day parades through 1952.


An earlier version of this post was published on Nov. 11, 2011.

Nov. 11, 1922: Armistice Day parade in Los Angeles.
(George Watson / Los Angeles Times )
Nov. 11, 1941: New Army units, service organizations and State Guard units march down Broadway at 7th Street during annual Armistice Day parade one month before Pearl Harbor.
(Al Humphreys / Los Angeles Times )
Nov. 11, 1943: The Monterey Park Girls' Drum and Bugle Corps march the fourth parade held in L.A. on Armistice Day. The annual parade was split into four smaller parades for different branches of the military.
(John Malmin / Los Angeles Times )

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here